Momentum to Rebuild Canada’s Cruel Commercial Sealing Industry Is Growing | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

Bloody legacy: Animal activists gather in Calgary, Alberta, to protest the Canadian seal hunt. “More than one million seals have been slaughtered in the past five years alone,” according to the Humane Society of the United States. “These kill levels are among the highest witnessed in Canada in half a century. The last time seals were killed at this rate—in the 1950s and ’60s—the harp seal population was reduced by as much as two-thirds.” (Photo credit: Robert Thivierge/Flickr)

Humane Society International: Right now, momentum to rebuild the commercial sealing industry in Canada is growing. Sealing associations have made three proposals to the federal government that would expand the commercial sealing industry in Canada. One would lift restrictions on commercial sealing licenses, another would allow the killing of baby seals in a nature reserve in Quebec, and a third one would open a mass commercial seal hunt in British Columbia, in which tens of thousands of seals and sea lions would be clubbed, shot and harpooned. There has been much progress over the years shutting this industry down, taking away much of the incentive to kill baby seals. Today, most sealers do not participate in the slaughter because it is no longer profitable, but passing these proposals would be a huge step backward.
>>>Urge Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Benoit Charette to ignore these outrageous proposals and stop the commercial seal hunt.

In Defense of Animals: Yellowstone National Park is currently capturing resident bison to serve private ranching interests, and has already shipped 150 to slaughter. Others are held in quarantine, subject to invasive tests to determine if they carry a disease called brucellosis, a reproductive disease introduced to Yellowstone bison by ranchers. Every year, the National Park Service cooperates in roundups and slaughter to serve ranchers who fear that bison will transmit brucellosis to cows, even though there has never been a documented case of this happening. This senseless bison harassment and slaughter privileges private industry over some of our most iconic wildlife, and works directly against the long-term survival and expansion of the Yellowstone bison herds. It’s unconscionable that our national mammal is not even safe in our oldest national park.
>>>Urge Yellowstone Superintendent Cameron Sholly to stop cooperating in the slaughter of America’s wild bison. At the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry, a team of scientists has been maiming and killing cats since 2002, conducting brain experiments to study the science of vision. These deplorable experiments continue what was started over thirty years ago in 1985, funded by a federal grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI). These arcane and useless experiments are killing and maiming helpless cats merely to create esoteric maps of neurons involved in visual processing. Trusting and loving cats, some as young as 4 months old, are purchased from suppliers and brought into labs at the SUNY College of Optometry. There they are cut up and tortured in lengthy procedures that go on for hours. Anesthetized and paralyzed, their heads are mounted in frames to keep their eyes focused on flashing images while their skulls are removed and their brains are cruelly probed with electrodes. This horrific, dead-end research has consumed $7.95 million taxpayer dollars and has not resulted in any treatments for vision disorders. Over $800,000 was spent in 2017 alone.
>>>Urge the National Eye Institute and the SUNY College of Optometry to end these horrific experiments immediately.

Blue Planet Society: Protected short-beaked common dolphins are being killed in huge numbers by the fishing industry wherever mid-water trawlers targeting pelagic fish species operate in EU waters. This barbaric practice is referred to as ‘bycatch’ by the fishing industry.
>>>Urge EU Commissioner for Environment Maritime Affairs & Fisheries Karmenu Vella to take action immediately to stop this slaughter.

Cause for concern…

Up in smoke: Scholven Power Station, a coal-fired power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7 percent last year, to 33.1 metric gigatons—the equivalent to a full year’s worth of emissions from international aviation. The burning of coal, which President Trump has strongly advocated, accounted for a third of the emissions growth. “Perhaps the most worrying finding in the report is the threat of a feedback loop between severe weather events and carbon emissions,” notes The Economist. “According to the IEA, a hotter-than-average summer and colder-than-average winter led to greater use of heating and air conditioning, which together were responsible for about half of the rise in energy demand in America and roughly a fifth of the worldwide increase. If humans keep burning fuel to shield themselves from extreme temperatures, and the emissions produced by that activity cause temperatures to become ever more extreme, the worst-case scenarios for climate change are more likely to materialize.” (Photo credit: Guy Gorek/Flickr)

Round of applause…

Furry freedom: Following a year-long campaign by White Coat Waste Project (WCW), a taxpayer watchdog group, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is ending all cat experiments and adopting out the 14 cats remaining at its laboratory. The decision follows just two weeks after WCW released a report exposing the USDA’s kitten cannibalism experiments using cats and dogs purchased from meat markets in China. “This is a historic victory and we’re proud to share it with the 2 million WCW supporters who helped make it possible,” said WCW vice president Justin Goodman. (Photo credit: Torrey Wiley/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.” —Jane Goodall

Trump Poised to Threaten Endangered Whales in Oceanic Hunt for Oil | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

Deafening depths: A North Atlantic right whale and calf. With fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales remaining, the threat of seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling could push the critically endangered population to extinction. (Photo credit: NOAA/Flickr)

Oceana: President Trump stands poised to green-light new seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean—and the fate of one of the world’s most critically endangered whales hangs in the balance. The dynamite-like blasts of seismic airguns—used to search for oil and gas deposits—hinder North Atlantic right whales’ ability to find food, ward off sickness and keep track of their babies. Their existence is already hanging by a thread. No calves are known to have been born during this year’s calving season, and in the past year, at least 17 whales have been found dead—the most since scientists started reporting on mortality rates. Only about 100 breeding females remain alive.
>>>Tell the Trump administration that you want to protect North Atlantic right whales from harmful seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling.

