Archive: November 2008

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-30

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Action Alerts

DawnWatch: LA Times — turkeys as friends not feast — 11/27/08
Yesterday’s Thanksgiving edition of the Los Angeles Times included a huge article, on the front of the California section, headed, “Hold the turkey please. A vegan Thanksgiving — where the birds are friends, not feast.” The article, by Carla Hall, included interviews with many vegan animal advocates.

Farm Sanctuary: Bring Change to the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Of all the animals in the United States facing cruelty and exploitation, those raised and slaughtered for food make up the vast majority. One of the most significant impacts President Elect Barack Obama can make for farm animals as he transitions to be the leader of our country, lies in who he chooses as the next Secretary of Agriculture. Please urge President Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of Agriculture who will bring needed change to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and our broken food system. Tell the Obama Administration your vision of a government where farm animal welfare matters.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Show the world that you are watching
This year, the United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Poznan, Poland 1-12 December 2008. Let climate decision makers know that the world is watching what happens in Poznan and that it can’t be “just another meeting”.

(More below the fold…)

Vantage Point passes the Bechdel test, but barely.

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Vantage Point (2008)

Last night the Mr. and I watched Vantage Point while we chowed down on our Thanksliving Day feast. (Yes, I realize that Tofurky Day was actually two days ago, but therein lies the beauty of not being married to a holiday – if you choose to “celebrate” it, you can party any mofo day you want. More on that later, though. I have FSMas decorating to do this weekend!)

Without throwing in any spoilers, Vantage Point chronicles the assassination of the US President and the subsequent series of terrorist attacks during an anti-terrorist summit in Spain. The same sequence of events is viewed through the eyes of various characters, including the media, the Secret Service, an American tourist, the local police chief, the President, and the terrorist group. Each “vantage point” offers a different piece of the puzzle, so you’re kept guessing until the final point of view is presented. Clocking in at 90 minutes, it’s a tight, action-packed film; just when the rewind-replay gimmick starts to feel repetitive, the vantage point switches to that of the terrorists, and the whole story is recounted from beginning to end. As long as I leave my feminist hat in the closet, Vantage Point earns an A.

From a feminist perspective, Vantage Point passes the Bechdel test, but barely.

While it’s largely an ensemble cast, most of the primary characters are male:

* All the Secret Service agents are men; Dennis Quaid (as Thomas Barnes) and Matthew Fox (Kent Taylor) are the main “eyes” of the Secret Service, and as the source of the Secret Service’s “vantage point” and the hero of the movie, Quaid can be considered the film’s lead. Another pair of agents share a lesser role, chasing down the local police chief after the assassination and explosions, and there are several additional agents with bit parts.

* Forest Whitaker (Howard Lewis) is the American tourist who captures most of the action on his video camera. He figures prominently in several of the character’s POVs, and is one of the “secondary” heroes of the story.

* Enrique (Eduardo Noriega), the local police chief, is a man. While a bit of a patsy, he also acts heroically, both before and after the attacks.

* Four of five of the terrorists are men. Of these, three of the terrorists have what I consider prominent roles: Édgar Ramírez (Javier), Saïd Taghmaoui (Suarez), and Ayelet Zurer (Veronica). Of all the females in the movie, Veronica is most integral to the plot (and she also commands the most screen time of all the women); however, she’s not given a backstory or her own “vantage point,” since the terrorists share a POV as a group. The only terrorist whose motivation is examined is Javier’s.

* President Ashton (William Hurt) and Mayor De Soto (José Carlos Rodríguez) are both men. (Though, to be fair, the Mayor is only seen introducing the President.) The President is a likable guy, while his staff (again, two men) is most certainly not.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Due 11/28: Save Gray Wolves From Kill Plan

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Nov 26, 2008 2:35 PM
Subject: Due 11/28: Save Gray Wolves From Kill Plan

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST AS WRITTEN

11/25/08: Due 11/28 – Save Gray Wolves From Bush Admin’s Kill Plan

FOR A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC), EMAIL: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

***COMMENTS DUE BY NOVEMBER 28, 2008***

Kinship Circle - 2008-10-15 - Aug-Oct Updates - 13

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-27

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Action Alerts

Amnesty International: Ask the new Obama administration to follow through on its commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast
President-Elect Obama ran on a pledge “to partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever”. It’s up to us to support him in fulfilling that promise. Amnesty International, the Equity and Inclusion Campaign, Oxfam and other national and Gulf Coast organizations are joining together to send as strong a message as possible to the new Obama administration to ask them to prioritize Gulf Coast recovery.

