March 2011

“…living by voices we shall never hear…”


  • Fashion, fishin’, & factory farming: Fowl play in the news
  • Montana legislative update: No love forthcoming updated
  • When elk fly
  • Earth Day every day in Bozeman
  • Other updates & a pop quiz
  • Fur fashion: Not in our town? Think again
  • Who’s hoppin’ down the bunny trail?
  • Leave you smiling:  Kitty Midnight Madness

Other Nations blog: Fashion, fishin’, & factory farming: Fowl play in the news
Today it was corndogs. Two days ago it was feathers.  More often than not, something I read in the local morning paper gets my goat. It’s not that I go looking for the dark side, mind you. Whether an article deals with fun, food, or fashion, if the news-maker relies on animal exploitation, I see the backstory no matter how deftly it goes unmentioned. It’s probably like that for you, too. Animal rights folks tend to see the big picture–the one that includes the suffering and the slaughter. Sigh.

First, the corndogs. The headline advises me to “Celebrate corndogs, hoops on national day.” Turns out that National Corndog Day is “the first Saturday in March after the NCAA men’s basketball tournament kicks off.” Factory farming giant Foster Farms is a sponsor (“Foster Farms Corn Dogs are fun-tastic anytime!”). Continue reading →

Montana legislative update
We mentioned several bills dealing with animals in the February newsletter–here’s a brief update on a sample of mostly bad bills churning through the legislature.

SB112 - spear hunting – tabled (deservedly killed) in committee; this bill had become a joke and a symbol for frivolous legislation
HB390 - puppy mill regulation – tabled by the House Agriculture committee (apparently they don’t want to appear soft on puppies)
SB220 - would have added “knowing spectator” to those committing the crime of dogfighting–tabled in committee
HB576 - declare mountain lions as predators (bad bill for lions) -House hearing was 3/17; update, 3/23:  bill tabled
SB144 – a bad bill to prohibit wild bison restoration-2nd chamber hearing was 3/17; alive with no outcome indicated as yet
SB108 – revise policy for managing large predators – alive in 2nd chamber committee (not good for predators)
SB143 - revise grizzly bear policy- alive in 2nd chamber committee (very bad bill for the griz); update, 3/23: bill tabled
Added, 3/23:
SB212 – mandates domestication of wild bison in MT- bill is still alive in 2nd chamber
HB321 – nullify Endangered Species Act–tabled in committee 3/23
To track these bills and others for yourself, click here.

When elk flyWhat, you never saw an elk fly? Welcome to the Wild West, pardner. Click here to see it with your own eyes…U.S. citizen taxpayers are footing the bill for this harsh, invasive treatment of wildlife. For more Buffalo Field Campaign media, click hereVisit Buffalo Field Campaign for more info.

Earth Day Every Day: How our food choices impact the planet - A day-long event in Bozeman on Friday 22 April 2011. Displays, films, speakers, and more! Click here for full details. Sponsored in part by our friends at the New Dawn Montana Farmed Animal Sanctuary near Stevensville, who remind us that the most significant change we can make for animals is in our diet.

Update: Remember this, from our January newletter? “I want to protect people from getting in trouble for doing the right thing.” — Rep. Curt Oda, Utah legislature. Oda wants to change the state cruelty law to exempt the killing of feral animals. Just what does he consider “the right thing”? Shooting (gun or arrow), clubbing, or decapitating. Good news from the Humane Society of Utah: sanity and compassion prevail.

Pop quizWhat two states are introducing bills in their legislatures making it a crime for undercover activists to take photos or film in factory farms and other intensive animal agriculture settings? “They don’t want to criminalize animal cruelty, but they do want to make criminals of people trying to document abuse and to put an end to the cruelty.” It would appear that they have a lot to hide. Click here to learn which two states’ legislators want to make compassion a crime.


Gene Bernofsky photo; World Wide Film Expedition

Fur fashion: Not in our town? Think again. The fur industry has found an outlet in downtown Missoula at J. Elaine’s boutique.  For the past several months, LaBelle Furs of Orlando, FL has set up shop at the boutique for a couple of days per month, ostensibly to transform your old fur stole into a teddy bear or sweater. BUT…you are invited to “see the most beautiful collection of new furs…at some of the best values in America.”

Yes, furs truly are beautiful–on their original owners. Click here to read about fur farms; the page opens with a small picture of a skinned animal, the intermediate step between animal coat and human coat that the industry likes to keep hidden. Then consider watching a 10-minute segment on how fur farmed animals live and die in the documentary The Witness. The segment starts at the 25-minute mark and includes death by anal electrocution. If you’ve got a spare 44 minutes, watch the whole film. Some scenes are difficult, but it doesn’t hammer you with nonstop horror…and it’s an inspiring call to action.            Gene Bernofsky photo – World Wide Film Expedition

Rabbitron photo

Easter and gift rabbits don’t mix - visit Rabbitron, our neighbor to the west in Spokane. Rabbit care, rabbit myths, why rabbits don’t make good Easter gifts, and more. Hop to it.

Leave you smiling - Kitty Midnight Madness (not an actual event!)

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