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Weekly Animal Rights Digest Dec 5, 2010

Nine Surprising Items Made With Animal Ingredients

ourcompassadmin | December 5, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-3cc
If you thought that by quitting meat or at least going weekday vegetarian you were doing your part to avoid the horrors of factory farming, think again.
Even though animal products might not be in as many places as some claim (most tennis rackets are made with synthetic materials now), they spread far beyond just those hidden in food: everywhere from your car to the bathroom and the sky in the 4th of July.
As the Ontario Farm Animal Council clearly puts it, 'on average, 98 percent of an animal is used. From that 98 percent, about 55 percent (on average) of the animal is used for edible products and the remaining 45 percent for inedible by-products.'
1. Plastic Bags
Many plastics, including shopping bags, contain 'slip agents', which reduce the friction in the material. What are those made of? Animal fat.
In a more technical explanation from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News: 'Although polymers are manufactured from petroleum feedstock, plastics manufacturers often use additives of animal origin to improve material properties and/or to aid in processing of raw polymers' -- which blogger Beth Terry proved first-hand.
Also, watch out for new plastics coming out: Companies like Tyson Foods are experimenting with keratin protein found in chicken feathers to produce plastics, adhesives and non-woven materials.
'Someday disposable diapers or hospital gowns could be made from the materials,' said Jeff Webster, the group vice president of the renewable products division to USA Today.
2. Car And Bike Tires
Even when food can have hidden animal ingredients, you can still take the time to look at the label to see it. With your car or bike tires, it's a little more difficult. But here's the trick: check with the manufacturer if they use animal-based stearic acid, which helps the rubber in tires hold shape under steady surface friction.
The guys at Vegan Fitness forums took the time to call some brands and made a handy list of companies that use plant-based alternatives of the component.
3. Glue in Wood Work and Musical Instruments
Animal glue (made from boiling animal connective tissue and bones) is apparently the best adhesive for fixing musical instruments made from wood such as violins and pianos. Even though other synthetic glues are used too, hide glue is also readily available and widely used for furniture fixes and wood work: You can even catch a guide on how to use it online. If you're OK with animal slaughter that is.
 

Related ... Animal Testing Breaks Hearts

 
4. Biofuels
Sugar cane and corn are what come to mind at first when we think about biofuels, but over the past years the use of animal fats to produce these has extended.
There's actually beef biodiesel (which Matthew called a 'bone-headed idea' last year) and chicken biodiesel to choose from.
5. Fireworks
It's no news that fireworks suck real badly in terms of pollution, but bits of animals in them? Apparently so.
The same component used in the tire industry, stearic acid, is present in the production of fireworks. The book The Chemistry of Fireworks lists this as an ingredient and an article in Wikipedia explains that 'in fireworks, stearic acid is often used to coat metal powders such as aluminum and iron. This prevents oxidation, allowing compositions to be stored for a longer period of time.'
Even though it can be plant-sourced, you never know. Another reason to ditch the bastards.
6. Fabric Softener
It was big news on TreeHugger some time ago: Downy fabric softener contains Dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride, which comes from the cattle, sheep and horse industry. They sure won't put that in the usual 'all-so-soft' advertising.
7. Shampoo & Conditioner
Annie Leonard warned us about the hazardous chemicals in the cosmetics industry, but didn't necessarily emphasize the animal ingredients.
According to PETA, there are more than 20 components from animals that could be in your shampoo and conditioner. The tricky part is when you read 'Panthenol', 'Amino acids', or 'Vitamin B' in a bottle (just to name a few), it can be either from animal or plant source -- making it hard to tell. Companies have even removed the word 'animal' from some ingredients to avoid putting off consumers.
Best way to be sure? Look for vegan brands. (Or make your own.)

Please click on and sign/send the following two automatic messages and send letter, thank you:

1. BACKGROUND | Fr0m PETA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just released a list of 134 chemicals that will be tested for their potential to act as endocrine disruptors (ED). EDs are chemicals that interact with hormone systems and possibly affect the growth or reproduction of animals.
The EPA's program for screening these particular chemicals will take years and will kill approximately 80,000 animals. Since this program relies heavily on animal testing, it will provide information that is hard to interpret and is unlikely to help the EPA protect either humans or the environment from harmful chemicals.
The EPA has spent millions of dollars to create a large-scale non-animal testing program called ToxCast and has already used the program to profile the endocrine activity of more than 300 chemicals in the first phase of this program.
In addition, the EPA used ToxCast to study the health effects of the oil dispersants used in last summer's Gulf Coast oil spill, yet the review panel overseeing the EPA's endocrine program has so far refused to accept information from ToxCast. This is perplexing in light of the EPA's own confidence in the usefulness of the program. Rather than killing tens of thousands of animals, the EPA should take its own advice and use ToxCast to test the potential endocrine activity of these chemicals.
Please take a moment to write to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to politely insist that the EPA use the non-animal ToxCast program to test the new list of chemicals for their potential to cause endocrine disruption.
Putting your subject line and letter into your own words will help draw attention to your e-mail.

Related, they grieve, interact as we, perhaps more so, their emotions are not disingenuous or applied ...