DawnWatch: Upcoming events: Mercy for Animals, Farm Sanctuary, and Monkey events! December 2008
Before I sign off for Thanksgiving — a veggie feast with two live turkey guests this year — I wanted to let folks know about a bunch of events coming up in New York, Chicago, Columbus and Los Angeles — three are “Monkey events,” and three are galas put on by groups I love: Farm Sanctuary and Mercy for Animals.

League of Conservation Voters (LCV): Stop Bush’s last minute attacks on the environment
Even though President Bush has only a few months left in office, he is doing everything he can to help out his friends in Big Oil, Dirty Coal and other polluting industries on his way out of office. And, he is doing everything he can to make sure it will be difficult for the next Administration to undo the damage.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF): Help Strengthen Safeguards for Wildlife Against Global Warming
Leaders of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce recently released a “discussion draft” for global warming legislation. The proposed legislation would move the US toward a clean energy economy while reducing global warming pollution, but still needs to be strengthened to ensure the safeguards necessary for America’s wildlife and natural resources against global warming.

Pacific Environment: A Climate for Change
With the new administration, we have the opportunity to lead the world in combating climate change and making real investments and innovation in clean technology at home. Join us in asking Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to bring San Francisco values to Washington D.C. and help guide the new administration into making a strong investment in our energy future.

(More below the fold…)

"Multiple Stab Wounds May Be Harmful To Monkeys"

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

The title pretty much says it all.

What *will* the mad scientists at NIH spend your tax dollars on next?

(Via Alex @ That Vegan Girl.)

(Crossposted to.)

——————

Tagged:

Choices.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

This Thursday, you have choices – the most obvious of which, is the choice between consuming this

2007-11-22 - Tofurky Day Dinner - 0039

and this.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-25

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Action Alerts

Amnesty International: Give President-Elect Obama the support he needs to close Guantanamo and end torture.
President-Elect Obama has forcefully come out against these disastrous policies. Less than 10 days ago on 60 minutes, he stated his strong intention to finally close the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay. How he closes it however is crucial. That’s why he needs to hear from you, and everyone who cares about human rights. Sign the petition. Give President-Elect Obama the overwhelming support he needs to close Guantanamo and close it right.

An Animal-Friendly Life: Vegans needed for documentary interviews
Casting for I’m Vegan has now begun! I’m Vegan is a series of short documentary profiles that will feature vegans from all walks of life, perhaps including you! The project is is intended to address preconceptions about vegans and veganism, which may increase normalization of and appreciation for veganism. It is also expected that I’m Vegan will be a catalyst for some viewers to go vegan. Completed profiles will be distributed for free over the web so that anyone can share the videos with family, friends, and visitors to their own sites. A full-length documentary is also in the works.

Animal Person: On Vegans in Minnesota and Pigs in Florida
Pig Tales Sanctuary in North Florida (about four hours from me), which I didn’t know existed until yesterday, is in dire need of help. […] The situation is that Lory doesn’t have enough help or money, some of the pigs are indeed suffering, and the local “Humane” Society is about to round up all the pigs and haul them all off to slaughter (you know, the “euthanasia” kind). Michele writes: “The solution to this problem is really not that difficult or insurmountable if enough people – even just 5 or 10 to start with – pitch in and help out. Since the sanctuary already exists, the hardest part, finding a place for the pigs to live out their lives, is already done.”

Consumers Union: A Deadline is a Deadline!
You helped pass a tough new law this year that will make it illegal to sell lead and chemically tainted children’s products. But guess what? Some companies now say they can’t meet the deadline — and they want to keep selling these hazardous kids’ products after they’re supposed to stop!

Oceana: Obama’s Ocean To-Do List
It was a thrill to watch Barack Obama’s historic campaign and election, but now it’s time to get down to business. Along with a heap of other challenges, President-elect Obama faces oceans in crisis from overfishing, climate change, mercury contamination, and more. In the past, President-elect Obama has been a friend of the oceans. As an Illinois Senator, he was the sponsor of a bill that would have required chlorine factories to switch to mercury-free technology, which was designed to reduce harmful mercury contamination of our waterways and seafood. We hope that as President, he will make this bill the law of the land to improve the health of our families and our marine communities.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-24

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Action Alerts

Center for Biological Diversity: Tell EPA to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act
In response to the landmark Supreme Court ruling Massachusetts v. EPA, a high-profile case brought by the Center and our allies, the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public input on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act — a critically important step in solving the climate crisis. The Clean Air Act is one of our country’s most successful environmental laws, with four decades of achievement in reducing harmful air pollution. The Act also provides a highly effective regulatory structure that can be used right away to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and that makes it crucial to the fight to curb global warming. Please, tell Administrator Johnson and the EPA that you support Clean Air Act regulations for greenhouse gas emissions by editing and sending the letter below. Ask your friends to do the same.

