Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trial. The Plaintiffs Rest. Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. February 2009.

Back in November 2008, animal rights advocates and organizations were disappointed when the trial of Ringling Barnum & Bailey Circus didn't begin as scheduled due to another dilatory tactic by the defendants. They introduced another set of experts that necessarily had to be vetted, or cross-examined, by the plaintiffs before the trial could begin. Ringling has successfully delayed their court appearance by several years by employing such dilatory tactics. In August 2007, Tracy Silverman, General Counsel for the Animal Welfare Institute, said "After five years of legal wrangling, we look forward to unveiling the curtain at trial to expose the suffering and death of elephants at the hands of the so-called 'Greatest Show on Earth". These magnificent animals will finally have their day in Court."

Back then, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the federal district court in Washington D.C. scolded the circus for "wasting a considerable amount of time and resources" by employing "dilatory" tactics over several years.

The trial finally began in early February 2009 and since then the plaintiffs have decided to avoid public updates on the trial in an effort preserve and protect their case. And so animal welfare advocates have been in the dark so far. I managed to reach Tracy Silverman who graciously provided me with some basic information. According to Ms. Silverman, the court works on a 4-day week schedule, Friday being the free day. She also confirmed that the plaintiffs have rested their case. So, in other words, the plaintiffs have finished arguing their case. The court is now waiting for the defense to make their case, and that is expected to begin on Tuesday, March 3rd. Ms. Silverman expects this phase of the trial to take at least two weeks, possible three. Doing the simple math, we can expect the trial to end around the third week of March 2009. Ms. Silverman expressed some hope for presenting in the very near future the exhibits submitted as evidence by the plaintiffs, now that they have rested their case. The Animal Welfare Institute has a webpage dedicated to the trial, and you can see it at : http://www.awionline.org/wildlife/elephants/rbsuit.htm

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dogfighting. Willingboro, New Jersey. Man Jailed.

In case you haven't heard, truck driver Kevin McCaskill (37) of Willingboro, NJ was sentenced to three years in the state prison for dogfighting. He lives on Tower Lane where local police found paraphernalia consistent with dogfighting, items he claimed he used as a breeder. A breeder? Well, the dogs in his possession appeared to be in bad shape which was the very issue that led his neighbors to call the authorities. Five emaciated and injured pit bulls were found in outside pens in his yard plus blood-stained carpet and fighting ring boards were discovered in the basement. Stephen Eife, an assistant Burlington County prosecutor stated that equipment such as treadmills, collars, ropes and sticks were found inside the home in March 2007.

Sy Goldberg, deputy superintendent of the state Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, asked "Neighbors and public utility workers should take notice if they see four or five pit bull dogs in a yard and should contact us or the local animal control officer."

Citizens can call the state SPCA at (800) 582-5979.

We'll take what we can get because this guy could be out in 18 months. But there is more, McCaskill was assessed more than $17,000 in restitution and fines in both civil and criminal cases involving cruelty to animals and for illegal possession of drugs and a BB gun. He has reportedly paid the amount.

Once again. it was the civic action of neighbors that put an end to animal cruelty. We truly should look upon calling the police as an opportunity to do our part against animal cruelty. Heck, I am ready to call.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Glue Traps. Animal Cruelty. Lowe's Refuses to be Humane.


Learn more about Lowe's at peta.org

Capturing a mouse with a glue trap is probably one act of animal cruelty that many of us have committed. I know that years ago I set the traps in a rental apartment in New York City, and I didn't think much of the cruelty that resulted from it. It was just catching mice for all I know. Yes, I was a neanderthal once. I am sure that many people right now are like me back then, and it's time to make a change. Lowe's has been specially targeted by PETA for selling these traps. You don't have to be a Nobel Prize winner to know that animals experience hours of agony before death actually occurs. The problem with these glue traps magnifies when you have other animals in the house. Can you really be sure that they won't put their paws or noses into the glue? Even birds can get trapped. It seems to me that leaving a glue trap on the floor is like leaving a burning candle unattended. PETA offers a humane mouse trap at their website.

http://www.helpinganimals.com/wildlife_glueTraps.asp
http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/lowes_glue_traps

Monday, February 23, 2009

NJARA. Vegan Breakfast Fundraiser. April 2008.