Food Justice Community Benefits Coalition: As a start-up food tech company operating in more than 10 large U.S. cities, Imperfect Produce has a massive impact on smaller organizations. Since 2015, millions of dollars in venture capital has allowed the “ugly” fruit and vegetable delivery service to use the language and messaging from small farmers and community-based organizations that are building resilient, sovereign food systems, even as they out-advertise and out-compete smaller community-based producers. Imperfect Produce is consolidating ownership in the food system and aims to be the gatekeeper to the access of this precious commodity to food banks, food pantries and community-based organizations.
>>>Urge Imperfect Produce to adopt the 6 Global Principles of Food Sovereignty to mitigate the impact they have on small-scale food producers, distributors and farmers.

WASHPIRG Students: The University of Washington still uses fossil fuels for much of its power needs, including electricity, transportation and heating. The university can be a green leader by committing to converting entirely to renewable energy sources by the year 2050, making substantial investments in sustainable infrastructure and increasing transparency on what efforts are being made. Action by the University of Washington to move towards a clean, renewable future will set an example for other universities—and the rest of the nation.
>>>Urge UW President Ana Mari Cauce to put the university on a path to powering all operations with clean, renewable energy by 2050 and for all electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.

Care2: Since December 2018, more than 20 race horses have died at the famous Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. One died from a heart attack, while the others were euthanized after suffering catastrophic leg injuries on the track. It has been a very wet winter in California, with over 11 inches of rain falling in Arcadia, so that may be contributing to the deaths. Another possible factor is that, according to a 2012 New York Times investigation, California researchers found that 90 percent of horses that break down on the track had pre-existing injuries. The horses are given painkillers so they can continue to run.
>>>Urge the City of Arcadia and LA County to shut down the Santa Anita Race Track

PETA: As the Animal Welfare Board of India’s inspection reveals, animals used in Indian circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment. Whips, bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end—and other devices are used to inflict pain on the animals and beat them into submission. They perform frightening, confusing tricks, such as jumping through rings of fire—not because they want to but out of fear of violent punishment. Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Greece have already outlawed the use of all animals in circuses, but so far, the Indian government has banned only the use of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers and lions. Other species are also suffering in Indian circuses and are in great need of the same protection.
>>>Urge Indian officials to amend legislation in order to extend the circus ban to all animals.

Cause for concern…

Silenced songs: Fewer than 500 black-winged mynas are left in the wild in Indonesia, but the species is not protected by an international conservation agreement. Researchers estimate its population has declined by at least 80 percent over the last decade, primarily due to the trade in pet birds. (Photo credit: Doug Jansonjj/Wikipedia)

Round of applause…

Empire State’s had enough: Plastic bags stuck in trees at East River Park in New York City. New York is set to become the third state with a statewide single-use plastic bag ban, following California and Hawaii. “I am proud to announce that together, we got it done,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a joint statement announcing the plastic bag ban with fellow Democrats Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate majority leader, and Carl Heastie, the Assembly speaker. The ban will begin on March 1, 2020. (Photo credit: AmelieNewYork/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“The education of women is the best way to save the environment.” —E. O. Wilson

Across Africa, Elephant Populations Are Collapsing: Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

Gentle giants, gunned down: Poaching is pushing the African elephant to extinction. Their numbers have plummeted by 62 percent over the last decade alone. Between 2010 and 2012, an estimated 100,000 African elephants were killed by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts. A century ago, there were around 10 million elephants roaming Africa. Today, only around 400,000 individuals remain. Hunters argue that trophy hunting older male elephants helps supports elephant conservation efforts; however, the revenue generated from hunting fees that local communities ultimately see is insignificant. In addition, “older male elephants are very important to the health and genetic vitality of a population,” according to Cynthia Moss, head of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya. “Killing these males compromises the next generation of the population.” (Photo credit: Jeremy T. Hetzel/Flickr)

Rainforest Rescue: When people think of Botswana, they often picture majestic herds of elephants roaming free across the savanna. For years, the country has been a safe haven for Africa’s elephants. But unless we speak out, we may soon be seeing images of grinning trophy hunters posing with their kills. Elephant populations are collapsing across Africa. Yet Botswana’s government wants to “manage” its herds by lifting its ban on trophy hunting and carrying out “regular but limited culls.” The authorities even suggested that the meat of the elephants could be canned and sold as pet food.
>>>Urge Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi to keep the hunting ban in place, reject the proposed culls and step up measures to fight poaching.

PETA: A total of 350 dogs were pulled out of the 2018 Iditarod—likely because of exhaustion, illness or injury. A necropsy report for Blonde—a dog who died after being pulled from the race—revealed that his death was consistent with aspiration pneumonia, showing that he likely choked to death on his own vomit from being forced to run excessively hard, the leading cause of death for dogs who die in the Iditarod. More than 150 dogs have perished in the history of this race, not counting innumerable others who died during the off-season while kept on chains or who were killed simply because they couldn’t run fast enough.
>>>Urge The Odom Corporation to join the growing list of companies that have ended their affiliations with this death race.

Pew Charitable Trusts: The Pacific Fishery Management Council is considering authorization of one of the most damaging methods of fishing in the world: pelagic longline fishing gear. This is despite the Council’s stated commitment to reduce the injury and death of non-target marine life, commonly known as bycatch. Notorious in international waters, longline boats deploy lines that can stretch up to 60 miles with hundreds of hooks that ensnare recreationally important fish such as marlin, sharks, seabirds and a host of other marine wildlife. If pelagic longlines are ultimately authorized, the decision will thwart existing efforts to reduce bycatch, specifically the transition of the drift gillnet fleet to less harmful fishing methods such as deep-set buoy gear.
>>>Urge the Pacific Fishery Management Council to oppose the use of pelagic longlines off the West Coast.

Care2: Tales of unethical treatment of animals at the Austin Zoo have long been whispered by employees but it wasn’t until a few animal deaths that workers there finally said they had enough. According to the Austin American-Statesman, nearly 24 current and former staff members told reporters that the zoo had, on several occasions, opted to let sick and dying animals suffer. In 2010, when Annie, one of the zoo’s patas monkeys, went blind, they decided to separate her for her own good. Alone, she languished for nearly 10 years, suffering a rattlesnake bite and several strokes that progressively rendered her paralyzed. Zoo officials then let her wither away for a decade until she finally died in her caretaker’s arms. This is not normal procedure and it shows why this zoo is not accredited and their mission of “helping animals” is suspect.
>>>Tell Marriott, Lowe’s and Whole Foods to cut ties immediately with the Austin Zoo to send a message that this type of treatment towards animals is not acceptable.

Cause for concern…

Risk ignorance: The landscape between the Cape Fear River and the Outer Banks was submerged in water after Hurricane Florence dumped 13 trillion gallons of rain onto the Carolinas in September 2018. Scientists estimate that the hurricane was 50 percent worse due to climate change. Though the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Obama administration stressed the importance of climate risk, the new plan formed by the Trump administration does not even include the phrase “climate change.” (Photo credit: Matin Guptil/Flickr)

Round of applause…

Dirty business: The scarred landscape of a coal mine in Estercuel, Spain. On March 8, Antonio Huertas, the CEO of Mapfre, the largest non-life insurer in Spain and Latin America, announced that his company would stop underwriting new coal mines and power plants, and would no longer invest in firms that derive more than 30 percent of their revenue from coal. (Photo credit: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo/Wikipedia)

Parting thought…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

California Has an Opportunity to Ban Fur Trapping | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

Happy in their own skin: Foxes are among many species of animals killed in California to supply the global demand for fur. California now has a chance to ban fur trapping in the state if a new bill becomes law. (Photo credit: Rachid H/Flickr)



In Defense of Animals: Despite a leg-hold and body-gripping trap ban enacted in 1998, wild animals throughout California continue to be killed by unimaginably cruel trap-and-kill methods in the name of vanity. Every year, hundreds of fur-bearing animals including coyotes, mink, foxes, beavers, raccoons, badgers, and various other species are trapped in California so that their skins can be sold to countries around the world including Russia and China. Trappers viciously kill animals and strip them of their pelts in large quantities within small areas, threatening the survival of the populations and negatively interfering with their habitats. Now, Californians finally have a chance to prohibit all fur trapping in the Golden State. California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has introduced Assembly Bill 273 to prohibit the issuance of fur trapping licenses in the state.
>>If you live in California, urge the California State Assembly to support a statewide fur trapping ban. If you live outside California, sign this petition. Porpoises, dolphins and whales are being driven from feeding grounds and can be deafened by acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) used by salmon farms. These mammals echolocate to find food, and if deafened will starve. Most Scottish salmon farms use cheap single nets in which dead fish accumulate, tempting seals to bite through the nets. 121 of 172 farms use ADDs (outputting over 179 decibels) to deter seals, but because ADDs are not very effective, farmers using ADDs also shoot seals. There are alternatives: Marine Harvest use ADDs and shoot seals in Scotland, however in British Columbia, where ADDs and seal shooting are banned, the company uses double-skinned anti-predator nets, which also solve the problem of escapes.
>>>Urge Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham to protect cetaceans by banning ADDs.

Dog Meat Free Indonesia: Live animal markets—locally known as “traditional markets”—in North Sulawesi and throughout Indonesia are places of extreme cruelty. Every week, tens of thousands of animals are traded and slaughtered, including many thousands of dogs and cats. Thousands of live dogs and cats are put through hell every week—terrified and trembling, they wait their turn. Children watch as dogs are repeatedly bludgeoned over the head and blow-torched alive. Not only is this trade cruel, it also poses a threat to public health and safety, and is largely illegal—encouraging dog theft, illegal wildlife trade and enabling the transmission of deadly diseases such as rabies by accepting dogs of unknown disease-status from outside the province.
>>>Urge Indonesian President Joko Widodo to close down these markets of extreme cruelty.

Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald: Individuals everywhere must make different choices if humanity—and many of the world’s other species—are to avoid a “bleak” future, leading environmental campaigner Jane Goodall says. Dr. Goodall, who is heading to Australia in May for a series of talks dubbed Rewind the Future, said “the consumer must take responsibility,” adding “the accumulation of millions of ethical choices will certainly make a difference—and it’s beginning to happen.” Dr. Goodall blamed an “unholy alliance” between governments and big fossil fuel companies for slowing the advance of renewable energy that could have seen many more people get off the power grid by now.
>>>8 habits to become a more ethical consumer (Carina Kolodny, Huffington Post)

Cause for concern…

Trump vs. science: In April 2017, some 100,000 people joined the March for Science in Washington, D.C. Held on Earth Day in more than 600 cities across the globe and drawing over 1 million participants, the international rally celebrated science and raised concern over the Trump administration’s hostility toward science-based policymaking. President Trump’s budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year includes several cuts to his administration’s science budgets, including the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump also wants to eliminate NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, which funds over 30 American universities that conduct research, education and training on ocean and coastal topics. (Photo credit: Molly Adams/Flickr)

Round of applause…

The kids are not alright: Student activists gathered on March 15 in London, one of more than 1,500 cities across the globe where students went on strike to protest climate inaction by world leaders. Notably, while every single year of these students’ lives has been one of the warmest ever recorded, the United States could double its oil production by 2030, according to a new report from the environmental advocacy group Oil Change International. A 13-year-old activist in New York put it bluntly: “Our world leaders are the ones acting like children.” (Photo credit: Garry Knight/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“Being a vegetarian or vegan is not an end in itself, but a means towards reducing both human and animal suffering and leaving a habitable planet to future generations.” —Peter Singer

Pacific Council Vote Could Signal End of Whale-Killing Nets in West Coast Swordfish Fisheries: Take Action Tuesday @ Earth | Food | Life

Deadly waters: A humpback whale entangled in drift gillnet fishing gear. California is the only state to permit these deadly nets, which inadvertently kill thousands of seabirds, sea turtles and marine mammals like whales and dolphins and turtles every year. In June, the Pacific Fishery Management Council has an opportunity to begin phasing out these death traps by passing a proposed rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration authorizing deep-set buoy gear “as an additional fishing gear in the U.S. west coast commercial swordfish fishery that minimizes by-catch and incidental mortality of fin-fish and protected species.” (Photo credit: NOAA)



Pew Charitable Trusts: An untold number of marine animals, including whales, dolphins and sea turtles get entangled and die in drift gillnets, currently the primary method of fishing for swordfish off California. In June, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) can authorize a better fishing technique, known as deep-set buoy gear. Successfully tested for over seven years off the West Coast, deep-set buoy gear offers fishermen a better way to catch swordfish without the unwanted catch of other marine wildlife.

>>>Urge PFMC chairman Phil Anderson and council members to authorize deep-set buoy gear.

Rainforest Rescue: Guinea’s highlands are an environmental treasure: Its forests and grasslands provide habitat for rare animals like leopards and chimpanzees. Many rivers, including the Niger and Senegal, originate in the mountains of Fouta Djallon. And it’s there, of all places, that Guinea’s President Alpha Condé wants to build a 294 MW hydroelectric dam. The project would hit chimpanzees hard: the dam would flood the heart of Moyen-Bafing National Park, submerging the habitat of 1,500 of our closest relatives. The population of western chimpanzees has plummeted by 80 percent in only 24 years, and the dam would push them closer to extinction.

>>>Urge Guinean President Alpha Condé protect chimpanzees by dropping the dam project and going solar instead.

PETA: Federal reports back up whistleblower allegations of rampant neglect and incompetence in Washington University in St. Louis animal laboratories. In multiple incidents, WashU experimenters gave expired or inadequate pain medication or none at all to animals who’d been subjected to painful or invasive experimental surgeries. For example, inadequate analgesics were given to rats whose abdomens were cut open as well as to mice whose intestines were punctured.

>>>Urge WashU to investigate the alleged appalling failures in its laboratories and pull the plug on cruel and pointless experiments.

Sumatran Orangutan Society: The proposed development of a new hydro dam within the Batang Toru ecosystem—an area of pristine primary forest in Sumatra—threatens the livelihoods of over 100,000 local people, as well as the survival of the recently discovered Tapanuli orangutan. On March 4, the state administrative court in North Sumatra’s capital, Medan, ruled that construction on the dam can continue, despite a large body of evidence that the environmental impact assessment for the dam was deeply flawed. This is devastating news, but the fight is not over. Walhi, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, will appeal the court’s decision, and pressure against the project’s funders continues to mount.

>>>Urge the Bank of China to stop financing Batang Toru dam.

Care2: There is an overpopulation problem in Romania where thousands of cats and dogs roam the streets. Many are without veterinary care or shelter. Some slowly starve to death. Some perfectly healthy dogs are picked up by the dog warden, put in kennels for 14 days and then killed by lethal injection. None of this suffering is necessary. A spay and neutering program is a humane solution that is even more cost-effective than killing dogs.

>>>Urge the mayor of Craiova, Romania, to implement a humane catch and spay program.

Cause for concern…

Deep plastic: New research has discovered that amphipods like this small shrimp-like creature living in the deepest parts of the ocean are eating microscopic pieces of plastic and microfibers. (Photo credit: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center/Flickr)

Round of applause…

Sunny days: Solar owner Karen Wilson shares her home solar project at Riverside Park in St. Cloud, Minnesota, for a “Solar Works in Central Minnesota” workshop in 2012, an event which drew more than 80 community members across the state and featured a panel of Minnesota-based solar manufacturers, a solar education and resources session, and a solar owners panel. On March 4, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced new energy and climate initiatives, including achieving 100 percent clean energy in the state. (Photo credit: Clean Energy Resources Teams – Minnesota/Flickr)


Parting thought…

“But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” —Rachel Carson

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and animal/nature rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

Click here to support the work of EFL and the Independent Media Institute.

Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.

Take Action Tuesday: Speak Up for Clean Water, the Arctic, Wolves, Dogs and Pigs

Hiding from hunters: A gray wolf pup at the entrance to his den. Bowing to the interests of the livestock industry, Washington state officials have allowed the misguided and cruel killing of wolves, including wolf pups and endangered wolves. Activists have been putting pressure on state lawmakers to end this inhumane practice that threatens natural ecosystems. (Photo credit: Hillary Cooley/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service via Flickr)



Center for Biological Diversity: Washington state is going on a killing-spree of endangered wolves, and it must be stopped. Last year, over Labor Day weekend, a helicopter sniper gunned down the sole adult male wolf of the Togo pack. He was the devoted father to two pups seen in this video. In a sick twist, the state admitted that killing him could force the remaining adult female to hunt livestock to feed the pups. In effect, the state has set her up to have conflicts with livestock, knowing they could kill her and the two pups next. Just weeks later, a sniper in a helicopter shot and killed a five-month-old wolf pup from the Old Profanity Territory pack. These wolves are living in the exact territory where the state slaughtered seven wolves from the Profanity Peak pack in 2016—leaving just one female to fend for herself with three pups. The state has killed 16 state-endangered wolves from four different packs, all at the bidding of a single cattle business. Another three were killed for other livestock operations. It’s a bloody legacy that can’t continue.
>>>Urge Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind to stop killing endangered wolves just to line the pockets of a handful of cattle businesses.

Change: Those who want to protect the last slice of untouched nature in the U.S. from oil exploitation are running out of time. The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is aggressively lobbying to open the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to oil drilling—and they just might get their way. There is still time for those who want to protect the land and animals of ANWR to make their voices heard. Sign and share this petition before March 13th—when the time for public input comes to an end.
>>>Tell the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation to get out of ANWR.

League of Conservation Voters: The Trump administration is attacking the nation’s most essential clean water safeguards. By stripping bedrock protections for streams and wetlands, the EPA’s plan exposes drinking water sources to toxic pollution from oil and gas drilling, development and other sources. The agency is now accepting public comments, and it’s critical that voters show strong opposition now.
>>>Tell Trump’s EPA that you oppose their “Dirty Water” Rule.

Care2: Pigs are some of the most intelligent and sensitive animals on Earth. They even have the intelligence of a three-year-old human. Yet, they are treated like objects to be tortured, slaughtered and consumed as food. Thirty-eight states in the U.S. still allow farmers to keep sows used for breeding in cages called gestation crates. These crates are so tiny the pigs can’t even turn around. Then they are repeatedly, forcibly impregnated and made to give birth. It’s cruel and it must end.
>>>Urge the 38 states without laws against gestation crates to pass them.

PETA: According to documents obtained by PETA and disturbing reports from a whistleblower, the Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Veterinary Medicine has, for years, purchased dogs from a local animal shelter for use in deadly training laboratories. Worse yet, it appears that the shelter was knowingly cooperating with this deadly practice, marking the dogs it supplied to LSU as “releases” in its records and advertising that at least some of the dogs had been “adopted,” perhaps as part of a deceptive scheme to manipulate its shelter statistics.
>>>Urge LSU to end its practice of purchasing dogs from shelters for use in deadly training exercises.

