Animal Rights Collective Blog


“Green” Eggs and Ham? by christine

For those of you that missed his presentation at the UPC Conference, Vasile Stanescu blew more than a few peoples’ minds as he presented his academic discourse on the myths of the locavore movement.

“The essay confidentially identifies and lays bare the faulty reasoning that underpins the increasingly popular locavore movement, and makes explicit the need for truly progressive causes to seriously consider the intersections of speciesism, gender, race, class and citizenship on the national and global level.” – Dr. Richard J. White, Journal for Critical Animal Studies

“Green” Eggs and Ham? The Myth of Sustainable Meat and the Danger of the Local

Vasile Stanescu, Journal for Critical Animal Studies

In the New York Times bestseller, The Omnivores Dilemma, Michael Pollan popularizes the idea of a “local” based diet, which he justifies, in part, in terms of environmental sustainability. In fact, many locavores argue that a local based diet is more environmentally sustainable than a vegan or vegetarian diet and concludes that if vegans and vegetarians truly care about the environment they should instead eat sustainably raised local meat. However locavores are incorrect in their analysis of the sustainability of a local based diet and in its applicability for large scale adaptation. Instead locavores engage in the construction of “a literary pastoral,” a desire to return to a nonexistent past, which falsely romanticizes the ideals of a local based lifestyle. They therefore gloss over the issues of sexism, racism, speciesism, homophobia and anti-immigration sentiments which an emphasis only on the local, as opposed to the global, can entail. In this manner the locavorism movement has come to echo many of the same claims that the “Buy American” movement did before it. The conclusion is that a local based diet, while raising many helpful and valid points, needs to be re-understood and rearticulated.

More…



Animals Fighting for Freedom: Slave Rebellions by christine

Captive Whale Kills SeaWorld Trainer

February 25th

On Wednesday afternoon a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando was killed by an orca named Tilikum (also known as Telly). The 12,000 pound male orca pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau underwater by her ponytail during a live performance.

Due to his enormous size and abundance of testosterone Telly is often kept isolated from the other orcas at SeaWorld, deprived of the constant social contact that killer whales have in the wild. In addition to forced isolation, whales in captivity are deprived of their natural instincts, crammed into tiny concrete tanks devoid of sea life or the stimulation necessary to nourish their intelligence. Such conditions can cause stress, erratic behavior, and insanity. This is the third trainer that Tilikum has killed in 19 years.

As Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society commented yesterday:

“I can’t really blame Tilikum. If I was taken from the ocean and plopped into a concrete prison cell for four decades I would be inclined to get a mite angry also.

No reasonable person would walk unescorted across the exercise yard of a maximum-security prison, and it is irresponsible to expect a frail human being to turn his or her back on a stressed-out, angry, captive orca – the most formidable predator on the planet.

By the way, I’ve met Tilikum. Way back in the 80’s, I toured SeaLand of the Pacific as a special guest of Bob Wright, the owner of the facility. He wanted me to see first hand what his business was all about. I sat by the pool and patted the big Orca on the head. I also put my hand in his mouth and put my palm on his tongue so he could taste that I was not afraid of him. I remember looking into the left eye of that magnificent predator, and what I saw there was resignation and sadness. He was not a happy whale.

I knew then as I know now that Tilikum should not be, and does not belong in a swimming pool.

I think that Sea World has only one honorable option. They should return Tilikum to his home in the sea. His pod can be identified and Sea World has the funds, the skills, and the technology to do the right thing both for the Orca and for the interest of humanity.

If Sea World does not return Tilikum to the sea then the next time a human being dies as a victim to an angry, frustrated, stressed, and possibly insane Orca, it will not be simply another tragedy: it will be willful negligence!”

Telly’s life will be spared, for the time being, as SeaWorld executives determine what to do with him. They continue to imprison Telly – endangering both human and animal life – because he is profitable to their enterprise, having fathered 13 calves and by bringing in audiences.