I am crossposting an announcement from the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance.

==============================================================

Kaya's Kitchen
817 Belmar Plaza, Belmar, NJ 07719
Phone: 732-280-1141
www.kayaskitchennj.com (for directions)
Sunday, April 5, 2008 10am - 1pm (please show up as close to 10am as possible)

BREAKFAST BUFFET [ALL VEGAN] MENU
Tofu Scramble, Thick-Cut French Toast Pancakes & Waffles, Sausage & Ham, Fruit Salad, Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, Coffee, Tea.

RESERVATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 4/1/09. We always sell out, so reserve early.Send your check/money order, for $35 per person to: New Jersey Animal Rights AlliancePO Box 174Englishtown, NJ 07726 Please write "Kaya's Brunch" in the memo line.Or, make a quick payment by PayPal through: www.nj-ara.org/events.htm.

Call 732-446-6808 with any questions.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010. Canadian Seal Hunt. Stop the Killing.

Behold, the new logo for the Vancouver Winter Olympics---that is if the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee chooses to ignore the painful truth. Sorry, Canada, but some of your citizens choose to wage a war on seals, making an annual olympic sport out of killing hundreds of thousands of baby seals in the most horrific, brutal, and crude way. The killings have been described as " the anguish that a mother seal feels as she watches her baby being beaten to death just a few feet away from her is horrifying and can be heard in her desperate cries and seen in her attempts to get to her baby." Believe it or not, last year's hunt killed 205,000 seals for their fur. It's all business for some people, but for many people like us that's inhumane, brutal, and the killing of innocent living beings for the sake of fashion. Please express your objection to the annual Canadian seal hunt by sending a formatted email to the Vancouver Olympic Committee. It takes only a few seconds to help the seals.
http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/seal_hunt_09?c=weekly_enews

Thursday, February 19, 2009

California. Redlands. Vegetarian Lunch. A Discovery for Some.


Greetings from California. My wife and I arrived here last night for a two-week vacation in the San Bernardino area. We come here almost every year, around this time, to visit her family. For lunch today, my brother-in-law brought us to a newly opened vegetarian restaurant in Redlands. His wife and daughter-in-law are vegetarians and he's making his first moves towards the lifestyle. Anyway, we ordered the staple dishes---orange chicken, sizzling platter, Buddhist delight, a beef dish. I was glad we were actually in a vegetarian restaurant because my wife refuses to even try one in New Jersey. Well, she was pleasantly surprised. I have tried convincing her that vegetarian food has gone a long way from being just alfalfa sprouts and carrots. Vegetarian food is not rabbit food. There is a lot of creativity and flavor in vegetarian food. She actually liked it. I think we've made a breakthrough here.

Australian Bush Fire 2009. IFAW. Injured Animals.

You've heard of the ongoing bush fires in Australia where over 200 people have perished and thousands of animals have reportedly been lost. This bush fire is believed to have been intentionally started, but that is always the suspicion whenever there's a bush fire. IFAW is on the ground in Australia, and they have put together a slide show show for us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Philippines. Reporting Animal Cruelty. Emergency Numbers. RA 8485.

Because I belong to an group of animal welfare advocates in the Philippines, I can read the numerous discussions between group members and people who, seems to me, just signed up to make an urgent plea for help. There were two this week who begged for assistance concerning two dogs who were tied up under rain and sun with no food nor water. One was described to be on the verge of a heat stroke. The images that filled my mind disturbed me immensely, but I am also encouraged at the same time.

There is a growing number of animal welfare advocates in the Philippines and ordinary citizens are beginning to reject animal cruelty, willing to take personal action against it. Just from this website, I can see from the visitor data that many are seeking information on how to report animal cruelty in the Philippines. You can find my previous post on the subject HERE.

