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President Obama’s weekly address hit upon one of the more troubling aspects of our government right now: the total failure of the FDA to keep us, our children, and our pets safe in the knowledge that what is consumed will not harm any of us. He has named a new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Agency, Dr. Margaret Hamburg (go ahead, giggle as I did at her last name being Hamburg(er)–I blame the cold meds I’m taking), and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (nope, no food-related funny with his last name) as Principal Deputy Commissioner. Obama is also creating a new Food Safety Working Group which ultimately sounds like it will be making sure that the left hand of government agencies involved with food safety know what the right hand is doing–what a concept!
And as an animal welfare advocate I am THRILLED with the short, but oh-so-important sentence President Obama stated, “As part of our commitment to public health, our Agriculture Department is closing a loophole in the system to ensure that diseased cows don’t find their way into the food supply.” Please read Wayne Pacelle’s email sent out this afternoon in response to this fantastic decision. Thank you President Obama, and thank you to everyone who helped put an end to the horribly abusive downer cattle issue!
March 14, 2009
It’s been a long fight, and today, we closed another chapter on it. Since the mid-1990s, The HSUS has been working hard to stop as a matter of public policy the abuse of downer cattle — animals too sick or injured to walk. And today, President Obama himself announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was officially putting a stop to non-ambulatory cattle being mishandled in order to get them into slaughter plants. He made the announcement along with two top selections for the Food and Drug Administration and a series of other statements about food safety.
I invite you to read my blog post for today about the food safety crises and horrifying investigations that led up to today’s announcement.
The length of time we had to persist and what our investigations revealed are sad, but today I celebrate this news. And I hope that it is a harbinger of a far more serious attitude toward food safety and animal welfare from the new Administration. I am personally looking forward to working with Secretary Vilsack — a man of great integrity — on a wide range of issues. And I express my gratitude to him and his team today for his decisive action.
Many of you joined us in demanding change on this issue, so this is your victory as well as the animals’. Thank you for all you do.
P.S. Did you know you can easily subscribe to receive my blog daily by email or RSS? Look for the links to subscribe on the right side of my blog, www.waynepacelle.org. I write daily about pressing issues like farm animal abuse, so it’s a great way to stay in touch.
I thought I had previously reached the highest level of disgust with Michael Vick’s animal cruelty that I could (my previous posts), but after reading an AP story and one on ESPN, detailing portions of a 17-page USDA report released on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, I’m even more disgusted and sickened than I ever imagined possible. And that’s saying a lot.
Here are some extremely disturbing details:
- A person identified as confidential witness No. 1 said Vick placed pets in the ring against pit bulls owned by “Bad Newz Kennels” at least twice and watched as the pit bulls “caused major injuries.”
- The witness said Vick and co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips “thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”
- Vick was administered a polygraph test by the FBI in October 2007 and denied taking part in the killing of dogs in mid-April. When told he had failed that part of the test, Vick recanted his story and admitted to helping hang six to eight underperforming dogs.
- The dogs were killed by shooting, hanging, electrocution and drowning, and in at least one instance, according to one of the witnesses, when Vick and Phillips killed a red pit bull by “slamming it to the ground several times before it died, breaking the dog’s back or neck.”
- According to the report, the three men hung the dogs “by placing a nylon cord over a 2 X 4 that was nailed to two trees located next to the big shed. They also drowned approximately three dogs by putting the dogs’ heads in a five gallon bucket of water.”
You need help, Michael Vick, serious help. I only wish all you were ever allowed to lay your hands on again are the pots and pans you’re washing in jail for 12 cents an hour, and never, ever again on any innocent animals. Sick and twisted, you are, mentally sick and twisted.
Just finishing up making some Louisiana-style french toast (to die for!) before taking my youngest nephew to the doctor. Don’t Auntie Lala’s come in handy? Don’t you wish you had one? I’m afraid we’ve all been hit with those heebie-jeebies everyone is coming down with lately; the headache (or as said nephew reports “My brain hurts!”, hence the band-aid on the forehead in the picture), the achiness, the overall feeling of crappiness (my highly technical term ;)). He was down with it last week, rebounded, then it made its triumphant return, as it seems to be doing with all of us. Ick.
Keep your fingers crossed I don’t pick it back up again, too, because yours truly is starting work again on Thursday…woo-hoo! Nothing like NOT working to make you feel totally unproductive. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the past couple months have BEYOND sucked, so working again is definitely a step in the right direction, especially since I’ll be getting to work with one of my very good buds.