Dawnwatch: Thanksgiving turkey horror video in NY Times, plus Palin video and Newsweek article 11/19-11/22/08
With Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday, it’s no surprise that turkeys are have been in the news over the last week. The most widely circulated story is probably the one in which Sarah Palin, after pardoning a turkey, conducted a fun chatty interview as the other birds were being slaughtered behind her. Of greater import is the New York Times report on shocking undercover video taken recently at a commercial turkey farm.

Friends of Animals (FoA): Contact Green Mountain College in Poultney , Vermont and ask for sanctuary for six “food” pigs
As part of the Farm and Food Project, Green Mountain College in Poultney , Vermont , is planning to kill six pigs—whose flesh will be served to students in the college dining facility. The website for the Farm and Food Project boasts that it is “practicing the solutions” to “soil erosion, global hunger and malnutrition, agricultural pollutants in our drinking water, or climate change.” Raising, killing and commodifying animals is not part of the solution, it’s the problem itself. Friends of Animals is offering to find sanctuary for these six pigs. Please contact Green Mountain College’s farm manager, Kenneth Mulder, and politely request that the pigs lives be spared, and at the same time, suggest that the food project move in a truly progressive and radical direction—towards a plant-based agriculture.

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Fur Free Friday Call-in (and write-in and e-mail-in!) to Amazon.com – Tell Amazon.com To Stop Selling Fur!
Fur Free Friday is almost here and activists everywhere are hunkering down to finalize their plans for the most prolific Fur Free Friday yet! In fact, this year, events are taking place in over 75 cities on every continent besides Antarctica! Hopefully there is an event close enough for you to participate. If not, you can still help fur-bearing animals by asking Amazon.com to stop selling fur today! After receiving nearly 12,000 emails, Amazon.com’s competitor, Zappos.com, recently stopped selling all items with fur and pledged to stay fur-free. Now we need you to help us convince Amazon to follow Zappos’ lead and become fur-free, as so many other retailers – including Nike, Gap, J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Forever 21 – have.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF): Sign the Petition — Set the Course for Our Children’s Future.
With a new president on the horizon, we have a renewed opportunity to take our country’s energy economy in a bold new direction that will confront the climate challenge with the clean energy technologies and jobs that will also protect and restore the natural world we leave to our children.

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: Iraq Through A Bullet Hole: A Civilian Returns Home, Issam Jameel (2008)

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Jameel promises a boom, but delivers a snooze.

one out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program.)

Iraqi playwright Issam Jameel spent twelve years in exile from Iraq, due to his anti-Saddam activities with an opposition radio station. Eventually he settled in Australia, only to return to Iraq in the summer of 2005, in order to attend a nephew’s funeral. IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE is a sort of “diary,” written by Jameel after he safely returned home.

I signed up for a review copy of IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program, and was thrilled to be one of the “winners.” As a self-described liberal/progressive who is opposed to the war, I was interested in reading an Iraqi’s take on the American invasion and occupation. In particular, I was hoping to get an idea of what everyday life is like for Iraqis, especially in relation to living conditions under Saddam’s rule.

While we do get a brief sketch of the daily routines of many Iraqis – the threat of bombings by insurgents, seemingly random and unprovoked military attacks, chronic unemployment, a lack of steady electricity – I felt that Jameel’s “diary” only scratched the surface. For example, the author spends a disproportionate amount of time discussing the ordeal he undertook in order to sell a house he’d been awarded by Saddam’s government; as a result, large chunks of the book read like “Iraqi Real Estate for Dummies.” He also drones on, ad nauseam, about seemingly endless theological arguments he engaged in with his family during the visit. After his exile, Jameel and his wife converted to Christianity, while his family of origin increasingly embraced a fundamentalist strain of Islam in the face of American occupation. Put a devout Christian and devout Muslim in cramped quarters, and hijinx is bound to ensue, no? By the end of the book, this atheist infidel want to shake the self-righteous piousness out of every last Jameel brother.