Keep in mind that your complaint has legal standing via the Philippine Animal Welfare Act which is also known as the RA 8485. This law gives you the power to complain. Familiarize yourself with RA 8485. For example, denying an animal adequate care is a violation of the law. Keeping a dog tied up under the sun and rain is a violation of the law. Keeping a dog on a very short leash that it can no longer move around or stand erect is a violation of the law. So, when you seek assistance, you're calling because there is a law being violated, and not just for pity's sake. That means that the law enforcement agency, officer, barangay captain must investigate. As a citizen, demand a response. Animal abuse is a legitimate area of concern. Animal abuse is NOT acceptable. If you haven't done so, print a copy of the animal welfare act and submit it to your barangay government for their information.

Here is the info:

Police non-emergency response: Dial 723-0401 to 20

Text message PNP to: Type PNPmessage and send to 2920

Police emergencies: Call 117

Email: tsip@pnp.gov.ph

Feedback: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

Or you can call the Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF)

AKF action center: (045)6150895

Center Manager: 0920-9875110

Officer in charge: 0920-9835109

email: akfadvocates@gmail.com

For general information : Philippine Animal Welfare Society

I hope this helps.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

McDonald's. Cruelty to Chickens. End A Cruel Killing Method. Humane Alternative Available.

PETA has decided to " relaunch " their campaign against fast food giant and cholesterol central, McDonald's, for their unwillingness or inability to curb the cruel ways of their supplier of chicken meat. Evidently, the effort to make McDonald's more humane has been going on for a while to no avail. Why continue to embrace and employ a cruel method of killing chickens when there is a humane alternative? McDonald's needs to take a vacation. They don't have to be cave people everyday of their lives.

According to PETA, " All of McDonald's U.S. chicken suppliers use a system called "electrical immobilization" to kill birds, which involves dumping birds out of transport crates and hanging them upside-down in metal shackles—often resulting in broken bones, extreme bruising, and hemorrhaging. The birds then have their throats cut while they are still conscious and are often immersed in tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still alive and able to feel pain. "
PETA argues that McDonald's should, " demand that its suppliers switch to a less cruel method of chicken slaughter called controlled-atmosphere killing, or CAK. Every published report on controlled-atmosphere killing systems to date—including a 2005 study by McDonald's—concludes that it is the least cruel form of poultry slaughter available. And some of McDonald's suppliers in Europe already use the system! "

Lord Almighty. There is no way cruelty can be excused when there is already a humane alternative in the works---I mean, up and running. More often as we would like to admit, the Europeans are way ahead of us in many fields particularly in animal welfare. They have already rejected the importation and sale of products stemming from the Canadian fur trade. In December 2008, PETA Europe scored a great victory when new skin irritation tests that do not use animals have been successfully validated, no need to use rabbits anymore. The MatTek Corporation declared that the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods' Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) has formally endorsed the scientific validity of the company's Modified EpiDerm Skin Irritation Test as well as L'Oreal's SkinEthic test. In a nutshell, cosmetic companies need not perform skin irritation test on rabbits anymore. Isn't that progress? Anyway, my point is that Europe has again and again led the way to a more humane world. Wake up, America. Let's get moving here!

We can help make McDonald's become a more humane business by boycotting their products until they make the switch to CAK. You can also write to McDonald's today and give them a piece of your mind. If you ask me, I would rather see people give up meat altogether and just forget meat as a dietary option. It's not good for you. As I have asked so many times before, why eat a dead animal?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Reno. Rescued Dog for Adoption. Philippines. PAWS.





This is Reno. I featured his rescue by members of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) several months ago. You can read about his story HERE. The director of PAWS, Anna Cabrera, sent me this most recent photo of Reno, now fully recovered and enjoying his life at the rehab center. It looks like he's ready for adoption. According to Anna, Reno is the Houdini of the group. He's got this special talent for unlatching his kennel door as often as three times a week, sending shelter volunteers running after him inside the compound each time. Bad boy, Reno. I hope your forever family comes very soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Warren County, New Jersey. Frelinghuysen. NJSPCA. Killer of Rottweiler Wanted. February 2009.


