Thursday, December 30, 2010

Animal Welfare. 2010-2011. Fighting Old Battles in a New Year.

We are at the cusp of another year, and we do not know with utmost certainty what the new year will bring to animal welfare. Chances are, there will be more of the same---heart-warming rescues-- continued protests against the circus, the fur industry, the farm industry, puppy mills, animal experimentation, and hunting. The year 2011 is going to be a stew of unspeakable cruelty mixed in with chunks of sweet animal liberation. Even with morphing specifics, the issues will follow a general, well-trodden path. The route straddles a great divide between good and evil. We are on a continuum, and no one intends to jump off.

I can tell you one thing for certain; there will not be a cruelty-free world in 2011. For as long as humankind is around, there will be animal cruelty. Humankind is the common denominator. As I have stated before, there is no animal-to-animal cruelty, no animal-to-human cruelty. But, there is human-to-animal and human-to-human cruelty. It is a small consolation that from this very flawed species spring a handful of enlightened individuals who seek to tip the balance, favoring compassion over evil.

For animal rights activists, there will be no surprises in our work. The life of an animal rights proponent is very predictable. No matter what year it is, life is a continuing struggle for us. There is no long rest period. There are no permanent vacations. We exists to move forward. We will go where there is injustice. We will do what we can. We will speak to those who are willing to listen. We will reach deep into our pockets without becoming destitute ourselves. We will arrange our schedules, and honor our respective commitments to animal welfare. We will continue to offer our hearts and souls at the alter. We will be here for the animals, like generations before us. They will not walk alone. We will not be intimidated. We won't back down.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mercy For Animals. 2010. Year in Review.

Keep Life in the Park. KLIP. New Jersey. Season's Greetings. 2010 in Review.

Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife,

Happy Holidays from Keep Life In the Park to you and your families. Together, we've accomplished so much for our local wildlife.

In Passaic County, we showed our outrage at the murder of innocent deer in Garret Mountain and Rifle Camp Parks in Woodland Park. Due to many important follow up meetings with Freeholders, we feel confident that the remaining deer are safe for now.
In Bergen County, we've prevented the future gassing of our feathered friends! We've increased the awareness of non-lethal protocol of dealing with geese in the county parks. The politicians heard us loud and clear and this was a true victory for the animals!
Almost immediately following the Woodland Park deer bow hunt, the town of Holmdel began a deer bow hunt. Holmdel resident Laurie Perla didn’t waste any time in calling in the media, and worked diligently bringing non-lethal solutions to the Town Council. And, they’re listening!
In Essex County, we galvanized a community against their local bow hunt, causing embarrassment to local politicians and gaining important media coverage for the animals. Local activist Jonna Cali is continuing to enlighten local officials about non-lethal alternatives, even offering to cover the cost of sterilization out of her own pocket. This is inspiring, and shows us that activism works and that we must continue our efforts to help these animals, year after year.
Sometimes we feel discouraged, and that this is a war that can’t be won. But we must realize our strength and the power we each possess, and the progress we’ve made. We must be relentless. Thank you for every letter you wrote, every rally you came out to, and every Freeholder and Council meeting you attended. You have been extraordinary. YOU REALLY MATTER!!!
Professor Bill Crain was the activist arrested on the first day of the NJ black bear hunt. At his court appearance, Professor Crain read the following from his statement: “I am technically guilty of violating a state law. But I did so to call attention to the State’s violation of a much more fundamental moral principle: Our obligation to respect all living beings who share the planet with us”.

The New Year is a time for resolutions. Please resolve to continue fighting for the innocent animals who can't speak for themselves. You are all truly, very special human beings.
With warmest regards,

Merrilee Cichy & Julie O’Connor

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 New Jersey Bear Massacre. Hunters' Attitudes. The Nadir of Sensitivity.

Going over the many different news reports concerning the just concluded 2010 New Jersey Bear Massacre, I am seriously distressed by the crass mentality of those who participated in the killing.