I committed to reading a chapter of IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE a night, so I could post a review in a timely manner. However, I had trouble getting through a whole chapter without falling asleep. I’ve read academic and theoretical texts that are more exciting! Though I do understand and appreciate that English is not Jameel’s native language, some sections of the book are extremely difficult to read: poor grammar, odd word choices, even missing words. Here, I blame Jameel’s editor; but even the most adept of editors couldn’t possibly make this diary-in-retrospect an exciting read. (Jameel calls it a “diary,” but it 1) was written after the fact and 2) doesn’t read like a diary, i.e., with short, blow-by-blow entries.) It’s not just a lack of emotion (which, as some reviewers have mentioned, may be a cultural difference) which bothers me; I don’t necessarily want Jameel to blame Bush, the United States, or God or Allah for the current state of Iraq. Cultural differences aside, this is a dry volume, written about an engaging topic.

In another author’s and/or editor’s hands, IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE might have been an interesting, insightful read. Unfortunately, *this* read is anything but.

(This review was originally published on Amazon and Library Thing, and is also available on Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so!)

Stop Mountaintop Removal: Time to Thank our Supporters

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Stop Mountaintop Removal – info [at] stopmountaintopremoval.org
Date: Nov 21, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: Time to Thank our Supporters

Already more than 2,000 miles of streams in Appalachia have been buried by mountaintop removal mining, yet as one of its last assaults on environmental protections, the Bush Administration is poised to finalize a rule that would allow thousands more streams and valleys to be buried by waste.

Instead of standing by and allowing the stream buffer zone to be taken away, Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear, along with Representatives Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth, and Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen stepped in and have sent letters to the EPA objecting to this rule change.

Please call and thank Governor Beshear and Governor Bredesen for voicing their concerns about this rule, which would allow coal companies to dump their massive piles of waste directly into streams.

For years, federal agencies have looked the other way as the coal industry has been allowed to blast away the tops of mountains to reach thin seams of coal. Already, mountaintop removal mining has flattened more than 500,000 acres and permanently buried 2,000 miles of streams, destroying sources that feed drinking water. These actions were taken in defiance of the existing Stream Buffer Zone Rule. Now, the Federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) wants to legalize this destruction. But the U.S.EPA must give its approval for the change in rules to become law.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-22

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Action Alerts

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): Tell Petland to Stop Selling Puppies — Watch This Video, Then Take Action
America’s largest chain of puppy-selling pet stores, Petland Inc., is also the nation’s largest retail supporter of puppy mills. An eight-month investigation by The HSUS reveals that many Petland stores across the country are marketing puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers. Watch our video; then tell Petland to get out of the puppy-selling business.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF): Urge the EPA to Take Action on Global Warming!
For years, the EPA has refused to crack down on global warming pollution. Due to a Supreme Court ruling the EPA is now asking for public comment on a simple question: Do greenhouse gases that cause global warming endanger public health and welfare? NWF believes there is no greater threat to wildlife and people than global warming. Let the EPA know you agree! Don’t let corporate polluters have the only voice.

Pathfinder International: Sign Petition to Support International Reproductive Health
In January, the United States will have a new Administration and Congress, which means you have a new opportunity to make your voice heard. Join the more than 700 who have already signed! Show your support for international family planning and reproductive health by telling President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress that you want these programs to be a critical component of US foreign assistance. Sign the petition below and share with friends! Help us reach 2,000 names by January!

The Wilderness Society: Applaud Congress for Holding the Line on Arctic Refuge Drilling
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge survived many attacks during the 110th Congress. No fewer than 24 drilling proposals were put forward, and each time, supporters like you urged Congress to continue to protect the Refuge. Thanks to you, Congress refused to capitulate to the demands of Big Oil. Now it’s very important for the Refuge that Congress knows how important their actions were to Americans and how thankful we are that they kept this national treasure safe from drilling.

(More below the fold…)

elsewhere, other things

Friday, November 21st, 2008

lol-psycat - sad

In case y’all couldn’t tell, November has all but knocked me on my ass. I can barely manage to eke out a link roundup for easyVegan.info before flopping back into bed with a book, a doggeh, or a blankie for a good read/snuggle/nap (or some combination thereof). Perhaps it’s time to kick the sunlamp up a notch, eh?

Anyway, here’s some random stuff – elsewhere, other things, for your browsing pleasure, until I return. Whenever that may be.