 

2. BACKGROUND | From IDA
The unexpected death of the elephant Dondi at the Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts in July immediately raised a red flag. At age 36, Dondi should have been in the prime of her life. So IDA took action and filed a complaint with the USDA, urging an investigation into her death. We also demanded that Southwick's Zoo President Justine Brewer publicly release Dondi's medical records as a matter of public safety, as Dondi was in direct contact with the public while giving rides. Elephants can harbor diseases transmissible to humans, including tuberculosis (TB).
IDA's concerns were well-founded. The Orlando Sentinel just revealed that an animal autopsy report showed Dondi suffered 'severe lung damage from chronic fibrosis and pneumonia, likely caused by tuberculosis.' TB in elephants presents a serious public health concern because it is very difficult to detect, and the animals can transmit the disease to humans as well as other elephants.
Dondi had been in direct contact with the public for years, putting both children and adults at risk. During the summer she gave rides at the Southwick's Zoo; she was the second elephant used by the zoo who was found to have TB. Dondi performed circus tricks and gave rides at Flea World in Florida during the winter months. U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines for the control of TB in elephants state: 'Direct contact transmission may occur during activities such as touching or riding an elephant, being touched by an elephant, examining, medicating, bathing, and handling animals.'
IDA is renewing our call to the Southwick's Zoo and Flea World to end the practice of using elephants for shows and rides because it is inhumane for the elephants and unsafe for the public.
Submit the form to send a message to Southwick's Zoo and to Flea World, urging these businesses to stop using elephant acts.
3. BACKGROUND | From All Creatures
End Elephant Rides for the Safety of Elephants AND Humans
Tell the Southwick's Zoo and Flea World to end the practice of using elephants for shows and rides because it is inhumane for the elephants and unsafe for the public.
WHERE TO SEND YOUR LETTERS:

Justine Brewer, President
Southwick Zoo
2 Southwick Street
Mendon MA 01756-1234
phone (800) 258-9182

Sydney and Marianne Levy, Owners
Flea World
4311 Orlando Avenue
Sanford FL 32773
phone (407) 330-1792 ext. 224
email

SAMPLE LETTER (please modify, shorten):

Dear Ms. Brewer and Mr. and Ms. Levy,

I have recently learned of Dondi's tragic death at Southwick Zoo as precipitated by tuberculosis, a highly contagious and dangerous illness affecting both animals and humans; I am therefore writing today to request you discontinue exploiting animals as entertainment.

Please allow me to briefly illustrate personal observations: elephants are marvelously intelligent and loving creatures, forming enduring bonds and relationships; elephants also experience profound depression in insufferable conditions, separated from others and necessary companionship.  It is grossly unjust that our society finds animal abuse tolerable in cases such as Dondi's.  While we as a collective understandably react shockingly at the cruelty inflicted upon our companion animal friends, many embrace apathy regarding animals imprisoned for entertainment purposes.  Circuses, zoos, roadside attractions, and animal exhibits are all defined as socially acceptable forms of entertainment but that are all realistically a brutal indication of animal exploitation and imprisonment.  Animals are objectified, cruelly treated, forced to behave in unnatural manners, exposed to pain and inadequate care and environments, and made to parade in front on humans for the sole purpose of human greed.  There is no enchantment or magic for animals, and even zoos that perpetrate and foster an ideal of preservation are too often engaged in the savage acquisition of stolen animals, a brutal, bloody industry that hides under the chaotic surface of zoo entrepreneurship.

Financial greed at the cost of compassion is inexcusable, and the implications about humans who enable animal abuse are disturbing: we cannot allow our children to inherit a cruel and indifferent society where animals are unrestrictedly objectified. Indeed, if we do nothing, we are teaching our children troubling lessons and encouraging intolerance. Please discontinue exploiting animals and instead observe your moral obligation to extend equity and respect towards them.

I know your time is limited, and I thank you for your attention and consideration.


2. EarthJustice's Stop Congress from Removing Endangered Species Protections for the Gray Wolf

BACKGROUND
Recent reports suggest that President Obama's Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, is prepared to agree to, and is actively promoting, legislative language that would eliminate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for all gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, including those in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah.
Not only would wolves lose protections, they would also be put beyond the reach of the ESA forever unless the Secretary, at his sole discretion, chooses to restore them to the list of threatened or endangered species. Even worse, under the language, there would be no  ability for the American public to petition for these protections in the future... regardless of how egregious state wolf management plans become.
The proposal is arbitrary and strikes a blow at the very foundation of the Endangered Species Act. Hundreds of wolves -- maybe more than a thousand -- could be killed. And you and I could lose America's most effective tool for protecting imperiled wildlife.
We don't have much time to stop Secretary Salazar's plan. Please urge your senators to reject Interior Secretary Salazar's backroom deal to remove protections for wolves and harm the ESA.

Wonder of the Wild- Irreplaceable Wildlife in a Warming World

 

MESSAGE TEXT

Reject Secretary Salazar's Backroom Deal to Eliminate Protections for Wolves

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife and someone who cares about wolves, I strongly urge you to reject any legislative proposal by the Secretary of the Interior to eliminate life-saving protections for wolves.

Recent reports suggest that Secretary Salazar is prepared to agree to, and is actively promoting, legislative language that would eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for all gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, including those in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

Not only would wolves be delisted, they would also be put beyond the reach of the ESA forever unless the Secretary, at his sole discretion, chooses to restore them to the list of threatened or endangered species.

Even worse, under the language, there would be no ability for the American public to petition for these protections in the future... regardless of how egregious state wolf management plans become.

This proposal is anti-science, anti-wolf and anti-democratic. I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to oppose it.

Thank you for considering my comments.


 

Public's help sought in case of cat bound in duct tape and placed in clothes dryer in Riverside

ourcompassadmin | December 4, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-3ba

If you have any information, please call (951) 358-7387

From Los Angeles Times
By Lindsay Barnett
Animal Services officials in Riverside County are asking for the public's help in finding the person or persons responsible for binding a cat in duct tape and placing her in an apartment building's communal clothes dryer.
A resident of the building, in the 3000 block of Watkins Drive near UC Riverside, called police upon discovering the cat, whose face and upper body had been wrapped in duct tape. Police contacted the animal services department, which brought the cat to the Western Riverside County/City animal shelter for care.
The cat, a gray tabby believed to be about four years old, survived but suffered a broken tooth and internal bleeding in one of her eyes. The eye injury is expected to heal. Because of the injuries, animal services officials suspect the dryer was turned on by the person who bound the cat and placed her inside it, although it wasn't running at the time she was discovered.