And another situation which affected me and my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe over the last few months has THANKFULLY had a surprising positive twist this past weekend, one which I could NOT be happier about–very happy heart, VERY happy heart. But with the good usually comes some bad, as was the case here. It really hurts to find out that someone you didn’t really know very well, but someone you had high regard for and who had interacted with you in only the most positive manner before, ends up doing something you still can’t wrap your brain around, and something that you just can’t imagine anyone with a heart or even an ounce of compassion doing under any circumstances, especially knowing the ones I was in. I know I need to let it go, and I will, but right now I’m extremely hurt, disappointed, and shocked, since I know full well I was in no way deserving of the action on his part, nor of the consequences. That being said, the good ultimately outweighs the bad in the entire scenario because I have a really important part of my life back, and he knows who he is. 😉
On the political front I have to say that I really enjoyed the portions I saw of the Democratic debate in Nevada, since I felt it actually gave us a chance to hear what the candidates had to say without all the snarkiness. The flare-up with the racial comments over the past days in the Obama and Clinton camps have been very disturbing and frustrating to see take place in the Democratic Party; the party that is supposed to be not only inclusive of all but a champion for all. (Yes, I quite often wear rose-colored glasses.) I’ve read some really interesting discussions over on Skeptical Brotha‘s blog, and elsewhere, so I do understand both sides of the story. It’s just sad to see that racial divisiveness still has such a firm hold in our country. Call me naive but I just don’t get it, I just don’t. It takes so much more energy to hate someone than to live with and learn from the diversity that surrounds us. I hope the democrats can get their act together because I would truly be happy with any of the main democratic candidates running, and know that we need to come together as a party to prepare for the attack on our candidate in the general election by the Republican Party. Got your armor ready?
Speaking of the republicans, what in the heck is Michigan (or anyone voting for Romney!) thinking by allowing even the remotest possibility of this man becoming president? Who on earth is going to want some man who, with forethought, did this? ARGH!
Guess that’s it for now. I don’t have a laptop so having any puter access until the weekend will probably be slim-to-none, so just thought I’d post this little catch-up until then. Have a great week everyone, and STAY HEALTHY! 🙂
Apparently the story of Mitt Romney making a conscious choice back in 1983 to take a 12-hour car trip with his Irish Setter, Seamus (photo below), in a dog carrier attached to the roof of the Romney station wagon was first made public last summer as part of a Boston Globe article, and honestly I can’t believe I didn’t hear about it then. I was recently made aware of the unbelievable, yet true, story while reading “The Presidential Files: Evaluating the Elephants” on the Humane Society Legislative Fund blog. I have to assume there are others who are as blissfully ignorant about the situation as I was, so I feel a strong need to post links to the story for them below.
- Journeys of a Shared Life-Boston Globe
- Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
- Dog on Roof? What Was It Like for Romney’s Pooch?-ABC News
- “It would be one thing if someone put it down or forgot and then drove 50 feet and realized what they did,” said Kaplan. “I don’t know anyone who would purposefully do that to a dog.”
- Romney’s Cruel Canine Vacation-Time
- The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.
- Romney-vs-PETA-Archy blog
- “He scrambled up there every time we went on trips,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh Thursday. “He got it all by himself and enjoyed it.”
After reading the various articles on the situation I have to seriously wonder what kind of moron straps his dog carrier on the roof of his car WITH THE DOG INSIDE, then proceeds to drive off on a twelve-hour family vacation road trip?!?! What on EARTH was this man thinking (see video below to see him ‘try’ to make sense of what he did…stupid is as stupid does…argh!) and what kind of example was he setting for his children inside the car, let alone the danger he put Seamus in on that long, miserable drive?!?! And why didn’t anyone who witnessed this abusive activity report it to someone? Come on folks, let’s take a little responsibility for not only ourselves but others (animals included) with whom we share this planet. Sheesh.
I say we strap Romney to the roof of a car for 12 hours, drive about 75 mph, and see how HE feels. And if he loses control of his bowels, as poor Seamus did, let’s do as Romney did and pull over to a gas station to hose him down, then hit the road again like nothing out of the ordinary is taking place. Now that I think about it, if we strapped Romney to the roof and started driving at a high speed I’m sure his plastered down and “perfect” hair would probably change the aerodynamics and send the car into some flying pattern. Hey, might that get Homeland Security a tad confused by this “UFO” and have them take some trigger-finger action? Hmmmm…. (And speaking of security, for the record, no, I do not buy the whole “Iranian boats antagonizing the US Navy” scenario; something fishy going on there, but we all know Georgie Boy wants to get us into war with Iran before he leaves office, so…)
- Introducing Seamus Romney, ‘Mr. Personality’-Political Intelligence/Boston Globe
- She says he was such a social dog that he often left Mitt Romney’s Belmont home to visit his “dog friends” around town. “He kept ending up at the pound,” she says. “They were worried about him getting hit crossing the street.”
