Tennessee state representative accuses Humane Society of “Tape and Rape” »
Just when we thought public officials were done making flagrant misstatements about rape, they’ve gone and done it again. The latest: this ag-gag proponent in the Tennessee legislature compares animal activists to child sex traffickers and rapists. Here’s the heinous e-mail, printed in full courtesy of the Tennessean:
From: Andy Holt [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 11:26 PM
To: Kayci McLeod
Cc: Andy Holt
Subject: RE: Please Oppose HB 1191
I am extremely pleased that we were able to pass HB 1191 today to help protect livestock in Tennessee from suffering months of needless investigation that propagandist groups of radical animal activists, like your fraudulent and reprehensibly disgusting organization of maligned animal abuse profiteering corporatists, who are intent on using animals the same way human-traffickers use 17 year old women. You work for a pathetic excuse for an organization and a pathetic group of sensationalists who seek to profit from animal abuse. I am glad, as an aside, that we have limited your preferred fund-raising methods here in the state of Tennessee; a method that I refer to as “tape and rape.” Best wishes for the failure of your organization and it’s true intent.
State Representative—District 76
Weakley & Northern Carroll Counties
205 War Memorial Building
301 6th Ave. North
Nashville, TN 37243
In light of all the horrible acts large and small perpetrated by misguided individuals and corporations who profit from animal suffering (this guy’s a hog farmer as well as legislator—talk about a multi-taskhole!), more and more people are realizing how important it is that we can take animal abusers to task by exposing cruelty towards animals through investigations. Even the New York Times knows what’s up! Whether or not you’re not from Tennessee, please feel free to e-mail this man until the cows come home.
MeWOW: Hank the Cat comes in third in the Virginia Senate race! »
I don’t know if that headline worked at all and I already wrote about this over at Jezebel but it’s just too awesome not to talk about more! He’s a cat! And he got 6,000 votes! It’s just too good.
Hank the Cat ran on a pro-feline, job-creation, unlimited access to Fancy Feast (salmon supreme flavor) platform. This is not a joke, this is our reality. Well, maybe it’s both, but CATS 4 PREZ IN 2016.
Do you think he’s also available for marriage? Because I want to date a cat who’s going somewhere, these lazy-ass dogs in my life DON’T EVEN HAVE JOBS. Jesus.
Your Vegansaurus November 2012 ballot measure voting guide! »
We used Ballotpedia to research the propositions, just like last time, but for further information you can check your local secretary of state’s site, or your preferred nonprofit political group’s voting guide (i.e., Vote411 from the League of Women Voters). Because this is Vegansaurus, we’re limiting our guide to animal-related issues.
Alabama: Amendment 1 - YES—maybe!
Why: We don’t understand the complexities of the Forever Wild Land Trust, but it seems good, and the World Wildlife Fund is for it. Alabamans who know more about the FWLT should opine.
Arizona: Prop. 120 - NO!
Why: Arizona appears to be full of jerks who think they can do whatever they want to anyone and anything within their borders, just because they’re Arizonans. This could undermine all kinds of federal protections on public lands, including those on wildlife. Shades of Prop. 109, eh guys? Quit being stupid jerks already.
Idaho: HJR 2 - NO!
Why: This amendment “forever preserve[s]” the right to “hunt, fish, and trap” in Idaho, which makes it immediately gross to us, but it would also make it more difficult both to protect the populations of the animals being hunted, fished, and trapped, and to conserve other wildlife.
Kentucky: House Bill 1 - NO!
Why: Again, guys, “mandat[ing] that hunting and fishing should never be outlawed in the state without the vote of the people” isn’t going to make there be more animals to hunt and fish.
Maine: Question 3 - YES!
Why: It appears to make it easier to buy land for protection and preservation by the state? Save the land and its wildlife!
Nebraska: Amendment 2 - NO!
Why: For the billionth time, amending a state constitution to protect your residents’ right to hunt forever and ever is ridiculous pandering to hunters. Also, “stat[ing] that public hunting, fishing, and harvesting of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife” rubs us the wrong way. You gonna take up hunting cats to reduce feral populations, too? Gross.
Mountain Lion Hunting Permit Measure - NO!
Why: It sets up a fee-based lottery for mountain lion hunting permits, without limiting the number of permits or specifying recipients of the money raised by the lottery tickets. Also, we hate hunting.
North Dakota: Measure 3 - NO!
Why: It “calls for a constitutional amendment that would block any law ‘which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices.’” In other words, it is a big Fuck You to any future farm animal protection legislation, through the state or federal government. This is because North Dakota is afraid of the Humane Society.
