|Taking Action to Help Animals|
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1. News involving rescuer put herself at risk to get medical attention for a neglected dog suffering outdoors.
2. Links to Dog Tips that outline ways to help mistreated and neglected companion animals.
3. New Chaining Legislation Effort in Maryland.
4 and 5. Notes from two recent animal welfare conferences, FARM Animal Rights 2006 and Taking Action for Animals.
6. Plant-based diet guidance from a group of socially responsible physicians.
1. Rescuing Doogie.
Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better (DDB), was arrested September 11 after helping a chained dog who appeared to be dying in East Freedom, Pennsylvania. Neighbors made desperate calls to DDB after reportedly receiving no response from the local humane society. Nicknamed Doogie by Grimes and called Jake by his owners, the dog was reported to have been unable to stand for several days.
Grimes documented the canine's condition and decided, despite legal concerns, to take the dog to a vet and then to her home to recover. She was later arrested for theft, receiving stolen property, and criminal trespass for refusing to return the dog to his home where she felt certain he'd placed back in the yard on a chain.
Grimes called her decision one of conscience, believing that helping Doogie was the only moral thing to do. The You Tube video received more than 13,000 views in two days.
Inside Edition TV program synopsis:
Altoona Mirror article on the Doogie, AKA Jake, case:
2. Helping Companion Animals tipsheets.
Helping Abused Animals and Stopping Cruelty:
Helping Chained Dogs:
3. New Maryland Anti-Chaining Effort
Justice for Dogs is introducing a 2007 bill to restrict chaining in Maryland. The bill would limit the hours during which a dog can be chained, prohibit people from leaving chained dogs in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, and require them to bring dogs inside in extreme weather.
Now Justice for Dogs is recruiting volunteers for local awareness and campaign efforts. Visit www.justicefordogs.org
Notes from the Animal Rights 2006 conference in Alexandria, VA in August 2006
* Cruelty-free testing insight: Colgate-Palmolive and L'Oreal are realizing, in their purchase of Tom's of Maine and the Body Shop, the importance of the growing ethical consumer market and that the production of high quality cosmetic products need not involve animal suffering.
Labeling alone does not guarantee a product free of animal suffering. People believe they are discouraging cruelty by buying products that claim to be "not tested on animals" or "cruelty-free." Unfortunately, many companies claim their finished products have not been animal-tested, while in reality the overwhelming majority of animal testing is done on ingredients. And ambiguous terms such as "natural" and "organic" in no way mean cruelty-free or no animal testing.
Do look for the Leaping Bunny certification. The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) was founded in 1996 to run the Leaping Bunny program, considered the only internationally recognized no-animal testing standard for cosmetics. Visit www.leapingbunny.org .
Also check out:
Animal Protection Institute's Compassionate Shopping Guide. See www.CompassionateConsumer.com
The Shopping Guide for Caring Consumers
Other countries are far ahead of America in terms of animal cruelty awareness. The European Union (EU) ban on testing, sale and import of animal-tested cosmetics is to take effect by 2013, with an even earlier 2009 ban on most animal tests. www.api4aniamls.org
A growing number of scientists are speaking out about the ineffectiveness and insufficient rationale for animal testing. Among conclustions:
Shareholders can influence and encourage improvement in research practices.
More info at www.stopanimaltests.com and www.petatv.com
* Famous Vegans in History. Revealed at a session about animal activism through the ages: Leonardo da Vinci bought caged birds so he could set them free, predicting in a journal entry that one day, the murder of animals would viewed as unconscionable as the murder of man. Plutarch concluded that most cruelty in world results from humans' uncontrolled passion for meat. When Jesus drove moneychangers from the temple, he overturned the tables of merchants selling pigeons, oxen, and animals for sacrifice. Long ago, John Stuart Mills wrote: "Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion, and adoption." At one time, slavery was so widely accepted that abolitionists were derided and even seen as unpatriotic.