From ASPCA MySpace bulletin:
MUST-SEE TV: CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, “LYING DOWN WITH DOGS”
Don’t miss this very special episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Focusing on the brutal and illegal world of dog fighting, the episode was created in close consultation with two ASPCA experts considered leaders in their field—Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President, ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Initiatives, and Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Forensic Veterinarian and the country’s only “animal CSI.” The pair has assisted in the prosecution of several high-profile dog fighting and animal cruelty cases, including the recent Michael Vick case.
The episode will air tonight, December 13, from 9:00 P.M. to 10:00 PM, EST/PST on CBS. For more information on dog fighting, please visit ASPCA.org.
Two worthwhile events are coming up in a couple of days: BlogCatalog’s “Blogging Against Abuse” on Thursday, September 27th, and PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on Friday, September 28th. Here is more information about each event. Hope you’ll take part. And if you’re not a vegetarian yet, here’s a link to a post I did that just might help you. Btw, this vegetarian will be expecting tons of hugs on Friday! 🙂
On September 27th, join 1,000s of bloggers around the world in BlogCatalog’s Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge.
This Blogging Challenge will be:
Bloggers Against Abuse
September 27th, 2007
The Outcome we are after is to be part of the largest group of bloggers to ever blog about an important cause, all on the same day.
So how do you participate?
On Sept. 27th, blog about putting an end to some sort of Abuse (you decide what kind of abuse to blog about).
In the meantime though,
* Spread the word among all the bloggers you know. Perhaps even give them a link to this Discussion.
* If you are a graphic’s designer, perhaps you can come up with some small badges announcing the event, that we can then place on our blogs. To share the badge, place it on this thread.
* List any organizations, on this thread, who are involved in putting an end to abuse.
What do you get?
You will receive a link to your Blog Post from the Blogcatalog blog when we list everyone who participated.
You get to use your blog for an important cause.
You get to create blogging history.
Last year was the first-ever “Hug a Vegetarian” Day, and it was a smashing success, with tens of thousands of people taking part. Check out some photos here.
This year promises to be even bigger and better, so we have some brand-new Web banners for you to use to spread the word on your MySpace page or wherever else online. Plus, we have these amazing new signs for you to use at school, band practice, home, or pretty much anywhere you go on Hug a Vegetarian Day!
Get out there and hug your vegetarian (and vegan) buddies—and make sure your friends and family hug it up with you! Snap a picture and we’ll post your photo to peta2’s Flickr page for everyone to see. You’ll even get 2,000 Street Team points! Remember to submit your photo here.
I’m beginning to think that in addition to my Must See/Must Read/Must Listen categories, I need to add a “WTF” category after the other day’s Senate resolution to, yet again, nix our free speech rights (by way of their condemnation of the MoveOn.org Petraeus ad), and now with the absurdity of the grand jury for the State of Virginia passing on animal cruelty charges against Michael Vick and the three other co-defendants. How on EARTH can they bypass what is at the bottom of all of this mess: the cruelty inflicted upon countless dogs?!?! The CNN story says a charge of one count of killing dogs WAS brought against Michael Vick, but according to the AP story there could have been 8 counts of animal cruelty leveled. A little confusing for this layperson, especially since MANY more dogs than that were killed as part of his heinous dogfighting ring. The story is just breaking as of 11AM PST, so perhaps it will become a bit clearer over the course of the day. (***UPDATE 9/26/07: Vick tests positive for marijuana***)
Oh, and a little PS for those who sadly insisted on bringing race into this whole disaster, per CNN the composition of the State of Virginia grand jury that handed down today’s indictment: 2 black males, 2 black females, 2 white females.
- Vick indicted on state dogfighting charges-AP via Fox Sports
- “The grand jury passed on indicting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and two co-defendants on eight counts of animal cruelty, which would have exposed them to as many as 40 years in prison if convicted.Any animal cruelty charge in Virginia is punishable by up to five years in prison. And in a written plea for the federal case, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight dogs at the Surry County property. Similarly, the three co-defendants in the case have admitted their involvement and detailed what they claim was Vick’s role.”
- Vick indicted by state grand jury on dogfighting charges-CNN
- “The grand jury brought two charges against Vick: one count of killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights. In a plea agreement on federal charges, the quarterback has admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting operation from his home in Surry County, Virginia.”
- Surry grand jury hits Vick with 2 new charges-DailyPress.com
- “Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter had maintained that he wanted to prosecute Vick in Surry County, but said earlier that charges might not come this month because he did not have access to evidence that federal prosecutors had taken to pursue their case, including some witnesses. Today, however, he said that while federal investigators still had a great deal of the evidence in the case, he now had on hand the witnesses he needed to move forward.”
Put this one in the “karma will get you Vick” category:
- Bank sues Vick for more than $2M-DailyPress.com
- “The contract has a clause that says if Vick experiences an employment change that might affect his ability to repay the loan, that constitutes a default. Vick still owes the bank $2.3 million, plus $499 of interest per day, according to the complaint. The bank is also asking District Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr. to order Vick to pay the bank’s legal fees.”
Take action HERE by sending a note to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, asking the NFL to add all forms of animal cruelty to its personal conduct policy. Thanks!
Looks like Michael Vick will be pleading guilty to a felony conspiracy charge at 10:30 a.m. next Monday, August 27th. This will apparently keep him from facing more serious charges, but I am hope, hope, HOPING that the judge (who has the final say on sentencing terms, despite plea agreements) surprises the heck out of Vick and throws more than just a one-year prison sentence at him, along with some serious financial penalties. I’ll definitely have more to say on the matter once the actual sentence is handed down, but until then here is the first online source (Virginia Pilot) to break the story, and here are previous posts on the subject.
UPDATE: To read the latest from the Humane Society of the United States, CLICK HERE. Please take the time to add your name to their thank you card for the U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the Michael Vick dogfighting case.
Just home for a quick lunch break and had to post a couple of links with more information which points to what most of us already believed: Vick was/is guilty as charged. Let’s see if he “suddenly” opts to accept the plea bargain offered to him earlier this week.
- Falcons’ Vick Accused of Executing Dogs-chron.com
- Two Co-Defendants Enter Guilty Pleas; No Word From Vick-chicagotribune.com
- NFL Star Faces 5 Years On Dogfight Charges-GuardianUK.com
- previous posts on the topic
Here’s hoping Tony Taylor’s guilty plea might be the nail in the coffin needed to put Vick away. Hey, a gal can dream, right? Of course the flip side would be if his other co-defendants follow suit and plead guilty, somehow hoping this might make it look like Vick had no awareness of what was taking place on his property. I think we’ve all seen such deviousness take place in the legal system before, so who really knows how it will turn out. Here’s hoping the truth prevails and there is some (belated) justice for the innocent dogs involved in all of this disgusting mess.
- Toobin: Vick Case Plea Deal Could Lead To More Charges-cnn.com
- “According to the summary of facts filed with the court on Monday, Taylor said that he and the other three co-defendants, including Vick, decided to start a dogfighting venture in early 2001 and that Vick paid for the property in Smithfield, Virginia, used for the operations.”
- C0-defendant In Vick Case Pleads Guilty-sportsnetwork.com
- Vick Dogfighting Case Co-defendant Pleads Guilty-cbs4denver.com
And how disappointing to read about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s stance on the issue.
“SCLC President Charles Steele Jr. said his organization prefers to focus on Vick’s redemption and plans to honor him for his community contributions at its convention next month in Atlanta. “We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals,” Steele said.“
I have had nothing but respect for the work the SCLC has done on the civil rights front over the past decades, and respect the right of folks to support the good that Vick has done in the past, but to give so little regard to the possible outcome of the dogfighting charges is something I don’t get, never mind it sends a message to others who condone dogfighting that it’s okay to do so. Yes, people make mistakes in life and should be given a second chance, but be honest about what you’ve done. When Vick admits his wrongdoing and makes redemption, then we’ll talk about support. (***8/7/07 UPDATE: SCLC backtracks regarding “support” of Vick.***)
And this train of thought just blows me away:
““We Support Vick a Human Being Over Dogs,” was the message of one placard to honking passing cars on Northside Drive.”“
Say what?!?! You mean to tell me folks will ACTUALLY blindly support someone involved in dog fighting just because that person is a “human being” (a term I’d use very loosely for dog fighters), and TOTALLY disregard the actions of that “human being” because the victims are dogs?? Then again, these are the same folks in the article who think the NFL should be supporting Vick and attacking PETA and the HSUS. Ah, the mentality of some folks is such a continuous disappointment.
As I’ve said before, if Vick is shown to be innocent of the vile crimes the federal grand jury indictment states he took part in, then I will admit to being wrong. But until that time I am going with the evidence put forth, and the common sense notion (especially in light of Tony Taylor’s guilty plea) that there is virtually no way possible that Vick had NO CLUE, let alone no voluntary action in, the barbaric treatment of animals on his property. Guess we’ll have to wait for the trial on November 26th to find out, unless Vick and his cohorts decided to come clean and tell the truth before then–won’t hold my breath.