...serial killers usually torture animals purely for their own enjoyment. Animal abuse is a recognized sign of a mental disorder. If a child hurts animals it should be a red flag and immediate action should be taken. While there are many factors that contribute to someone becoming a serial killer, the one constant they share is animal abuse.  Associated Content

Worse still, it has been determined that she recently gave birth to a litter of kittens, who haven't been located despite attempts by animal services officers. They had planned to return to the apartment building Friday afternoon or evening to try to access a locked garage, where someone reported possibly hearing a kitten's meow, when a tenant with access to the garage returned home for the day.
"I can't imagine what this poor thing must have felt going through that ordeal," Eileen Sanders, a veterinary technician with the animal services department who cared for the cat, said Friday. "Whoever did this is going to move up and harm other animals -- or maybe people."
At present, the animal services department is considering the cat a stray. If her owner doesn't attempt to claim her, she is expected to be put up for adoption.

Anyone with information is asked to call the animal services department at (951) 358-7387.

Related, please click on and sign Expose the Animal Abusers Petition

 

First Strike - The Violence Connection
View this document on Scribd
 

Residential Tranquility - ???

ourcompassadmin | December 3, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-3aL
 
Alert from Facebook | Carin Z.
Bill 18-63: the 'Residential Tranquility Act of 2010'
"This would establish certain restrictions and requirements for residential demonstrations, which would apply when there are three or more demonstrators targeting a residence. Restrictions include: prohibiting a residential demonstration between 10pm and 7am; prohibiting the wearing of a mask during the residential demonstration; and a requirement for demonstrators to notify MPD at least two hours in advance of the demonstration."
It is already forbidden in some states to wear face-covering masks during demonstrations. Now, wearing a mask while protesting outside a residence without telling D.C. police first could get you arrested.
 
Why is this a problem ?

    Spying. The FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Forces routinely spy on lawful, above-ground activists. For instance, the ACLU exposed FBI agents spying on animal rights activists who were leafleting outside of HoneyBaked Hams. And corporations have been tracking who activists are dating.

    Blacklists. Government 'watchlists' have millions of names. Recently in Maryland, it was exposed that law enforcement kept terrorist files on environmentalists, antiwar activists, and nuns.

    Grand jury witch hunts. Vocal, public activists are routinely hauled before grand juries in political witch hunts, and forced to testify about their political beliefs and political associations. If they refuse, they face jail time.

    Infiltration. The government has been using paid informants and provacateurs to keep tabs on lawful protest movements. The recent case of the RNC 8 is a good example, and even more disturbing is 'Anna,' the FBI informant who befriended activists and entrapped them.

    Legal attacks. FBI agents have shown their incompetence in attempts to track down underground members of the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. There have been arrests, but those crimes overwhelmingly remain unsolved. Instead, law enforcement has been cracking down on the public faces of those movements and labeling them �eco-terrorists.� A good example of that is the SHAC 7 case.

The ACLU has opposed the Residential Tranquility Act of 2010, the letter is HERE.
What you can do: protest! They haven't closed the postal system or internet yet, so feel free to send the below message to the associated addresses.
SAMPLE LETTER:

Re: Bill 18-63, the 'Residential Tranquility Amendment Act of 2010'

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am contacting you regarding Bill 18-63, the 'Residential Tranquility Amendment Act of 2010,' which would make it a crime for three or more persons to conduct a completely peaceful, quiet, non-threatening demonstration in front of someone's residence if the demonstration takes place at night, or if the demonstrators wear masks, or if they have not provided the police with advance notice of the demonstration. This legislation would restrict freedom of speech by creating an unnecessary new crime when all that is really needed is the enforcement of existing laws.

Peaceful residential picketing is a quintessential First Amendment activity and is a valuable part of our expressive freedom. The District of Columbia has a long history of peaceful residential picketing that should not lightly be discarded. There are also entirely legitimate reasons why a person might want to wear a mask while engaged in targeted residential picketing. The right to engage in anonymous speech is generally protected under the First Amendment precisely because there are legitimate reasons for speaking anonymously.

None of these peaceful, non-threatening, free speech activities ought to be a crime, or needs to be made a crime in order to protect residents against threatening conduct. I support ACLU's letter sent to the council and urge the Council to defeat this pointless and unnecessary anti-freespeech bill.

Thank you for your attention.

NAME

 

WHOM TO CONTACT:

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/contactuscouncil

Council offices (copy/paste into your TO):

dccouncil@dccouncil.us, vgray@dccouncil.us, dcatania@dccouncil.us, pmendelson@dccouncil.us, kbrown@dccouncil.us, mbrown@dccouncil.us, jgraham@dccouncil.us, jackevans@dccouncil.us, mcheh@dccouncil.us, mbowser@dccouncil.us, hthomas@dccouncil.us, twells@dccouncil.us, yalexander@dccouncil.us, mbarry@dccouncil.us,

Please send message (sample available below) protesting the sheep industry, including the live export practice subjecting these animals to vicious, illegal practices.
The (images below) are just some of the hundreds of images captured by Animals Australia's investigative team on their recent investigation to the Middle East in November 2010 for the three-day Festival of Sacrifice. Close to one million animals were exported live from Australia for this festival alone.
Photographs show Australian animals being bound with wire, shoved into car boots, dragged and tied up, and suffering terribly before a brutal slaughter � all of which is contrary to Islamic teachings.
Evidence of routine abuse clearly shows that the live export industry's attempts to improve animal welfare in destination countries is not working. Instead, Australia's willingness to continue supplying animals to known abuses depicted in these photographs is re-enforcing the local belief that this type of cruelty is acceptable.
Click on pictures to enlarge, these are graphic.