A certain Cindy Partipilo commented :

" Now we can just hunt however we want but I still have a problem. They say we can kill cubs and I want my 10 year old son to kill his first cub, but he doesn’t want to do it because his class adopted some computer Polar Bear Cub for their Nature and Ecology study. Now he doesn’t get it when I tell him it’s okay to shoot the black ones, just not the white ones. How do I talk some sense into the child? Can we get them to quit teaching about saving the Environment and Ecology so we can teach our children whatever we want? "

Believe it or not, the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) permitted the killing of bear cubs. In fact, the DFW encouraged hunters to shoot all bears regardless of their weight and age. And at the other end of the barrel, even 10-yr old kids were allowed shoot and kill an animal if an adult hunter accompanied them. Dave Chanda is Director of DFW.
As for Partipilo's comment, it is symptomatic of the hunting community's core belief that teaching children to hunt safeguards their way of life particularly their alleged right to kill an animal for sport. Unfortunately, this mentality subliminates a higher ideal, one that defines us as a civilized society---our belief that all life is sacred. Furthermore, children do not have to follow in their parents' footsteps especially when they perpetuate evil. Children should be given a chance to find their own spritual and philosophical paths. In this case, it sounds like the child was resisting the killing of all bears. Talking sense to one's child requires talkin sense to one's self. I wish the kid lots of luck, and may wisdom never abandon him. Teach children compassion, not cruelty.

A certain Joan Robillard justified her hunting on the Daily Record in terms of tradition:

" I've hunted since I was 15. "

Well, that's a pretty convincing argument, isn't it? I reckon the logic behind it is that when something is done repeatedly, it becomes acceptable. This strikes me as some sort of moral equivalence, or what I refer to as a moral easement. Its simplicity belies its exceedingly dangerous application. To frame it correctly, one only needs to cite his/her personal habits, assumed good, and that would suffice. I don't believe that even serial rapists and murderers assume that their repeated offenses become good with practice. But, evidently, hunters who have killed many times and over many years have convinced themselves that such prolonged practice is justification by itself. In reality, if it was wrong the first time you committed an act of cruelty, it would be wrong everytime, and for all time.

And finally, there is a certain Joe Piserchia who hunted in the area of West Milford, NJ. He is credited by the hunting aficionados as the killer of one of the largest bears brought in, weighing 586 pounds (the bear, not Piserchia) and approximately 20 years old. Imagine, a magnificent animal that roamed the woods for two decades is now gone, probably turned into a trophy and conversation piece in somebody's home. Hark, a hunter's got the war story that would last his lifetime. And isn't that what this whole thing is about---the bragging, the blood lust, the thrill of destruction?

" I harvested him at 8:10 in the morning..."

Is there a suggestion that hunters are one with nature? Hunters present themselves as conscientious environmentalists, not shootists, even referring to hunted animals like they were clams or a mushrooms. You got to love the euphemism, the glossing over of a gruesome killing by firearm, the suggestion that no blood was spilt, like it was some fresh Spring morning and they bent over to pick some flowers. Harvesting is for crop farmers, not for animal killers. The hunter went on to talk about the kill:

" There's no drug in the world that can give you this feeling. "

Well, frankly, I wouldn't know. I don't hunt and I don't do drugs.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Philippines. Bureau of Animal Industry. Animal Welfare Division. Angel Mateo. Resign!

Who is Dr. Angel Mateo?

Dr. Mateo is head of the Animal Welfare Division of the Bureau of Animal Industry. This Division is tasked to implement the Animal Welfare Act or RA 8485. Dr Mateo has been occupying this position since the law was passed in 1998.

Ask any animal welfare group if they have received action from this official on any cruelty case and you will be met with a flat out "No." But don't take our word for it: go and call the BAI-AWD at 924-7951 when you want to report animal cruelty and see where it leads you.

How to reach Dr. Mateo?

We don't know.
Call and he isn't there.

Text him on his cellphone 09189005784 and he doesn't reply. Write him a letter, and if after one month - if you are lucky - he will reply with a letter that simply refers your letter back to the company you are complaining about or he would refer it to another Division.

None of the media practitioners have been able to reach Dr. Mateo himself for comment on the granting of an "animal welfare" permit for the dolphin show these past few weeks.

Recent News on 50 cats rescued by QC Police Station 3

PAWS just found out that the guy accused of selling these cats - a certain Artemio Sanchez - has been previously reported to BAI's Dr. Angel Mateo for drowning cats that he sells. Get this: Sanchez' company, according to the PSPCA, has an animal welfare permit from BAI-AWD.

If you agree with our opinion that Mateo should be removed from his post, please do write a letter to Secretary Alcala of the Department of Agriculture:

Honorable Proceso Alcala
Department of Agriculture
Elliptical Road, Quezon City
Fax number 9203986

Meantime, PAWS has already initiated steps to file administrative and criminal charges against Dr. Mateo.

Thank you.
( A Message from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society )

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Bear Hunt. A Message from Keep Life in the Park. Gov. Christie. DEP Bob Martin. DFW Larry Herrighty.

Dear Friends,

My sincere thanks to all who came out to the demo yesterday in the Whittingham Wildlife Management Area in Fredon. We easily numbered 150 and our energy was palpable as we expressed our outrage at this hunt, not only at the few hunters who brought in the bears they slaughtered, but to the NJ Div. of Fish & Wildlife staff, whose arrogant Assistant Director of Operations, Larry Herrighty aka 'Lampchop', viewed us cowardly through binoculars. All week, they felt so threatened that not only were State Police on hand, AND Homeland Security, but some DFW officers appeared to be wearing green bullet-proof vests. Excuse me - we are NON-VIOLENT. THEY HAVE THE GUNS!

This is not the end but only the beginning of much ongoing dedicated work to ensure that NJ legislators, 'get the message' LOUD AND CLEAR: that we are not going to forget this; that we are going to hold them accountable; and that we will VOTE THEM OUT. We are going to expose the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance for the bullies and thugs that they are, intimidating reporters, legislators, and anyone even remotely opposed to hunting. We will target (no pun intended) State and Div. of Fish & Wildlife for restricting our Constitutional rights of assembly in limiting our numbers, particularly the first days of the hunt. This is only the beginning.

Stay with us my friends. Be pro-active with action alerts. Together we have the power to make change to protect animals. Stay tuned.

Thank you on behalf of all the animals.

Merrilee Cichy

Bergen Record Article

Thursday, December 09, 2010

2010 New Jersey Black Bear Hunt. The True Nature of the Black Bear. Gov. Chris Christie. DEP Bob Martin. Nabobs of Cruelty.

This video was filmed in 2009, just before Gov. Christie took office. Even then, it was obvious to many that he would support and abet the hunting of NJ's black bears. In December 2010, we heard him state that the ongoing hunt, his chosen measure for controlling the alleged bear population growth, is based on Science. Gov. Christie's Science consists of the duplicated reports of human-bear encounters by the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and reports stating that nearly 100% of the residents of bear country are securing their garbage by using bear-proof garbage bins (DFW). If this is true, then I am Neil Armstrong and I walked on the Moon. If truth be known, this hunt is a gift to the Governor's political supporters, a massacre, a program of extermination, and a joyride for the blood-lusting hunters. The Governor, and his pathetic Yes-Man Bob Martin of the DEP, are not interested in empirical and scientific evidence, like this video, where we can witness the non-aggressive nature of the black bear. This video speaks for itself, a great argument presented by the filmmaker.

Call the Gov. Christie's office and tell them that you are opposed to the bear hunt now and in the future, that you do not approve of this program of extermination : 609-292-6000

2010 New Jersey Bear Hunt. Whittingham Weigh Station. The Bears Get Massacred. Gov. Chris Christie. DEP Bob Martin.

Monday, the 6th, marked the first day of a scheduled 6-day "bear hunt," and I joined a handful of protesters at the Whittingham Wildlife Management Area in Newton, New Jersey. It is located along Route 206, just north of Andover. The Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) manages this controlled area, and this is where they located one of their four weigh stations. Hunters are supposed to haul their kills to these stations for weighing and tagging.

Handful? Well, yeah. The DFW limited the number of protesters to 25, citing safety and crowd control. The state police and DFW rangers were in attendance to enforce this rule. But there is another, rather convenient, reason for the DFW to limit protesters. The DFW is accused of cooking the books concerning the number of bear sightings in residential areas, and a certain Professor Dr. Edward Tavss of Rutgers University proved, through an extensive study of the records, that serious anomalies, such as doubling the number of human-bear encounters, exist in the DFW's records. Because of this and the general public's disgust with the hunt, the DFW correctly concluded that scores of protesters would show up if permitted. Last Monday, there were twenty-five of us, and only five, at a time, could approach the weigh area with our cameras.