This is not good…

Dangerous decibels: A humpback whale breaching Alaskan waters. Increasing human activity in the world’s oceans, including ship traffic and offshore energy exploration, which uses sonar and seismic air gun blasts, spells serious trouble and even death for a wide range of marine species up and down the food chain, from whales and dolphins to fish, squid, octopuses and plankton. (Photo credit: Navin75/Flickr)

Round of applause…

Beau soleil: A solar field in Vallée du Rhône, France. France is one of 18 nations—17 European countries and the U.S.—that have successfully decreased emissions from fossil fuels, mainly through energy efficiency and lowered demand. (Photo credit: Jeanne Menjoulet/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” —Leonardo da Vinci

Take Action Tuesday: Speak Up Against Dirty Energy, Shark-Finning, Seal Slaughter and Factory Farming

Make the switch: Climate activists pose with a symbolic anti-coal installation in Johannesburg’s Gandhi Square to call on the South African government to end coal power and switch on renewable energy instead. July 1, 2013. (Photo credit: Greenpeace Africa/Flickr)



350Africa: Banks are walking away from funding South Africa’s coal industry, including Nedbank and FirstRand Group, both of which pulled funding for Thabametsi, a proposed 630-megawatt coal-fired power station in Limpopo province. The impacts of climate change are being felt in South Africa today more than ever, and developing another power plant in a water-stressed region stands to threaten local communities. In order to avoid catastrophic climate change, no new coal infrastructure should be built.
>>>Urge the Development Bank of Southern Africa to publicly commit to not fund the Thabametsi coal-fired power plant and invest in renewable clean energy instead.

Compassion Over Killing: The Trump administration is letting slaughter plants kill at increasingly dangerous rates, going from a staggering 140 birds killed per minute (or more than two birds every single second) to 175. This misguided decision benefits only the meat industry at the expense of animals, workers and consumers.
>>>Tell the USDA to end the horror of high-speed slaughter.

PETA: In a matter of weeks, the largest annual slaughter of marine mammals on Earth begins in Canada. Many of the seals killed won’t have eaten their first solid meal or learned how to swim—yet they’ll be shot or viciously clubbed as their mothers watch in despair. Sometimes, it takes more than one blow to the head for a seal to die. And often, they’re left to die slowly and painfully on the ice. This cruelty continues, even though all major markets have banned seal-fur imports, including the U.S., the EU and Russia. Even though most Canadians also oppose the annual slaughter, their tax dollars are the only thing propping up this inhumane and unnecessary industry.
>>>Urge Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end his nation’s cruel seal slaughter.

Care2: The process of shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice. Fishermen cut the fins off while the shark is still alive, then throw the helpless animal in agonizing pain back into the ocean to drown, bleed to death or be eaten alive by another animal. This happens to more than 70 million sharks every single year, including sharks at risk of going extinct. The Canadian House of Commons is currently considering a bill which would ban the import and export of shark fins.
>>>Urge the Canadian government to end Canada’s cruel shark fin trade.

Last Chance for Animals: Rodeos and rodeo-type activities, such as bull riding, are exhibitions of animal cruelty that are sanctioned in the guise of competition. Due to events like bull riding, wrestling, calf roping and steer tailing, calves, steers, bulls, horses and other animals suffer horrific psychological and physical traumas, including broken limbs, cardiac arrest, punctured lungs, torn ligaments, ruptured organs, broken necks, crushed tracheas and more. While Los Angeles has become a national animal rights leader, cruel rodeos are still permitted there.
>>>Urge the Los Angeles City Council to prohibit the staging of rodeos and rodeo-type activities.

This is not good…

Under siege: Elephants Without Borders conducted a four-yearly survey with the Botswanan government and said there was a six-fold increase in the number of fresh or recent elephant carcasses in the northern part of the country amid obvious signs of poaching. Nearly 130 dead elephants were found in one poaching hotspot alone. Botswana is home to 130,000 elephants—a third of the total number in Africa, a continent where approximately 100 elephants are killed each day primarily to supply the demand for ivory and ineffective traditional Chinese “medicine.” (Photo credit: Brian Ralphs/Flickr)

Round of applause…

Honey, I’m home: Scientists are attempting to reintroduce seven South American species—jaguars, pampas deer, giant anteaters, macaws, peccaries and tapirs (pictured)—to the Iberá project, a wetland reserve in northern Argentina. Such rewilding projects are meant to reverse the ecological damage done when humans remove apex predators, usually through overhunting or habitat destruction. (Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.” —Ansel Adams

Take Action Tuesday: Speak Up for Antarctic Wildlife, Welsh Biodiversity and Yellowstone Bears

A little help, please: Adélie penguin feeding a chick. Adélie penguins have survived in Antarctica for almost 45,000 years, by human factors like commercial fishing and climate change could decimate them in just a century. The creation of a network of marine protected areas and reserves would go a long way to protecting their habitat. (Photo credit: Jerzy Strzelecki/Wikipedia)



Pew Charitable Trusts: In October 2016, the 25 member governments that make up the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed by consensus to designate the world’s largest marine protected area in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Commercial fishing is banned throughout an area that covers more than 2 million square kilometers, including the Ross Ice Shelf. The commission now has the opportunity to establish a network of marine protected areas and reserves throughout the Southern Ocean by 2020, which would protect critical penguin habitat.
>>>Urge the CCAMLR to designate MPAs in the Weddell Sea and in the waters off East Antarctica.