 

WARNING: this video contains footage of Animals Australia's November 2010 Festival of Sacrifice investigation that was considered too distressing for television.

WHERE TO SEND YOUR MESSAGES:

Postal:
Senator Joe Ludwig
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6277 7200

E-mail:
senator.ludwig@aph.gov.au

PM Webform:
Please also click on and send a brief e-mail to our prime minister.

SAMPLE MESSAGE | Please edit/shorten but current length is supported by webform:

To Whom It Concerns,

I am gravely disturbed after watching footage, as offered by Animals Australia, of the live animal export industry from Australia to the Middle East and the barbaric and subsequent brutal treatment of animals victimized by such; I am therefore writing to explicitly request that this cease immediately. Please review the following if you are as of yet unaware of the conditions to which innocent animals are shamefully subjected:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Vmx0n6QYg

It is impossible to contemplate supporting any country, via tourism or commerce, that excuses such blatant animal cruelty; the global community will not defend this malicious and unnecessary industry and will collectively censure your country while this intentional abuse remains unanswered with no reform, namely nothing less than the discontinuation of the sheep industry in general.

It is important to acknowledge that inaction or silence only sanctions such blatant cruelty, which inevitably leads to human crimes. Indeed, until people recognize and accept that their deliberately-cruel actions against innocent animals have both penal and moral repercussions, our societies will become accustomed to, and subsequently desensitized against, brutality inflicted on all species. I therefore hope this letter finds you willing to scrutinize both your own involvement in the intentional exploitation of animals and your desire to therefore protect rather than harm them. As such, please make the ethical and necessary decision to abolish this industry and modify protocols to mandate alternative, non-lethal responses to demand, such as veganism.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.

NAME/COUNTRY

 

See more from Animals Australia:

5 Investigations. 7 Countries. 1 Conclusion.

About this video:
In December 2007, Animals Australia conducted a fifth investigation in the Middle East, exposing industry claims of 'improvements' and 'isolated incidents of animal cruelty' as just another desperate attempt to defend a brutal trade in animal misery.

 

Your actions made a difference: jail time in dog burning case

ourcompassadmin | December 2, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-39J
PREVIOUS STORY:
FROM: ALDF
UPDATE:
On December 1, 2010, Kristian Dennard Jackson & Decarlos Lashawn Young pled guilty to animal killing/torturing and arson of real property. Both defendants were habitual 3rd offenders and they pled to that as well. Young is to serve 17 months to 8 years, and Jackson is to serve 13 months to 8 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
They are currently scheduled to be formally sentenced on December 16, 2010 at 9 a.m. Local residents who wish to support the prosecution by attending should contact the Court as dates and times are subject to change.

Wayne County Circuit Court, Criminal Division
Frank Murphy Hall of Justice
1441 St. Antoine Street
Detroit, MI 48226
313-224-2506

Thank you to everyone who wrote letters, made phone calls and attended the court proceedings! Attorneys in the case noted the large amount of mail, email and phone calls received from supporters around the world and also noted that a number of ALDF supporters attended court proceedings.
Please send letters through ALDF's website or by mail thanking Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway for doing an excellent job in evaluating the past histories of both defendants.
BACKGROUND BRIEF
(Wayne County, MI) Kristian Dennard Jackson & Decarlos Lashawn Young are facing criminal charges related to the alleged gross abuse of a pit bull in August 2010. They allegedly set the young dog on fire after a failed attempt at hanging her to death. A bystander was reportedly able to videotape this terrible incident with a cell phone camera. Investigators were unable to recover the dog�s body, it is believed that her remains were discarded in the trash and hauled away.
Such cruelty, and indeed the expanse of criminal activity that accompanies dogfighting, demands meaningful justice from the criminal courts, and local citizens are encouraged to actively show their support for this important prosecution.
Case #10-012065-01 - Kristian Dennard Jackson
Case #10-012065-02 - Decarlos Lashawn Young

Related, please click on and sign Expose the Animal Abusers Petition


 

Don't let over 200,000 Sable Island seals be butchered and incinerated, please send message

ourcompassadmin | December 2, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-39o
Please click on and sign: Help Stop the "Sickening" Sable Island Seal Slaughter Plan
Sponsored by: IFAW
A recent report brought to light a proposal prepared for the Government of Canada that would see 220,000 grey seals killed and incinerated in their protected Sable Island nursery.
To reach the proposed number of 220,000 seals, the cull and disposal program would run at birthing time each year for about five years and cost Canadian taxpayers an estimated $35 million.
Please urge the Canadian government to categorically reject this outrageous proposal.
Sign our petition today to ensure that Sable Island's grey seal population is spared this sickening slaughter, and that the island remains a protected habitat for seals.
 

Related, Canada's Shame

 

BACKGROUND

Sable Island Seal Report

Please don't forget to click on and sign:
Help Stop the "Sickening" Sable Island Seal Slaughter Plan
 

Please help the Alamogordo Chimpanzees again: New automatic message

ourcompassadmin | December 2, 2010  | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-39b
BACKGROUND
Please send the e-mail below that asks your U.S. representative to urge National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., to keep almost 200 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico. Since 2001, chimpanzees have been housed at APF, where they cannot be used in experimentation. However, NIH plans to move the chimpanzees--many of them ill and elderly--to the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, where they can be used in painful, invasive experiments.
We have provided text for you, but if you decide to write your own message, please be polite and encouraging. Here are some talking points:

    I am troubled that the National Institutes of Health wants to move almost 200 chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico.

    Please ask NIH to cancel this planned move.

    I do not support my tax dollars being used for cruel experiments that are not likely to improve human health outcomes.

    These highly intelligent animals should be retired and a sanctuary created for them.