Our very own New Jersey SPCA issued a bulletin pertaining to a rottweiler who was shot and killed in Warren County on or around February 2, 2009. Where the dog was actually killed is not known, but someone was seen throwing a dog from a vehicle on the long driveway approaching the Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary
in Frelinghuysen, N.J. Upon examination, it was found that the dog had been shot twice.
The dog is estimated to be five years old. The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for any information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this murder. Yes, I called it murder. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call NJSPCA's animal cruelty hotline at 1-800-582-5979.

If this dog was five years old, then it had been seen or known by many people in the Warren County area. There must be people out there who knew this dog and its owner. They didn't live in a vacuum. It's just a matter of getting the word around. There's even a big cash reward for those who will provide solid information. The New Jersey SPCA is offering an additional $250 reward.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Australian Bush Fires. February 2009. Animal Rescue.


An injured koala gets a drink of water from Local CFA firefighter David Tree at Mirboo North. Compassion. Love of Animals. Photo by Mark Pardew of the Associated Press.

Oregon. Mink Liberated. Fur is Cruel. October 2008.

The Animal Liberation Front and other news agencies reported that in October 2008 1500 captive mink were liberated from a fur farm on Simonsen Road in Astoria, Oregon. This is the third time in 2008 in Oregon that innocent animals were given their natural right to freedom. The mink, obviously, were destined to be adornments for the apathetic, unscrupulous, misguided, status-seeking consumers. Strange how these people refer to these items as "my fur coat. " Well, it isn't their fur coat because humans don't grow fur. That fur coat belonged to an animal whose skin and fur were forcibly ripped off and the animal dumped on a heap, left to slow death, naked and unprotected. Only the barbarians will not be moved by the cruelty and suffering. You'll know who they are on the streets.

Monday, February 09, 2009

CAAFGROUP. Anti-Fur Demonstrations. Steven Corn. Bergdorf Goodman. February 2009. New York & New Jersey.

I am crossposting an email from the Caring Activist Against Fur Group (CAAFGROUP) about their planned demonstrations in the near future.

===============================================

Have A Heart Don't Buy Fur anti fur march & protest Sat. Feb. 14th
12:45 gather at Columbus Circle
1:00 March down Central Park South
1:30 to 3:00 Protest Bergdorf Goodman 754 5th Ave. btwn. 58th and 57th Streets
Feb. 14th is the anniversary of when we at Caring Activists Against Fur started! Please join us. info@caafgroup.com

President's Day Week anti fur protest NJ
Where Steven Corn Furs 358 Route 17 North Paramus NJ
When Sat. Feb. 21 1:00 to 2:30pm Please be prompt, we will reach a ton of cars that day! info@caafgroup.com
Any questions: 201-927-3617 (Caring Activists Against Fur)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Veggie Love. Banned Super Bowl Ad. Meat is Bad for You.

Here is the ad that everyone is talking about. Banned by NBC from the Superbowl, this ad has now been viewed over a million times all around the world. I don't really know if being a vegetarian can bring about a better sex life than others. We don't know what other people do and feel, for sure, and so how can we compare? But I do believe that being a vegetarian will make you a healthier person, and your sexual desire and satisfaction will improve. That's probably where the better sex comes in. Inversely, if you are not well, sex is the last thing in your mind. Give up the meat. Live humanely and cleanly. Respect your body. Why eat a dead animal?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

NJARA. Alert. Natural Habitat in Danger. Bog Turtle, Corn Snake, Short Eared Owl and the Northern Goes Hawk. Montgomery County, NJ.

I am crossposting an email I received from the NJ Animal Rights Alliance:

ATTN: Residents of Skillman, Belle Mead, Harlingen, Rocky Hill and Montgomery Township.