Below are three of my still photographs. The photo of the murdered mother and cub was taken by Theo Braakman. In one photo, notice the two bear cubs, how small they are, and notice the dead deer on which these two cubs were dumped on. Heck, even the deer were shot dead! So much for a hunt to control the bears. In reality, this hunt constitutes a blood bath in the New Jersey woods that has nothing to do with conservation. One photo shows a mature bear spread eagle on a trailer. You can see the green hunter's tag on it, as if in death this bear now rightfully belonged to the hunter. This hunt is all so ignorant and barbaric. I am ashamed to be on the same human race as Gov. Christie and DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.

2010 New Jersey Bear Hunt. Manufactured Statistics, Not Science. Gov. Christie. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.

View more news videos at:

It usually takes an insider to show us the way through the veil of hypocrisy and past a wall of lies. Governor Christie, together with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin, champions a science-based "bear hunt" to control the black bear population in New Jersey.

But, is it truly a hunt when hunters are allowed to bait the bears with food instead of the traditional method of stalking the prey? Where is the skill, or sportman's honor, in shooting a baited animal? Even worse, bear cubs no bigger than your average sized dog have been shot dead. What is euphemistically referred to as a hunt is, in reality, a wholesale massacre of bear families. It is a hate-based destruction of our natural treasures. This massacre, over 400 bears killed in the first three days, panders to the blood lust of the hunting community. It is as banal as that and the hunters frolick upon the blood of innocent and harmless bears that they so readily portrayed as a nuisance and even a threat to their safety.

The truth is, if controlling the bear population meant reading a book at the library, these people wouldn't be out there at all, would not care an iota about bear population control. However, give them a chance to shoot for blood, they will embrace the idea.

Is this hunt really based on science? View the video and let the former Commissioner of the DEP tell you what he thinks.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bacon and Eggs. Yesterday's Slaughter is Tomorrow's Breakfast Treat.

Now that the cold weather has set in, I can no longer sit in Bryant Park in the mornings prior to beginning work. Gone are the days, at least for almost a year, when I can sip my coffee under a warm and bright sun and watch the early birds enjoy the beginning of a new Summer day.
Even at 9am, there were already tourists in the park, snapping away with their cameras, sitting in circles on the lawn, while the pigeons and birds enjoy an abundance of food. Other office workers stopped and took in the sun. It is a morning ritual repeated throughout the city in cafes, public parks, church yards and in those office building promenades that fail miserably in their intended purpose. There is a need for people to flush their pyschologic drains before they face the withering fire of the new workday.
But in these cold months, people trot across the park like it was a place of contagious diseases. Most benches are empty. The trees stand tall and cold like condemned criminals waiting to be shot. The birds no longer sing but hop around peripatically, looking for an overlooked seed or bread crumb. Only the park employees in their drab olive green uniforms remain. They have no choice.
I found my sanctuary, a deli, on East 42nd street, not too far from the library. It has a mezzanine that provides warmth, spartan furniture, and ample opportunity for people-watching from the balcony. This place isn't exactly The Ritz, but it will do. The floor begged for a scrubbing; the counter tops chipped. The trash bin needed emptying. The general atmosphere suggested that people mind their own business.
From my perch, I observed the stream of hungry people below. Crowds came in, harried, often shoulder-bumping each other without anyone taking offense. Many beelined for the breakfast meats; others queued for the steaming, industrial-sized coffee percolators. All were oblivious of the voyeur upstairs.
I must say that I am dismayed by the number of people who wanted their bacon and egg, their sausage and egg sandwiches. They saw food as food. Nothing more to it, but food. I could see it in their faces and their body language. Most people do not relate their meat to an animal. They look for nourishment, to fill their maw, and their intentions and understanding end there. It would be an ethereal concept for the meateaters to relate meat with ethics. Yet, that isn't truly difficult to understand. The equation can be made easily. It is just a matter of changing a bad habit, guided by one's conscience. Sadly, we, as a civilized society, have a long way to go.

Photo Credit: