Friday, December 28, 2007

U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd from West Virginia Has Been Named "Person of the Year" By Peta for His Efforts to End Animal Abuse

My respect to the senator as well. Perhaps the only one who cares one bit about animal issues.

Article:

PETA singles out Byrd for pro-animal animal activism

http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/virginia/dp-wv--
peta-byrd1226dec26,0,7149319.story

By the Associated Press

December 26, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd has been named "Person of the Year" by Virginia's People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The animal rights group conferred the title on the longest-serving U.S. Senator on Wednesday, citing the West Virginia Democrat's passionate July speech against dogfighting. PETA also cited his efforts to improve the treatment of animals.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said "much animal suffering has been alleviated" because of Byrd.

Past recipients of the award include owners of a company that makes cleaning products without testing them on animals and the designer of a "humane" rodent trap.

Following Michael Vick Conviction, the ASPCA and the National Football League to Debut Anti-Cruelty Public Service Announcement

Very interesting. I hope it has some effect. Curious too if the NFL will stick with this message or will it be business as usual next year?

More on the campaign can be found at http://www.fightcruelty.org/

Article:

ASPCA and NFL Team Up to Fight Animal Cruelty

http://www.itchmo.com/aspca-and-
nfl-team-up-to-fight-animal-cruelty-4346

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and the National Football League will debut a new anti-cruelty public service announcement (PSA) featuring Miami Dolphins DE Jason Taylor, it was announced today. The PSA, produced by NFL Films, is scheduled to begin airing December 22 on NFL Network and ESPN.

In June 2007, the ASPCA and the league announced a collaboration on the development of educational materials to enhance awareness on the proper treatment of animals among players and employees. In addition to educating its players and teams on the importance of caring properly for animals, the league has extended its efforts in this area by partnering with the ASPCA to help raise awareness of animal cruelty across the nation. Featuring Jason Taylor and Bear, his Akita of 11 years, the PSA encourages viewers to help the ASPCA put an end to animal cruelty, and can be viewed at www.fightcruelty.org.


"We applaud the NFL's commitment to raising awareness of animal cruelty and championing the humane treatment of animals," said ASPCA President & CEO, Ed Sayres. "In joining our efforts to eradicate animal cruelty, the NFL is sending a strong message to players, fans and the general public -- that the mistreatment of animals will not be tolerated and is, in a word, simply unacceptable."


"Jason is one of many players in the league who shares his home with a pet," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are pleased to be partnering with one of the most respected animal welfare organizations in the world in support of a cause embraced by so many NFL players -- and one that is important to millions of Americans."


Jason Taylor was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Since then, he has firmly established himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the league. Taylor was awarded the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, and is widely-recognized as a leader in off-field community service in South Florida and beyond. He lives in Florida with his wife, three children and the esteemed four-legged member of his family, Bear.


About the ASPCA®:

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited, animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series "Animal Precinct" on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit http://www.aspca.org/.


Contact:

Melissa Treuman
(212) 876-7700 x 4521

Group Raises Awareness to Plans by University of California at Santa Cruz to Destroy 120 acres of Forest for Development of Animal Testing Facility

As stated below, the facility will allow practices such as “…biotechnology, nanotechnology and invasive experimentation upon living animals (vivisection). “

There also is the environmental aspect. I’ve been to that campus and I have to agree – it is probably the most beautiful campus in the US. Just knowing that the school is even thinking of destroying the surrounding tress is disturbing

You can learn more about resistance to the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) at UC Santa Cruz by visiting http://www.lrdpresistance.org and downloading a pdf of the first issue of the Long Range Resistance newsletter.

Article:

Tuesday Dec 25th, 2007 8:37 PM

Delivering Food to Tree-sitters at UCSC on Christmas

In 2003, the Princeton Review ranked UC Santa Cruz as having the 'most beautiful campus' in the nation. This year's rankings are in and UCSC placed 8th in the 'most beautiful campus' category for "The Best 366 Colleges: 2008 Edition."

Since November 7th, 2007, Coast Redwood trees on UCSC's Science Hill have been bases of resistance to campus expansion with students sitting on platforms situated in the crowns of numerous trees. Many students, staff and faculty at UCSC, as well as residents of Santa Cruz County, feel that UCSC's campus expansion plans are anything but beautiful. UCSC's 2005 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) includes an additional 4,500 students by 2020, the destruction of 120 acres of forest, and a Biomedical Sciences Facility engaging in controversial, corporate-driven practices such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and invasive experimentation upon living animals (vivisection).

