Saturday, May 29, 2010

Alabama. Dog Racing. Cocaine.

What good is there in dog racing? Nothing much, it seems, except for the dubious honor of winning a bet and some money--- money one is surely to lose very soon since those who win money in dog racing will surely bet again. Evidently, we can include drug use, cocaine in particular, to dog racing practices in Alabama. Grey2K USA reported on two cases involving cocaine use in dogs:

-On or about December 23, 2009 a greyhound named Kiowa Fly Lucia tested positive for cocaine at Mobile County Greyhound Park.

- On or about November 11, 2009 a greyhound under the control of an individual named Robert E. Trow tested positive for cocaine at the Birmingham Racecourse.

Now, the Governor of Alabama, Bob Riley, has a task force to combat illegal gambling. It is aptly named, Task Force to Stop Illegal Gambling, P.O.Box 2841, Mobile, Alabama 36652. This task force is headed by John Tyson, Jr. Grey2K USA has already written to the task force about these two cases, they have asked us to follow suit. We can also write to Governor of Alabama, and tell him the obvious. Dog racing is cruel!

Governor Bob Riley
Office of the Governor
State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130
334-353-0004 (fax)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reject Meat. Cows have feelings too. Respect Them.

Yours truly is up in Boston attending graduation week at Harvard, but that hasn't stop me from staying in touch with animal welfare. I found this photo on Facebook, and I think it is just wonderful. On the other hand, to think that cows are slaughtered by the millions for the beef-eating population is horrifying. If we actively circulate sentimental photos like this, maybe we can move more people towards a non-meat diet altogether. So far up here in Harvard, I have been having caesar salads and beer. Weird, yes, but it hasn't cost any animal his life.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Philippines. Dog Rescue. From Filth to Fresh. PAWS.

Another wonderful story to warm our hearts... My trust in the human spirit bobs like a buoy in a stormy sea. Sometimes, I do believe that there is an equivalence between good and evil. I must be having one of my better days, for I normally accept that there is more cruelty in this world than compassion.

A young lady named Kristina from shared with us ( members of Philippine Animal Welfare Society, PAWS ) several photos of her latest rescue. Her previous rescue involved a badly beaten cat whose eye popped out due to the severity of the beating. Here she is, in the second photo (right), on her way to the rehabilitation center of PAWS after rescuing these two miserable dogs. The photos speak for themselves. In her message to me, Kristina lamented her inability to do more for needy animals. Don't we all feel that way? Physics prevents us from being everywhere at all times. The important thing is to act whenever we can, wherever we are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Philippines. Dogfighting. The Good Fight. PAWS. Dogs are not for Fighting.

I invite you to watch this video from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society about the " Good Fight. " It's very well done, in my opinion. Go ahead. There's nothing gruesome about the video, but it says a lot about how we maliciously and cruelly exploit other sentient beings---in this case, dogs---who normally would provide love and loyalty to us. Have a conscience, folks. Don't participate, and don't be mum about it. When you see or know about animal cruelty, make the call to the authorities.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Black Bears. New Jersey. Trophy Hunt. Stop the Slaughter. December 2010.

I am cross posting an alert from the Animal Protection League of New Jersey. There is no more important time than now to tell Gov. Christie and his government that a mass killing of NJ black bears is unacceptable. This coming December, 400 bears will be slaughtered in the name of wildlife management. This is an attack on our natural treasures, an inhumane pastime that has nothing to do with natural conservation but caters to the blood lust of the small hunting community. If it is not kill the deer, it's kill the geese. After the geese, it's kill the bears. Most NJ residents do not hunt and do not support hunting. Four years of no organized bear hunting under former Gov. Corzine's administration did not create the bear population explosion that the pro-hunting group always uses to scare the New Jersey population. Please help.


Black Bear Protection Campaign

The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife and the NJ Fish and Game Council are planning another black bear massacre. The hunters are talking on their forums about the proposed hunt and salivating over the prospect of killing hundreds of bears. Their leaders are spreading fear and misinformation in order to get another bear hunt, calling us names and employing character assassination techniques.

The bears need us once again to pull up our sleeves and fight for them with everything we've got. We will focus on the truth, working to save our bears, their environment, and to strive for peaceful co-existence and permanent bear protection. We are working closely with the BEAR Group and are aggressively building the Coalition to Protect NJ Black Bears.


Please try to attend and speak out to stop the proposed bear massacre. Our vast united presence at this hearing will send a strong message to the Governor. Each person is given only 2-3 minutes to speak, but it is important to be there as the media will report on the number present. See talking points below to help you frame your comments. Feel free to use your own thoughts as well.

DATE: Tuesday, May 11 at 6pm
LOCATION: NJ State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625

A bus is will be making stops from North Jersey going south. Here’s the schedule:

2:30 PM: Hillcrest Community Center, 1810 Macopin Road, West Milford, NJ 07840. Park on the extreme left side of building and in the back.
3:45 PM: Wayne Municipal Building. Park in the back of the lot alongside Valley Road, across from the library. Car owners must place a sign on their windshield that they are on the BEAR Group trip so that they will not get a ticket.
4:45 PM: Border's Parking Lot, Commons Way Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. Park in Borders' parking lot closest to Commons Way Road.