* Big Pharma Falsehoods. Featured veterinarians discussed the crumbling cachet of "proven safe in laboratory animal testing" claims amid abundant evidence refuting the scientific efficacy of using nonhuman species to study human health and test human medications. Among notable examples: after researchers concluded that HIV was a benign virus based on chimpanzee studies, HIV-infected blood was allowed into the blood supply, resulting in the infection of an estimated 8,000 people. Today, claims that animal research is "necessary" come from organizations financially benefiting from the practice. Another of many examples: Rabbit corneas regenerate on both sides, vs. just one side for humans, so rabbit testing did and does not help safeguard humans. Reactions and deaths from widely used and touted prescription drugs in recent times also show the waste of and false security associated with animal testing. (Sources: Theodora Capaldo, President, New England Anti-Vivisection Society.
* Pain by Numbers. 86,748 animals were used in research involving pain and/or distress for which no drugs were used for relief in fiscal 2004. That number excluded rats, mice, and cold-blooded species not covered by the Animal Welfare Act. Includes 378 cats, 1,273 dogs, 23,772 guinea pigs, 43,299 hamsters, 1,040 nonhuman primates, 168 other farm animals, 1,412 pigs, 7,001 rabbits, 132 sheep, 8,273 all other covered species. **
* Veg Edge. A session about pet food cited evidence associating meat-based diets with kidney, liver, heart, neurologic, visual, neuromuscular, skin and infectious diseases; bleeding disorders; compromised immune system; and birth defects. (Source: Andrew Knight, who has worked with other scientists on extensive analyses of animal experimentation studies.)
* Every single time you eat. and every food dollar you spend, makes a statement for or against cruelty, noted Lauren Ornelas, with Compassion Over Killing. Factory farms and most food manufacturers and sellers put economic gain over animal welfare. Some steps forward include certain cities' action to ban foie gras, produced by cruelty shoving and overstuffing birds with food.
* Vegan Bodybuilder: Kenneth G. William's is a vegan bodybuilder who won the Natural Bodybuilding Award at the 2004 Las Vegas Natural Olympia. He appears in an awareness campaign, "Go Vegan and No Body Gets Hurt." Vegan activism: I'm doing something for my body and for humanity. His diet includes protein shake, spirulina drinks, vitamins, and pasta with tofu and broccoli, soymilk and vegan molasses cookies. Visit www.veganmusclepower.com
* Explaining Animal-Free Food Choices: It can be best to be upbeat and brief in your explanations, and to offer to explain them after dinner to avoid table debates. Rather than attack or pointedly guilt companions, you can explain that after learning how animals truly are treated, particularly in factory farm operations that operate to maximize profits, you chose a plant-based diet, adding "That as a caring person, I know if you saw how the animals are treated, you would understand and support my choice." Most of us grew up without awareness of realities in commercial agriculture, and also without accurate information about the health value of foods. Now, greater insight is being shared, and one day it will likely be able to enter the mainstream despite disinformation campaigns by extremely well-funded agricultural trade groups that have influence over government offices and politicians.
5. Notes from the Taking Action for Animals Conference sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States in DC in September 2006.
* Mutts and Songs. Patrick McDonnell discussed his Mutts cartoons and his efforts to address animal welfare issues and compassion through his daily comic strip. Singer-songwriter-animal advocate Nellie McKay proved why she has earned rave reviews for her talent and wit.
* Reducing Farm Animal Suffering. Animal rights proponent and author Peter Singer recounted the awareness that inspired him to stop buying into the practice and rationale for eating animals. His new book, "The Way We Eat," conveys a more middle-of-the-road approach to discouraging animal mistreat. He still offers reasons to stop using all animal-derived products, but now is trying to reach those who aren't willing to change their diets with factory farming facts. Take a reform over revolution tact, Singer suggests that in the interest of animal welfare, as well as environmentally and socially sustainable principles, to boycott factory farming and to stop buying food and other products that come from producers engaged in inhumane practices, such as the use of battery cages for chickens and gestation crates for pigs and crates for veal calves.
Singer said that to help reduce animal suffering, don't drop out of society, but volunteer and/or set examples to foster positive change. For example, encourage retailers such as Wegmans to stop buying eggs from factory farms that use battery cages.