Gov. Bill Richardson Petitions USDA to Halt Transfer of New Mexico Chimpanzees

Oppose Experiments on New Mexico Chimpanzees

MESSAGE TEXT

I am writing to ask that you take action on an urgent situation in New Mexico that affects how our nation funds research.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to move approximately 200 chimpanzees currently housed at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico to the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, for future use in invasive experimentation. While at APF since 2001, the chimpanzees--many aging and infected with diseases like HIV and hepatitis--have not been part of any active research protocols. Previously, many of these animals were used for decades in research and testing by a company that was responsible for the deaths of 35 animals in an eight-year period.

Chimpanzee experimentation has declined significantly in recent years because scientists have recognized the inapplicability of chimpanzee-based research to human diseases like HIV/AIDS and using these animals is often cost-prohibitive. Permanent retirement for the APF chimpanzees, who have already had to sacrifice so much of their lives, would mean better lives for them, better scientific research, and a far better legacy for the nation.  NIH should retire these animals--including 14 chimpanzees who were moved to Southwest this summer--to a permanent sanctuary in Alamogordo. The costs of sanctuary care are significantly lower and under the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act of 2000 these costs are shared with a non-profit entity.

Please ask NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., to permanently retire the Alamogordo chimpanzees. Keeping the chimpanzees in New Mexico makes economic, scientific, and ethical sense.


 

Please help end deadly tea tests: one petition, one sample message

ourcompassadmin | December 1, 2010  | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-38L

"Millions of animals are needlessly poisoned, maimed and killed in UK laboratories every year. The multimillion-pound company behind PG tips, Lyons and Lipton teas has abused and killed rabbits, piglets, mice and rats in tests so that the company can make health claims about tea."

1. Please click on and sign Lipton Tea- STOP Animal Experiments!

2. Send a message (sample below) via webform HERE

BACKGROUND | From PETA
Millions of animals are needlessly poisoned, maimed and killed in UK laboratories every year.
The multimillion-pound company behind PG tips, Lyons and Lipton teas has abused and killed rabbits, piglets, mice and rats in tests so that the company can make health claims about tea.
PETA has uncovered numerous cruel tests that the maker of PG Tips, Lyons and Lipton has conducted or supported on animals to evaluate the effects of tea. The following are just a few examples:

    Rabbits were fed a high-fat diet, giving them abnormally high cholesterol levels and hardened arteries and then fed tea in their water. After the experiment, the rabbits' heads were cut off.

    Mutant mice bred to suffer bowel inflammation were administered tea ingredients in order to see if there were any effects on their condition. After the test, the mice were killed by neck-breaking or suffocation.

    Rats were forced to eat a high-fructose diet, damaging their brains. Others had their abdominal wall punctured and were fed radioactively labelled tea ingredients through a tube in their stomach. All the animals were later killed.

    Piglets were exposed to E coli toxins which cause diarrhea. As part of the tests, experimenters cut the pigs' intestines apart while the animals were still alive. The pigs were then killed.

Related: Testing One, Two, Three

None of these tests were conducted to meet legal requirements.
Every day, animals in laboratories are poisoned, starved, brain-damaged, paralyzed, mutilated, irradiated, burned, gassed and electrocuted in cruel and deadly experiments. They live and die in pain, fear and loneliness. They need our help:
Please click on and sign Lipton Tea- STOP Animal Experiments! and send the message below, thank  you.

WHERE TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE:

Click HERE for Unilever UK contact webform

 

SAMPLE MESSAGE (please modify/shorten):

To Whom It Concerns,

I am shocked to learn that Unilever, the producer of PG tips, Lyons and Lipton teas, continues to support animal experimentation as established by PETA UK. Considered archaic and fundamentally flawed, product testing on animals lacks corporate legitimacy and social validation. Indeed, despite using deceptive statements and misleading assertions fabricated by clever marketing and publicity departments, companies that subject animals to product testing are NOT legally mandated to do so, and knowledgeable consumers are demanding discontinuation of such unnecessary and vicious tests. Furthermore, it is imperative to recognize the existence of ingredients that already have an established, proven safety record for human use. These products, such as those found on the FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list, can be utilized and manufactured in the absence of deliberately cruel and unwarranted animal experimentation.  Unilever's blatant disregard for animals and its decision to not use these ingredients exclusively is irresponsible and negligent.

Furthermore, your company's attempt to foster an idea that consumers continually support animal experimentation due to some inaccurate notion that doing so will prevent them from being harmed is unprincipled. Product misuse and abuse can lead to harm regardless of how many animals are wrongfully killed during the product testing phase. In fact, corporate manipulation and exploitation of consumer fear by using deceptive advertising is not only unethical but it is also illegal. As such, as long as Unilever continues to unnecessarily and selfishly capitalize on the mutilation, torture, and death of animals, I will not financially support you or purchase your products.

Please make both the ethical and financially-responsible decision to discontinue animal experimentation immediately: join an increasing body of corporations who are listening to a concerned and attentive consumer population who refuse to be complicit in the inherently malicious industry of animal experimentation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this urgent message.

Sincerely,


 

Please click on and sign Protect the EU's Ban on Animal-Tested Cosmetics

From PETA

BACKGROUND

The European Union was on track to ban all animal-tested cosmetics � now they might be changing their minds. Please contact the European Commission and let them know: no delay, no compromise and no cosmetics tests on animals.
In a major victory for animals, the European Union agreed in 2003 to a ban on all animal tests for cosmetics and a complete ban on the sale of cosmetics products containing ingredients tested on animals. In 2009, the sales ban came into force, with exemptions for certain tests that were still permitted.  The final deadline to ban the marketing of every cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals is 11 March 2013, after which the shelves of every shop and internet supplier in Europe will be free of animal-tested cosmetics.
The sales ban means that not only are no cosmetics tests using animals now performed in Europe but also that non-EU companies hoping to export their products have to change their animal-testing ways too. That commercial pressure has driven the development of effective and humane non-animal test methods which can also be used for some drugs and other chemicals, stopping even more tests. Most importantly, the ban puts animals' lives and well-being before vanity.

