Friday, January 27, 2012

Demo Against Mark T. Hall, Insurance Lawyer at Morgan, Melhuish & Abrutyn. Livingston, New Jersey. Animal Cruelty. Vendetta Killing.

An all points bulletin from Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) and the Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ)...

There will be a demonstration on Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 11am, at the law offices of Morgan, Melhuish & Abrutyn. The exact address is 651 West Mount Pleasant Avenue, Suite 200, Livingston, New Jersey 07039. Bring yourself, your friends, and your signs.
Please spread the word on the demo and continue to discuss and disseminate information about this egregious case of animal abuse on your blogs and social networking sites. This is only the first of the many planned demos. If you have any questions, you can contact Stuart Chaifetz at

The protest will be against Mark T. Hall , an insurance lawyer for the law firm of Morgan Melhuish Abrutyn. The firm has offices in both Livingston and Manhattan. Hall practices out of the Livingston office. See the map above. Why the protest? Well, there is THIS and THAT

In a nutshell, Mark T. Hall, a hunter, promised his buddies a revenge killing. He promised that he would kill one black bear ( ended up killing two) to spite a fellow attorney named Doris Lin. Ms. Lin acts as the legal adviser for the APLNJ and SHARK. In behalf of the APLNJ, Ms. Lin filed a law suit last December to stop the 2011 black bear trophy hunt in New Jersey. The court ruled against the APLNJ, and the massacre began on Dec. 5th. If you view the links above, you will see that Mark T. Hall, true to his word, carried out his vendetta by killing a mother bear and her cub. Like an immature child, Mark T. Hall followed this up with anonymous online taunts at Ms. Lin and disparaging remarks about female members of the Bear Group at SHARK's website. His true identity was later determined.


I spoke to a friend of mine, himself a hunter like Hall, and he vehemently disapproved of Hall's conduct and mentality. My friend described Hall's actions as " highly unbecoming of a responsible hunter." "Thug-like," he said. "One does not kill an animal to spite, or ridicule, someone who just happens to disagree with you." Although I am not a hunter and opposed to all animal-killing, I knew what he meant about honor among hunters. My friend and I embrace polarized views about hunting, but we still talk. We always disagree, but we find that we still have to respect each other.

Obviously, I know what animal rights advocates think of these killings, but what do other hunting aficionados think? I wanted to hear from more hunters. So, I dropped in at the local outdoor/camping store up the road and asked for their opinions. The guys behind the counter, holding court over glass showcases stocked with guns and ammo, condemned the killings. They stressed that " hunting is not about hate and vengeance." "Those bears were killed not for food nor sport, " a purchaser said. "People like him give us a bad name and it sticks, " another complained. No two ways about it, with heads wagging, their disapproval was unanimous.

So, it seems that Mark T. Hall has become an embarrassment even to his fellow hunters.
Mark T. Hall managed to offend both animal rights advocates and responsible hunters with one shot, actually two.


A full partner at Morgan Melhuish & Abrutyn should be very worried. Years of investment, both personal and financial, years of building a good reputation, can all come down like a house of cards when one of the firm's lawyers engages in a brutal and spiteful act of animal abuse. This onsite demonstration is just the beginning. More bad publicity is surely to follow.

Do these revenge killings not bother his colleagues? I would like to believe that most of the lawyers at Morgan Melhuish & Abrutyn will reject this behavior. Only 1% of NJ's population hunts, and this law firm could very easily be a microcosm of the state. If I were a co-worker, I'd tell Hall to own up to his actions and leave me out of it. I don't know if the higher ups at the firm are aware of this matter. Maybe the protest outside their offices will lead them to ask questions. Letters to the firm have been sent, as well as to their known clients.

This is going to be messy.

A Bull and Two Goats. Tolerance. Bullfighting Tricks. S1085. Bad.

If I don't watch it, this blog site will begin to drip with sadness and despair. What else is there in the world of animal welfare and animal rights except for the occasional flicker of hope and happiness. This world is dripping with cruelty and it's all from one source, one species. I'll let you guess who that is. My stress level has increased over the years, counteracting my life-extending hypertension medication, largely from one habit. I read about animal welfare and environmental issues everyday. You see, I have this need to know. The animals are my friends and co-riders on this planet. And the Earth is my home. It's your home too. They are constantly under attack. Maybe, I can help in some way. Maybe not.