On December 25th, I explored a little bit of the UCSC campus and stopped by the parking lot on Science Hill to see if anything was going on at the tree-sit. This contentious parking lot is located where UCSC plans to build their Biomedical Sciences Facility. The facility would be the first project under UCSC's 2005 LRDP. During my brief time on Science Hill, numerous people brought food to the tree-sitters, including Michael Urban, a professor of politics at UCSC.
Stop UCSC Expansion! Support Arrested Tree Sitters. Come to Court on January 3rd 8:30am. Bring Good Vibes.
The Biomedical Sciences facility would be the first project under UCSC's plan to develop 120 acres of forest in order to accommodate 4,500 new students by 2020. The Biomedical Sciences facility will have no allotted classroom space, despite student complaints about overcrowded class sizes. However, the facility will have room for live animal experimentation, which includes such practices as food/air deprivation, infection, and non-anesthetized surgery, according to UCSC campus guidelines.

In Defense of Animals (IDA) is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in San Rafael, California that states, "Our mission is to end animal exploitation, cruelty, and abuse by protecting and advocating for the rights, welfare, and habitats of animals, as well as to raise their status beyond mere property, commodities, or things." In addition to their principal website, www.idausa.org, IDA also maintains a special website called, "The Truth about Vivisection" located at www.vivisectioninfo.org. The following information about vivisection was taken from VivisectionInfo.org. Learn more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions at VivisectionInfo.org.

The Truth about Vivisection
Every year, tens of millions of animals are dissected, infected, injected, gassed, burned and blinded in hidden laboratories on college campuses and research facilities throughout the U.S. Still more animals are used to test the safety of cosmetics, household cleansers and other consumer products. These innocent primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and other animals are used against their will as research subjects in experiments and procedures that would be considered sadistically cruel were they not conducted in the name of science.

Researchers claim that they must be allowed unfettered access to animals for experiments in order to find cures for human diseases, yet they refuse to address the serious ethical problems of torturing sentient creatures for research purposes. On top of that, over-reliance on animal experimentation has historically hindered scientific advancement and endangered human safety because results from animal research typically cannot be applied to humans. In fact, scientists could save more human lives by using humane non-animal research and testing methods that are more accurate and efficient.

For these reasons, IDA has been fighting to end the needless torture and death of animals and advance human medicine since 1983. Here are some of the major campaign victories we have achieved for animals in that time.


USDA Charges UCSF for Animal Welfare Act Violations
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) charged the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with 89 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The USDA's action followed years of protests by IDA and other Bay Area groups to expose the cruelty secretly taking place behind the walls of UCSF's laboratories. Instead of defending themselves in court and revealing their mistreatment of animals to public scrutiny, UCSF chose to pay a $92,500 fine, one of the largest ever levied against a research institution by the USDA.

In Defense of Animals has an active campaign against Stephen Lisberger's Monkey Experiments at the University of California - San Francisco. You can learn more about the campaign by visiting: http://www.vivisectioninfo.org/lisberger.html

You can learn more about resistance to the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) at UC Santa Cruz by visiting http://www.lrdpresistance.org and downloading a pdf of the first issue of the Long Range Resistance newsletter.

Recent Study States the Obvious: Processed Meats, Including Bacon and Sausages Carry Significant Cancer Risk

Not that we didn’t already know this, but….

Article:

Bacon, other processed meats especially risky, scientists say

http://www.star-telegram.com/health/story/378921.html

By COLIN BARRAS

New Scientist magazine

If you want to avoid cancer, it may be time to ditch those breakfast fry-ups. A comprehensive report on the link between nutrition and cancer recommends avoiding all processed meats, including bacon and some sausages. It also advises against eating more than 6 grams of salt per day.

While many foods carry a cancer risk, most of them can be eaten in moderation without noticeably endangering health. However, for salted or cured meats, there is no clear safe dose, says Martin Wiseman, project director of the report, published in November by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.

One reason for avoiding processed meats is that they often contain nitrates -- preservatives that may contribute to the production of suspected carcinogens called N-nitroso compounds. Processed meats also contain high levels of salt, which is linked to stomach cancer.

