Tuesday, October 24, 2006

VegFest information, part 1 of 3

Hello everyone,

As promised, for the next week, I am going to devote this blog to sharing some information that I picked up at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. Some of you may be intimately familiar with some of these groups or activities, but my goal is that a wider audience can see something that might inspire them to action. For example, like some of yo
u, most of my extended family are not vegetarians. It is nice to be able to have thought-provoking (and sometimes heartbreaking) facts to share with them.

*Some of the information here is Massachusetts-centric, but in all cases there are wider ramifications and relevance to all of us.

In this post, I will share with you information from:

Here is a provocative brochure handed out by the group Vegan Outreach. They are a group who use their resources to publicize immediate issues dealing with animal rights, and the everyday steps people can take to address them.

Some quotes from this brochure:

"If everyone just cut their meat consumption in half, billions of animals would be spared from suffering."

"If slaughterhouses had glass walls..." The facts are that many many animals are fully conscious the moment they are slaughtered, even though federal law mandates that they be unconscious. This is because, in its ever-increasing quest to save pennies, American agro-business often cuts corners in questionable ways such as not using enough electrical voltage to stun chickens, etc.

What you can do:
  • spread the word that today's animals don't live or die in idyllic "Old MacDonald" farm settings, but in facrories and in inhumane conditions.
  • Order a FREE Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating: Vegan Outreach, PO Box 38492, Pittsburgh, PA 15238-8492 - info@OpposeCruelty.org - (412) 968-0268

The Massachusetts Animal Rights Coaltion (MARC) brought 2 very troubling issues to my attention.

First, Japan's slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, whales, and porpoises each year. The brochure states: "Japanese fishermen disorient dolphins by banging on metal pipes to create a wall of sound. They then herd dolphins and other sea mammals ashore and hack them to death, slashing their throats and stabbing them with spears and knives repeatedly. Because dolphins won't abandon wounded family members, they are all killed."

Why? So the dolphins and other mammals don't "compete" with fishermen for fish. The water in Taiji bay literally runs read with blood, but tourists are not allowed anywhere nearby.

What you
can do: Help the mounting protests that put pressure on the Japanese government to halt this horrifying practice:

Please contact the Japanese consulate to express your opposition to this brutal and unnecessary slaughter:

Consulate General of Japan
Federal Reserve Plaza, 14th floor
600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210

Tel. 617-973-9772

[It should be really easy, via the Internet, to find your own local Japanese consulate]

Info: www.SaveTaijiDolphins.org

Over 2100 primates are imprisoned in Harvard University Medical School labs in Southborough, MA, marking a 50% INCREASE in the last 8 years. Southborough is expanding to provide monkeys to BU's controversial bioterror lab.

Form the brochure:
These lab animals undergo unnecessary and horrifying procedures such as
  • Implanting electrodes into the brains and eyes of monkeys
  • Destroying areas of the brains of live monkeys with neurotoxins
  • Forcing dogs' hearts to beat 240 times a minute for 4-7 weeks until they die of heart attacks
  • And many more inhumane experiments--this is NOT limited to Boston, nationwide, hundreds of thousands of animals are kept as lab animals, and there are NO LAWS THAT REGULATE WHAT ACTUALLY OCCURS IN EXPERIMENTS
What you can do: Contact your elected representatives to call for a ban on primate research and a shift in funding. To find your U.S. Senators and Representatives go to: www.youmeworks.com/representatives.html

or contact Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition (MARC) for more information: info@massanimalrights.org

From the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) brochures:
  • The greyhound industry treats dogs who "run short" (don't win) as undesirable "surplus"
  • Thousands of greyhounds who don't finish "in the money" are sold or donated to schools and laboratories for experimentation, dissection, and surgical training
  • Thousands of cats around the country are imprisoned in laboratory cages around the country
  • You, the taxpayer, pay for the deadly and torturous experiments that they undergo: "In the past three years, approximately $15 million taxpayer dollars went into federally funded cat experiments in the state of Masachusetts alone."
  • NEAVS is committed to "exposing, opposing, and ending vivisection" (the practice of performing medical experiments on live animals) through outreach, funding development of humane alternatives to vivisection, and supporting cruelty-free science education.
Contact them for more information on their campaigns to save greyhounds, cats, and other animals suffering in laboratories:

333 Washington Street, suite 850
Boston, MA 02108-5100
Tel: 617-523-6020

648 Central Park Avenue #474
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Tel: 914-479-5276

email: info@neavs.org
website: www.neavs.org


Finally, the best direct action you can take against vivisection is to buy from companies that do not test on animals

Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics

P.O. Box 188799
Sacramento, CA 95818
Tel. 888-546-CCIC
email: info@leapingbunny.org
website: www.leapingbunny.org

They have developed the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals for companies to adopt, promising to conduct their research and development in safe, ethical, and compassionate ways. Look for the leaping bunny logo on your products, and urge companies to adopt the standard if they have not done so.

For more information on ingredient safety in everyday products, take a look at my previous post, "What's on Your Skin?" (click here)

I hope that some of this information has been useful or inspiring for you- please spread the word!



aTxVegn said...

Thanks, Bazu. As disconcerting, disturbing, and heart-breaking as this information is, it's important to get a reminder of why we are vegan. 20 years ago, I was so naive I wouldn't have believed this type of cruelty really existed. Nowadays with so much information available, we have no excuse for not speaking out.

Vicki said...

outstanding post -- everybody needs to know. i'm still ga-ga over the fact that you ate a cupcake isa made!

springsandwells said...

Hi Bazu,
Thanks for sharing. I really love the work that Vegan Outreach does. I often distribute their brochures to my yoga students.
xo Amey

Candi said...

Hi Bazu!! I stopped by your blog before going to bed, and I saw SO much info! WOW. WOW!!!! What an amazing post! I seriously have to come back tomorrow and spend a long time on this going through the info and links. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together for us! I want to read all of it when I can sit and focus! Such great info packed in here. You're awesome!

Nikki said...

Thanks for posting all of this! I haven't had a chance to blog about BVF yet! I am really glad that the greyhound issue is being addressed by these groups. These dogs are certainly treated terribly en masse, from conception to their most often untimely demise. Kansas actually passed a law recognizing greyhounds as livestock and not dogs so animal cruelty laws (which are a joke to begin with) don't apply... After living with a grey for 3 years, I have discovered that they are some of the most intelligent, soulful animals I've ever encountered.

And just yesterday I read a news story about a man in Colorado who mysteriously made 125 greyhounds disappear and is now being investigated for animal cruelty.

It's truly an outrage how animals are treated by humans all over this planet, it really makes me ill. Clearly the word 'humane' does not fit in to the vocabulary of many humans.

Emmy said...

Thanks for such an informative post. I will definitely be checking out those links. It always breaks my heart to think of how much animal suffering there is in the world. It's hard to believe more people aren't vegetarian.

meesh said...

I only got as far as the dolphins in Japan, I'm afraid. If I keep reading I'll start crying at my desk here and these people think I'm actually doing work.
When I attended the Walk For Farm Animals they had information like this available and it's tough to take. I know that avoiding it and doing nothing is the worst thing I can do, but it's so overwhelming. (sigh)
One step at a time I guess. I think I'll start with the dolphins. Now, who do I need to write a scathing letter to about this...

Village Mama said...

A++ for your outstanding post Bazu! Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend!