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 Chewy.com, 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.