– Yesterday was the 10th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance. I haven’t really been reading a whole lot of non-veg blogs lately, so didn’t catch many of the entries, but I did like Melissa and Jack’s contributions. For more, Cara has a nice link roundup here.

amandaw at three rivers fog lets the fully-abled individual(s) among us know what we can do to improve accessibility for those living with disability. I’ve never been one to unnecessarily take the elevator, though I will henceforth think twice and be more conscious of my surroundings before walking/running on the escalator.

Dennis Kucinich continues to rock.

Me want.

– If you: 1) enjoy the Alien franchise; 2) are a heroine junkie like moi; and/or 3) *heart* pop culture criticism, check out Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley by Ximena Gallardo C. and C. Jason Smith (2006):

“Alien Woman” examines the construction of sex and gender in the four science-fiction films comprising the Alien saga (starring Sigourney Weaver). The Alien saga stands alone in presenting an enduring, self-reliant female protagonist, Ripley, who in the first film ends up as the sole survivor of the beleaguered starship Nostromo. Subsequent writers and directors in the 1980’s and 1990’s, left to grapple with this strong female protagonist, re-envision Ripley for different social, political, and cultural imperatives for women. “Alien Woman” focuses on how these writers and directors have re-written Ripley and how each revision informs our understanding of women in science fiction, and by examining the films’ creation and commodification of the female hero, the book illustrates how changing attitudes toward women and the female body help us understand broader societal beliefs and relationships, and provides a useful lens with which to understand woman’s place in the late 20th century and early 21st century.

Good stuff.

– Finally, no doubt you’ve already seen this video of Sarah Palin pardoning a Thanksgiving Wasilla turkey…

…and then granting an interview while the turkey’s less-fortunate comrades are slaughtered in the background. It’s everywhere, which may or may not be a good thing, I guess.

There isn’t much I can add to what Elaine and Ryan have already said – except to note that the disconnect of meat-eating bloggers, blogging about the disconnect Palin exhibits in pardoning one turkey and then engaging in idle conversation while two more turkeys are brutally slaughtered behind her, is enough to make my (admittedly already fragile) brain disconnect from my body in a violent fucking im-/ex-plosion.

So, yeah, think about that when you’re enjoying your fat, plump, juicy, genetically modified, brutalized and abused “holiday” turkey. Turkeys like Victor, Opal, Gobbles, Elliot, Gertrude and Ariel. Turkeys with feelings, families, emotions, interests and sentience. Turkeys like the one Sarah Palin pardoned – and her barn-mates, who were slaughtered in the backdrop while Ms. Palin gushed, without a hint of irony or self-awareness, about “levity” and “at least this was fun.”

At least Palin is honest enough to acknowledge from whence her holiday corpse comes.

Kinship Circle: Billy’s Fate – Close L.A. Zoo Exhibit

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Update, 12/3/08: Kinship Circle: Free Billy: 12/3 Council Meeting + Comments Needed

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Nov 20, 2008 4:14 PM
Subject: [KC Member Alert] Billy’s Fate: Close L.A. Zoo Exhibit

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

The following information is brought to you courtesy of Kinship Circle.
Please DO NOT hit reply! Respond directly to alert sources below.

ALERT FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE SUPPORTER:
11/20/08: Billy’s Fate – Close L.A. Zoo Elephant Exhibit For Good

SOURCES / REPLY TO:
Bettina, brosie96 [at] yahoo.com
LA animalrights, laanimalrights [at] yahoogroups.com

BACKGROUND:

UPDATE ON MOTION TO CLOSE L.A. ZOO ELEPHANT EXHIBIT AND SEND BILLY TO A SANCTUARY — The City Council heard Councilmember Cardenas’ motions on November 19, 2008 at 10am. After 4 hours of deliberation, the council voted to send both issues — stopping construction of the elephant exhibit and sending Billy to a sanctuary — to the Finance Committee.

This is Billy’s last chance at a taste of freedom! The Cardenas motion represents Billy’s only chance to get out of his miserable, barren pen at the L.A. Zoo. And it’s a chance to save future elephants from suffering and dying prematurely in a $42 million exhibit that still doesn’t provide the space elephants need. This $42 million is being spent at a time when the city is looking at a budget overage of $10 million. Encourage the members to spend the city’s money in a more responsible way. Send Billy to a sanctuary and halt construction of an elephant exhibit.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Update/Act: Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero?

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Nov 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: Update/Act: Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero?

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY, PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

11/18/08: UPDATE + ACTION
Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero?

