Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Animal Planet’s Whale Wars: Fridays - 9PM: Follows Capt. Paul Watson - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to Prevent Japanese from Killing Whales

I’m sure many of you know of this show. I received this email today and wanted to share it for those who have yet to watch the show. I encourage all to do so, as we need to have Animal Planet know that shows exposing animal cruelty (whaling) will be supported.

Unfortunately, the Japanese continue to carry out their cruel ways by thumbing their noses at international law and kill whales.

As stated below, “…the crew has managed to save more than 300 whales.” I’ll let the email below say the rest.

See too the Whale Wars ekit at http://press.discovery.com/ekits/whale-wars for more information on the show, including past episodes.

Here is the main web page for Animal Planet’s Whale Wars is http://animal.discovery.com/tv/whale-wars/

For more on the truth behind whaling in general and Japan and it’s insistence on whaling illegally, see http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/10/iceland-resume-whaling-excellent.html

For more on Japan and it’s other deranged practice of killing of dolphins - http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/11/coalition-of-marine-scientists-has.html

Email I received about Whale Wars:

I just wanted to follow up with you to see if you had the opportunity to watch the first 3 episodes of Animal Planet’s Whale Wars this month? After only 3 episodes, Whale Wars has been rated as Animal Planet’s best performing Friday primetime telecast in five years.

Animal Planet’s Whale Wars (Fridays at 9PM) follows Captain Paul Watson (co-founder of Greenpeace) of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and his crew as they confront and try to prevent Japanese ships from killing whales off the coast of Antarctica (the crew has managed to save more than 300 whales). This show is packed with excitement – so far, Captain Paul Watson and his crew of 34 have battled sea sickness, a helicopter accident, a dangerous encounter with a Japanese whaling boat, a hostage situation, and more.

If you missed the show, I’ve included the link to the e-kit below, where you can watch full episodes. I’d love to hear your thoughts and see if you are interested in blogging about the show! If you are interested in posting a blog entry, let me know and I can send you a few clips you can embed in your post.

Please let me know if you have additional questions!

Regards,
Andrea

Whale Wars ekit: http://press.discovery.com/ekits/whale-wars (The ekit has lots of additional information about the show, including crew bios, episode descriptions, full episodes, and more)

Humane Society of the United States files Lawsuit Against Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue: Falsely Label Fur Clothing Items

Just as with false advertising in general, failing to properly label clothing items as contacting fur is against the law. More specifically, it is a violation of the federal Fur Products Labeling Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.

As stated below, “[t]he suit claims that Dillard's, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and designer Andrew Marc misrepresent fur products by labeling and marketing them as "faux fur," when they are not; or by advertising and labeling products as common raccoon, fox or rabbit fur, when they are really made from raccoon dog, a canine species from Asia….”

This isn’t the first time this issue has come up. We wrote a story here - http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/retail-company-jc-penny-knowingly.html about JC Penny knowingly selling items with dog fur.

In relation, I also wrote a while back on fur and China. Please see that post at:
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/02/cruel-china-keeps-up-its-status-as.html


Article:

Humane Society sues retailers, designers over fur

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hvG9dlIes0vYdnVcKDKSaLUYBLQwD94LLQH00

By GILLIAN GAYNAIR – 21 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit Monday against six major retailers and fashion designers alleging they falsely advertise and label fur garments.

The suit claims that Dillard's, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and designer Andrew Marc misrepresent fur products by labeling and marketing them as "faux fur," when they are not; or by advertising and labeling products as common raccoon, fox or rabbit fur, when they are really made from raccoon dog, a canine species from Asia.

The complaint also alleges that the retailers are in violation of the federal Fur Products Labeling Act and Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibit mislabeling of fur products.

Rebecca Judd, senior attorney with the Humane Society, said the group is seeking a court order to halt to what she called deceptive business practices by retailers.

"We filed this after we tried now for several years to have the fur industry stop their widespread false advertising and labeling," Judd said.

She added the group wants to alert consumers, especially those concerned about animal welfare, that fur garments are "best left out of the shopping bag."

Representatives from Macy's and Neiman Marcus said they don't comment on pending litigation. Dillard's, Lord & Taylor and Andrew Marc did not return telephone calls for comment. A representative from Saks could not be immediately reached by The Associated Press after calls seeking comment.

Judd said the suit was filed in D.C. under its Consumer Protection Procedures Act because the Humane Society focused much of its investigation in the Washington region. All the retailers named in the suit have stores in the area. Andrew Marc sells his brands online and in retail stores around Washington.

Since it began investigating in 2005, Judd said the Humane Society has sent dozens of letters to retailers — including those named in Monday's suit — informing them of their findings.

Some companies, including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger stopped selling fur products, Judd said. Others, such as rap artist Sean "Diddy" Combs, quit producing coats from his Sean John line that had raccoon dog fur; and rapper Jay-Z pulled coats with raccoon dog from his Rocawear label.