The report gives 10 lifestyle recommendations for reducing the risk of cancer. While some of these measures are rather severe, Wiseman is optimistic that the report will persuade people to change their eating habits, at least in terms of cutting out unhealthful foods, such as processed meat.

"It won't be straightforward, but it's not impossible," he says. "There's this idea that diet is immutable, but there have actually been huge changes, even in the last 10 years." For example, the scare over mad cow disease in the UK had a substantial impact on the nation's beef consumption in the 1990s, he says.

The report also reveals clear links between obesity and a range of cancers, but Wiseman doubts that this will easily persuade people to lose weight.

"The public has the notion that fat gives you heart disease and diabetes, but they don't realize it also gives you cancer," he says. "After smoking, obesity is the highest preventable cancer risk."

Wiseman concedes that "the risk from processed meat is an order of magnitude less than that from smoking" but is nevertheless "not trivial." For example, the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 21 percent for every 50 grams of processed meat eaten every day, on average. By comparison, smoking 20 cigarettes per day can lead to a 20- to 40-fold increase in the risk of lung cancer.

Linda Geddes contributed to this report.

Ten ways to avoid cancer

1. Body fat. Aim for a body mass index of 21 to 23, and avoid weight gain during adulthood.

2. Physical activity. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity, like brisk walking, every day.

3. Junk food. Avoid sugary drinks and energy-dense fast food.

4. Meat. Eat no more than 500 grams of red meat per week, and avoid processed meats.

5. Alcohol. Limit daily intake to one drink for women, two drinks for men. Do not binge drink.

6. Fruit and vegetables. Eat five portions of fruit and non-starchy vegetables each day and limit refined starchy food.

7. Preservatives. Avoid salt-preserved foods. Limit salt intake to 6 grams per day.

8. Dietary supplements. Avoid them, except in special cases such as folic acid during pregnancy.

9. Breastfeeding. Try to breastfeed for six months.

10. Cancer survivors. Seek professional nutritional advice

Recent Event at San Francisco Zoo Regarding Siberian Tiger Attack Once Again Proves Unnatural State of Zoos and Animals in Captivity

As stated below, it is possible that the teens were taunting the captive tiger. Life in captivity and this taunting could easily cause an already-stressed tiger to act.

A tragedy for all sides.

Article:

Cops: Tiger attack victim helped friend By JORDAN ROBERTSON and MARCUS WOHLSEN, Associated Press Writers

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071228/
ap_on_re_us/tiger_escapes

SAN FRANCISCO - The last minutes of a 17-year-old boy's life were spent trying to save his friend from the tiger that was mauling him at the San Francisco Zoo, only to have the animal turn on him, police and family members said.

Carlos Sousa Jr. and his friend's brother desperately tried to distract the 350-pound Siberian tiger, but the big cat instead came after Sousa.

"He didn't run. He tried to help his friend, and it was him who ended up getting it the worst," the teen's father, Carlos Sousa Sr., said Thursday after meeting with police.

The heroic portrait of Sousa and a timeline of the dramatic Christmas Day attack emerged as officials revealed that the tiger's escape from its enclosure may have been aided by walls that were well below the height recommended by the accrediting agency for the nation's zoos.

San Francisco Zoo Director Manuel A. Mollinedo acknowledged that the wall around the animal's pen was just 12 1/2 feet high, after previously saying it was 18 feet. According to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the walls around a tiger exhibit should be at least 16.4 feet high.

Mollinedo said it was becoming increasingly clear the tiger leaped or climbed out, perhaps by grabbing onto a ledge. Investigators have ruled out the theory the tiger escaped through a door behind the exhibit at the zoo, which remained closed Friday.

"She had to have jumped," he said. "How she was able to jump that high is amazing to me."

Mollinedo said safety inspectors had examined the wall, built in 1940, and never raised any red flags about its size.

"When the AZA came out and inspected our zoo three years ago, they never noted that as a deficiency," he said. "Obviously now that something's happened, we're going to be revisiting the actual height."

The 4-year-old tiger, a female named Tatiana, went on a rampage near closing time Tuesday, killing Sousa and severely injuring the two others before police shot it to death.

Brothers Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were at San Francisco General Hospital with severe bite and claw wounds. Their names were provided by hospital and law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the family had not yet given permission to release their names.

After interviewing the brothers, police said Kulbir Dhaliwal was the animal's first victim.