FOR A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC), EMAIL: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

Kinship Circle - 2008-11-18 - Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero

Wild horses gathered from the Fox & Lake Herd Management Area in near Empire, Nev., wait in a pen. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27738672/

=========================

UPDATE: PICKENS TO THE RESCUE? NEW HOPE FOR BLM HORSES

=========================

EDITED FOR LENGTH, READ FULL STORY HERE:
A Dramatic Rescue for Doomed Wild Horses of the West
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/17/AR2008111703680.html?hpid=topnews

The unwanted horses seemed destined for death… The Bureau of Land Management knew that euthanasia was a legal alternative, but officials were proceeding slowly, afraid of an intense public outcry. The wild horses had become too expensive to maintain, and cattlemen argued that turning them loose would be a drain on the already scarce grazing lands of the West.

Then (11/17/08), at a public hearing in Reno, Nevada…Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, made known her intentions to adopt not just the doomed wild horses but most or all of the 30,000 horses and burros kept in federal holding pens… Madeleine Pickens is looking for land in the West that would be an appropriate home for the horses.

She is working with the BLM staff to adopt the horses, said Henri Bisson, the bureau’s deputy director, while the agency persuades Congress to shift $20 million in funding to feed and protect the horses now in captivity for another year. As backup to Pickens’s offer, he said, two other groups, both animal rescue organizations, have expressed similar interest in adoption. “We are very hopeful that euthanasia won’t be necessary this year,” he said.

News that Pickens and others intend to adopt wild horses and burros was celebrated by animal rights groups; several were preparing legal challenges to prevent the government from putting the horses to death… MORE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/17/AR2008111703680.html?hpid=topnews

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-20

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Action Alerts

Alaska Wilderness League: Time for change. Act now!
Our shared lands in Alaska are priceless American treasures infinitely more valuable than their potential for industrial exploitation. We all have a duty as stewards of our shared lands to protect the Alaskan wilderness. Many in Washington think this basic tenet of American civic life, so obvious to us, has been eliminated if it ever existed at all. We will prove them wrong.

Animal Person: A Message from Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich Asks LA City Council to Close Pachyderm Enclosure; If you think this was a good move, contact Congressman Kucinich and thank him!

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Six-Month Old Puppy Killed By Assistant Fire Chief In Riverside, California
Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief Glynn Johnson has been placed on administrative leave following his fatal beating of a neighbor’s 6-month old dog. Listed below are the addresses and telephone numbers of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Headquarters, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, and Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. Please call or write to these officials to demand accountability and justice for this felony to the fullest extent allowed by law.

National Horse Protection Action Fund: Tell the American Quarter Horse Association to oppose horse slaughter!
This week in Oklahoma City, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) wraps up its three-week World Show. The National Horse Protection League (NHPL), which is dedicated to eliminating horse slaughter, is using this occasion to highlight an unseemly side of AQHA. For too long, AQHA has encouraged the over-breeding of horses, which has, in turn, contributed to the market for horse slaughter. Worse, they have lobbied against legislation that would ban slaughter and the export of horses for eventual human consumption. AQHA leadership needs to search its soul to determine whether it sees horses as noble living creatures deserving of love and respect or simply as profit generators that can be sold for human consumption once they serve no profitable purpose.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Help keep toxic air pollution out of northwest Colorado
The Bush administration wants to sacrifice more than one million acres in northwest Colorado to destructive oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle use, but the proposal does not adequately address local air pollution concerns. Comments are due November 24th, so send yours today.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-18

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Action Alerts

Consumer Watchdog: Stop Google From Reading Your Email (And Congress’s Too!)
Use the form below to ask Google’s board of directors to add important security measures to GMail and agree to basic privacy rights for all Web users. Read our recent letter to Google’s founders, and an earlier letter to the Justice Department.

DawnWatch: NY Times, LA Times and others speak up for whales against sonar 11/15/08
In October I shared news from the New York Times, in which we learned that the Supreme Court had “indicated an inclination to overturn a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, imposing limits on the exercises, saying either that national security concerns trumped environmental ones or that judges are not competent to weigh the competing interests.” The New York Times followed the news with an editorial that argued strongly for the whales who are killed by the sonar.

Ecological Internet / Forests.org: Stop Bush’s Midnight Raid Upon Oregon’s Wild Forests and Rivers
Like his Presidency, it is time for President Bush’s looting, plundering, and pillaging of America’s natural beauty, ecological treasures and vital ecosystems to end.