Related, Cruelty-Free Resources: LeapingBunny.Org ***

But now the EU is considering delaying that 2013 deadline for years, perhaps even indefinitely. The European Commission recently held a "consultation" on technical aspects of the ban as a preliminary step to introducing a delay on the basis of claims that alternative methods haven't been perfected. Scandalously, that consultation sought only scientific information from experts on alternatives to animal tests, effectively excluding the millions of people who object to cosmetics testing on animals on compassionate and ethical grounds and who would rather not have yet another shampoo if it means animals will die.
If the Commission proposes postponing the 2013 deadline, it will wipe out the motivation for cosmetics companies to develop alternatives and will essentially put cosmetics before the lives of animals. That proposal would then have to be considered by MEPs in the European Parliament and the governments of all 27 EU member states. While they will have the power to reject it, there is no guarantee they will do so. Please take action today and contact the European Commissioner responsible, John Dalli, to let him know that the people of Europe want no delay, no compromise and no cosmetics tests on animals.
MESSAGE TEXT

Dear Mr Dalli:

Like the vast majority of Europeans, I am a strong opponent of cosmetics testing on animals and was overjoyed when the EU passed the 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive in 2003, banning animal testing and introducing the marketing ban on animal-tested cosmetics. I have looked forward to that ban becoming complete in 2013. I am writing to you today to insist that any delay in fully implementing the marketing ban would be completely unacceptable to me and to the vast majority of Europeans.

As you know, the ban has driven the development of non-animal test methods which can not only replace animal use in cosmetics testing but also be used in many other forms of safety testing that use animals. Replacement of existing animal tests has already saved hundreds of thousands of animals and many more can be saved as new techniques are developed and validated. It is vital that this critical incentive to companies to invest in alternatives not be removed.

More importantly, the ban embodies the principle that animals should never face suffering and death in tests for vanity products. The Commission must not overturn that principle. The safety of cosmetics ingredients can be assured by non-animal methods, but regardless of any conclusions reached on technical questions, Europe must maintain its principled and compassionate position: say "No" to animal tests for cosmetics and "No" to cosmetics that have been tested on animals.


Two Earth Alerts: please take action

ourcompassadmin | November 30, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-389
Please click on and sign the following two alerts :

1. Help Stop Destructive Mountaintop Removal Mining!

2. Obama: Designate the Arctic Refuge as a National Monument

1. Background | From Earth Justice
For too long, mining companies have been blowing up and destroying entire mountaintops in Appalachia for coal, dumping their harmful mining waste in natural streams--and so far this industry has already buried and destroyed more than 2,000 miles of precious waterways. The practice of mountaintop removal mining is obliterating an ancient mountain range, destroying vital waters and contaminating water supplies, and threatening the health and well-being of the people who live in Appalachia.
So how has it gone on for so long?
During the Bush administration, the mining companies were given some handy loopholes and exemptions that made way for them to easily blow up the mountains and dump the mining waste in the waters of the region, regardless of the impacts on the people of the region. When President Obama took office, he vowed to restore the role of science and restore the rule of the law in protecting Americans from harmful pollution.
On April 1, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency announced in staff guidance that it would scrutinize permit applications to ensure compliance with longstanding Clean Water Act protections, using sound science, because of the need to correct legal violations found in the permitting process and finally address the serious harm to water quality caused by pollution from mountaintop removal mining.

Stop Mountaintop Removal Mining

In the months since the EPA's announcement, the coal mining industry has waged an all-out war against this guidance, because it makes clear that the mining companies have gotten away with permitting violations in the past, which have never been acceptable under the Clean Water Act and will no longer be tolerated.
We must not let polluters put our fellow Americans� vital waters in harm's way. We cannot let these corporations decimate some of the most precious and most biodiverse lands in America. This guidance will not stop mountaintop removal mining once and for all, but it is a critical step to finally take a hard look at the clear science and start enforcing compliance with the Clean Water Act.
It is urgent for the Obama administration and the EPA to hear public support for this scientific guidance on mountaintop removal mining and water quality. If we're to see any progress, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson needs to hear that America stands behind her effort to follow the indisputable science and enforce compliance with longstanding legal protections that our waters, our mountains and the people of Appalachia so desperately need.
Please email EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson now and tell her not to succumb to industry and mining companies' requests to evade the law or weaken the water quality guidance. Please help end this tragic practice and the damage it is causing.
Please visit and sign HERE (scroll down, automatic letter is towards bottom)
2. Background | From Alaska Wilderness League
With the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge only weeks away, President Obama has the opportunity to make a real statement: America will not submit to the follies of the past or the whims of the present when it comes to protecting one of our country's great wild places.
A National Monument designation is a fitting celebration of the past, present and future of this iconic American wilderness -- and will help protect it from Big Oil's attacks.
President Obama has a chance to create a legacy for our country and for future generations. Over 60% of Americans support the idea of placing the Refuge on par with other pristine areas such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.
 

Circus Animal Rights Coalition: protest and petition against circus

ourcompassadmin | November 30, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-37V

    Facebook Event Anti-Animal Circus Walk : Wednesday, December 8 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm  |  Meeting up at City Gate, Valletta, at 5pm. Will then proceed to Circus area in Floriana.