Raccoon dogs resemble oversized, fluffy raccoons and aren't kept as pets. According to the suit, more than 1.5 million of them are being raised for their fur in China, and have been documented to be skinned alive. Importing raccoon dog fur isn't illegal.

The Humane Society never received a "written commitment to stop selling mislabeled fur" from the six defendants after alerting them to the group's findings, Judd said.

The defendants are also among more than 20 companies named in two legal petitions the Humane Society filed earlier this year and in 2007 with the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the federal fur labeling act.

In the petitions, the animal rights group ask the commission to fine the high-end retailers and designers of clothing that contains mislabeled fur. The group also would like inventories seized and, possibly, charges filed.

In 2007, Charles Jayson, chief executive of Andrew Marc, disputed the Humane Society and insisted in a statement that all fur on his coats labeled as raccoon contains "only farm-bred raccoon fur from Finland, and our items labeled 'faux fur' are a 100 percent synthetic fabric."

Mislabeling fur is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine or a year in prison. Fur valued at less than $150 doesn't have to be labeled.

The petitions are still pending.

The Humane Society said it began investigating mislabeled fur claims after the society got a tip from someone who bought a coat with trim labeled as faux fur that felt real. At the time, teams bought coats from popular retailers and then had the coats tested by mass spectrometry, which measures the mass and sequence of proteins.

The society said most of the fur came from China.

Animal Abuser and Convicted Felon Michael Vick Pleads Guilty to State Charges of Dogfighting

Remember, Vick was recently convicted of federal charges related to dog fighting. So, these are additional charges.

For those who have forgotten, please visit our story about his dog fighting conviction and description of horrible abuse of dogs he carried out at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html

Article:

Vick Pleads Guilty to State Charge

http://views.washingtonpost.com/theleague/nflnewsfeed/2008/11/vick-pleads-guilty-to-state-charge.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Michael Vick pleaded guilty today to a state dogfighting-related charge and was sentenced to a suspended jail term.

The resolution of the state charges against Vick, the quarterback who is serving a 23-month federal prison sentence and is on indefinite suspension by the NFL, potentially could speed his prospective return to football. With no further charges pending against him, Vick becomes eligible to serve the final portion of his federal prison sentence in a halfway house.

"I want to apologize to the court, my family and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model," Vick told the judge during today's hearing, according to the Associated Press.

Vick appeared in Surry County Circuit Court in Sussex, Va., reportedly arriving more than two hours early and wearing a gray suit.

He pleaded guilty to one count under a plea deal and not guilty to another count, and had that charge dropped. He was sentenced to a three-year suspended jail term and probation.

The jail term remains suspended as long as Vick completes four years of good behavior.

Surry County Circuit Judge Samuel Campbell approved the plea deal. He had not been bound by it in sentencing Vick.

Vick is serving his federal prison sentence in Leavenworth, Kan., for his role in a dogfighting operation based at a home that he owned in Virginia. He's scheduled to be released on July 20, 2009.

Each of the state felony counts against Vick was punishable by up to five years in jail. Vick pleaded guilty to one count of promoting dogfighting and not guilty to a count that involved animal cruelty, under the plea deal.

Vick was taken to Virginia last Thursday after Campbell rejected a request by Vicks' attorneys for him to plead guilty by videoconference.

The NFL will have to rule on Vick's suspension and his eligibility to play. Such a ruling is unlikely before he's released from prison. He remains under contract to the Atlanta Falcons but the franchise's owner, Arthur Blank, has said the team will not have him back. Vick's attorneys have indicated in bankruptcy court proceedings that he expects to play in the NFL again.

Vick reportedly arrived around 6:40 a.m. for his court appearance today. He had shackles on his wrists and ankles, according to the AP, but they were removed for the hearing. Family members and friends attended the hearing. About 20 uniformed police officers were stationed outside the building and Vick was driven to a covered garage in the back, the AP reported. Nine animal rights protesters stood quietly outside, according to the AP report.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

List of Charities that Test on Animals and List of Charities that DO NOT Test on Animals

Unfortunately, just as with companies, charities still unnecessarly engage in animal testing (vivisection).

Perhaps you are a regular giver to a particular charity, but want to make sure they do not test on animals. Perhaps you want to start giving to a particular charity but do not want to support animal testing (vivisection).

How do you quickly find out if a particular charity tests on animals?

It’s actually pretty easy to do so.

I’ve listed three key resources below that will help you research if a charity engages in, or does not engage in, animal testing (vivisection). Please bookmark or pass on to friends, co workers and family.

For a link to a current list of charities that test on animals (perform animal testing), visit http://www.geari.org/charities-test-on-animals.html

For a link to a current list of charities that DO NOT test on animals (DO NOT perform animal testing), visit http://www.geari.org/charities-dont-test-on-animals.html

Another excellent way to find out if a charity tests on animals or does not test on animals is to visit the PCRM Human Charity Seal lookup site at http://www.humaneseal.org/search.cfm Simply put in the name of a charity or search by category, and very quickly you will find out if that charity is associated with animal testing (vivisection). Quick and very easy to use.

List of Companies that Test on Animals and List of Companies that DO NOT Test on Animals

Unfortunately animal testing (vivisection) is alive and well. What if though you want to quickly find out if a particular company tests on animals? How do you do that?

I periodically like to remind people just how easy it is to quickly find out if a company does test on animals or if a company does not test on animals. I’ve listed three key resources below that will help you research if a company engages in, or does not engage in, animal testing (vivisection).

Please bookmark or pass on to friends, co workers and family.

For a link to a current list of companies that test on animals (perform animal testing), visit http://www.geari.org/companies-test-on-animals.html

For a link to a current list of companies that DO NOT test on animals (DO NOT perform animal testing), visit http://www.geari.org/companies-dont-test-on-animals.html

The National Anti-Vivisection Society(NAVS) Animal Testing Company and Product Look Up Tool at http://www.navs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ain_pt_whois Simply put in the name of a company or the name of a product and very quickly you will see if that company or product is associated with animal testing. A quick and easy-to-use resource.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Excellent Video Shows the Life and Concerns of the Endangered Mountain Gorilla: Clear Footage & Sound Interviews take you Into their Challenged World

The endangered Mountain Gorilla is a species that has always held a place in my concerns. As many know, like the chimpanzee, the mountain gorilla is a closely related primate species to modern Homo sapiens (humans). Though most don’t view it as such, it is true that their destruction is our destruction. In the same respect, unfortunately, their destruction is also due to human destruction caused a lot by human activity.

This video does a couple of things. For one, it gives a very excellent and clear video trip into the Bwindi Forest and to the daily life of the Mountain Gorilla. It’s hard not to be in awe of the environment they live in, and of their beauty and behavior.

Two, it gives a clear description of why they are endangered and what factors are contributing to their continual population decline. There are only 720 left in the wild. A critical state indeed.

A few factors mentioned include:

Pressure for resources: Oil and gas, minerals, land – for coffee and lumber (hardwoods – aka, vanity).

As mentioned in the video, they are “surrounded by a sea of humans.” So pressure for arable land from locals.

War, political instability, national and regional conflicts: Everyone remembers the hell of the strife between Uganda (where the Bwindi Forest is), Rwanda, DRC.

The disgusting practice of bush meat: Gorillas inadvertently and purposely caught in snares to fee the vanity of the appetite of groups of humans.

I encourage all of you to take a few minutes and view the video. It really is well done and will give you a clear look at the life of the Mountain Gorilla and the real concerns they face.

The video is embedded below. Simply click on it to view it.




You can also view the video via this link
http://www.vbs.tv/video.php?id=1877562164

Legislative Animal Rights Victory: Massachusetts Voters Overwhelmingly Vote to Ban Greyhound Racing in the State

This amazing ban does a couple important things. For one, the obvious is that it will immediately put an end to the suffering of racing dogs at tracks in the state of Massachusetts. The other less obvious consequence, is that it will begin to raise awareness to the suffering and cruelty behind greyhound racing in general. In effect, it answers the question: why is greyhound racing cruel? This full ban will make people stop and think about greyhound racing in a greater way, as it probably is an issue they haven’t thought much about before.

To learn more about why greyhound racing is inherently cruel, visit this excellent page by Grey2K USA at http://www.grey2kusa.org/racing/cruel.html Here are just a few facts you will see at the page:

A Life of Endless Confinement: While at the racetrack, dogs are confined in small cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around for long hours each day. On average, over one thousand dogs live in warehouse style kennels at each racetrack.

Dogs Suffer Serious Injuries: Thousands of dogs are seriously injured each year at commercial racetracks, including dogs that suffer broken legs, cardiac arrest, spinal cord paralysis and broken necks. Unfortunately, not all of these injuries are reported to the public because some states do not even keep records on the number of dogs injured each year.

Dogs are Killed When They are No Longer Profitable: Thousands of dogs are killed when they are injured or are no longer fast enough to be profitable. According to the pro-racing National Greyhound Association, an estimated 5,000 dogs were killed in 2003.”

Article:

Mass. voters approve dog racing ban

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/11/question_3_setu.html?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed4

November 4, 2008 10:18 PM Email

(David Kamerman/Globe Staff)

Christine Dorchak, president of Grey2K USA, a greyhound advocacy group, cheered with Kathy Estridge, Leslie Scheideler, and Tracy Casner, during a party for supporters of the dog racing ban at a Boston nightclub.