Greenpeace: Join us in Poland!
In just a few weeks, leaders from all over the world will be gathering in Poznań, Poland to determine the next steps to address global warming. It’s time for the U.S. to show the rest of the world that we’re back on track and serious about tackling the most urgent environmental crisis of our time – and YOU can help! We’ve already asked President-elect Obama to go to Poland himself, and while it appears that he won’t be able to attend, it doesn’t mean you have to stay home, too. No, I’m not actually asking you to go to Poland, but if you send us your picture, we’ll take it to Poznań with us.

Human Rights First: We CAN win back the world’s trust and admiration.
Help us prove it by signing our open letter to the world. Right now, the world is watching to see whether the U.S. will make good on the promise of President-Elect Obama’s words… and I am hoping you’ll join me in sending them our answer. Make sure the world knows that Americans are serious about repairing our record on human rights and restoring our global leadership.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-17

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Action Alerts

Best Friends Animal Society: Locked Out – Help stop Los Angeles County officials from eliminating long-term managed feral colonies
After eleven years of helping the cats of Rancho Los Amigos in Downey, California, feral caretakers have been locked out and instructed to stop feeding their colonies. To further complicate matters, animal control has begun trapping the cats, which are then brought to the shelter. Not surprisingly, the devoted caregivers are distraught and desperately searching for solutions to save the cats.

Center for Biological Diversity: Keep Refuge Safe for Condors, not Cattle
The Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, located on 14,097 acres in southwestern Kern County, California, is a crucial wildlife linkage in the southern San Joaquin Valley. While cattle have had unrestricted grazing on the refuge in the past, the Fish and Wildlife Service has recognized that an alteration in the grazing regime would benefit the 9,400 acres of grassland habitat and provide healthier habitat for the recovering condor population. The agency recently proposed a restoration program to enhance the ecological values of the site and includes a modified grazing schedule based on ecological principles to limit grazing during critical times for native plant establishment, especially native grasses. This important step forward in refuge management is key to maintaining ecologically diverse and functioning habitats for condors. But the current grazing lessee opposes the change in grazing management, and significant efforts have been made to oppose these changes by cattle operators and local elected officials. Your help is needed. Please send a letter of support for the grassland restoration project and limiting grazing. The Bitter Creek Wildlife Refuge was expressly created for condors, not for cows.

DawnWatch: Dog news on Obama and on dog fighting. Week ending 11/15/08
There have been two big dog stories in the news over the past week. The first, we have all heard about: the Obama family’s search for a dog. The second story, brought to us from Brad Woodard at KHOU, is about the bust of one of the biggest dog fighting rings in America.

Oceana: Tell supermarkets to post FDA info on mercury in fish, not fishing industry talking points
We need your help again to get more grocery stores to post signs with the government advice on mercury in fish at their seafood counters. The Food Marketing Institute has released a new flyer on seafood that only includes parts of the Food and Drug Administration mercury advice and could easily mislead consumers into thinking that it’s all there.

Pacific Environment: Take action to finalize a victory for Lake Baikal
The Russian environmental movement has achieved a momentous victory with an announcement by Continental Management that it is closing the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill. The mill had been dumping over 100,000 cubic meters of polluted wastewater into Lake Baikal each day. The closure is only temporary and we need send a letter to Prime Minister Putin today to protect this victory!

(More below the fold…)

One by one, until there are none.

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

In Maine they tell of an old man walking along the beach with his grandson, who picked up each starfish they passed and threw it back into the sea. “If I left them up here,” the boy said, “they would dry up and die. I’m saving their lives.”

“But,” protested the old man, “the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish. What you are doing won’t make a difference.”

The boy looked at the starfish in his hand, gently threw it into the ocean, and answered: “It makes a difference to this one.”

The quote is from Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary’s website. SCWS was profiled in Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle some time last year. I learned of the group when my mom, having read the article, asked me to make a donation to the sanctuary in her name as a Christmas (?) gift. I distinctly remember being moved by SCWS’s founder, Joyce Smith, who was 77 at the time the article ran in the D&C; she had been rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife from her home for a quarter century.

I just happened to click over to the website today while doing some early holiday shopping. Maybe I’m feeling sentimental, but the story of the starfish had the same impact as when I first read it last year.

I was saddened, too, to see that Ms. Smith passed away on August 22, 2008.

Blub.

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Save-a-Turkey Day: T minus 12 days and counting!

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Holy Rover. I glanced at the calendar this morning and realized that Save-a-Turkey Day is less than two weeks away…and I’ve yet to settle upon a Tofurky recipe!