The latest activist act I committed was to call my state senator's office about S1085, a bill to allow commercial logging in New Jersey's public woodlands. Senator Bob Gordon's office didn't answer and so I sent him an email. It's one thing a citizen can do, and so I did it. The woods are where the animals live. The woods are a place of beauty across many levels, from a patch of algae on the ground to towering oak trees that rightfully look down on us. I want the woods preserved.

I hike in the woods to be one with Nature. Being in the woods reminds me to be humble. Humans can pretend and insist on it, but we lack grandeur and true dignity. This humbling aspect of the woods is easily lost on many people. These callous people just see trees. They think they are the center of the Universe, and that they are Nature itself. That is wrong. Senate bill S1085 seeks to destroy the forest. And when the trees are gone, they will quibble about replanting. Before you know it, a human imprint, like a shopping mall or a subdivision, will be suggested in its place. To denude the forest is like setting someone's home on fire. Yes, there is homelessness even in the forest. Totally unacceptable.

So, on this post, I will turn to some cuteness overload. In the video above, the bull sits in thoughtful luxury while two goats take advantage. Yes, this is the same bull that will ultimately end up in the ring with a matador. The bulls are not born angry, as you can see.

But, a word about bullfighting...Sorry, I can't help it.

We're used to seeing the bull as a taunted, bloodied, and charging animal. If you still are unaware of the traditions of bullfighting, you should know that by the time a bull gets in the ring, it has been tormented for several days in the stall. The handlers beat the bull's kidneys repeatedly. For weeks, heavy weights are tied around their necks to weaken them. The abuse turns the bull into a frustrated and angry animal. To give the bullfighter more of an advantage, the bull's eyes are swiped with petroleum. The bulls are drugged with tranquilizers or laxatives to bring on paralysis or a state of confusion. Bullfighting, for all the machismo displayed, is in reality a very cowardly show. You can say that there is no fighting in bullfighting, just a killing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Logging in New Jersey. S1085. A Message from KLIP.

Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife,
The logging bill, now known as S1085, sponsored by Senator Bob Smith (D - District 17), which establishes a forest-harvest program on State-owned land has been posted for a vote in the NJ Senate on Monday, Jan. 30. Even if you have already called, we ask you to continue contact your State Senator informing them of your strong opposition to this legislation.
This 'Forest harvest program established for State-owned land' will be disastrous for wildlife habitat and the environment. It would mean early succession and destruction of forests on a massive scale. Profits after program implementation will go directly into state Wildlife Management Areas to support hunting. One more convoluted program allowing the DEP to manipulate even more habitat and wildlife. Commercial logging in the tiny state of New Jersey? We don't think so. We can all think of less invasive 'green' jobs for New Jersey. Please cross post. Let's get the word out about this horrific legislation and stop it!
Thank you for taking action to Keep Life In the Park!
Here is a pdf of S1085
Here is a link to find your NJ Senator. Please call and email if possible!
New Jersey Conservation Foundation article on logging bill.
No economic or ecological sense in logging state lands

RELEASE: Dec. 16, 2011 – Volume XLIV, No. 49

If you could travel back in time to the end of the Civil War, you’d be amazed to see that New Jersey had virtually no forests. Beginning in colonial times, vast primeval forests filled with centuries-old trees were cleared for timber and agriculture.

Most forests were logged repeatedly, but with few deer and no invasive plant species, they recovered. By the end of World War I, the Industrial Revolution had changed our relationship with the land. As the population shifted from rural, agricultural areas to the cities, denuded landscapes rapidly grew up into young forests.

A century later, New Jersey’s forests have finally matured enough to attract the attention of the lumber industry … and legislators looking to stimulate the economy.

Right now, a bill making its way through the Legislature would encourage commercial logging on state-owned lands. The problem is, the bill, “Forest Harvest on State Lands” (S1085), makes neither economic nor ecological sense!

Responsible logging, or forestry, with adequate safeguards can be beneficial in certain cases. In fact, many conservation groups, including New Jersey Conservation Foundation, conduct forestry projects on our conservation lands to restore critical natural resources.