Following PETA protests outside Niketown stores and countless calls and emails to the company asking that they cut ties with Michael Vick in light of horrific allegations of his involvement with dogfighting rings, Nike has released the following statement:
“Nike has suspended Michael Vick’s contract without pay, and will not sell any more Michael Vick product at Nike-owned retail at this time.”
As a result, we have called off our planned protests outside Nike stores around the country. Thanks to everyone who wrote to the company about this issue or attended the demonstrations, and thanks to Nike for doing the right thing by ending its association with someone accused of torture.
Reebok has also made the decision to stop sales of Michael Vick apparel, stating:
“While we respect the legal process we find the allegations against Mr. Vick too disturbing to ignore, therefore, we have decided to immediately suspend selling Vick NFL product, both at retail and online through the Reebok website.”
This is great news for anyone who is concerned about cruelty to animals, and we hope that it sends a strong message to the NFL that they need to do the same thing and suspend Michael Vick immediately, pending the outcome of this case. To send a message to the NFL asking them to get on with that, please click here.
Thank you for all you do for animals,
Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
No big surprise that Michael Vick and his three cruelty-driven cohorts, Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, and Tony Taylor (***UPDATE on Tony Taylor: guilty***), pleaded not guilty in a Richmond, VA., courtroom to federal dogfighting charges today. (Trial date set for November 26th.) Did anyone REALLY think any of these four miserable excuses for human beings would have enough cajones to admit to the atrocities they have committed? Of course not! Here’s my previous blog entry on the subject, which includes a link to a copy of the 18 page indictment. (And yes, defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but can you honestly read that indictment and NOT believe they are guilty? If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it, but until then I’m going against what I usually believe-innocent until proven guilty- and WILL consider these four guilty as hell…so sue me.)
While none of us can bring back the dogs Vick, Peace, Phillips, or Taylor, killed by their own hands on the property or via the incredibly vicious fighting they subjected dogs to, nor undo the damage done mentally and physically to those dogs who survived, we CAN let big business know that we will NOT tolerate such abuses, nor will we give money to companies who continue to support athletes (or anyone guilty of these crimes) with lucrative contracts. (Namely the Atlanta Falcons and Nike). You can follow the links I’m providing below to voice your displeasure OR you can take part in various demonstrations around the country, or start your own. This Monday, July 30th, I’ll be joining what will hopefully be MANY other outraged animal lovers, in a PETA demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. (***Protests canceled. Read more here.***) If you are in the area (and I’m really not since I’ll be driving about 1 1/2 hours to get there), please consider joining us. But if you are not, here’s some information in an email today from Ingrid Newkirk of PETA:
“On Monday, July 30, PETA will hold demonstrations in front of every Niketown store from New York to Los Angeles to call on Nike—which employs Vick as a promotional spokesperson—to sack him.
Already, the pressure is working. Both the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons have taken important “first steps” to discipline Vick by keeping him away from the Falcons’ training camp pending their own investigation of the case. In my view, this is the beginning of the end for Vick’s career.”
So come on folks, let’s get active, get vocal, and NOT let this situation be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Thanks!
NFL quarterback Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons was recently indicted on charges of sponsoring a large dogfighting operation. The indictment alleges that dogs were housed, trained, and fought at a property owned by Vick and that those who did not perform well were executed by “hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.” PETA will be at Niketown in Los Angeles on Monday, July 30, to demand that the company immediately break all ties with Michael Vick.
Please join PETA campaigner Matt Rice for a demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. All materials will be provided, and we need activists to hold posters. Please contact me at LindseyT@peta.org if you can help or if you have any questions.
What: Michael Vick dogfighting demonstration
The professional sports world is plagued with players who have been accused, charged, or convicted of cruelty to animals, abusing pit bulls, and dogfighting. We need to send a clear message to players and Nike that being a celebrity is not a sufficient excuse for breaking the law and that animal abuse should never be tolerated under any circumstances. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know!
Thanks for being on PETA’s Activist Network and for everything you do to help animals!
Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
Links to send messages to Nike and the Atlanta Falcons
- “Vick Pleads Not Guilty”-cnn.com
- “Vick Pleads Not Guilty in Dogfighting Case”-nytimes.com
- “Michael Vick Pleads Not Guilty in Dogfighting Case”-USAtoday.com
- “Activists Ready to Swarm Court for Vick’s Appearance”-USAtoday.com
- HSUS response to NFL keeping Vick from training camp
- Wayne Pacelle (HSUS) on NFL Following Through
- “Vick a ‘Person of Interest’ regarding pit bull fighting in AZ“-azcentral.com
- “Nike Is Urged to Drop Vick”-latimes.com
- Pit Bull Gear (t-shirt in picture I used above can be purchased at this link!)