As the tiger clawed and bit him, Sousa and the younger brother yelled in hopes of scaring it off him, police said. The cat then went for Sousa, slashing his neck as the brothers ran to a zoo cafe for help.

After killing the teenager, the tiger followed a trail of blood left by Kulbir Dhaliwal about 300 yards to the cafe, where it mauled both men, police said.

Four officers who had already discovered Sousa's body then arrived and found the cat sitting next to one of the bloodied brothers, police Chief Heather Fong said. The victim yelled, "Help me! Help me!" and the animal resumed its attack, Fong said.

The officers used their patrol car lights to distract the tiger, and it turned and began approaching them, leading all four to open fire, she said.

Police are still investigating how Tatiana was able to leave the enclosure.

At least one expert said the wall was low enough for the tiger to leap to the top.

Zoo officials said a "moat" separating the habitat from the public viewing area that measured 33 feet across contained no water, and has never had any. They did not address whether that affected the tiger's ability to get out.

"I think it could be feasible for a cat that has been taunted or angered," Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo, said Thursday. "I don't think it would ever just do it to do it."

Police have not addressed whether the victims had teased the tiger.

On Thursday, Fong denied earlier reports that police were looking into the possibility that the victims had dangled a leg or other body part over the edge of the moat, after a shoe and blood was found inside the enclosure. No shoe was found inside, but a shoeprint was found on the railing of the fence surrounding the enclosure, and police are checking it against the shoes of the three victims, she said.

AZA spokesman Steven Feldman said the minimum recommended height of 16.4 feet is just a guideline and that a zoo could still be deemed safe even if its wall were lower.

Accreditation standards require "that the barriers be adequate to keep the animals and people apart from each other," Feldman said. "Obviously something happened to cause that not to be the case in this incident."

Many other U.S. zoos have significantly higher walls around their tigers.

Mollinedo said surveillance cameras and new fencing will be installed around the exhibit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mars, Inc. Creator of M&M's, Snickers, Starburst, Twix, Milky Way, Skittles, etc. Supports Cruel Animal Testing: Tell Mars to Stop Deadly Animal Tests

Unbelievable. What useless, meaningless and ridiculous tests. The link to the story is here - http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/marsuk07 .Please read and act.

Article:

Tell Mars to Stop Deadly Animal Tests

Got a sweet tooth?

Think twice before picking up a Mars bar! You should know that candymaker Mars, Inc – the creator of M&M's, Snickers and other sweets – continues to fund deadly animal tests, despite the fact that more reliable human tests are available and that none of the tests are required by law.

Mars in the US is currently funding a deadly University of California experiment on rats to determine the effects of chocolate ingredients on blood vessels. Experimenters force-feed the rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats and then cut open the rats' legs to expose arteries, which are clamped shut to block blood flow. After the experiment, the animals are killed. Mars' US division has also funded other cruel experiments. Mice were fed a confectionery ingredient and forced to swim in a pool of paint and water. The mice had to find a hidden platform to avoid drowning, and after the experiment they were killed and dissected. In yet another experiment supported by Mars, rats were fed cocoa and then anaesthetised with carbon dioxide. Their blood was collected by having needles jabbed directly into their hearts, which can lead to internal bleeding and other deadly complications.

Mars' US division is also lying to the public, claiming that Mars doesn't fund cruel animal tests for foods, even though PETA US have uncovered a history of such experiments – including the current programme at the University of California.

Mars' top competitor in the US, Hershey's, has pledged that it will not fund or conduct experiments on animals. Please urge Mars to follow Hershey's lead and immediately end all support for animal tests!

Mars UK produces Bounty, Galaxy, Celebrations, M&M's, Mars, Snickers, Twix, Topic, Milky Way, Tracker, Revels, Starburst and Skittles as well as Tunes and Lockets.

You can contact Mars, Inc's American office directly using the form below. Personalised letters always work best: feel free to use the text we've provided, but your message will carry more weight if you use your own words. If you do this, be sure to keep it polite and factual.

To act, visit http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/marsuk07

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cast Your Vote for IDA's Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants in 2007 List: Take Part in Raising Awareness to the Plight of Captive Elephants in Zoos

What an innovative way to tackle this important issue. I encourage all to at least visit the page. You’ll quickly be able to see just how many zoos are listed. This gives you a good idea on how many places have had incidents that have either killed or harmed an elephant. Unfortunately, the list is long.