Measure 5 - YES!
Why: No, it doesn’t extend its protections far enough regarding the animals or the abuse, but it is far better than the law now. Plus it is supported by adorable North Dakotan animals, which is a weak reason, but still valid.
Oregon: Measure 81 - YES!
Why: If you’re going to allow fishing, better make it harder to overfish. Honestly, Oregon, are you looking to fish wild salmon to extinction?
Wyoming: Constitutional Amendment B - NO!
Why: This is the fourth HUNTING FOR ALL FOREVER ballot measure in this election (just like 2010!), which we find pretty gross. What are you hunters so afraid of, that you think you have to amend your state constitution to protect your right to kill (mostly) wild animals? This type of legislation is a slap in the face of every citizen without equal rights. How dare you put the rights of animal-killers ahead of any other human being? You’re all fucking jerks.
Good luck, compatriots! Please, get out there and vote!
[Photo by Jocelyn Augustino for Obama for America via Flickr]
International political news: Tuxedo Stan for mayor of Halifax! For the kitties! »
Meet Tuxedo Stan! Although he can’t actually run for mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, because of some speciesist Halifax law preventing cats from running for mayor, Stan can raise awareness of the importance of spaying or neutering cats. Also, he and his campaign manager, Hugh Chisolm, are impeccably dressed gentlemen, which we support on principle. I mean, just look at them:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
You can throw your support to Tuxedo Stan on Facebook and Twitter, and find out all about him on his fine website. According to his bio, Stan and his three brothers were born three weeks after their pregnant mother was rescued from the streets of Nova Scotia. LOOK AT THIS FACE:
Binge on photos of the candidate here and here.
Halifax elections happen on Saturday, Oct. 20. While none of us can vote for Stan, we can vote for his pet cause: Spay Day HRM, which helps “students & low-income families to spay & neuter their cat.” I love political season.
[Photos from Tuxedo Stan’s many internet outlets. Link to story via the wonderful Julie Klausner]
Hey, animal-rights advocates in North Dakota! Here is some news you can use!
North Dakota Pets Rally to Fight Animal Cruelty
There are only two states in the U.S. that don’t recognize animal cruelty as a serious crime: North and South Dakota. A measure on the ballot this November seeks to change that in North Dakota.
Pets of all stripes have come out in support of Measure 5, which would make extreme animal cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony in the state.
If your pet supports this measure, you can upload his pic here.
Get it together, North Dakota. South Dakota is the superior Dakota by dint of Mount Rushmore alone; by protecting your pets, you can achieve the higher status your geographical location would seem to warrant!
If you don’t believe us, trust the endorsements Measure 5 has received by organizations you love, like HSUS, Best Friends Animal Society, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. And if you don’t care about them, care about these 100 percent adorable animals who are all about protecting their brethren and sistren. Yes on 5, North Dakotans!
Open discussion: Veganism is a creed, and a creed is a human right! Right? »
Oh, Canada. Camille Labchuck, a Toronto law student, says that “a person’s right to live a vegan lifestyle … is a right that all people should have,” and therefore should be protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code, which is meant to “prevent discrimination and harassment” because of many reasons, including “creed (religion).”
Camille says “creed” is inexactly defined by the legislation, and so including vegan and vegetarian beliefs as protected under the OHRC is possible. I think that’s cool. San Francisco prisoners are supposed to get vegan meals, when requested, but where else are your dietary practices legally protected?
Considering veganism a “religion” makes me feel culty and uncomfortable. But if the legal definition of “creed” matched the dictionary defintion—“a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s actions”—I would be all right with that. Because yes, being vegan affects basically everything I do, and I would like my fellow vegans’ right to follow their beliefs protected under law. Even if it is only in one Canadian province (and Britain!). Today Canada, tomorrow the U.N. Human Rights Council!
What do you think? Should the rights of vegans to observe a vegan lifestyle be considered analogous to religious and political groups’ rights to exist? Of course, right?
Unrelatedly, did you know that Canada has a Vegan Danish Bakery?! Ô je t’adore, Canada!
[photo by cacaye via Flickr]
Tell Your Senator: Hunting in National Parks is THE WORST IDEA! »
Don’t let this finger be a gun!! Photo by Furryscaly on flickr.com
Hunting: Not as terrible as factory farms on the spectrum of evil, but still not the favorite thing of we, the vegans. Hunting in National Parks where it’s been heretofore prohibited? SO NOT A GOOD IDEA.
But there’s a bill in the Senate right now that could open a bunch of national park lands (especially the weird ones, like “national historic parks”), to hunting. The National Parks Conservation Association is asking us citizens to contact our senators and tell them to fix it!