Paul Shapiro, now working on factory farming education efforts at the Humane Society of the United States, described how family farming has given way to factory farming over the last 60 years. He provided photographs of battery cages about the size of a sheet of typing paper in which hens cannot spread wings or walk. This disables and even causes neuroses among chickens.
Four months of protesting Trader Joe's purchasing of battery cage eggs led to a compromise, "a step in right direction." Unfortunately, despite Ben and Jerry's ad claims about supporting family farms, some of their eggs come from factory farms.
* Farm Animal Mistreatment and Disease. Said Humane Society of the U.S. president Wayne Pacelle: Animals have been turned into commodities – egg-, milk- and meat-producing machines.
The way we treat these living beings, shown by science to think and feel, is at odds with our historical and idealistic notions of farm animals grazing in pastures. Farm animals today don't get outside; they stand on cement slabs or in cramped cages. One Arizona hog facility has 13,000 gestation crates. "They don't let the press in," noted Pacelle.
* Downers are farm animals too sick or injured to walk. Films have documented workers kicking, shoving and bulldozing these poor suffering animals. Soon after Congress voted against previous downer livestock legislation, a downer cow was found infected with mad cow disease in Washington State. In response, 44 markets closed their trade doors to U.S. beef.
A USDA report found that 29 downers were slaughtered for food at a sample of 12 slaughterhouses checked during a nine-month period. This means that downed livestock entered the food supply. A proposed agriculture appropriations bill would keep producers from letting downer animals into the human food supply by prohibiting USDA inspectors from approving meat from such animals. Prohibiting the use of downers for human consumption removes the financial incentive for farmers to send these suffering animals to slaughter. Downers have a higher risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) AKA mad cow disease, E. coli and salmonella.
* Economic Arguments for Mistreatment of Farm Animals – and for Humane Treatment.
Industry opponents to a humane initiative claimed "it would cost $500 per sow to convert an alternative to gestation stalls." Usually such claims go unchallenged and unexplored, but some humane treatment advocates questioned it. The statistic was attributed to an anonymous pork executive in Feedstuffs 7/24/06 -- the unnamed party pulled the claim out of ether, but it was repeated ad infinitum. Investigation turned up only one producer who would be significantly affected -- a CA packing company whose holdings including an AZ factory farm with 13,500 sows.
More animals ... higher densities ... more intense conditions ... mega-farms squeeze out small farmers between competitive pressures, lobbying and power ties. This impacts the economy.
Producers are ignorant of alternatives, and of what's going on in Europe. Most animal welfare research is done in Europe. Education would help, say Humane Society of the U.S. representatives. Paul McCartney once said, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we'd all be vegetarians."
More info: hsus.org/farm/resources/research
* Seal Killing. More than 300,000 seals, including babies, are killed during Canadian seal-hunting season. Their predators are hunters killing them for pelts. That's why animal welfare groups encourage the boycotting of seafood products and travel to provinces engaged in seal-hunting.
After the Canadian seal hunt opened March 25 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with a quota of 91,000 seal kills in this first phase, sealers repeatedly charged at the small inflatable boats of HSUS observers – ramming one boat onto an ice pack. distress calls to Canadian authorities went unanswered. The next day, authorities revoked the HSUS's observation permit after falsely accusing the team of coming too close to a sealing boat. Seven team members were arrested and their video footage was confiscated.
* Mice Suffer in Cosmetics Testing. Reps from federal agencies recently agreed to reevaluate the use of the Lethal Dose 50 (LD50) test for assessing the potency of Botulinum Toxin Type A, the active ingredient in Botox. It temporarily smoothes facial wrinkles in humans, but causes a slow, painful death when injected into test animals. Botox maker Allergan failed to issue a plan for developing a humane alternative test despite requests from HSUS and other groups.
