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ARAUNY Prez on Broken Spear Vision Radio

Posted by tinako on February 8, 2016

1431039211by Tina

My good friend George Payne of Gandhi Earth Keepers International interviewed me for his Broken Spear Vision radio show on Rochester Free Radio.

Listen here.

My comments are entirely my own and don’t necessarily represent ARAUNY’s position.  And sometimes, of course, I wish I had said something differently; no re-do’s in radio.

Also check out George’s terrific interview of Joel Helfrich, ARAUNY member and past board member.  It’s show #3 on this page.

ARAUNY Prez on Broken Spear Vision Radio was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Yates County Does a Poor Job of Protecting Animals

Posted by tinako on January 22, 2016

4502407006_173fe118ae_zby Joel Freedman

[The opinions expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the position of ARAUNY.]

A state law allows local governments to crack down on cruel canine breeding facilities – also known as puppy mills – by establishing higher standards of care then the standards required by New York state.

Because the state’s inspection standards are inadequate to protect puppy mill dogs from harm, and because Yates County has the highest concentration of puppy mills in our state – several of which have been cited by the Humane Society of the United States for being among “the worst of the worst” puppy mills in America – county, village, and town governments in Yates County should enact ordinances to improve protections for “man’s best friend.”

How can this be accomplished?  HSUS offers suggestions.  But no Yates County community has shown any inclination to challenge the status quo…  (more at:

Yates County Does a Poor Job of Protecting Animals was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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What If Animals Can Love?

Posted by tinako on January 8, 2016

by George Payne [The opinions expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the position of ARAUNY.] For well over a century the main questions concerning animal rights have moved from whether some animals can reason and communicate to whether they can suffer. Beyond any reasonable doubt the most brilliant minds in biology have concluded that animals are capable of suffering both physically and emotionally.…

What If Animals Can Love? was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Hunting in New York State Parks

Posted by tinako on November 7, 2015

by JanineS As I write this on a lovely, sunny November day, it seems like a perfect time to go for a hike in the woods. Feel like setting out for Letchworth State Park, one of my all-time favorite parks in…

Hunting in New York State Parks was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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“If You Care”: Unsustainable Violence in a Compostable Bag

Posted by tinako on October 14, 2015

if you careI’m speechless.

If you have a comment for If You Care, you can leave it at their web site.  Maybe you have a thought for Sierra Magazine, which ran this ad in their Nov/Dec 2015 issue.

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Bailing the Bog

Posted by tinako on October 2, 2015

logo-i-grill-2015

…about some, but not others.

I would normally be eating breakfast right now, but since I am Fasting Against Slaughter today on World Farmed Animals Day, it seems like a good time to write.

Two tasks I’ve been doing for an Animal Rights group lately have made me ponder.  I’m organizing the large number of issue flyers we bring to tabling events, and responding to messages for help for animals via social media.  We can refer people to animal rescue organizations and hope for the best, but we are an educational org and don’t do hands-on rescue.  It is heartbreaking to feel so helpless in the face of the real-time suffering people bring to our virtual doorstep.  But as I told a recent correspondent regarding farm animal abuse that she witnessed, rescue is mopping up the mess that meat makes.  And isn’t that true of most of our brochures?  “What’s wrong with…” Leather & Wool, Circuses, Dog Fighting, Fur Trim, Dairy, Cage-Free Eggs, Devocalization.  This display rack represents a small portion of the mess that speciesism makes.

I was thinking this morning that attacking this multitude is like a game of Whac-a-mole, but that is a violent analogy I would prefer to avoid.  So instead let’s talk about dikes, as in the little Dutch boy trying to stop a dam leak with his finger.  To me this metaphor means that one person can make a difference, but it’s not a good long-term strategy, much less a permanent solution.  I like this analogy with Animal Rights, because behind that dike is a body of water, and behind all the exploitation is speciesism.  With the pressure of speciesism present, the only thing holding abuse back at all is human decency, and that is pretty darn leaky.

Now, once we look over the dike at the bog*, maybe we start thinking that the real solution is to drain it.  This means that instead of talking about making cages a little bigger or even not eating chickens, we can speak generally about our underlying assumptions about animals that define how we relate to them.  Speciesism.

After we’ve been working on that for a while, we notice that this bog has other dikes on it, and we wander over to see how they’re holding up.  Just as leaky, and the victims getting drenched all around the bog are other races, other genders, other sexualities, other abilities.  The bog turns out not to be speciesism, but the general belief that some lives are worth less than others.  What is the word that encompasses all the ways that people decide others are not as important as themselves?  Let me know what you think – I’ve been looking for this word that links all these assumptions.

bowwowbbq

This is more bizarre than usual – I’m suspicious of what BowWow BBQ might be.

Now, some of the people working over on the other dikes have also figured out that we need to drain the bog, so they’re bailing away, and that’s great, but you notice that sometimes they are bailing the water towards your dike.  An example of this would be a social justice or rescue organization holding a chicken barbecue fundraiser.**

“Hmm,” you say, “This is all one bog.  Wouldn’t it be better to bail outside all the dikes?”