A large number of NGOs and animal rights organizations have joined forces through a Circus Animal Rights Coalition, to express their deep disappointment and concern that JS Productions intends to bring over 'Circo Fantasy' to Malta & Gozo to perform during the coming festive season. The coalition is highly dismayed by the fact that notwithstanding the public's opposition to the exploitation of animals in circuses, this same company persists year over year to make profit from this form of animal cruelty.
The Circus Animal Rights Coalition would like to raise awareness of the fact that behind the glitz of the circus lies a cruel world of untold animal suffering. Animals used in circuses are unwilling participants in a show that jeopardizes their health and psychological well-being. Circuses force animals often through painful and punitive methods to perform tricks that are contradictory to their innate instincts and behavior, which factor results in substantial injuries during performance and training.

 

To Animals, It's Not Entertainment

 

Sacred Elephants

 

Furthermore, animals in circuses have to sustain long distance traveling to arrive to the performance destination, during which they are often kept in unsuitable and precarious conditions. The climate of the locality area may furthermore be unsuitable for their natural temperament in such a way that they sustain undue suffering. These factors continue to exacerbate the already stressful conditions caused by confinement and transportation.

Even if conditions were improved and humane methods of training were used, the fact is that keeping wild animals in captivity deprives animals of much of what they value in life. The animals have to live in an environment drastically different from their natural habitat, and their spirits are broken from harsh training and from not being able to fulfill some of their most basic needs and instincts.
 

Ghanaian Woman Burned To Death As A "Witch"

ourcompassadmin | November 30, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-37G
In a blatantly misogynistic and barbaric act, a 72-year-old grandmother in Ghana was burned to death earlier this month on suspicion of being a witch.
Forced To Confess, Then Set Alight
Ama Hemmeh was allegedly tortured into confessing that she was a witch, doused with kerosene and set alight. A student nurse came to Hemmeh's rescue and sent her to Tema General Hospital, but she died within 24 hours from severe burns.
One Of The Attackers: An Evangelical Pastor
From The Guardian:

Three women and two men have been arrested. They are Nancy Nana Ama Akrofie, 46, photographer Samuel Gunney, 50, Emelia Opoku, 37, Mary Sagoe, 52, and pastor Samuel Fletcher Sagoe, 55.

The suspects say the death was an accident and deny committing any crime. They claim they were trying to exorcise an evil spirit from the woman by rubbing anointing oil on her but it accidentally caught fire.

Augustine Gyening, assistant police commissioner, told the Daily Graphic that Sagoe saw Hemmeh sitting in his sister's bedroom on 20 November and raised an alarm, attracting the attention of people in the neighborhood.

Gyening added that the suspects claimed Hemmeh was a known witch and subjected her to severe torture, compelling her to confess. He said Ghunney then asked Opoku for a gallon of kerosene and with the help of his accomplices poured it over the victim and set her ablaze.

Widespread Condemnation
The incident has been widely condemned by human rights and women's rights activists. They have also expressed outrage and disbelief that a pastor, whose responsibility it is to save lives, would actually take part in this grisly execution, supposedly in the name of God.
Belief in "black" witchcraft is still common in Ghana, and there are over 1,000 women who have been condemned as witches and are now living in camps. Who are these women? I learned from watching Ghana: The witches of Gambaga (below as well) that one woman got in a fight with her brother, struck him, and that night he died. The whole family condemned her as a witch and drove her out of town.

The Guardian | Ghana: The witches of Gambaga

 

Reminiscent Of Witch Executions 400 Years Ago

The same treatment was meted out to another woman, whose neighbor died in childbirth.  Watching this powerful video about their situation, and how they came to be called "witches," brought to mind the situation of the so-called witches of England and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries.
 

Labels focus of lawsuit against Perdue

ourcompassadmin | November 30, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-37s
Fabulous, yet more speciesist associations of kindness and killing. Why depend on a business whose very goal is speed, efficiency, and delivery in a profit-motivated industry to breed and kill animals "humanely"? Seriously? It is impossible, the validation of cruelty in the exchange of dollars for death. Exploitation is fundamentally cruel and unethical, the humane moniker benefiting only those who can spell it. A principled proaction is veganism, a moral obligation to extend consideration in ways we demand upon ourselves. Indeed, if you consider yourself a slave or hostage, what would be the threshold of "humane handling" and "humane slaughter" for you?
In the below hideous demonstration of commodification, how many animal victims do you honestly believe were considered with anything other than indifference and inconvenience, a barometer of financial means? Zero. Please reject human-manufactured definitions of kindness towards human-manufactured victims of such.  In fact, here's a suggestion: go vegan and be certain.
And if you'll excuse me now, I am going to buy some clothing from humanely-treated child laborers (I've been told they are offered five minutes of recess time per day). sr

Glass Walls

 

From Delmarva Media Group
By Greg Latshaw
A new class action lawsuit accuses Perdue Farms Inc. of practicing false advertising by labeling some products as "humanely raised" -- a description that, according to the plaintiff, contradicts the manner in which the company's birds are raised and slaughtered.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in the Superior Court of Monmouth County, N.J., by a member of the Humane Society of the United States. The animal rights group is not bringing the lawsuit but has joined with two law firms to represent the plaintiff in the case.
The 27-page complaint alleges that Perdue raises its chickens under the same industry standards at other companies but tries to sell some products under the humane label for a higher price. The labels appear on products bearing the Perdue and Harvestland brand names, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Perdue's labeling is "false, deceptive and misleading" because no reasonable consumer would think that the industry standard for the treatment of broilers is humane.
Luis Luna, a Perdue spokesman, responded to the lawsuit Monday by saying the Humane Society was defining poultry welfare by its own "narrow" standards. He said the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Process Verified Program, which entails audits by the USDA, verifies that Perdue exceeds the industry standard.
The complaint, in contrast, paints a grim picture of alleged industry standards. According to the complaint, animal welfare standards developed by the National Chicken Council allow for "mechanized brutality and routine infliction of intense duress and pain." See the rest ...