Article:

Cast Your Vote for IDA's Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants in 2007 List

http://www.helpelephantsinzoos.com/10_worst_2007b.php

For the last few years, IDA has released its annual list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants to draw attention to the appalling treatment of Earth's largest mammal in captivity and pressure zoos to provide the space and natural conditions elephants need or stop keeping elephants altogether.

The media has enthusiastically reported on our lists, bringing more scrutiny to the zoos that were singled out as being particularly sad and sorry places for pachyderms.

As the controversy surrounding elephants in zoos rages on, the 2007 list is sure to grab people's attention once again, and we need you to tell us which zoos are most deserving of this undesirable publicity.

This year, we are letting you—the people decide which zoos make the ignoble list. Cast your vote below and click on the zoo names for information to help you decide. The "losers" will be announced in 2008.

Cast your vote here: http://www.helpelephantsinzoos.com/10_worst_2007b.php

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Morningstar Farms Commits to Using Fewer Eggs and More Egg-Free Products

Very important move. We’ll see if this stands over time. Seems they will move to a greater commitment to vegan products.

Article:

Morningstar Farms Responds to Demand for Egg-Free Foods

Company commits to using one million fewer eggs in 2008

http://sev.prnewswire.com/food-beverages/
20071212/DC0968812122007-1.html

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Morningstar Farms, a Kellogg subsidiary that has been making vegetarian products for more than 25 years, has stated it will use one million fewer eggs in 2008 while also offering more egg-free products.

According to company spokeswoman Kathleen Eckler, in 2008 "Kellogg is reducing the amount of eggs we use in our Morningstar products by a minimum of one million eggs. We're committed to announcing even more new vegan products for our customers."

After months of discussion on the topic with the Michigan-based company, Compassion Over Killing (COK) and Vegan Outreach, two nonprofit animal protection organizations, wholeheartedly applaud Morningstar Farms for implementing this policy. By reducing Kellogg's egg usage by more than a million eggs per year, nearly 4,000 fewer laying hens will suffer in factory farms each year.

"A growing number of consumers are choosing egg-free foods as a way to protect their health and protect animals," says COK's executive director Erica Meier. "We applaud Morningstar Farms for committing to offer more vegan items, and we encourage other companies to follow its compassionate lead."

More than 95% of eggs produced in the U.S. come from hens confined inside barren wire battery cages so restrictive, the birds can barely even move, let alone engage in many of their most natural behaviors including spreading their wings, perching, or walking. Battery-caged hens are typically provided with a meager 67 square inches of space in which to live -- that's less floor space than the size of one sheet of notebook paper.

Jack Norris, RD, president of Vegan Outreach, commented, "Consumers asked Morningstar Farms to remove eggs from its products, and the company heeded their call. Vegan Outreach is pleased to congratulate Kellogg on this important humane move."

Morningstar Farms has long been a leader in supplying vegetarian products sold in grocery stores nationwide. Its decision to use fewer eggs and create more vegan products further demonstrates the company's leadership in offering healthier and more humane food choices in the marketplace.

Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, and other advocacy programs. On the web at COK.net.

Vegan Outreach is a national nonprofit advocacy group. Since 1993, Vegan Outreach has been on the cutting-edge of grassroots advocacy against cruelty to animals. Distribution of Vegan Outreach literature exposes these animals' suffering -- otherwise hidden in factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses -- while promoting more compassionate, humane choices. On the web at VeganOutreach.org.

Website: http://www.cok.net/
Website: http://www.veganoutreach.org/

International Animal Rights Day: An Introduction

December 10th is International Animal Rights Day. It actually corresponds with National Human Rights Day. This article provides an interesting introduction to this day.

Article:

International Animal Rights Day passes decade mark
http://www.ouraynews.com/Articles-i-2007-12-12-168767.112113-International_Animal_Rights_Day_passes_decade_mark.html

December 12, 2007

Dec. 10 is National Human Rights Day, marking the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948.

This document, attesting to the basic rights of all individuals, was created at the tail end of one of the most destructive and devastating wars in human history and it marked a new era framed by compassion, justice, and individual rights assuming precedence over the dictates of government or other powers.

Although the implementation of the Declaration of Human Rights has yet to be fulfilled to the extent that it was intended, National Human Rights Day does represent a time to reflect upon the progress made and yet to be made, our individual responsibility toward furthering this intent, and to appreciate the ideals that the Declaration reflects. Such ideals are the particular focus of this week's pet column, as December 10th also marks the 10th Anniversary of International Animal Rights Day.

International Animal Rights Day is a natural progression and extension of the principles of the Declaration. Including non-human beings within the Declaration submits to the moral imperative humanity holds toward protecting and respecting other living beings as we do ourselves. Many may ask why animals should be considered for this inclusion while hopefully more will ask why they haven't already been.

It is undeniable that human beings are now recognizing the capacity of animals to experience pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering. We know that animals possess and express distinguishing characteristics as individuals and although they may not be able to communicate their interests in our language, the existence of such interests — to live their lives according to their own priorities — is beyond question.

As we look at the damage to our environment caused by living under the pretense that human affairs exist in isolation from those of all other living creatures on the planet, we know that this approach can not be sustained. International Animal Rights Day challenges us to redefine our understanding of "progress" with a consideration of our responsibility to protect the rights of all living beings.

As noted in previous Pet Columns the mission of Second Chance encompasses the "promotion of responsible pet ownership and the human-animal bond." We recognize that to create a community, country, and world where animal humane societies are no longer needed we have to foster and nurture this human-animal connection. International Animal Rights Day envisions this shift and leaves us with the question of how would we best like to see it expressed in our community.

Even defining animal rights can be a daunting task, as for example some vegetarians would likely set different parameters than a rancher might. How can these varying opinions be honored in an inclusive definition of animal rights?

Remember the Declaration of Human Rights was "declared" almost two decades before the Civil Rights movement gained acceptance in the U.S. Thus like the U.S. Constitution it needed to be based upon the current environment with an ability to progress as humanity does.

Although International Animal Rights Day doesn't receive much press or recognition, for that matter neither does National Human Rights Day, Second Chance Humane Society would like to offer Pet Column readers an opportunity to participate in the intentions of this day. We would like to hear from you about ideas to promote animal rights in our local communities, that would hopefully be accepted and adopted by all. Please email us your thoughts.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cruel Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick Sentenced to 23 Months for Dog Fighting and Dog Killing

Well, it’s now over. Unfortunately, cruel Michael Vick only received 23 months when he could have been sentenced up to five years.

I’m not sure why the judge put a lenient sentence, as he was very clear that Vick engaged in gross cruelty, abuse and killing. As the judge stated, "You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity."

The judge was also clear that Vick lied about actually killing the dogs.

It later came out that he most certainly did take part in cruel killing dogs. As stated in another posting we put out on Vick at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html “According to the statement, Vick also was involved with the others in killing six to eight dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions last April. The dogs were executed by drowning or hanging.”

"Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts" of Vick, Phillips and Peace, the statement said.

The judge was clear that he knew that Vick lied about killing the dogs:
“Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.” “On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.”

Almost two years in jail for years of cruelty. I’m happy he is found guilty and is going to jail, but it’s a lenient sentence.

Article:

Vick gets 23 months for dogfighting

By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071210/
ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_vick_sentencing

RICHMOND, Va. - Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for running a "cruel and inhumane" dogfighting ring and lying about it.

The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback could have been sentenced up to five years by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Vick, who turned himself in Nov. 19 in anticipation of his sentence, was wearing a black-and-white striped prison suit.

After Vick apologized to the court and his family, Hudson told him: "You need to apologize to the millions of young people who looked up to you."

"Yes, sir," Vick answered.

The 27-year-old player acknowledged using "poor judgment" and added, "I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions."

Although there is no parole in the federal system, rules governing time off for good behavior could reduce Vick's prison stay by about three months, resulting in a summer 2009 release.

"You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity," Hudson told Vick.

Before the hearing, Michael Vick's brother, Marcus Vick, sat with his right arm around their mother, comforting her as she buried her head in her hands and wept.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank called the sentencing another step in Vick's "legal journey."

"This is a difficult day for Michael's family and for a lot of us, including many of our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years," Blank said. "We sincerely hope that Michael will use this time to continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard."

Vick was suspended without pay by the NFL and lost all his lucrative endorsement deals. The league had no comment Monday on the judge's ruling.

One of Vick's attorneys, Lawrence Woodward, asked for leniency. He said Vick "grew up on some of probably the meanest and roughest streets in this commonwealth," but had never been in trouble with the law and had done much for charities.

Vick was denied any credit for taking responsibility for his crime. Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.

Hudson recalled that Vick at one point said he only handed over two dogs to co-defendant Quanis Phillips, who killed them. On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.

"I'm not convinced you've fully accepted responsibility," Hudson told Vick.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of 18 months to two years. Federal prosecutor Michael Gill asked for a sentence at the high end, meaning Vick would get more time than either of the two co-defendants sentenced last month.

"He did more than fund it," Gill said, referring to the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting operation. "He was in this thing up to his neck with the other defendants."

Outside court, Woodward said Vick didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him.

"He just wants a chance to prove himself when all this is over," he said. "But the other thing he said to me, which I also think is important for everyone to know, is that he understood that some of the things he was doing in life and off the field were dangerous, and he told me he feels lucky that he's alive and not hurt and now it's all about the future."

U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg sounded a similar theme.

"This was an efficient, professional, and thorough investigation that well exposed a seamy side of our society," he said in a statement. "I trust Mr. Vick learned important lessons and that his admission of guilt will speed his rehabilitation."

Vick pleaded guilty in August, admitting he bankrolled the dogfighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs. He has been held at a jail in Warsaw, Va., since he voluntarily began serving his sentence.

In a plea agreement, he admitted bankrolling the dogfighting ring on his 15-acre property in rural Virginia and helping kill pit bulls that did not perform well in test fights. He also admitted providing money for bets on the fights but said he never shared in any winnings.

At a news conference after pleading guilty last summer, Vick apologized to the NFL, the Falcons and youngsters who viewed him as a role model and vowed: "I will redeem myself."

Court papers revealed gruesome details about Vick's dogfighting operation, including the execution of underperforming dogs by electrocution, drowning, hanging and other means. Those details prompted a public backlash against the once-popular NFL star and outraged animal-rights groups, which used the case to call attention to the brutality of dogfighting.

John Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States called the sentence appropriate.

"People that are involved in this blood sport are on notice. You can throw your life away by being involved in this," he said.

Two co-defendants were sentenced Nov. 30. Purnell Peace, of Virginia Beach, got 18 months. Phillips, of Atlanta, got 21 months. Another co-defendant, Tony Taylor, will be sentenced Friday.

The case began in April when a drug investigation of Vick's cousin led authorities to the former Virginia Tech star's Surry County property, where they found dozens of pit bulls — some of them injured — and equipment associated with dogfighting.

Vick initially denied any knowledge about dogfighting on the property. He changed his story after the three co-defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government.

By 8 a.m. Monday, about 50 people were in line outside the courthouse waiting for the doors to open. About two dozen animal rights activists stood across the street holding posters showing injured pit bulls and the messages, "Report Dogfighters" and "Dogs Deserve Justice."

"We want to make sure the focus on the animals in this case isn't lost," said Dan Shannon, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Julia Novak arrived with her small beagle, Frankie, who wore a sandwich board with the message on one side: "Dogfighters use dogs like me for bait."

Ryan Eanes, 27, of Richmond, wore his No. 7 Vick jersey as he waited in line.

"We all make mistakes," Eanes said. "I don't support the situation with the animals, but I support him. I believe his apology is sincere."

Cruel Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick Sentenced to 23 Months for Dog fighting and Dog killing

Well, it’s now over. Unfortunately, cruel Michael Vick only received 23 months when he could have been sentenced up to five years. I’m not sure why the judge put a lenient sentence, as he was very clear that Vick engaged in gross cruelty, abuse and killing. As the judge stated, "You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity."

The judge was also clear that Vick lied about actually killing the dogs. It later came out that he most certainly did take part in cruel killing dogs. As stated in another posting we put out on Vick at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html “According to the statement, Vick also was involved with the others in killing six to eight dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions last April. The dogs were executed by drowning or hanging.” "Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts" of Vick, Phillips and Peace, the statement said.

The judge was clear that he knew that Vick lied about killing the dogs:
“Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.” “On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.”

Almost two years in jail for years of cruelty. I’m happy he is found guilty and is going to jail, but it’s a lenient sentence.

Article:

Vick gets 23 months for dogfighting

By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071210/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_vick_sentencing

RICHMOND, Va. - Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for running a "cruel and inhumane" dogfighting ring and lying about it.

The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback could have been sentenced up to five years by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Vick, who turned himself in Nov. 19 in anticipation of his sentence, was wearing a black-and-white striped prison suit.

After Vick apologized to the court and his family, Hudson told him: "You need to apologize to the millions of young people who looked up to you."

"Yes, sir," Vick answered.

The 27-year-old player acknowledged using "poor judgment" and added, "I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions."

Although there is no parole in the federal system, rules governing time off for good behavior could reduce Vick's prison stay by about three months, resulting in a summer 2009 release.

"You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity," Hudson told Vick.

Before the hearing, Michael Vick's brother, Marcus Vick, sat with his right arm around their mother, comforting her as she buried her head in her hands and wept.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank called the sentencing another step in Vick's "legal journey."

"This is a difficult day for Michael's family and for a lot of us, including many of our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years," Blank said. "We sincerely hope that Michael will use this time to continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard."

Vick was suspended without pay by the NFL and lost all his lucrative endorsement deals. The league had no comment Monday on the judge's ruling.

One of Vick's attorneys, Lawrence Woodward, asked for leniency. He said Vick "grew up on some of probably the meanest and roughest streets in this commonwealth," but had never been in trouble with the law and had done much for charities.

Vick was denied any credit for taking responsibility for his crime. Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.

Hudson recalled that Vick at one point said he only handed over two dogs to co-defendant Quanis Phillips, who killed them. On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.

"I'm not convinced you've fully accepted responsibility," Hudson told Vick.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of 18 months to two years. Federal prosecutor Michael Gill asked for a sentence at the high end, meaning Vick would get more time than either of the two co-defendants sentenced last month.

"He did more than fund it," Gill said, referring to the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting operation. "He was in this thing up to his neck with the other defendants."

Outside court, Woodward said Vick didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him.

"He just wants a chance to prove himself when all this is over," he said. "But the other thing he said to me, which I also think is important for everyone to know, is that he understood that some of the things he was doing in life and off the field were dangerous, and he told me he feels lucky that he's alive and not hurt and now it's all about the future."

U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg sounded a similar theme.

"This was an efficient, professional, and thorough investigation that well exposed a seamy side of our society," he said in a statement. "I trust Mr. Vick learned important lessons and that his admission of guilt will speed his rehabilitation."

Vick pleaded guilty in August, admitting he bankrolled the dogfighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs. He has been held at a jail in Warsaw, Va., since he voluntarily began serving his sentence.

In a plea agreement, he admitted bankrolling the dogfighting ring on his 15-acre property in rural Virginia and helping kill pit bulls that did not perform well in test fights. He also admitted providing money for bets on the fights but said he never shared in any winnings.

At a news conference after pleading guilty last summer, Vick apologized to the NFL, the Falcons and youngsters who viewed him as a role model and vowed: "I will redeem myself."

Court papers revealed gruesome details about Vick's dogfighting operation, including the execution of underperforming dogs by electrocution, drowning, hanging and other means. Those details prompted a public backlash against the once-popular NFL star and outraged animal-rights groups, which used the case to call attention to the brutality of dogfighting.

John Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States called the sentence appropriate.

"People that are involved in this blood sport are on notice. You can throw your life away by being involved in this," he said.

Two co-defendants were sentenced Nov. 30. Purnell Peace, of Virginia Beach, got 18 months. Phillips, of Atlanta, got 21 months. Another co-defendant, Tony Taylor, will be sentenced Friday.

The case began in April when a drug investigation of Vick's cousin led authorities to the former Virginia Tech star's Surry County property, where they found dozens of pit bulls — some of them injured — and equipment associated with dogfighting.

Vick initially denied any knowledge about dogfighting on the property. He changed his story after the three co-defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government.

By 8 a.m. Monday, about 50 people were in line outside the courthouse waiting for the doors to open. About two dozen animal rights activists stood across the street holding posters showing injured pit bulls and the messages, "Report Dogfighters" and "Dogs Deserve Justice."

"We want to make sure the focus on the animals in this case isn't lost," said Dan Shannon, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Julia Novak arrived with her small beagle, Frankie, who wore a sandwich board with the message on one side: "Dogfighters use dogs like me for bait."

Ryan Eanes, 27, of Richmond, wore his No. 7 Vick jersey as he waited in line.

"We all make mistakes," Eanes said. "I don't support the situation with the animals, but I support him. I believe his apology is sincere."

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