By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff

Massachusetts voters today embraced a ballot question to end greyhound racing in the state, rejecting track owners’ arguments that the ban would cost jobs at a time of economic hardship in favor of protecting dogs from harm.

The contentious ballot question passed amid emotional ad campaigns by both sides. Proponents used images of sad-eyed greyhounds that they say are caged inhumanely and raced to injury while opponents put the spotlight on the track employees who would be put out of work if the ballot question passed.

"It's not fair to the dogs," said Dulce Fajardo, 41, a Roxbury Democrat who voted for the ballot question. "I love animals. And for me this is something cruel. They can't defend themselves so we have to do it for them."

The Associated Press called the outcome shortly after 10 p.m.

The Committee to Protect Dogs argued that racing dogs are treated inhumanely -- kept in cages for most of the day and often injured when they are forced to run for sport. The campaign relied upon data kept by the State Racing Commission since mid-2002 showing injuries to more than 800 greyhounds.

The committee -- formed by Grey2K USA, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Medical Center -- spent an estimated $500,000 through Oct. 15, the most recent reporting deadline, campaign finance reports show, and received about $144,000 in in-kind contributions. Activists estimated they had 500 volunteers at the polls today, some of them with their own greyhounds by their sides.

"We had an overwhelmingly positive response, my dog and I," said Christine Dorchak, the co-chair of the committee who worked the polls with her dog, Zoe. "We're optimistic that this will, in fact, be the year of the greyhound."

The Massachusetts Animal Interest Coalition -- funded by the Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park -- launched an emotional counter-campaign arguing that the employees of the state's two dog tracks had done nothing wrong. Instead, the track workers said, they have been following the regulations as handed down by the State Racing Commission after the last ballot question failed. (They note that the injuries they must report to the commission include minor ones.) The coalition argued that the ballot question would put the needs of dogs before the needs of people -- among them, some 1,000 employees of the state's two dog tracks who would lose their jobs.

This time, the ballot question proposed to phase out racing by 2010, leaving workers time to find alternative jobs. But the track and kennel owners fighting the initiative were unmoved by that gesture, saying that a ban on racing would still eliminate jobs and tax revenue at a time when both are sorely needed.

"The real question here is an economic one," said Glenn Totten, a consultant working with the coalition to fight the ballot question. "I don't think things are any better in Worcester or Springfield or Pittsfield in 2008 in comparison to where they were in 2000."

The opposition relied entirely on in-kind contributions from the Raynham-Taunton track of little over $206,000 through the Oct. 15 reporting deadline, and spent about $400,000 since then on broadcast advertising. The campaign was getting help at the polls from union forces, including the electrical workers, carpenters, police, and Teamsters unions.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Stop Animal Cruelty" Measure in California Passes: Bans Farmers from Raising Egg-Laying Hens, Veal Calves, Pregnant Pigs in Small Cages by 2015

The final percentage I saw was 63 to 33%, so, an overwhelming victory.

As always, any measure in this direction is positive. All can hope though that this measure raises awareness to the cruelty of these industries and subsequently, to people to stop eating veal, etc. This measure simply allows more room for the penned.

For those who need a reminder as to the cruelty of veal, including photos and pictures of abused baby cows, see: http://www.noveal.org/

Article:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/04/MN6V13QHQJ.DTL&type=politics

A measure that would ban farmers from raising egg-laying hens, veal calves and pregnant pigs in small cages and crates by 2015 appeared to be headed for victory Tuesday night.Supporters of Proposition 2 said the initiative would guarantee farm animals a better life, giving them the space they need to stand up, turn around, lie down and extend their wings, as well as prevent diseases caused by overcrowding.

Opponents argue that the measure would put California's egg industry out of business, as well as put consumers at risk for disease from imported eggs produced in countries with less stringent standards.

Voters seemed to be siding with the Humane Society of the United States, the backers of the initiative. With nearly a third of the precincts reporting, the "Stop Animal Cruelty" measure was winning by a ratio of better than 3 to 2.

"It's common sense to give animals raised for food enough space to turn around," said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief operating officer of the Humane Society. "We are heartened and encouraged by the returns that provide affirmation of that principle."

Florida, Arizona, Colorado and Oregon have passed similar laws for swine and veal.
But California would be the first state in the nation to demand that all egg-producing chickens be kept in more spacious enclosures or free to roam a henhouse.

Most pig and veal farmers in the state have already gone to larger pen sizes for their animals, making the battle mostly between poultry ranchers and animal-rights activists.

California produces about 6 percent of the nation's table eggs, a $330 million business in 2007. Fifty percent of the eggs sold in California come from other states.

Five to 8 percent of the eggs produced in the state come from cage-free chickens. The majority of California's fryer and broiler chickens are already cage-free.

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