Urge SeaWorld to release their imprisoned animals!

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Terrified Zebra Escapes Ringling’s Circus in Atlanta

February 19th

A zebra, captive of the Ringling Bros. Circus, escaped from her prisoners and ran around Atlanta, Georgia, for 40 minutes. Lima, a twelve year old zebra, was galloping along a busy interstate during rush hour traffic. She was eventually cornered by police officers on motorcycles and returned to her captors.

Lima also escaped from 1st Mariner Arena in downtown Baltimore, Maryland in 2008, accompanied by two other zebras, together they dashed into traffic. In 2007, the same three zebras escaped while in Colorado. This comes as no surprise since there are numerous cases of animals escaping the evil clutches of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

For an extensive list of Ringling’s offenses and casualties, check out the Ringling Factsheet.



The Elephant Sanctuary by christine

During our meeting on Wednesday, the Animal Rights Collective decided that our annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale (WVBS) would benefit The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. This is especially fitting because of our campaign to end animal acts and the cruelty of the Ringling Bros. Circus on our campus.

Queenie, Minnie & Lottie

The Elephant Sanctuary is the nation’s largest natural-habitat refuge, spanning over 2,700 acres. It is home to old, sick or needy Asian and African elephants that have been removed from zoos and circuses. The elephants are allowed to roam free with peace and dignity through dense forests, green pastures, and spring-fed ponds. Heated barns provide shelter and warmth during cold winter nights. The sanctuary is currently home to 15 lovely ladies.

Look out for our WVBS in April!

If you haven’t heard about Tarra and Bella you’re in for a treat! Watch the video below to learn about this unique and unlikely friendship…



NASA to Radiate Squirrel Monkeys by christine

NASA will be exposing 18 to 28 squirrel monkeys to low doses of radiation to understand the effects of long distance space travel.

With NASA’s conference in DC this week, we have to mention…

NASA’s Plan to Radiate Squirrel Monkeys

For the first time in decades NASA is stepping up its space radiation program to use monkeys as the subjects of its studies.  NASA will expose 18 to 28 Squirrel monkeys to radiation and periodically test them to gauge how exposure affects performance in a variety of learned tasks. This research will violate NASA’s own stated principles regarding animal ethics. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), “that policy, established in 1996, asserts that ‘the minimization of distress, pain and suffering is a moral imperative’ and emphasizes that experimenters must weigh the burdens of animal subjects against potential societal benefits.”

from PETA

NASA has recently announced a shocking plan to spend $1.75 million of taxpayer money to fund an experiment in which up to 30 squirrel monkeys will be blasted with a massive dose of radiation equivalent to what a human would experience during three years in outer space. These monkeys will then live the rest of their lives in cages and be forced to endure years of behavioral tests to measure the inevitable devastation that the radiation causes to their brains and bodies, which would likely include brain damage, skin inflammation, blindness, various types of cancer, including brain tumors, and premature death.

Like all animal experiments, physiological and anatomical differences between species make it impossible to generate data that can be reliably applied to humans. And the large single dose of radiation that the monkeys will be exposed to in a matter of minutes is nothing like the low levels of radiation that human astronauts would be exposed to over extended periods of time in space. The only guarantee that comes with these experiments is that sensitive and intelligent monkeys will be caused immeasurable harm.

from Animal-rights activists vs. NASA over plan to radiate monkeys

Science Takes a Giant Leap Backward

Kathleen Conlee, director of program management for animal research at the Humane Society, worked with monkeys used in radiation experiments. She said the effects on the animals were devastating.

“Their teeth fell out. They self-mutilated,” she said.

Conlee said NASA is disregarding its own guidelines. Humane Society Executive Vice President Andrew Rowan “chaired a committee that was convened by NASA itself,” Conlee said. “And they came out with a report on animal use. This use goes against many of the principles in that report.”

Ineffective

PETA believes the experiment is not just harmful but useless.