Here’s the thing: the NCPA is only worried about the national parks. They want the senators to just change a few words to make sure the parks are clearly excluded from this new hunting law. I’m on board with that, and it seems a battle they might actually win if they get enough people to call.
But they’re not opposing the Sportsman Heritage Act as a whole. Which is something you might want to consider. It makes it OK to import dead polar bears from Canada, and helps support hunting on other federal land. Either way, give a call/write your leaders so they know not to let people kill squirrels at the Frederick Douglass Memorial, so f-ed up!
Hank the cat and Mac the dog are here to help! »
Virginia, you want a representative who won’t fuck with your rights and will fight for animal justice? Vote Hank the Cat for Senate. As a kitten, Hank was rescued from a kill shelter by Animal Allies of Fairfax Station, Va., and has grown into a happy, healthy cat who looks quite dashing in a tie. Remember this face come November, Virginians—finally you’re getting a senator who can wear whiskers!
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Another animal coming to the aid of humans is Mac, the San Francisco Police Department’s drug-sniffing dog! He got an award last week for his work in the seizure of “over $3.75 million worth of drug money and over 500 pounds of cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, MDMA and heroin.” Way to enforce the law, pup! Mac is a three-year-old English springer spaniel who has been with the SFPD since July 2010. Also of note: He is totally adorable.
Imagine a government where animals replaced the jerks. What if the Republican candidates for president were rescued animals! What would they be? I consulted with Laura and Megan, and we say Rick Santorum would be a snake (or a weasel!), Newt Gingrich would be one of those turkeys that attacks people in their cars (or bedbugs!), and Mitt Romney would be an ostrich, or maybe just an ass.
A bill proposes a shark fin ban in New York State! Also: Shark fins may have neurotoxins! Whaa? »
Sharksavers.org has lots of great info in the fight against shark finning.
On Tuesday, legislators in New York State announced a bill that, following the example of Western states, would ban the sale, trading, possession and distribution of shark fins, possibly as of 2013. California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington are enacting similar bans that were passed last year, while Florida, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia have legislation pending.
The bill in New York is sponsored in the Assembly by Alan Maisel, Linda B. Rosenthal and Grace Meng, who represents the heavily Asian district of Flushing, Queens, and is the only Asian-American in the Assembly. Identical bills are expected to be introduced in both houses of the Legislature.
Yay! Let’s keep this party going! Everybody ban shark fins! Except on sharks—those are cool.
There might be even more reason to ban shark fins, a new study says:
Researchers from University of Miami sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks collected in South Florida coastal waters and analyzed its contents. Upon examination, they detected cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA (Î²-N-methylamino-L-alanine) in the fins of all species with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight.
Mind you, the neurotoxin BMAA has been linked to the development of neurodegenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
The report suggests that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. Until more is known about the possible link of BMAA to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, it may be prudent to limit exposure of BMAA in the human diet, according to the researchers.
Shark-finning is all around grody! Go New York! Read more about the bill introduction and actions you can take on the Humane Society’s website. WildAid invites you to sign their “Say No” pledge to end shark finning. You could also spread around their super infographic—everyone loves and infographic!:
Wow, the world is a disturbing place. As the video says, there’s a new bill in Idaho that would allow all kinds of fun ways to kill wolves, including luring them with live bait… as in, tied up dogs. Just wow, Idaho. The bill also has some weird vengeance loophole for killing wolves that kill your cattle. If a wolf kills one of your sheep or whatever, you have a certain amount of time to hunt it down and kill it without needing to get a permit. Dude, there is no way anyone is going to reliably identify an individual wolf that killed their animals! That’s ridiculous. You do however have to get a permit to kill wolves that are “molesting” your cattle. This part is great:
“molesting” shall mean the actions of a wolf that are annoying, disturbing or persecuting, especially with hostile intent or injurious effect, or chasing, driving, flushing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, or stalking or lying in wait for, livestock or domestic animals.
So basically you can kill a wolf that has intent to kill? OK. And really, “molesting?” Nice word choice. Very loaded and villainous.
You may be familiar with Idaho’s lust for wolf blood, as I’ve written about it many times. It’s only recently that wolves were delisted as an endangered species in Idaho. That’s what they get for narrowly evading extinction!
But seriously, can you imagine a dog tied up with a wolf charging it? And it can’t get away? WTF. Sick.
Defenders of Wildlife is the best site I know of to see how you can help, so check that out.
PS: Please excuse the commercial at the beginning of the video. Couldn’t do anything about it.