NOTE: The bus is being organized by the BEAR Group and they are asking for a $10 donation for riders to defray the cost. We plan to leave Trenton around 9 PM, or after every rider has had the opportunity to speak.

The official public comment period for the State's Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy is in progress. PLEASE make it your top priority to write a letter opposing the proposed bear hunt. Ask everyone you know to do the same. See talking points below to help you. Feel free to use your own thoughts as well.

Submit your letters/comments before the June 18, 2010 deadline to:

Larry Herrighty, CBBMP
Division of Fish and Wildlife
Department of Environmental Protection
PO Box 400
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0400

You can also submit comments electronically at (For your records, and to send to Christie, print the page before you hit the submit button.)

It is also important to send a copy of your letter to Governor Christie, PO Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625 so that he experiences the volume of mail opposed to the proposed bear hunt.

If you need any help or have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


1. Education is a PROVEN method to reduce human bear conflicts. Dr. Edward Tavss' nationwide report showed that nonlethal black bear management is the only effective solution. States surrounding New Jersey have rising nuisance complaints despite their bear hunts.

2. Hunting will NOT stop aberrant bear behavior or prevent a tragedy. At the March 7, 2003 meeting of the Fish and Game Council, the Council all agreed that the child killed by a black bear in NY was extremely rare. Then-councilman George Howard said, "All the hunts in the world will not address that..."

3. Bear hunts are 100% trophy hunts. They kill bears to stuff them, mount their heads and make them into rugs. The bear pictured above was killed during the 2003 bear hunt and displayed at the Division of Fish and Wildlife's booth at the 2005 Sussex County Fair.

4. Garbage containment is extremely important not only for keeping bears away from homes, but it also reduces their population growth rate. Bears without access to unnatural food sources will not gain as much weight. Weight is a critical factor in their reproductive cycle.

5. The more people know about bear hunts, the more they support nonlethal black bear management. A majority of residents DO NOT support bear hunts in New Jersey and consider the issue VERY important.

6. The Division of Fish and Wildlife claims to have handled hundreds of bears since the 1980s. Since then, bears have been captured through barrel traps and leg snares in the name of research. Each bear trapped is drugged, tagged, has blood drawn, a tooth removed, collared, etc. Although we do not agree with the population estimates put forth by an agency that wants to institutionalize bear hunting, Division biologists could easily sterilize the males (surgical or Neutersol) during all this handling and participate in extensive trials of immunocontraception methods currently in development.

7. The bear population statistics are controversial and CANNOT be substantiated, including the most recent East Stroudsburg University study, which was underwritten by the Division. In 1988, the Division estimated 150 bears in New Jersey and wanted a hunt.

8. Fifty-two percent of the bears killed in 2005 were cubs and yearlings. Claims by the Division that mothers and cubs would be protected because of the timing of the hunt was tragically false. In fact, we have records from 2003 that show mothers and cubs were deliberately killed by groups of hunters.

9. People are at GREATER risk of being hurt by a hunting accident than by a bear. Over the last 10 years, New Jersey hunters averaged 11.5 hunting incidents with injury per year. In the last twenty-six years, hunters in hunting incidents injured sixteen non-hunters. From 1995 to 2005, five people were killed in hunting accidents in NJ.

10. For more than 160 years, black bears have neither killed nor seriously harmed any person in New Jersey. That's an astounding record of co-existence.

Animal Protection League of NJ (APLNJ)
Protecting animals since 1983 through advocacy, public education and legislation
To financially support APLNJ's work, please click here:
Phone: 732-446-6808 / Web:
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Monday, May 03, 2010

Poem. Captivity, Longing. Cruelty. Misery. Free the Animals.

Thumbing through some Robert Frost poems, I was led to this one by Maya Angelou . I don't know if Frost ever had an influence on Angelou, but certainly any American poet living today would be familiar with Frost's work. Frost and Whitman are my favorite poets, and the romantic poets ( Keats, Byron, and Shelley ) I can't bear. I find their work dense, abstruse and impenetrable. It's just a matter of taste and connectivity. I am no expert on verse, but I will accept the opinion of those who are. They warn us that Frost's poetry is deceivingly simple. If we were to try our hand at it, to put complicated emotions into simple verse, we would be tied up in knots.

Anyway, Angelou's poem below, Caged Bird, touches on the plaintive cries, the longing for better things, that captive individuals must go through. You can apply the core meaning or sentiment of this poem to any situation involving imprisonment or captivity, human or animal. Think of the dog in a dank, dark basement with a one-foot chain around his neck. Think of the moon bears in Asia who spend their entire lives lying on their sides in a cage not large enough for them to turn around in. Think of the elephants with Barnum and Bailey Circus, chained to the wall all the time except for show time. Think of the animals in laboratories, experimented on against their will by people like Marina Picciotto. Think of the apes who spend their entire lives in captivity, studied by empathy-deficient primatologists, knowing only concrete and cold steel for their entire lives. For some of us, life is worse than death.


A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.