* Fur Deception. Many of the garments containing fur sold in the U.S. are manufactured in China, a country that HSUS investigators found to be killing an estimated 2 million dogs and cats a year. Each year, millions of animals die a painful death in traps, just so people can profit from and wear their fur. More than 45 million animals are raised in small cages for their fur, killed by methods such as gassing, neck-breaking, anal electrocution and injection with pesticides and cheap chemicals. Current U.S. fur trade laws exempt furmakers from disclosing fur content on pieces worth $150 or less, making one in seven fur garments exempt from the labeling regulations. The Humane Society of the U.S. encourages people to ask their Congressmen to sponsor the Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2006 (H.R. 4904) to close the fur-labeling loophole and reduce consumer deception. Political representatives can be found at www.hsus.org/leglookup. More info at www.hsus.org/furfree
* Trophy Hunting. This tax scam has allowed trophy hunters to write off their big game safaris at taxpayers' expense. After killing wild animals, they'd donate some trophies to tax-exempt pseudo-museums – like one located in an abandoned railroad car, another in a hunter's basement – then taking a tax deduction for the so-called "charitable" contribution.
* Puppy Mills. Volunteers making a difference include those working on www.stoppuppymills.com, www.PetStoreCruelty.org, and www.WizardofClaws.com . Petland protester Holly Sternberg, inspired by success of a Missouri pet store protest: "I'm not an outgoing person, but I forced myself...if I don't do it, who will?" An NFL cheerleader/Miss Florida 2002 inspired the production of a six-part TV news report, "Puppy Heartbreak" on a South Florida NBC affiliate.
* Vegetarian Dog Food. V-dog is a complete vegetarian dog food from England providing all needed vitamins and minerals. All natural ingredients, no preservatives or food coloring, and not tested on animals. www.v-dogfood.com, free shipping.
* Animals in Research and Regulations. Katie Conlee, director, Animal Research Issues at HSUS, presented a concise lesson about laws, regulations and policies concerning animals used in research. Following are notes taken at that session.
There are two main laws:
AWA history: In 1966, Congress passed the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, now AWA, to regulate care and handling of dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits at licensed research institutions and animal dealer facilities.
In 1970,the act was expanded to cover all warm-blooded animals in research (with some exceptions such as mice, rats, birds) as well as animals in circuses, zoos, roadside shows and commercial breeding operations.
1976: Congress amended the act to include animals in transportation and those forced to fight.
1990: amended to require holding periods for animals obtained by animal dealers.
USDA was authorized to administer and enforce the AWA, the only agency granted power of law (fines and penalties) and the ability to conduct annual inspections. USDA writes the regs, standards and policies.
* Intended to emphasize minimization of pain and distress.
Health Research Extension Act
Facilities NOT covered by AWA or PHS: those using species not covered by the AWA and that do not receive PHS funding. Example: Biotech companies using laboratory-bred mice.
Association of the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) is an international body:
* No legal authority.
Pending legislation and proposals: Federal Level:
* USDA policies
* Animal Welfare information Center
* More information
The proposed revision would establish minimum humane conditions and environmental enrichment for all lab animals confinement.
* How to communicate effectively with the Media, Politicians and Other Influencers:
1. Study persuasion Read "The Psychology of Persuasion" Read the Carnegie book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People."
2. Become a communicator. Consider joining Toastmasters, practice with your friends. "Can you help me by letting me practice?" This can also help you change your acquaintances' attitudes. Take an improv class. Re: letters to the editor -- shorter is usually better. Shorter letters fit easier in the paper. Originality counts too. Realize that even if your letter isn't published, it's still making an impression -- and that numbers count. The more people who write and call, the more weight media folks will assign to an issue.
3. Engage instead of accuse. Ask people questions about own views. Are you opposed to cruelty to animals? Start with gaining agreement. Most people are against cruelty to animals. Then ask, "do you know what happens in slaughterhouse?"
4. Exude optimism. Some individuals have little experience with animal advocates; they buy into animal rights nuts stereotypes or remember only the strident, cranky person at a dinner party angrily lecturing about meat-eating.
5. Stand tall: You can ask if you they received your press release and offer more information, interview, help. Try to establish symbiotic relationship.
6. Be nice and professional. Important: Whenever the media runs or broadcasts a report that in any way supports animal welfare, thank them with phone calls and a brief note (which may get published in the paper or aired at the end of a broadcast). Get your acquaintances to do the same. And if appropriate, you can include a note indicating that you volunteer with a group, have many grass-roots and experts connections, and can help them find sources for future animal-related stories.
7. Look presentable -- look like your target audience or better. The speaker noted that although he is no more articulate now, media and politicians listen now that he has a young dapper executive look.
8. Don't let setbacks get you down.
9. Meet and keep in touch with your local media. Learn their schedules/deadlines and ask when the best times are to contact them, and how (phone, email....). Let them know you'll be glad to connect them with experts and information when they need it. And that they can contact you after hours. Find out which reporters and editors might care about animals and justice.
Offer to participate or to find expert/grassroots sources to participate in Talk Radio or TV or other panel discussions. There are numerous opportunities for this; look for them and take advantage of them.
Modern consumer technology makes it easier than ever to produce simple radio and TV public service announcements. Just consider the success of YouTube. Ask stations if they can air your spots when time allows. And post your videos on internet sites such as YouTube.
10. Don't just sit home with your pets. Talk with people, reach influencers.
11. Ratings matter – but feedback matters too.
An excellent resource for keeping up with animal-related media stories is www.DawnWatch.com
6. Food Facts
Studies have linked insulin-dependent diabetes to a specific protein in dairy products, a form that usually begins in childhood.
Dairy products offer a false sense of security to those concerned about osteoporosis. In countries where dairy products are not generally consumed have less incidence of osteoporosis than in the U.S. Studies show little effect of dairy on osteoporosis. Good plant-based sources of calcium: kale, broccoli, green leafy. Calcium from vegetables is readily absorbed. Worth noting: calcium in kale exceeds that from milk.
Protein: there are 20 amino acids in the food we eat but our body can only make 11 of them. The 9 essential amino acids that can't be produced by the body must be obtained from the diet. We can get them from a variety of grains, legumes, and vegetables. It was once thought that various plant foods had to be eaten together to get their full protein value, otherwise known as protein combining or protein complementing. Now it's known that such combining is not necessary, as long as the diet contains a variety of grains, legumes and vegetables.
With the traditional Western diet, the average American consumes about double the protein the body needs. Main sources of protein consumed tend to be animal products, which are also high in fat and saturated fat. The RDA for protein for the average adult is only 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Here's a formula: Body weight (in pounds) x 0.36 = recommended protein intake. This formula has a large margin of safety.
High protein diets present problems. These include osteoporosis by encouraging urinary calcium losses and increased fracture risk per research studies.
Plant-based diets can protect against osteoporosis and cancer. Animal protein, especially when cooked at high temperatures, produces compounds called heterocyclic amines that are linked to colon and breast cancers. Other risks: impaired kidney function, heart disease, and weight loss sabotage. Weight loss results from consuming fewer calories.
Suggestions for a better diet include: 5 or more servings of grains each day, 1/2 cup hot cereal, 1 oz. dry cereal, 1 slice bread, each serving having appx 3 grams of protein. Eat 3 or more servings of vegetables each day: 1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked, 1/2 cup vegetable juice. These have 2 grams of protein.
Consume 2 to 3 servings of legumes daily: 1/2 cup cooked beans, 4 oz. tofu or tempeh, 8 oz. soymilk, 1 oz nuts. But check labels: protein content varies 4 to 10 grams. Healthy high-protein sources include seitan, tofu, lentils, tempeh, black beans, chickpeas...and the grain quinoa. Worth noting: peanut butter has half the protein content of beans.
Although American women's life expectancy is 2-1/2 times that of women in some developing countries, they are 5 times more likely to get breast cancer. And as developing nations industrialize, incidence of and deaths from breast cancer increases.
Melatonin inhibits tumor growth by blocking the uptake of linoleic acid, one of the omega fatty acids, essential to cell membranes and healthy organ function. The human body cannot produce linoleic acid, so must get it from food. But it's the most abundant polyunsaturated fat in the Western diet, and Americans typically get more than they need Excessive amounts rev up growth pathways so that cancer cells really spread; it stimulates cell division and tumor growth.
Melatonin is light-sensitive and can only be produced in the dark. It's a proven cancer fighter. Nighttime exposure to light is a factor. One study indicated a 36% increase in breast cancer among female night shift workers.
Partnership for Animal Welfare, Inc.
|Last Updated: June 23, 2013 (LET)||PawSupport|