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Animal News Weekly - November 6, 2015


USDA Rejects Its
Own Advisory Committee

In Defense of Animals

Don't Let Another Five Years of Dietary Guideline Negligence Go Unchallenged

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officially rejected recommendations by their own advisory committee (and your letters of support back in April) to make environmental health a component of overall health for the 2015 USDA dietary guidelines.

That alone is with tragic consequences, as the environmental impact of eating animal products is staggering and dwarfs all other human activities by comparison. Now, the new question is whether they will dare to ignore recommendations by the World Health Organization as well.

Last week, the World Health Organization released a highly significant report which ranked processed meats alongside cigarettes in regard to their carcinogenic threat to human health.

Right now, the USDA & HHS are still in the process of drafting the updates for the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines which are due to be released by the end of this year.

Isn't it entirely reasonable that U.S. official dietary guidelines reflect large and significant findings by the World Health Organization?

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Ending the Dog Meat
Industry, for All Animals

In Defense of Animals

While working to end the dog meat industry, we are often given the excuse of culture. It is a tradition and part of Korean culture to eat dogs. We at IDA not only reject this as a valid reason to eat dogs, but also any other animal with whom we share our planet. It does not logically follow that simply because a country, society or culture has allowed the mistreatment of one species in years past that it should continue into modern day. However, categorizing animals into those loved, those hunted and those eaten happens throughout the world, in every country. The only difference is that often animals are categorized differently depending on human boundaries.

Some refer to this as speciesism, Melanie Joy, author of "Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows," has designated this ideology as carnism.  It "rests on the belief that eating meat is normal, natural and necessary." The normalizing of eating animals begins early and continues throughout one's life and places individuals choosing not to participate as the outsiders or abnormal entities. Denial also plays a large role in continuing the status quo as "most people would not willingly harm animals."

Joy points to the latest idea of "humane meat" as a perfect example. "Most of us would consider it cruel to kill a six-month-old happy, healthy golden retriever just because her thighs taste good. We would never say, 'The dog had a good life, so it's OK to kill and eat her."

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3 US Zoos About to Import
18 Swaziland Elephants

In Defense of AnimalsAct Now to Stop Them

IDA joins with 75 leading scientists, conservationists, elephant welfare experts and policy makers, united in opposition and outrage at the proposed import of 18 elephants from Swaziland destined for 3 US zoos. Dallas Zoo in Texas, Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska, and Sedgewick County Zoo in Kansas have import permits currently pending approval with the US Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS). The zoos' request for a permit to import these elephants has just been published in the U.S. Federal Register and is now open to public comment.  The deadline for our voices to be heard is November 23rd 2015!

The unsubstantiated reasons given for the import? Degraded landscape due to elephant foraging, unprecedented drought conditions, and not enough land for both theelephants and critically endangered rhinos. According to Big GameParks Trust in Swaziland, the elephants need to either be exported or "culled" (aka murdered) as a solution, yet there is NO EVIDENCE that attempts were made to keep the African elephants in Africa, where they belong.The only real justification for this import is the PROFIT to be made by the Big Game Trust and the three US zoos. If the welfare of these elephants was truly a priority and these problems were real, they would be relocated WITHIN AFRICA, not sold and shipped into US incarceration.

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Visualize Vegantopia

In Defense of Animals

Join Us Online on Thursday, November 12

IDA invites you to join our Vegan Spirituality Online Gathering in November, featuring special guest Ruth Hawe, who shares her vision of Vegantopia, a higher vibrational energy of the Peaceable Kingdom. Experience the peaceful paradise of your inner awareness and deepest desire for awakened evolution by spending quality time together envisioning, intending, and holding this bright, evolved world in our hearts and minds. Vegantopia already exists, beyond the three-dimensional limitations we think we are stuck in. Let's dissolve the illusion of separation between us by placing our hopes and intentions towards Vegantopia. Ruth facilitates visualizations that reveal what Vegantopia feels like for each of us.

Vegan Spirituality Online Gatherings deepen our connection to veganism by exploring veganism as a spiritual practice. "Peace to All Beings" author Judy Carman and IDA's Sustainable Activism Campaign Director Lisa Levinson co-host this free monthly gathering, which includes guest speakers, group discussions, and inspirational readings. Participate by phone and or computer the second Thursday of every month as we build a community of compassionate souls.

Watch our October online gathering with vegan yogi Kathleen Kastner here.

What: Vegan Spirituality Online Gathering
When: Thursday, November 12, 5:00 p.m. – 6 p.m. PST (8:00 p.m – 9 p.m. EST)
Registration Link is here.

Click her to read more.


Starved to Death Horse
And Her Dead Baby

In Defense of Animals

Will Justice Ever Be Served?

Yesterday, In Defense of Animals staff were in the Tallahatchie County Justice Court in Mississippi for the 5th docket since the March 3, 2015 incident. On that date, IDA investigators were asked to respond to a report that a mare and her mule colt were dead, or dying. What they found was heart wrenching.  A mare lay dead yards from her mule colt who was in the throes of death. While law enforcement thought of how to best move the colt, our team got a blanket to cover him. He cried a pitiful cry when he feared he was being left. He was covered and rubbed, but he'd been prostrate on a rain soaked hill.  Within minutes his head began to contort backwards, a sign of imminent death and his breathing became shallow. He had to be euthanized.

We filed two counts of cruelty against the property owners. On the first court date, the land owners informed the court they were not responsible for the horses. They claimed the animals belonged to a relative who had removed two other horses the morning of the investigation. Charges were filed against the two "owners" of the horses and warrants were issued.

After months of continuing the case, the prosecuting attorney in the case asked the judge to dismiss charges against the land owners, since they had  been in court and there was no one to counter their claims of  having been away and thus not being  responsible for the horses. Chase Griffin and Christina Shook, the alleged "owners" of the horses have not been arrested.  Shook‘s location is unknown, with rumors of  Arkansas.  Griffin disappeared  after being served his warrant the night before the 4th court day while he was in jail on another charge. The charge for starving an equine in the State of Mississippi is $100 per animal.  The statute of limitations is two years. Will we ever see justice for the mare and her precious baby who suffered so excruciatingly much?

Read more in our press release here.


Don't Let Elephants Die for Ivory
Save the Lives of Dogs, Cats,
and Rabbits in Shelters 

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Watch our October online gathering with vegan yogi Kathleen Kastner here: https://youtu.be/xE7Q41xs4T4