But under the provisions of this bill, logging our public lands will worsen existing forest problems without addressing their core causes. And the costs of dealing with the cascade of negative ecological outcomes will far exceed the value of forest products sold from the public trust.

First, the causes. Our forests face many threats and challenges, including over-abundant deer, invasive plant species and lack of regeneration. These threats have been slowly developing for many years and have finally reached the point that new trees are not able to establish themselves and hundreds of rare native plants are in serious decline.

The logging program proposed in this bill will make almost every one of these forest problems worse by:

  • Introducing invasive species to new areas, and exacerbating existing invasive species problems by allowing too much sunlight to reach the ground in places where deer have eaten the native shrubs. Under this scenario, invasive weeds will explode into prominence, as the bill does not require deer fencing.
  • Making it even more difficult to preserve our dwindling natural heritage. With over 1,000 species of rare plants and animals on our state lands, very few will benefit from commercial logging; and many will become even more imperiled;
  • Expanding the deer herd. More sunlight in the forest will result in an even larger food supply for deer and, thus, more deer!
  • Removing huge amounts of carbon stored by massive canopy trees. New studies show that our maturing trees are “sequestering” carbon at very high rates. As concerns about climate change deepen, why would we want to reduce the number of mature trees that pull carbon from the atmosphere?

Second, the cost. By the state Department of Environmental Protection’s estimate, it will cost $2.7 million to implement the logging program. Most commercial harvests bring in only about $60-70 per tree, so tens of thousands of trees would have to be cut just to run the program, and hundreds of thousands more to turn a profit! The long-term costs of removing our trees and then addressing the resulting problems of forest recovery will far exceed any short-term monetary benefit.

What can be done? Responsible forest stewardship on public land should have the following safeguards: a baseline inventory of all rare plants and animals, post-logging monitoring, deer-proof fencing to protect plantings and natural regeneration, control of alien invasive plant species, and dramatic reduction of deer populations. None of these safeguards are required by this bill.

Finally, New Jersey forest scientists and ecologists have been researching and studying forest dynamics for more than 50 years, and results of their work are largely ignored in this bill.

Please call your state legislators and Governor Christie and tell them to oppose the Forest Harvest on State Lands Bill, S1085. The bill is simply the wrong approach for addressing our serious forest ecosystem issues. To find your legislators, go to To reach Governor Christie’s office, call 609-292-6000.

Keep Life In the Park (K.L.I.P.)
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Be a voice for ALL animals with the League of Humane Voters of NJ.
Visit the NEW www.LOHVNJ.ORG and join today!

Knowledge Is Power - Protect NJ Wildlife with Project 99

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sierra Club. Manatees. Tea Party and Egocentrism.

I recently rejoined the Sierra Club and soon there were two past issues of their official organ called, Sierra, in my mailbox. It's pretty good stuff, covering a wide range of issues from closure of coal-burning plants, pathogens in Christmas trees, off shore drilling, to animal welfare issues. The articles are informative but not too long, most run from 200 to 300 words. One can say that they are suggestive, but not exhaustive. Once your appetite has been stirred, if you really care, you can dig deeper on your own time. It's just a good fit. I would more likely enjoy a discussion with an intelligent friend over lunch than a 3-hour lecture by a wooden character in an auditorium

Speaking of animal welfare, in the November issue, it was reported that when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife proposed protecting the wintering manatees in the warm King's Bay in Florida by making the bay a manatee refuge, requiring boaters to reduce their speeds, the local Tea Party leader, Edna Mattos, said, "We cannot elevate Nature above people. That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights."

Wow. Are these people really that out of touch? First of all, I am very skeptical about people who champion less taxes and less social programs, believing they are money pits, and yet the good majority of them have taken out a government student loan or two during their lifetime. Just like in the case of animal welfare advocates who, on their off time, take their families and themselves to the zoo for some wholesome entertainment, there's a bit of hypocrisy going on there.

And since when did Nature fall beneath humankind? Have we not been reminded repeatedly, by a recent succession of natural disasters, that we are nothing compared to the power of Nature? Nature is always above humankind. Nature works without malice. Can we say the same about humankind? To posit that Nature should never be elevated above humankind is to insist that humans, little imperfect blobs of protoplasm that we are, are the center of the Universe. How ignorant.