Category Archives: Animal Issues

Worcester Mayor Petty parked in animal issues!

BLOOD DRIVE

Mayor Joseph M. Petty Announces 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Blood Drive

All welcome to attend!
 
Thursday, December 31

from 9 AM to 2 PM …

… in the Saxe Room at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square …

… interested parties are invited to donate blood at the 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Blood Drive for the Red Cross.
 
“The holiday season is one of the hardest times for the Red Cross to get blood donations but the need is still great,” said Mayor Petty.  “Last year we set a goal for fourteen donors and had over thirty people donate.  We’re hoping for at least thirty donors again.  We already have thirteen signed up so we’re almost half-way to our goal.”
 
Blood donors with all types, particularly O negative, A negative, and B negative, are urged to make a donation appointment.

Eligible donors can schedule an appointment to give blood using the Blood Donor App, by visiting redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).  Walk-ins are welcome.
 
All presenting donors will receive a Red Cross holiday long-sleeve t-shirt and can enter to win a gift card from Brew City Grill on Shrewsbury Street.

Jim’s parked in Animal Issues!

Congressman Jim McGovern Votes to Pass Omnibus Appropriations Bill to Help Create Jobs and Grow the Economy

Congressman Jim McGovern joined House Democrats and Republicans yesterday in voting 316-113 to pass the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill. This measure funds the government for Fiscal Year 2016. The omnibus bill was part of a bipartisan deal that included a tax extenders bill passed yesterday with a strong bipartisan vote of 318-109.

“Today I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote for the Omnibus to avert a disastrous government shutdown and to make the  investments we need to help our families succeed and grow our economy. While the bill is not perfect, it is a bipartisan compromise that makes strong investments in a wide range of critical programs with increased funding for NIH, Head Start, Pell Grants, job-training, state and local law enforcement, the McGovern-Dole international school feeding program, and many others.
 
“One of the most important victories for working families in the bipartisan deal this week was the provisions in the tax extenders bill that make permanent the improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit that were passed in 2009 as part of the Recovery Act. As a result, these improvements are expected to lift about 16 million people, including about 8 million children, out of poverty or closer to rising above the poverty line. College affordability is a big priority for me and I am glad that we also made permanent the recent improvement to the American Opportunity Tax Credit to help millions of low- and middle-income families pay for college each year.
 
“Additionally, the Omnibus includes provisions to reauthorize the vital Land and Water Conservation Fund for three years. The LWCF is one of our country’s most successful outdoor recreation and conservation programs. Over the last 50 years, it has helped to protect national parks and forests, farms and ranches, fish and wildlife refuges, trails, and state and local parks in Massachusetts and across the country.
 
“Following the historic international climate agreement reached in Paris last weekend, I am also pleased that this deal will extend tax incentives for investments in wind and solar energy, helping to drive significant reductions in carbon pollution and other dangerous air pollutants and provide certainty for investments in clean energy. 
 
“With any bipartisan legislation, it is essential that both parties are able come to the table to find compromise and reach a deal. While the Omnibus and tax extenders bills are not perfect, the investments they make will put us in a strong position to continue our work with states and businesses to grow the economy and help all of our families succeed. Our work is far from finished, but this is an important step forward and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue this progress in the new year.”
 
Background on Omnibus Bill
 
The bill’s investments in priorities include the following:
 

·  Renewable Energy: 

Provides a major boost to renewable energy by extending the wind Production Tax Credit for five years (through 2019), and extending the solar Investment Tax Credit for five years (through 2021), while phasing both credits down somewhat over time.  Extending the solar tax credit is estimated to create 61,000 jobs in 2017 alone.  It is also estimated that the wind industry will grow to over 100,000 jobs over four years with the renewed wind tax credit.

·   Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy R&D

Provides an 8 percent increase over 2015 for R&D activities in the pursuit of new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.

· Overall Education:

The bill restores the $2.5 billion cut in education that the GOP had proposed and also makes critical additional investments of $1.4 billion above 2015, in such areas as Title I that serves 24 million at-risk students.

· Early Learning: 

Investing in Head Start produces results – and this bill invests nearly $400 million more than the House GOP bill and nearly $600 million more than 2015 in this vital initiative.  The bill also provides $250 million for Preschool Development Grants, assisting 18 states across the country.
  
·  Medical Research: 

Medical research at NIH has been underfunded for the last several years.  This bill provides $900 million more than the House GOP bill and $2 billion more than 2015 for this life-saving research.

· Infrastructure: 

The popular TIGER grants are being used across the country to repair infrastructure and contribute to economic growth.  The House GOP bill had slashed TIGER grants by 80 percent, killing jobs, but this bill restores the funding to the 2015 level of $500 million.

· Law Enforcement:

The bill provides $187 million for COPS hiring grants, $7 million above the 2015 level and $187 million above the House GOP bill, which had eliminated the hiring grants.  The bill also provides $80 million for the Community Policing Initiative, including $22.5 million for body-worn cameras and $15 million for Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grants, an increase over the House bill.     
 
The measure also does not include numerous GOP ideological riders that would have had damaging impacts on America’s women, consumers, workers, and children.  The damaging GOP “poison pill” riders that were removed from the final bill include:
 
·  GOP riders that would have limited women’s access to the full range of comprehensive health care services, including by defunding Planned Parenthood.

·  GOP riders that would have gutted the Dodd-Frank provisions that hold big Wall Street banks accountable

·  GOP riders that would have undermined the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, jeopardizing the health of our children and working families.

·  GOP riders that would have blocked moving forward on addressing climate change and reducing damaging carbon emissions.

·  GOP riders that would have blocked protections that allow workers to form unions.
 
Finally, the Omnibus includes several other important provisions:
 
·  Reauthorizes the key James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, making the Health Program permanent and reauthorizing the Victims Compensation Fund for five years;
·   Delays the so-called “Cadillac” tax, a tax on employer-provided health plans worth over a certain threshold, for two years – from 2018 to 2020;
·   Includes the provisions of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, which addresses issues raised by the terrorist attacks in Paris with reforms to the program; and
·   Reauthorizes the Land and Conservation Fund, which is one of our country’s most successful outdoor recreation and conservation programs and which Republicans allowed to expire on September 30.

We’ve got Michael Moore parked in Animal Issues!

From filmmaker Michael Moore:

michael
Moore vs Trump

Yesterday I went and stood in front of Trump Tower; held a sign until the police came. Then I went home; wrote Donald a letter. Here it is:

Dear Donald Trump:

You may remember (you do, after all, have a “perfect memory!”), that we met back in November of 1998 in the green room of a talk show where we were both scheduled to appear one afternoon. But just before going on, I was pulled aside by a producer from the show who said that you were “nervous” about being on the set with me. She said you didn’t want to be “ripped apart” and you wanted to be reassured I wouldn’t “go after you.”

“Does he think I’m going to tackle him and put him in a choke hold?” I asked, bewildered.

“No,” the producer replied, “he just seems all jittery about you.”

“Huh. I’ve never met the guy. There’s no reason for him to be scared,” I said. “I really don’t know much about him other than he seems to like his name on stuff. I’ll talk to him if you want me to.”

And so, as you may remember, I did. I went up and introduced myself to you. “The producer says you’re worried I might say or do something to you during the show. Hey, no offense, but I barely know who you are. I’m from Michigan. Please don’t worry — we’re gonna get along just fine!”

You seemed relieved, then leaned in and said to me, “I just didn’t want any trouble out there and I just wanted to make sure that, you know, you and I got along. That you weren’t going to pick on me for something ridiculous.”

“Pick on” you? I thought, where are we, in 3rd grade? I was struck by how you, a self-described tough guy from Queens, seemed like such a fraidey-cat.

You and I went on to do the show. Nothing untoward happened between us. I didn’t pull on your hair, didn’t put gum on your seat. “What a wuss,” was all I remember thinking as I left the set.

And now, here we are in 2015 and, like many other angry white guys, you are frightened by a bogeyman who is out to get you. That bogeyman, in your mind, are all Muslims. Not just the ones who have killed, but ALL MUSLIMS.

Fortunately, Donald, you and your supporters no longer look like what America actually is today. We are not a country of angry white guys. Here’s a statistic that is going to make your hair spin: Eighty-one percent of the electorate who will pick the president next year are either female, people of color, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35. In other words, not you. And not the people who want you leading their country.

So, in desperation and insanity, you call for a ban on all Muslims entering this country. I was raised to believe that we are all each other’s brother and sister, regardless of race, creed or color. That means if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else.

We are all Muslim.

Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between. We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota. If you don’t like living by these American rules, then you need to go to the time-out room in any one of your Towers, sit there, and think about what you’ve said.

And then leave the rest of us alone so we can elect a real president who is both compassionate and strong – at least strong enough not to be all whiny and scared of some guy in a ballcap from Michigan sitting next to him on a talk show couch. You’re not so tough, Donny, and I’m glad I got to see the real you up close and personal all those years ago.

We are all Muslim. Deal with it.

All my best,

Michael Moore

P.S. I’m asking everyone who reads this letter to go here (http://michaelmoore.com/weareallmuslim) and sign the following statement: “WE ARE ALL MUSLIM” — and then post a photo of yourself holding a homemade sign saying “WE ARE ALL MUSLIM” on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #WeAreAllMuslim. I will post all the photos on my site and send them to you, Mr. Trump. Feel free to join us.

P.P.S. To sign my statement for #WeAreAllMuslim, go here on my website: http://michaelmoore.com/weareallmuslim

5 holiday pet hazards you never thought about

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Lilac says: Mommy, let’s play! FOREVER!

You’ve probably heard the standard advice about keeping your pets safe during the holidays: Don’t let dogs gnaw on turkey bones, make sure cats don’t swallow tinsel.

But veterinarians see a slew of other holiday emergencies you may never have considered. Here are just a few:

Christmas lights:

A string of Christmas lights may not sound dangerous, but every year veterinarians treat dogs and cats with electrical burns on their mouths. The reason? Some pets, especially cats and puppies, just love to chew those power cords.
A jingle bell toy. Buy a big package of cat toys and you’re likely to get a small plastic ball with jingle bells inside it. When is this dangerous? When your dog decides it’s a delectable treat and swallows it.

Xylitol:

If you give your dog some fatty human food, vomiting and diarrhea may result. But low-calorie food could hurt dogs even more – and possibly kill them  –  if it includes the artificial sweetener xylitol. The substance is highly toxic to dogs. It shows up in gum, sugar-free candies and baked goods  –  even in a few types of specialty peanut butters. Check labels to avoid the danger.

The ribbons on your presents:

Ribbons can cause big problems when dogs or cats ingest them, especially if they travel all the way into the intestines.

Grandma’s purse:

Or anyone else’s! Especially if they leave it on the floor where your inquisitive pet may stick a nose inside it and wind up eating something dangerous like a bottle of medicine.

Lame, struggling elephants still on the road with Ringling circus

From PETA.ORG:

PETA is calling on Indianapolis and federal officials to bar Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from forcing lame elephants Mable and Assan to perform this weekend. Recent footage shows the two elephants being forced to do tricks even though they appear to be in pain. PETA gave the footage to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Indianapolis Animal Care & Control and asked both to investigate and intervene.

PETA is especially concerned about Assan, who has been showing signs of severe arthritis for years, because the circus continues to use her in performances. Even Ringling’s own veterinarian recently admitted that Assan has circulatory issues caused by the circus’s transport conditions. And earlier this year, an elephant expert found that both animals had cracked toenails, which can be debilitating.

Ringling hauls elephants around the country for up to 50 weeks a year—confined to tiny boxcars, chained on hard surfaces, and forced to stand amid their own waste. These harsh conditions are known to cause arthritis and painful, chronic foot problems, both of which are often a death sentence for elephants.

What You Can Do

Ask Ringling to retire these elephants immediately to a reputable sanctuary where they can get the medical attention that they need and recover from the daily trauma of circus life.

Stopping climate change can begin at breakfast

By Craig Shapiro
 
Some 80 world leaders are meeting this month at the 21st annual Conference of Parties, the critical world climate change conference in Paris, in the hope of reaching a legally binding, universal agreement to curb carbon emissions and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
 
The goal is crucial and long overdue.
 
But it’s also in jeopardy. Concerns have already been raised that the summit will not meet its goal. Christiana Figueres, the United Nations (U.N.) climate chief, predicts that it will fall short of the 2-degree target, and there is heated disagreement over which countries among the more than 190 that will be represented should cut greenhouse-gas emissions the most and which ones should pay for it.
 
While diplomats bicker and compromise, the Earth suffers. But we don’t have to wait for them to agree—each of us can act right now to protect the environment, starting with our breakfast.

Simply eating food derived from plants instead of from animals is one of the most effective actions that we can take to limit climate change.
 
Raising and killing billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens and other animals for food every year is responsible for a staggering 51 percent or more of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide. It’s no wonder that the U.N. has said that a global shift toward vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
 
Making that shift has never been more urgent. Last month, the World Meteorological Organization reported that concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide, key greenhouse gases, appeared to be increasing rapidly and that average levels of carbon dioxide had risen 43 percent over pre-industrial levels. Researchers at Britain’s University of East Anglia followed with another ominous finding—the Earth’s average temperature has exceeded historic norms by 1.02 degrees Celsius.
 
According to a 2014 study by researchers at the University of Oxford, just by going vegan, we can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that our diet contributes to climate change by up to 60 percent. Eating plant-based meals also helps prevent other kinds of environmental damage.
 

Eighty percent of agricultural land—nearly half the land mass of the contiguous United States—is used to raise animals for food and grow crops to feed them. Meat production wastes precious water, too: It takes more than 2,400 gallons to produce a pound of cow flesh, while producing a pound of whole-wheat flour requires only 180 gallons. Runoff from factory farms and livestock grazing pollutes our groundwater, lakes, rivers and oceans. Reducing our reliance on meat, eggs and dairy foods would free up land, water and other resources for growing food for hungry humans instead.
 
Eating vegan doesn’t just help the Earth. It has also been tied to lower rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and many other maladies. And of course, leaving animals off our plates prevents horrific cruelty.
 
Piglets raised for meat often have their tails cut off, the ends of their teeth broken off with pliers and notches cut out of their ears without any pain relief. Cows on dairy farms are repeatedly impregnated and their newborn calves are torn away from them almost immediately so that humans can take the milk that was meant for their calves. Turkeys and chickens are shackled upside down in slaughterhouses, have their throats cut and are plunged into scalding-hot water, often while still conscious.
 
Going vegan is eco-friendly, healthy and humane, but odds are that it won’t be one of the solutions discussed in Paris. That doesn’t matter, though, because climate change is everyone’s fight, and the bell is ringing.p

It’s long past time to free chimpanzees from labs

By Justin Goodman
 
Last month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it would retire all federally owned chimpanzees from laboratories to sanctuaries, a move that came after decades of campaigning by PETA and other animal advocates. While this is welcome and long overdue news, the fight for chimpanzee freedom isn’t quite over yet.
 
Chimpanzees have been tormented in experiments since the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force captured dozens of young chimpanzees in Africa and brought them back to the States for use in violent crash tests that broke their necks, burned their skin off, caused traumatic brain injuries and killed many.
 
But the plight of chimpanzees in laboratories was not catapulted into the public consciousness until 1986, when a group of animal liberationists broke into the NIH-funded SEMA laboratory (now BIOQUAL) in Rockville, Maryland, and documented the miserable living conditions of nearly 700 chimpanzees and other primates who were infected with illnesses including HIV (even though we’ve known since then that chimpanzees do not get sick from HIV and never develop AIDS), locked alone inside cages too small for them to stand or lie down properly and imprisoned in the building’s basement, where they suffered in loneliness and pain. What activists found at SEMA jump-started efforts to free chimpanzees from laboratories.
 
Dr. Jane Goodall described a subsequent visit to SEMA as “the worst experience of my life.” Over the next three decades, Dr. Goodall, PETA and other animal-protection groups campaigned vigorously to get approximately 1,000 chimpanzees out of laboratories (including BIOQUAL), organizing demonstrations, filing countless federal complaints, lobbying members of Congress, filing shareholder resolutions, criticizing the ineffectiveness of experiments on great apes and more.
 
A breakthrough came in 2011, when a landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report commissioned by the NIH at the behest of Congress concluded that experiments on chimpanzees — including those taking place at the time in which baby chimpanzees were infected with norovirus or hepatitis — are “unnecessary,” something that PETA and others had testified to during the IOM hearings and had been saying for decades.

As a result, the NIH suspended funding for new experiments on chimpanzees while it considered its next steps.
 
In 2013, NIH announced that it was cutting funding for virtually all experiments on chimpanzees and retiring 310 of the 360 chimpanzees it owned to sanctuaries.

The remaining 50 were allegedly being kept for some hypothetical, unknown future use, an ill-advised decision criticized by PETA and others.
 
Then, in September of this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expanded “endangered” status to chimpanzees in laboratories, effectively banning invasive experiments on these highly endangered animals and ruling out NIH’s plan to potentially use chimpanzees again in the future.

This and NIH’s determination that there is a “complete absence of interest” in such experiments provided the impetus behind last week’s announcement that all the chimpanzees held by the agency would be retired to sanctuaries.
 
However, despite NIH’s pledges dating back to 2013, few chimpanzees have actually been transferred from laboratories to sanctuaries and many have died while waiting.
 
Some of these chimpanzees are just a few years old, while others have been imprisoned in laboratories for half a century. They all now have a chance to experience the peace and freedom of a sanctuary. NIH needs to act quickly to fulfill its promise before any more chimpanzees die waiting for the freedom that they’ve been promised.
 
Members of Congress who’ve been advocating for retiring the chimpanzee since the 1990s recognize the urgency of the situation, too. Right after the NIH announcement, representatives Sam Farr and Lucille Roybal-Allard wrote to NIH Director Francis S. Collins requesting that he immediately make financial arrangements for the promised retirements and provide specific details about NIH’s timeline and strategy for transferring all federally owned chimpanzees from laboratories to sanctuaries.
 
As Jane Goodall has said, “If we do not do something to help these creatures, we make a mockery of the whole concept of justice.”

When holiday shopping always buy hand cream, soaps, perfumes, shampoos NOT tested on animals!

SOFIAengHORIZ300

ELF, Wet n Wild, Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Physicians Formula, The Body Shop – ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS: NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS! These companies’ cruelty-free holiday beauty goodies are available at Target, CVS, Walgreens.

Animal Rights has gone mainstream!

– R.T.