- “Dogfighters Are Cowardly Scum” t-shirts at PETA Store at Cafe Press
- “Real Men Love Their Pit Bulls/Ban Mike Vick from the NFL” at Cafe Press
- “conVICKt 7” at moeschwag.com
- “sack Vick” at moeschwag.com
- Michael Vick Chew Toy (article and link)
Here is the code (just copy it all, then paste in your own site) for each of the Humane Society of the United States web badges you can place on your own web site or blog to help spread the word.
<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl2?source=gaba7m” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nfl.gif” border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety” target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html” target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>
<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nike?source=gaba7l” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nike.gif” border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety” target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html” target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>
At long last it looks as though those who condone and perpetuate the horrendous, vicious, and cruel practice of illegal dogfighting may finally be held accountable for their actions. Today Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons) and three counterparts (Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, Tony Taylor) were indicted by a federal grand jury and will hopefully have the book thrown at them. This news goes directly against this news article stating it was unlikely Vick would face any charges. (***Update 7/26/07.***)
The “training facility” for over 50 pit bulls seized by officials back in April included drugs, an electronic treadmill, and a rape stand used for forced breeding.
“Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method, according to the documents.”–CBS News
Disgusting! How people can live with themselves while committing such atrocities, I will never know. And those who take part in watching these bloody, “to the death” dog fights; well, in my opinion they should be held as accomplices. I’m thinking that the rape stand Michael and his cohorts had no problem putting to use ought to come into play when decisions are being made about how restitution for their reviling crimes might be met. I mean they can adjust that stand to fit someone of Michael’s size, right?
Here are some links to various stories regarding today’s indictment:
- Here’s the response from the Humane Society of the United States
- AP report
- A very brief Reuters story
- Sports Network coverage
- Pilot Online has the story, along with a link to a PDF file of the grand jury’s indictment.
- My previous blog entry relating to the case (includes video and pictures):5/22/07:Hey Clinton Portis, your ignorance is showing (Yours too, Chris Samuels)
- 7/26/07:Vick and three coconspirators plead NOT GUILTY/Links to what YOU can do to express your outrage over it all
- 7/27/07:Nike suspends Vick’s contract/Reebok stops selling Vick jerseys/PETA protests canceled
- 7/30/07:Vick co-defendant (Tony Taylor) pleads guilty/SCLC supports Vick
- 8/17/07:“Vick participated in executions” says co-defendant
- 8/20/07:Breaking News: Michael Vick ACCEPTS plea deal
WTF, John Mayer?!?!
While searching for a Michael Vick photo for this blog entry I found the “red slash through Michael’s face” picture on Photobucket. I saw the MySpace address at the bottom of it and went to check it out. While there I read “Dog Fighting Idiots List” which had a John Mayer video embedded, and I have to say I was totally shocked and surprised that John would have such an enormous lapse in common sense, judgment, and humor. Did he really think the video was the least bit amusing?! Did he assume everyone would get that he was trying to poke fun at Vick? (Which is the ONLY excuse I can think of for even thinking of making the video, let alone actually following through with it!) Did he think there was even one shred of humor in anything related to dog fighting? Shame on you, John Mayer, shame on you. What a total and complete disappointment.
I’m feeling a strong need to seek out some uplifting and positive news stories. Maybe it’s just my personal frustration with several things in my own little universe or the bigger frustrations I feel with everything from this inexcusable, disgusting, and sad war to the ridiculous amount of time a not-to-be-named hotel heiress is garnering for being a spoiled brat. Who knows what exactly it is that’s sticking in my craw, but it’s got me having a mad desire to do something proactive to change my mood and hopefully change the mood of some of you as well. So in my sudden quest to seek out something (anything!) that is making this world a better place I decided to add a “Doing Good” regular feature to this blog. Okay, first step taken (truth be told, the first step was popping iTunes on party shuffle since music is usually my panacea for a cruddy mood), next step was to set about the internet seeking out positive sites. Easier said than done, sadly. Ultimately I found myself smack-dab on my MySpace friends list, which is mostly full of causes and bands I support, so it makes sense I’d find my first “Doing Good” subject there: The New Orleans Kid Camera Project(their MySpace page).
I’ll introduce this great organization by posting their mission statement:
The New Orleans Kid Camera Project was created to address the psychological and emotional impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children returning home to New Orleans. Through the use of photography, creative writing and mixed media, children from flooded neighborhoods explore their environment and express themselves, their stories and feelings with their friends. This project provides a venue for growth and recovery. By teaching the children tangible skills and exposing them to new means of expression, we hope to empower them to impact their lives and environment.
Those of you who have been frequent visitors to this blog are well aware that I’m working toward getting my teaching credential, and with my minor being in Visual and Performing Arts, it goes without saying that ANYTHING which involves children in such a productive and creative manner, such as The New Orleans Kid Camera Project, is going to be something I wholeheartedly support. My disgust with the lack of support by George Bush’s administration for those affected by Hurricane Katrina is something that still gets my blood boiling. Just thinking back on those first few days of the catastrophe, with our own citizens being disregarded in the degrading manner they were, the people and animals scavenging for safety and food, the buses and trailers sitting empty, all has me going between sadness and fury in a matter of minutes. And to think apathy on the part of our government still continues–appalling. So to see a group of people in New Orleans addressing the various needs the children in the area are facing, and will continue to face for some time to come, is something which definitely brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.
I hope many of you will visit their site, read their fantastic Philosophy/Visions/Goals page, share in the fine photos and videos created by the children, and especially donate any time/money/equipment that you can. I also hope that everyone’s mood is a bit better now–mine is! 🙂
(***Added 6/15/07:UNSEENAMERICA “New Orleans Kid Camera Project”
310 West 43rd St New York
Admission: FREE. Exhibition from Wednesday, June 6 through Friday, June 29, 2007.
Reception- Thursday June 21, 2007 from 5:00 to 7:30pm
Sometimes people need to just keep their mouth shut, and from what I’ve seen and read of Clinton Portis today (and Chris Samuels wasn’t much better), he is one who would be wise to think before speaking.
When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, “It can’t be too bad of a crime.”
Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Portis, but it IS a crime, and it IS a bad one. Perhaps you’d like to trade places with any of the dogs used in dog fighting? We’ll see how you feel about how “bad of a crime” it is after that, okay?
Portis, Samuels defend Vick, ridicule dog fighting as a crime-AP-DailyPress.com
In an interview with WAVY-TV, Portis said that if the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is charged and convicted of being involved in a dog fighting operation, then authorities would be “putting him behind bars for no reason.”
Um, no reason? If Michael Vick is charged and convicted then that means he broke the law. Sounds like a reason to me.
For more information on animal fighting and the recent legislation aimed at penalizing those who take part in it, click here. For the Humane Society of the United States response to the situation, click here.
Someone might need to get the paddles for me because I think my heart stopped the minute I realized I was actually applauding something George W. Bush had done. I’m all for giving credit where credit is due, so (deep breath) kudos to you, GWB, for doing something for the animals. Now can you get the government (FDA and USDA for a start) to get things straightened out with our pet food supply and our human food supply? Of course my “to do” list for you is much longer, but we’ll start there–for now.
Click HERE to read the press release from the Humane Society of the United States regarding the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act being signed into law.
May 3, 2007
Today, President Bush signed into law a bill that will help law enforcement rid the United States of dogfighting, cockfighting, and other forms of animal fighting.
Dogfighting and cockfighting crimes are rampant in the United States, with individuals arrested every week in scores of locations under state laws. The vast underground networks generate pervasive animal cruelty, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, public corruption and even violence and murder. The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which passed Congress with large bi-partisan support, will give law enforcement a stronger tool to crack down on this illegal activity.
“Animal fighting is a barbaric and inhumane practice, and it is fitting and appropriate that we now have a national policy condemning and criminalizing this form of organized animal cruelty,” states Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, which has led the national battle against animal fighting and been the primary advocate for this federal legislation.
The law takes effect immediately. It provides felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities, including commerce in cockfighting weapons. It will make it much harder for criminals who engage in dogfighting and cockfighting to continue their operations. Each violation of the federal law may bring up to three years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine for perpetrators.
Cockfighting is outlawed in every state except Louisiana, although there is mounting pressure in that state to ban the practice. Many states still have misdemeanor penalties for cockfighting. The federal law slaps felony penalties on interstate cockfighting trafficking, and this should provide an enormous deterrent for the tens of thousands of people involved in this criminal industry.
The law will have a devastating impact on major breeders of fighting animals, who depend on customers from all over the United States and abroad. Dog kennels rely on transporting their fighting dogs across state lines and across the world to customers. The new law should substantially curb the transport of fighting animals across state and U.S. borders. The HSUS is already seeing some major breeders of fighting roosters cutting back on production.
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act will help end the export of fighting animals to other countries. Selling roosters to customers in the Philippines and other nations can be lucrative for American cockfighters. The new law puts increased pressure on the airlines to stop shipping roosters to cockfighting hot spots.
The new law had been introduced by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) in the House, and by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in the Senate. It had also been endorsed by more than 500 groups, including all major humane organizations, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and more than 400 local law enforcement agencies covering all 50 states.