The monkeys will receive vastly different quantities of radiation than humans would receive while traveling through space, Justin Goodman, a research supervisor at PETA and a protester said.

“The current experiment that’s being planned is going to expose monkeys to one massive dose of radiation,” Goodman said.

“When humans go into space, they’re going to be exposed to a low level of radiation.”

Conlee said other primates often don’t react as humans do.

“Just because you’re using a primate doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the results a human would,” Conlee said.

Conlee said that similar experiments have already been conducted on many animals, including primates.

“There have been literally hundreds of government-funded radiation experiments since the ’50s,” she said. “This data is already out there.”

Waste of money

The experiment is costly, and since NASA is a government agency, the money will come from taxpayers.

“NASA’s about to squander $2 million of public tax money on these experiments,” Goodman said.

Sign the Petitions!

Ask Administrator Bolden to Stop the Use of Monkeys in Space Radiation Studies

Tell Congress to stop NASA’s Cruel Monkey Experiments

Doctors File Federal Petition to Stop NASA’s Monkey Radiation Experiments

Use of Squirrel Monkeys Called Giant Leap Backward for Space Agency

PCRM Press Release

WASHINGTON—A nonprofit physicians organization is confronting NASA over the space agency’s plan to expose squirrel monkeys to radiation in an attempt to understand the effects of interplanetary travel. In a federal petition for administrative action filed Nov. 5, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) seeks to compel the government to halt the monkey experiments because they violate the NASA Principles for the Ethical Care and Use of Animals, also known as the Sundowner Report. The space agency has not used monkeys for radiobiology research in decades.

“Irradiating monkeys would be one giant leap backward for NASA,” says Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., PCRM’s director of research policy. “The proposed experiments are cruel, unnecessary, and lack scientific merit. There are better, more humane ways of understanding the potential dangers of interplanetary travel to humans. Scientific progress can only proceed with a strong ethical foundation.”

The experiments—proposed by researcher Jack Bergman of McLean Hospital in Boston—would involve irradiating monkeys and testing them to see how they perform on various tasks. Bergman has used squirrel monkeys for 15 years in addiction experiments, which have involved applying electric shocks, withholding food, and completely immobilizing the animals in restraint chairs for extended periods.

Radiation experiments involving nonhuman primates commonly involve restraint and other inhumane procedures. PCRM’s petition for administrative action points out that Bergman’s radiation experiments will violate the standards of the Sundowner Report, a landmark 1996 NASA document that requires researchers to respect living creatures and to consider the full range of societal good that may come from an experiment. Additionally, nonanimal methods should be used whenever possible.

PCRM’s petition for administrative action states, “Genetic, physiological, and anatomical differences between humans and monkeys dramatically limit the conclusions that can be drawn from the planned experiments. Ongoing studies, including those funded by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy, already use nonanimal methods to determine the effects of low-dose radiation on human tissues.”

The petition continues: “Interplanetary human travel is, at best, a highly speculative aim for the foreseeable future. It is obviously fraught with many dangers and enormous expense, while serving goals that are not at all clear. To put animals through radiation tests now in anticipation of such an enterprise is in no way justified.”

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

In The News:

Animal-rights activists vs. NASA over plan to radiate monkeys

NASA-funded monkey-radiation experiment raises hackles



Sea Shepherd News: “Bob Barker” Rammed by Illegal Whaler by christine

Sea Shepherd News

Bob Barker Rammed by Illegal Whaler

Saturday, February 06, 2010

At 12:09 PM Fremantle, Australia time, the Yushin Maru 3 intentionally rammed the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker, penetrating it’s hull and endangering the lives of it¹s crew. The collision occurred at 65 degrees 21 South, 67 degrees 58 East, about 180 miles off Cape Darnley in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

The Bob Barker had been actively blocking the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, the Japanese whaling fleet’s factory ship when the collision occurred. Four harpoon ships, the Yushin Maru 1, 2, and 3 and Shonan Maru 2, were circling and making near passes to the stern and bow of the Sea Shepherd vessel. The Bob Barker did not move from its position. At which point, the Yushin Maru 3 intentionally rammed the Bob Barker, creating a 3-foot long 4-inch deep gash in the mid starboard side of the Sea Shepherd vessel above the waterline.