“We are focused on those suffering outside our dike,” is the reply.  “Those outside your dike are not as important.  Everyone knows that, so if anyone heard your suggestion, they would be offended that you think so little of this dike that you compare it to that one.” Or, “We need to solve this problem first.  After we’ve bailed this side of the bog completely dry, maybe we can bail your side.”  So they continue to throw the water towards your end of the bog, and you wonder in what way these bailers, who rank the value of lives according to degree of perceived difference from themselves, differ from those who have filled the bog in the first place.  Who is filling the bog?

And water does what it does when it’s pushed instead of drained, and human nature does what it does when biases are rearranged instead of uprooted.  And we remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words freshly:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Here are some rearrangements for you to ponder:

*Disclaimer – I have nothing against real bogs, which are valued ecosystems.  We should only be draining metaphorical bogs, symbols of stagnation, disease and decay.

** An example going the other way would be a sexist animal rights protest.  There are lots of these.

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Tunnel Vision

Posted by tinako on September 4, 2015

by Linda Brink [The opinions expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the position of ARAUNY.] An activist friend recently put a question out there, which is this: what inspired so many people to become outraged over Cecil the lion’s death, when daily, countless other innocents are routinely abused and destroyed without causing anywhere…

Tunnel Vision was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Forty Hours

Posted by tinako on August 10, 2015

by Linda Brink [The opinions expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the position of ARAUNY.] I was thinking about how Cecil’s last hours might have passed. In the first cool breezes of evening, he would have scented the freshly spilled blood that drew him to the kill zone—the bait being another victim destroyed…

Forty Hours was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Dissecting the heart of the matter

Posted by tinako on August 3, 2015

By John Carbonaro (The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the position of ARAUNY) Back when i was in high school, we didn’t dissect. That happened at my community college. A lot has changed in H.S. since then, including going from the ‘typical’ earthworm/frog to… cats. The focus on the dissection of cats and the…

Dissecting the heart of the matter was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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Being Vegan…Then and Now

Posted by tinako on July 31, 2015

JanineS

The opinions expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ARAUNY.

We’re going way back before many of you were born, to the 1970’s.

 

My personal journey to veganism began when a close family member became vegetarian at age 16.  Even though I considered myself as the animal lover in the family, I justified eating meat by reasoning “animals eat other animals…humans are animals…it’s only natural we’d eat other animals too…” So even though I didn’t become vegetarian right then, the seed had been planted, so to speak.

As the Vietnam War began to slowly wind down, a period of environmental consciousness began.  Media reports were full of stories and articles about corporate pollution, the dangers of pesticides & plastics, animals headed to extinction, and so on.  Not until I began reading two very important books did the connection between eating meat and the desecration of the planet finally register.

The first was Mankind?  Our Incredible War on Wildlife by Cleveland Amory.  Mankind? changed forever the way I thought about animals.  Like many people I bought into the “hunter as conservationist” myth, believing that deer would starve unless hunters thinned the herd (killing them to save them–go figure).  From the introduction on how we use animals in language, e.g. a violent person is an “animal”–to exposing so-called conservation organizations as nothing more than selfish entities caring more about protecting their right to hunt than protecting species, this exceptional book also covers trapping & the fur trade and ends with the horrific poisoning of coyotes and other valuable species by Western ranchers and the federal government for the purpose of grazing livestock–on public land.  In testimony before Congress, Mr. Amory requested to submit as evidence a book written about this subject by Jack Olsen.  It was Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth (1971), a scathing indictment of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s poison-control program.  Incredibly, almost a half-century later, the poisoning, trapping, and killing of native animals so livestock can graze on public lands is still happening.  Learning the truth about meat production and the destruction it causes directly and indirectly was the impetus for me to go vegetarian.

It was a gradual process; we didn’t have the array of meat-substitutes like there is today such as Tofurky, Field Roast, Gardein, Beyond Meat and the dairy alternatives Daiya, Silk, So Delicious, Vegan Gourmet, and Go Veggie.  I recall one faux chicken product, frozen in chunks, that was pretty tasty but taken off the market for some unknown reason.  Another meat alternative came in a tin can with ingredients one couldn’t quite pronounce–not very appetizing.  Vegetarian recipes were found in the rare veg cookbook; Freya Dinshah’s The Vegan Kitchen was one of the first cookbooks to use the word vegan in its title.  It’s now in its 13th edition and Freya still heads the American Vegan Society which her husband founded.  Bridal and baby showers were very uncomfortable at times.  You were served a giant salad topped with shredded cheese, usually before the other guests, as they looked at you as if you came from Mars.  Many times dining out your only options were an iceberg lettuce salad or grilled cheese sandwich.

Thankfully, because of the increasing popularity of veganism, there are so many meat-and-dairy alternatives that are truly tasty as well as healthful.  Support groups and Facebook pages for folks in transition to veganism are popping up all over, plus VegFests throughout the country are attended by thousands.  Despite the many cruelties animals yet endure, I think we can say that the rise of veganism signals some actual progress for animal welfare.

 

 

 

Being Vegan…Then and Now was originally published on Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate, N.Y.

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