I usually stick with the classic soy sauce and OJ baste recipe, but last year I got all adventurous and tried out the Caramelized Onion and Cherry Relish roast, which was super yummy. Coming off of VeganMoFo, I think I might feel like a bit of a cheat if I don’t try something different. But what? Did I mention that I’m a super-annoying-fussy eater?

The good peoples at Turtle Island Foods have really “beefed” up the selection of Tofurky recipes available on their website. In addition to the old standbys, there are recipes for a Maple-Pecan Tofurky Roast, South of the Border Tofurky Bake, Yam Good Cranberry Tofurky, Tofurky Wellington, Ginger-Garlic Tofurky, Deep Fried Tofurky, Pomegranate/Cranberry Tofurky, Crock Pot Tofurky with Cranberry Onion sauce, and Tofurky a la King, as well as recipes for chili, stew, gumbo, pizza and gravy (!). If you try searching the Google for additional recipes, you’ll find that many of Turtle Island Foods’ concoctions are echoed elsewhere. The Vegetarian Resource Group does have a few original ideas, though, including a Korean Barbecued Tofurky, Glazed Tofurky, Tofurky Stew and Tofurky Aztec.

Turtle Island’s recipe for a Maple-Pecan Tofurky Roast sounds intriguing, but I’m a wee bit worried about the chili paste – too spicy for my overly sensitive taste buds? Maybe I’ll be a goober and stick with Matt Lush’s simple Tofurky baste suggestion: 3 tablespoons olive oil (or other vegetable oil) + 1 tablespoon soy sauce + 1/2 teaspoon ground sage. Or dare I try his third option, with apricot jam?

Any suggestions from the veg*n gallery? What are y’all doing for the holiday? Are you even celebrating the holiday?

Whether you are or you aren’t, PETA2 is giving away a few free Tofurkys. Just blog about “why you won’t be eating turkeys this Thanksgiving (for all of your friends to see!), then leave a link to your blog as a comment below” – by November 19 – and drop a link to your entry in the comments.

Why won’t I be eating a dead bird on 11-27, you ask?

Satya - November 2006

Because there’s someone behind – inside, actually – that meal. A previously living, breathing, loving, thinking, sentient being, with rights and interests far more important than my wish for a meaty meal.

2004-01-02 - Turkeys-001

Turkeys are always welcome at my place, of course, just not in the oven.

So, why won’t you be eating a turkey – and what will you be eating instead?

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easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-15

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Action Alerts

Audubon: Sign the Petition to Help Protect America’s Wetlands!
Our nation’s wetlands, streams and other waters have a tremendous impact on everyone’s lives. But development and draining of these areas result in the loss of an average of 80,000 acres of wetlands each year. Wetlands provide all these things and more. Tell the new President we need to protect these areas for our future. Sign the petition today!

Center for Biological Diversity: Save the Wolves of the Rockies From Slaughter
After losing twice in court, the lame-duck Bush administration is taking a last shot at endangered wolves — moving, in the waning hours of its power, to strip them of protection all across Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and parts of Oregon, Washington, and Utah. If finalized, the removal of endangered species protection could result in the killing of 1,000 wolves in 2009 alone.

DawnWatch: Wall Street Journal and Fox TV on fake turkeys and vegan diets 11/13/08
How wonderful to open up today’s Wall Street Journal, one of the world’s biggest papers, and to see an article on turkey substitutes for Thanksgiving. (Thanks to Sean McVity for pointing us to it.) It came out the same morning that an extraordinary piece about diet aired on Houston’s Fox TV. I will start with the Fox piece, just in case anybody thinks they like turkey meat more than turkeys, and is wondering why they would look at the Wall Street Journal piece about fake Thanksgiving birds.

Farm Sanctuary: Ask McDonald’s to take a Stand Against Cloning Cruelty
Two out of three Americans are uncomfortable with the concept of cloned animals, and major stores such as Kroger, Safeway and Whole Foods have already come out against it, stating that they will not sell cloned animal products in their stores. And while fast food giant McDonald’s has reported that it wants to take the lead in advancing animal welfare practices—they have not yet taken a stand against cloning. This is the very least this company can do. Please encourage them to take a strong stand against the cruelty of cloning and to reject any type of cloned animal products.

Farm Sanctuary: Speak out Against the Genetic Engineering of Farm Animals
Please submit comments to the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is also soliciting public input on GE animals, before November 18, 2008. Ask them to takes steps to keep GE animals out of the food supply, and tell them that there should be a public discussion on animal welfare and the ethics of genetic engineering. You can submit the same comments to both agencies.

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