Cheers to United Poultry Concerns UPC for running newspaper ads for International Respect for Chickens Day, which was earlier this month on May 4. Launched by UPC in 2005, International Respect for Chickens Day celebrates chickens throughout the world and protests the suffering of chickens in farming, cockfighting, experimental research, hatching projects and other activities that mistreat chickens. The entire month of May is International Respect for Chickens Month.
UPC is running a series of prominent display ads, through the Spring 2014 semester, in eight separate editions of the University of Maryland-College Park student newspaper, The Diamondback. Designed to contrast the terrible suffering of chickens in slaughterhouses with the beauty of compassion, these ads are part of UPC’s annual International Respect for Chickens Day campaign. Thousands of students, faculty members, alumni and other campus affiliates read The Diamondback every day.
UPC president Karen Davis is urging everyone to do a compassionate action for chickens this month. She suggests people hold an office party or a classroom celebration, write a letter to the editor, set up a table at their local church, shopping mall or community festival, put together a library display, host a delicious vegan open house or simply talk to family and friends about the plight of chickens.
Like UPC, Friends of Animals advocates for a plant-based lifestyle. In our summer edition of Action Line, which will be released next month, you can read about how designer Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart is taking animals out of the fashion equation with her vegan label Vaute Couture and how the CEO of Beyond Meat is creating plant-based protein so good he thinks the non-vegan kind will become obsolete. There is also a story highlighting smartphone apps that can help you make vegan-friendly choices on the go.
Cheers to several prisons that are keeping cats off death row by participating in trap, neuter and return TNR programs for the feral cats living on their grounds. With TNR programs, which Friends of Animals advocates for, unsocialized feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered vaccinated and then returned to their colonies to help keep them out of shelters.
The list of prisons that have adopted TNR include Great Meadow Correctional Facility in New York; Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J.; Gatesville, Texas Crain Unit Prison; Montana State Prison and New York’s Rikers Island. And according to an article on GlobalAnimal.org, it’s not just TNR programs at prisons that help keep cats off death row. More and more correctional institutions are introducing adoption programs for cats whose time at the shelter would likely run out before an adoption came through.
These programs offer inmates a powerful rehabilitation tool and give cats another chance at life. When cats enter the shelter, they are matched with inmates to help the cats get socialized and prepare for life in a home. The inmates have the time and motivation to work with cats who may need special attention. Programs are in place at Monroe Correctional Complex and Larch Corrections Center in Washington, Madison Correctional Institution and Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Ohio, as well as Pendleton Correctional Industrial Facility in Indiana.
Humane feral cat management through TNR is the subject of a new documentary directed by Stan Minasian and supported by FoA called Ten Lives. To see the film in its entirety and purchase a copy, visit this website. A story about the making of Ten Lives is featured in FoA’s spring issue of Action Line. You can read it right here.
We have a cheer for English singer and lyricist Morrissey for sounding off about the atrocious seal hunt in Canada. He recently posted this on the fan site True to You:
This sorrowful Canada
The seal hunt in Canada is struggling to make a start this year due to almost no markets, and China especially is refusing to sell Canadian seal meat. Thank you, China!
China has stated that "animal rights protests" are the reason why they have dropped Canada's custom.
The annual East Coast seal hunt/kill started Monday - against a strong wave of trade and court challenges. Europe continues its ban on seal products.
Gail Shea, the federal Fisheries Minister for Canada, says that baby seals are "killed humanely", and explains how the baby seals are shot by high-powered rifles. Is this a death that Gail Shea would wish for herself? Would it make her happy to be shot by a high-powered rifle? If she considers such butchery to be so "humane", why doesn't she place herself amongst the tens of thousands of grey-coated harp seals that will be slaughtered within the next few weeks? She could then test the humane aspect of having her head blown off for herself. Only then could she be thought to speak with any authority on the subject.
Canada is a beautiful country, and the people of Canada are good people. But good people are often ineffectual. Internationally, Canada's sorry image is due entirely to its seal slaughter - which is greedy and barbaric, and it is dismaying to witness such ignorance in 2014. Sound reason tells us that only those of the thinnest intellect wear animal fur, and because the Canadian government is concerned with animals only economically, killing baby seals with lightning brutality is now Canada's primary global image. Until this annual massacre is abolished, Canada itself is regrettably fashionably dead.
Morrissey is a longtime vegetarian who even penned a song (and album) dubbed "Meat is Murder" with his previous band The Smiths. He has not played in Canada since 2006 in protest of the hunt.
Speaking of his performances, for a sold-out concert last year, he got the Staples Center in Los Angeles to serve all meatless dishes on the first floor of the venue and the McDonald’s outlets were shuttered for the evening.
Last year he also cancelled an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after learning that the guests for that night also included the cast of Duck Dynasty, a show about a family who create duck calls for use in hunting. Morrissey referred to the cast as "animal serial killers.”