New Year, new plans, right? My main one is starting tomorrow (famous last words, right?)–living a healthier, more active life! Will post more about that later.
For today, though, I’d like to give you all some information from GoVeg.com about why it’s not only healthier for YOU, but for our our planet and ALL of its inhabitants, to go vegetarian (14 years for me this April!). Click the link at the end of their list and they’ll even help you with take their “30-Day Veg Pledge“. Come on, you can give it a thirty day shot, can’t you?
Btw, I checked with them about reposting this Top Ten list from their site and this is part of their quick response, “Our materials are not copyrighted and may be redistributed freely. The only exceptions are materials that were excerpted from other sources, such as passages from books not originally published by PETA. For information on reprinting those materials, please contact the original publisher…Thank you for helping us spread the word about animal rights, and for everything you do for animals—your actions save lives!” So if you’d like to repost the following list elsewhere, go for it! 🙂
Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegetarian in 2007
“I am a very strict vegetarian … I just really, really love animals, and I act on my values.”
– Natalie Portman
Many people’s New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, eating better, getting healthier, and doing more to make the world a better place. You can accomplish all these goals by switching to a vegetarian diet, and you’ll enjoy delicious, satisfying meals as well. Here are our top 10 reasons to go vegetarian in 2007:
1. Slim Down While Feeling Good
Is shedding some extra pounds first on your list of goals for the new year? Vegetarians are, on average, up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters. And unlike unhealthy fad diets, which leave you feeling tired (and gaining all the weight back eventually), going vegetarian is the healthy way to keep the excess fat off for good while feeling full of energy.
2. It’s the Best Way to Help Animals
Every vegetarian saves more than 100 animals a year from horrible abuse. There is simply no other way that you can easily help so many animals and prevent so much suffering than by choosing vegetarian foods over meat, eggs, and dairy products.
3. A Healthier, Happier You
A vegetarian diet is great for your health! According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters. Vegetarians get all the nutrients they need to be healthy (e.g., plant protein, fiber, minerals, etc.) without all the nasty stuff in meat that slows you down and makes you sick, like cholesterol and saturated animal fat.
4. Vegetarian Food Is Delicious
So you’re worried that if you go vegetarian, you’ll have to give up hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and ice cream? You won’t. As the demand for vegetarian food skyrockets, companies are coming out with more and more delicious meat and dairy product alternatives that taste like the real thing but are much healthier and don’t hurt any animals. Plus, we have thousands of tasty kitchen-tested recipes to help you get started!
5. Meat Is Gross
It’s disgusting but true: Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids, all of which make animal products the top source of food poisoning in the United States. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested supermarket chicken flesh and found that 96 percent of Tyson chicken was contaminated with campylobacter, a dangerous bacteria that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Learn more.
6. Help Feed the World
Eating meat doesn’t just hurt animals; it hurts people too. It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals-in fact, it takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used much more efficiently if it was fed to people directly. The more people who go vegetarian, the more we can feed the hungry.
7. Save the Planet
Eating meat is one of the worst things that you can do for the Earth; it’s wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution, and the meat industry is one of the biggest causes of global warming. Adopting a vegetarian diet is more important than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against global warming.
8. All the Cool Kids Are Doing It
The list of stars who shun animal flesh is basically a “who’s who” of today’s hottest celebs. Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Tobey McGuire, Shania Twain, Alicia Silverstone, Anthony Kiedis, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, INXS lead singer J.D. Fortune, Benji Madden, Alyssa Milano, Common, Joss Stone, and Carrie Underwood are just a handful of the super-sexy vegetarians who regularly appear in People magazine. Check out our recent “World’s Sexiest Vegetarians” poll for more hot, compassionate celebs.
9. Look Sexy and Be Sexy
Vegetarians tend to be thinner than meat-eaters and have more energy, which is perfect for late-night romps with your special someone. (Guys: The cholesterol and saturated animal fat in meat, eggs, and dairy products don’t just clog the arteries to your heart; over time, they impede blood flow to other vital organs as well.) Plus, what’s sexier than someone who is not only mega-hot, but also compassionate?
10. Pigs Are Smarter Than Your Dog
While most people are less familiar with pigs, chickens, fish, and cows than they are with dogs and cats, animals used for food are every bit as intelligent and able to suffer as the animals who share our homes are. Pigs can learn to play video games, and chickens are so smart that their intelligence has been compared by scientists to that of monkeys. Read more about these amazing animals.
Ready to get started? Take the 30-Day Veg Pledge and we’ll help you every step of the way. Have a happy, healthy, and humane new year!