 

RELATED

Happy Cows: Behind the Myth

From Mariana:
I am currently fighting a war to get justice for three dogs who were murdered by a bus driver in Croatia. I have made a petition which asks for a punishment for him according to the Animal Protection Law.  The petition is here in Croatian Language: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/traimo-otkaz-i-kaznu-propisanu-zakonom-za-vozaa-liburnije-koji-je-usmrtio-tri-psa/
On Monday, November 22nd, a bus driver of Liburnija d.o.o. driving on the road of Diklo near Zadar, purposely murdered three dogs that were on the road.  Because of the work being conducted at that location, the speed limit is 30 km / h.  The driver ran over the dogs at high speed, only 10 meters from the passenger station where he was supposed to stop.
According to the testimonies of eyewitnesses, the driver did not even try to stop, but he stepped on the gas even more when he saw the dogs on the road. After the event, he continued driving, without stopping at the station and without checking back on the dead dogs who were left behind. The bus company Liburnija d.o.o, said they are not planning any penalties for the driver, and explained this decision saying that, "the driver could not hit the brakes because some people in the bus were standing."   The police and veterinary inspectors say that the driver is not guilty and that he will not bear any penalties.  The only penalties are for the dog's guardians who will be charged for not keeping their pets on a leash.
This whole case is so absurd and brings into question the safety of all citizens because the driver could have easily killed humans and small children on the road, because by the logic of Liburnija d.o.o., he does not stop the bus if people in it are standing.
One of the dog's guardian said that his dog (named 'Medo' - 'Teddy bear'), was like a son to him, he also believes that the driver did this intentionally.
In short; the driver saw the dogs on time, didn't even try to hit the brakes but hit the gas even harder, killed three dogs and continued driving like a maniac and like nothing happened.
Here is a video of the case:

 

The police in Croatia is of no use although we have an Animal Protection Law, which clearly says:

Article 66

(1) A legal person shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine from HRK 50.000,00 to HRK 100.000,00 for:

1. killing animals, subjecting them to pain, suffering and injury, and intentionally exposing them to fear (Article 4, paragraph 1).

I am hoping that if this story gets into a lot of media, Croatian and foreign, maybe then our police and Liburnija d.o.o. will make a move and punish the bus driver.
This is more than just another case of animal cruelty, this kind of cruelty is happening in Croatia everyday, and everytime the police fails to do anything about it. It is time that we, as citizens, do something about it to show future maniacs that they WILL be punished according to the existing Animal Protection Law.

Mango & Inditex are torturing animals again: please send message, samples provided.

ourcompassadmin | November 29, 2010 | URL: http://wp.me/pYypJ-36Y
Dear friends, I received this alert from Portugal (thank you Filomena). Grupo Index (owner of Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti e Stradivarius) and Mango announced in November 2004 that beginning January 2005 they would stop selling furs in all their stores worldwide.  Guess what? Right, they didn't keep the promise.  In Italy it happened the same, we have a similar action ongoing. Can you please send a letter? I am sharing theirs, naturally you can modify it.
GRUPO INDITEX

    Where to send your message | click on the following link for webform:

http://www.inditex.com/en/contact

 

    Message to send:

Dear Madams and Sirs,

As consumer who frequently patronizes your various stores, I am appalled to learn that you and your affiliates are selling real fur, namely rabbits, once again.   This comes following your commitment made to several European animal rights groups in 2004 to cease selling fur.

As you no doubt are aware, millions of fur-bearing animals - including foxes, raccoons, minks, coyotes, bobcats, lynxes, opossums, nutria, beavers, muskrats, otters, and others ' are killed each year on fur farms by anal and vaginal electrocution, concussion, skinning, and gassing; and in the wild they are butchered by drowning, trapping, or beating. Please watch the following footage and understand why supporting the fur industry is both unacceptable and vicious, and know that it is perfectly possible to sell only synthetic materials - namely faux fur - and, by this, to provide the market with comfortable, elegant, and fashionable cruelty-free clothing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTZQnQeAPJc

Please renew your pledge to discontinue selling real fur, and join the compassionate group of /fur free retailers/ who have made the commitment to discontinue their contribution to the savage fur industry. In the meantime, and due to my ethical principles, I will stop buying in your stores and will encourage friends, family, and online community members to do the same.  I am aware that Inditex has relevant concerns towards environmental sustainability issues, and that is also why I trust you will give the best attention to this plea of mine.

Sincerely,

MANGO

    Where to send your message | click on the following link for webform:

http://www.mango.com/formulari/form_in.asp

    Message to send:

Dear Madams and Sirs,

As consumer who frequently patronizes your various stores, I am appalled to learn that you and your affiliates are selling real fur, namely rabbits, once again.   This comes following your commitment made to several European animal rights groups in 2004 to cease selling fur.

As you no doubt are aware, millions of fur-bearing animals - including foxes, raccoons, minks, coyotes, bobcats, lynxes, opossums, nutria, beavers, muskrats, otters, and others - are killed each year on fur farms by anal and vaginal electrocution, concussion, skinning, and gassing; and in the wild they are butchered by drowning, trapping, or beating. Please watch the following footage and understand why supporting the fur industry is both unacceptable and vicious, and know that it is perfectly possible to sell only synthetic materials - namely faux fur - and, by this, to provide the market with comfortable, elegant, and fashionable cruelty-free clothing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTZQnQeAPJc

Please renew your pledge to discontinue selling real fur, and join the compassionate group of 'fur free retailers' who have made the commitment to discontinue their contribution to the savage fur industry. In the meantime, and due to my ethical principles, I will stop buying in your stores and will encourage friends, family, and online community members to do the same.  I am aware that Mango has relevant concerns towards environmental sustainability issues, and that is also why I trust you will give the best attention to this plea of mine.

Sincerely,

 

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