Care2: Wetlands are vital ecosystems on which many species depend for their survival. That’s why it’s so tragic that the Welsh government is on the brink of approving a project that just might destroy one of their most important wetland areas—the Gwent Levels. £1 billion has been invested in a 14-mile stretch of motorway that will cut across this precious area near Cardiff. If the project is approved, four sites of scientific interest will be affected during its construction and long after the motorway is built. Otters, water voles and countless species of insect and birds, including rare cranes, use the wetlands as a safe haven to breed, raise their young rest during migration.
>>>Urge the Welsh Assembly protect this rare biodiversity hotspot and to deny the motorway proposal.

Change: Bili the bonobo was born in England in 2008. His mother did not accept him, so he came to Frankfurt at the age of 3 months. Contrary to the claims of the Wuppertal Zoo, he was very well integrated into his group there before he was shipped to Wuppertal as a new breeding male. In the following weeks, they tried to integrate him into the group, but failed. The bonobo group began to attack Bili violently, resulting in him losing an ear, and left him severely traumatized in the bonobo concrete bunker. Now the zoo is planning to euthanize Bili.
>>>Urge the Wuppertal Zoo to immediately transfer Bili to the Ape Monkey Rescue Sanctuary in Wales.

PETA: While Yellowstone National Park is home to large populations of wild bears, Yellowstone Bear World breeds bears, holds them captive and forces the cubs to take part in cruel public encounters. Wild bear cubs naturally play, explore, and socialize with one another and their mothers for several years. But at Yellowstone Bear World, they’re taken away from their mothers prematurely, forced into close proximity with humans—who they would naturally shun—and are exploited for bottle-feeding encounters with the public as well as carted to crowded events to be used as props for tourists’ photos.
>>>Urge Yellowstone Bear World to stop using bear cubs as tourist photo props.

This is not good…

Mother’s milk: The natural lifespan of a cow is 20 years. But mother cows trapped in the dairy industry are confined in inhumane conditions, forcibly inseminated so that they are regularly pregnant and lactating, and forced to experience the emotional anguish of having their calves taken away from them. Around a third of the 9.3 million dairy cows in the U.S. are slaughtered each year for their meat, along with 500,000 of their male calves, making the dairy industry directly connected to the meat industry—something that many people, including ethical vegetarians who consume dairy, don’t realize. (Photo credit: Oregon Department of Agriculture/Flickr)

Round of applause…

The company she keeps: Ariana Grande performing in 2014. “I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding,” the singer said in an interview with The Mirror, explaining why she switched to a vegan diet in 2013. “I was raised on meat and cheese, so I’ve had enough for anyone’s normal lifespan.” (photo credit: Lindsay Neilson/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it.” —Albert Schweitzer

Take Action Tuesday: Speak Up for Child Workers, Bumblebees, Kangaroos and Orcas

Bitter fruit: A child worker opens a cacao seed pod. Surrounded by sweet white pulp are the bitter cocoa beans used to make chocolate. There are an estimated 2 million children working in the cocoa sector in West Africa, according to a 2014 report from Tulane University. (Photo: U.S. Department of Labor)



Rainforest Rescue: Chocolate has a dark side: Millions of children are forced to work on plantations, with little hope of pulling themselves out of poverty. In many places, the expanding plantations are eating their way into protected rainforest areas. As Germany is the largest cocoa market in the European Union, regulation with teeth can only be realized if the German government is on board. The German cabinet, however, disagrees over how to deal with the issues of deforestation and child labor. While the Development Ministry is in favor of a proactive approach, the Agriculture Ministry is digging its heels in.
>>>Urge German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner to promote cocoa sector regulations that help prevent child labor, human rights violations and deforestation.

Humane Society of the United States: The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act will make it a federal crime to commit malicious cruelty to an animal on federal property or in interstate commerce. Federal law already prohibits animal fighting, as well as the creation and trade in obscene video depictions of animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or subjected to other forms of egregious cruelty—but the underlying cruelty itself is not banned. The PACT Act will create a federal anti-cruelty statute that complements the cruelty laws in the 50 states.
>>>Urge your representative to co-sponsor H.R. 724, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.

NRDC: The rusty patched bumblebee’s population has plummeted in recent decades due to habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change and other threats—leading to its official endangered species listing in 2017. But more than a year later, the U.S. Department of the Interior has failed to set aside protected habitat for the bee—violating the Endangered Species Act.
>>>Tell the Interior Department to follow through on bee protections.

Total Liberation International: Despite being Australia’s national symbol, millions of kangaroos are slaughtered—the largest land-based killing of wild animals in the world. In 2018 alone, nearly 7 million kangaroos will be killed. Many of these kangaroos end up as pet food sold on, a leading online retailer of pet food and supplies. This is an Australian government-sanctioned bloodbath and Chewy is complicit. It is a mass-scale profit-driven slaughter of kangaroos for their meat, leather and pelts. Adult kangaroos are shot. Hundreds of thousands of joeys (baby kangaroos) are clubbed, shot or decapitated after their mothers are killed. And, larger young but non-pouched orphaned kangaroos are left to die. Like the African elephant, kangaroos could be eliminated completely due to slaughter on a massive scale.
>>>Urge Chewy to stop supporting the slaughter and stop selling kangaroo meat.

Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative: The 75 remaining wild critically endangered salmon-eating southern resident orcas off the coast of Washington state are dying from starvation, leaving an effective breeding population of less than 30—near the point of no recovery. More than 50 percent of their diet comes from salmon in the Columbia Basin, half of which are from the Snake River System. The orcas can be saved if they can access this salmon, which can be done only if the state government breaches the Lower Snake River Dams.
>>>Urge Senator Patty Murray and Governor Jay Inslee to direct the Army Corps’ General Helmlinger and Bonneville Power Administration’s Elliot Mainzer to begin breaching dams in 2019.


This is not good…


Round of applause…

Call of the wild: On January 28, a California state court judge upheld protection for gray wolves under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The ruling rejected a challenge from the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation, two trade associations supporting beef producers. “Wolves are not yet close to recovered in California, said Joseph Vaile, executive director of Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center. At a time when the Trump administration is hostile to endangered species conservation, it is critically important that the state of California help recover wildlife like the iconic gray wolf.” (Photo credit: Retron/Wikimedia Commons)

Parting thought…

“The butterfly flitting from flower to flower ever remains mine. I lose the one that is netted by me.” —Rabindranath Tagore

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and animal/nature rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

Click here to support the work of EFL and the Independent Media Institute.

Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.

Take Action Tuesday: Speak Up for Monkeys, Dogs and Dolphins—and Against a Fracked Gas Pipeline

Fracking fracas: Williams Transco has proposed a new 23.4-mile, 26-inch diameter pipeline in New York to expand its existing Williams fracked gas transmission system. The pipeline will originate in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, travel across New Jersey and ending in the Rockaway Peninsula in New York City. Opponents cite threats to air quality, water quality, marine animals and natural ecosystems—and “dire impacts from the further burning of fossil fuels.” More than 11,000 Americans have signed a petition to block the project. (Image: Action Network) Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State address, where he committed to a Green New Deal for New York, including a $1.5 billion investment in wind power, directives for state agencies to study fossil fuel divestment, and a new goal of 100 percent clean power by 2040. But he didn’t say anything about stopping fracked gas infrastructure projects—and there’s no such thing as a “Green New Deal” that includes pipelines. Unless Cuomo takes action, the Williams fracked gas pipeline could be built right in New York Harbor.
>>>Urge Governor Cuomo to block the permits for the Williams pipeline.

Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experimentation: In a laboratory at John Hopkins University, a group of monkeys spend their lives as research subjects for brain experiments. Two of these monkeys—Aragorn and Isildur—were recently used in experiments to investigate which region of the brain is involved in human gambling. Aragorn has been confined and used in these types of experiments for nearly 10 years. This madness has consumed $2.5 million in federal dollars since 2015, supposedly informing scientists about the human brain’s involvement in human gambling behavior. These twisted and unnatural experiments are not simply callous, they are also totally unnecessary. Using methods that enable non-invasive brain monitoring, neuroscientists can directly study blood flow and electrical activity in the human brain as willing participants carry out tasks with computers or simulated casino games, including people with actual gambling disorders.
>>>Urge the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University to put an end to these cruel experiments and immediately release the monkeys to a sanctuary.

Born Free: Dolphins are self-aware and wide-roaming, and they have complex social and emotional lives. How would anyone still consider it acceptable to confine them in tanks for entertainment? Sadly, the Tropicarium aquarium in Budapest, Hungary, is proposing to do just that—despite a ban on the imports of dolphins into the country. To date, the aquarium has not applied for an exception to allow the import of dolphins, but plans have been published in the media.
>>>Urge the Hungarian Minister of Agriculture to uphold Hungary’s ban on dolphin imports.

Care2: As Spain’s hunting season comes to an end, so do the lives of the dogs who were used to help hunters track and kill game. The worst part? This Spanish tradition of executing these dogs is performed by the animals’ owners. During the annual hunting season in parts of rural Spain, each hunter purchases around 10 to 70 Spanish greyhounds, called galgos. Dogs who don’t perform during the season are abandoned and left to starve to death, thrown down wells, shot or, more traditionally, hung. An estimated 100,000 galgos are killed each year by their owners. The root of this rampant killing is the fact that hare coursing—the cruel sport of using galgos to hunt down live rabbits—is still legal in Spain.
>>>Urge the Spanish government to end the ritual killing of hunting dogs by banning the cruel “sport” of hare coursing.

V.I. Dolphin Voices: Dolphins will be held captive for financial gain and entertainment at a new dolphin enclosure built by Coral World Ocean Park located within Water Bay, St. Thomas, a body of water that has been deemed as unsafe for swimming and fishing by the Virgin Islands government. It is cruel and unhealthy for dolphins to be confined and permanently housed—especially in a body of water that is so frequently polluted by pathogens.
>>>Urge Carnival Cruise Lines to not market and/or sell cruise ship excursions to the future dolphin enclosure at Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas.

Parting thought…

“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” —Mark Twain

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and animal/nature rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

Click here to support the work of EFL and the Independent Media Institute.

Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.