A group of concerned citizens are seeking to halt the development of 88 acres of undeveloped land in Montgomery Township. A large portion of this tract is wetlands and contains an abundant amount of wildlife. They have strong reason to believe that this land is the home of a few of New Jersey’s endangered species: Bog Turtle, Corn Snake, Short Eared Owl and the Northern Goes Hawk as well as threatened species Coopers Hawk and the Barred Owl.

If you would like to join them in fighting the destruction of these, and other, animals' homes, they ask that you attend the next planning board meeting on Monday, February 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 2261 Van Horne Road (Route 206), Belle Mead.

Here is more information:

Montgomery Township Residents We Need Your Help!

Hello fellow Montgomery Township residents: we are at the immanent crossroads of losing a very large tract of land to developers in our township and adjacent to our backyards. In 1975, the township master plan set aside areas of undeveloped land in our town as Cluster House zoning. This is an area where the lots for each home are allowed to be less than the "normal" zoning (2-1/2 acre lot currently) and the homes would be grouped closely together. This zoning may have been applicable in an undeveloped township in the 1970s, but is not applicable today with recent growth. The developer, East Country Development Associates is taking advantage of that out dated zoning TODAY!

There exists 88 acres of undeveloped land behind the homes that front: Burnt Hill Road, Sunset Road, Skillman Road and the homes in Red Fox Run subdivision along Squirrel and Badger Drives. This land has remained undeveloped for quite some time and there is a significant reason. A large portion of this tract is wetlands, deemed a flood hazard zone by the DEP, and contains an abundant amount of wildlife. In fact, we have very strong reason to believe that this land is the home of a few of New Jersey’s endangered species: Bog Turtle, Corn Snake, Short Eared Owl and the Northern Goes Hawk as well as threatened species Coopers Hawk and the Barred Owl.

This is the website for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/tandespp.htm and perhaps you have seen these animals yourselves in the area as have some other of our residents. The problem is the DEP does not know about these potential endangered species living in the woods to be developed. Some of the very concerned citizens here in Montgomery that reside along these woods have filed reports in reference to these endangered species to the DEP. The DEP being a state agency reacts very slowly.

We are now at the risk of losing this land before the DEP is able to investigate. In 2007, the revalidation of the original approval was consummated when the Montgomery Township Planning Board elected to not approve but not invalidate a previous 1988 approval. East Country Development Associates is appealing to an old NJDEP Wetlands Law based on the 1988 approval seeking "general permits" to build closer to the stream and natural drainage wetland areas. In addition, the developer is offering to provide to the township sewer linkage for the schools. There is precedent case law whereby developers cannot provide municipal infrastructure, and the township is under no obligation to provide infrastructure to a developer, as sewers are required for this development.

East Country Development Associates is seeking approval of a 54 home development on this land. These homes consist of 3,600 to 4,000 sq-ft homes on lot sizes of around ½ acre, which will be placed right behind the current homes on the streets, mentioned above. Homes of such large sizes on lots that small will max out the lot development, which is something that potential homebuyers will not know until after the sale. What would you think if you bought a house only to find out later that you cannot place a deck, a pool, or a shed in your yard?

A Montgomery Planning Board meeting was held January 26th to review East Country Development Associate’s proposal. At this review, several residents who reside along this property attended. Issues raised and not resolved were flooding and water drainage, traffic congestion on Burnt Hill Road during school sessions, increased burden on the school system, protection of the endangered species, outlandish size of the planned homes on small lots, buffer areas and their respective sizes, and that the developer has not provided home details and elevations.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP? Join our fight and voice your opinion at the next planning board meeting on Monday, February 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 2261 Van Horne Road (Route 206), Belle Mead. Group of us concerned citizens are seeking legal counsel in the form of a Land Use Attorney. We need to provide a retainer of $5,000 to use the lawyer’s services. If we all contribute a portion of the fee, the financial burden on us all will be minimal. We will potentially preserve endangered species, prevent traffic congestion, prevent an increased burden to the school system, protect our property values, prevent potential flooding, and maintain the quality of our neighborhood without the sight of over-sized cluster homes in our back yards. If you would like to contribute, get more details, or be kept abreast of this situation please email or call us with your name, house address and email address. Please attend the meeting on February 9th and let your voice be heard. It is important that the public record show your concerns.