No crew was injured during the collision. The Bob Barker continues to block the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, preventing the transfer of slaughtered whales and effectively shutting down illegal whaling operations.

The incident demonstrates a continued escalation of violence by the illegal whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Said Captain Paul Watson from the bridge of the Steve Irwin, currently en route to join the action, “Because the whalers got away basically scot-free with the outrageous sinking of the Ady Gil, they now apparently think they can do whatever they want and they appear to have no qualms about endangering Sea Shepherd crew. What we really need is for the governments of Australia and New Zealand to step up and start enforcing maritime laws in these waters, or who know what the whalers will do next. Australian and New Zealand lives are at risk every day in these waters.”

The crew of the Bob Barker noticed that the Yushin Maru 3 stopped moving in the water shortly after the impact, and appeared to be falling behind as the Bob Barker maintained its position on the stern of the Nisshin Maru. It’s possible the Yushin Maru 3 damaged itself in the collision.

Click Banner for Sea Shepherd News Updates



Judge Allows Ringling Bros. to Continue to Abuse Elephants by christine

This past year has exposed many truths about the horrible conditions and cruelties that circus animals endure for the lavish demands of entertainment. From the newly released photos of baby elephants being abused with bulhooks, electric prods, ropes and chains, to the footage of Ringling trainers striking elephants that was exposed as part of an undercover investigation by PETA just last summer. Apparently, Judge Sullivan refuses to listen.

Pardo states that “this ruling represents a victory for the elephants,” a completely surreal and twisted testimony to her ignorance.

Ask the USDA to end the use of bullhooks and chains here.

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Judge rules for Ringling Bros. in elephant case

The Associated Press

Wednesday, December 30, 2009; 10:14 PM

WASHINGTON — A federal judge Wednesday ruled in favor of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in a case brought by animal rights activists who accused the circus of abusing elephants.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan said former Ringling employee Tom Rider and the Animal Protection Institute did not have legal standing to sue the circus, owned by Feld Entertainment Inc. Rider and the animal protection group brought the lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act.

During the six-week trial in February and March of this year, the attorney for the animal rights groups asked the judge to stop the circus from harming the elephants during performances and punishing them for bad behavior. They alleged that the use of bullhooks and prolonged chaining violated the federal law.

Feld Entertainment argued that the animals are not hurt and that the instruments are necessary to keep the pachyderms under control and protect public safety.

At the time, the judge expressed some reluctance to police circus methods and asked how the prods and chains are different from spurs used on horses and whips with tigers.

Ringling Bros. said during the trial it cannot have the Asian elephants without these instruments because there is no other proven way to keep the animals under control and protect their trainers and the viewing public.

Feld’s attorneys said their elephants are healthy, alert and well-cared for, including those that travel with the show and those that live at the company’s 200-acre conservatory in Florida.

“This ruling represents a victory for the elephants and a win for the U.S. Constitution because it reinforces that the federal court is no place to entertain a philosophical debate about whether elephants should be in the circus,” said Michelle Pardo, an attorney representing Feld Entertainment.

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This is what a victory for elephants looks like?



Fur Free Friday Reportback by christine

A coalition of animal rights groups brought together protestors from all over the east coast to encourage companies and consumers to go fur-free on buy nothing day. The fur industry is particularly heinous, with animals living their lives in intense confinement that leads to insanity before they are often skinned alive. Solely for the name of fashion. Don’t be a fur hag, go fur-free. And educate others about these atrocities.

Protestors at Saks Jandel, Friendship Heights.

Protestors at Dior were accosted by Police. Always protecting property, not First Amendment rights or animals.

Video Still: Protester Accosted by Police

See Why Wearing Fur is Fucked Up for more information.