A copy of the application, plans and all supporting documents are on file in the offices of the Planning Board at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 2261 Van Horne Road (Route 206), Belle Mead.

Thank you,

Paul and Andrea Cresti
346 Burnt Hill Road
Bog Turtle
pbcarch@comcast.net

Mike and Linda DiMario
23 Badger Drive
m.dimario@comcast.net
Land-use in question

Dan Dudzik
370 Burnt Hill Road
daniel@studiogreendesigncenter.com

Dr. Ed Spector
22 Badger Drive
Short Eared Owl
ehspector@msn.com

Stella McCartney. Ethical Fashion Designer. Person of Conscience.

I was looking over some of my issues of PETA's AnimalTimes, and returned to the article about Stella McCartney. If you don't know her yet, she's a prolific fashion designer and the daughter of famous parents. They don't need any introduction, only that they've made this world a better place by raising a better person. Stella shares her parents' love and respect for animals. Unlike Armani and Karan, Stella refuses to use fur in any of her designs. Forgive me, Stella, for uttering those noxious names in the same breath. The only things I would buy from those labels would be a doormat with their names on it. This anti-fur policy stems from Stella's own personal conviction, not induced by bad publicity from animal rights groups. Here are some quotes from Stella McCartney:

" I, frankly, don't think most designers have the balls to watch animals' writhing and being slaughtered; they don't want to admit they're responsible for such suffering. "

" I was offered so many different labels to work with, but what I've seen done to cattle killed for their hides and to raccoons and mink and other animals made me say " no. "

" I grew up with two of the most ethical vegetarians in the world."

" What I find so bizarre is that some designers think they are so punk and rock when they use fur and leather, but there's nothing modern about it. "

" I sent the PETA video to every designer with an appeal to please stop using fur, at least, Karl Lagerfeld, rather predictably, felt he needed to return the video to me! Dolce & Gabbana were disgracefully rude about it too. "
Here is Stella McCartney's website:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Animal Rescue. Philippines. December 2008. Philippine Animal Welfare Society.




From the Multiply site of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, a couple of photos of a homeless, orange tabby who was rescued by a concerned citizen during, of all times, midnight mass. So, this was back in December 2008. This citizen witnessed neighborhood kids bullying this kitten, manhandling it, treating it like a a rag doll. Yes, animal abuse right under the shadow of a catholic church, believe it. So, the lady got up from her pew, in the middle of the mass, to confront the kids and save the kitten from further abuse. This kitten has lived with the lady since the rescue. Love of animals. Personal action. Compassion. From all these, a better world.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pure Breeds. BBC Documentary. Genetic Problems. Hell on Earth.

Something happened on the way to Heaven. For those who love and adore the purity of breeds, take note. There is a BBC documentary on the evils of inbreeding. Pure breeds could be spelled H-E-L-L if your pet happens to be at the point in genetic engineering that is more akin to a train wreck than perfection. I truly hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you need to be aware of the problems stemming from pure-breeding. Be warned. This video report contains images of convulsing animals, sick animals, and stressed out pet owners. For those who have no heart/verve/stomach for euthanasia, you will beg for it when you find your pet in these conditions:

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=44215931

Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Jersey. Animal Experimentation. Breeders of Lab Animals.

Reading up on animal experimentation, I came upon some information on companies who raise animals for experimentation. So, you've got universities and their white labcoated pseudo-scientists and then you've got people whose only business is to breed animals for a miserable and torture-filled life(?) in the laboratories. Isn't this so sick? Well, of course, our state of New Jersey has a few of these devil's laboratories. Just for your information, in case, you happen to live around these areas and you didn't know that such barbarity existed under your noses: