Makah DEIS Talking Points

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Green Vegans board members have been at the core of this issue since 1995. We’ve been here before, and have helped stop the whale hunt in the past. With your advocacy and support of Green Vegans, we can do it again. Before going further, save and use this link to the National Marine Fisheries (NMFS) website to access instructions, documents including the DEIS, and information about the meetings in Seattle and Port Angeles, WA. iStock_000010548185XSmall

We’ve organized the following talking points for your use. Pick and choose, present in your own words at the public meeting regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Makah tribe’s effort to kill gray whales off the Washington coast. We have included links to suggested comments from other organizations at the end.

To Start: Please read the Executive Summary in the DEIS (link above) that contains the six options being considered. One of your comments will advocate for Option1—No Action. The Makah would be denied the legal cover to kill gray whales.

Note: The closing date for written comments is June 11, 2015. We and other organizations have requested that date be extended for several reasons we won’t go into here. Remember, you likely will have only 3 +/– minutes to speak at the meeting. You can give the NMFS written comments at this meeting but we urge you take advantage of the time between now and June 11 as we continue reviewing the 1,200-plus page DEIS and additional documents. We will post comments on this website that are far more thorough and specific for you to use at least two weeks before the June 11 closing date. Those comments will have a greater impact.  Continue reading

Comments Needed Now-Protect Birds from Drones

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Alert! Comments Needed Now to Protect Birds and Ecosystems From Drones
Background: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun to update regulations on the operation of drones. What they do now will set the stage on how much or how little birds, wildlife, people, and ecosystems will be protected from the hundreds of thousands to over a million drones that will soon fill the air. The FAA has excused itself from any environmental reviews but is taking comments on its proposed rulemaking.

This QR X350 PRO drone is being sold on Amazon's "Drone Store."

This QR X350 PRO drone is being sold on Amazon’s “Drone Store.”

Green Vegans has sent them seven pages of comments. They are far more detailed than needed for yours. The deadline for electronic submission is midnight, April 24. This is the FAA page relevant to the issue but you do not need to study it. Green Vegans has done that for you. This is the page where you  submit your comments. Click on the blue “comment now” button. Use the talking points below.

Wildlife, ecosystems, and people will be heavily impacted as the number of drones increases. We need vegan environmentalists to be visible advocates immediately.

The FAA thinks it can get away with ignoring the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because it is addressing one class of drones and not the others until later. However, NEPA requires federal agencies to look at cumulative environmental impacts. Our goal is to get the FAA to first conduct an Environmental Assessment and then an Environmental Impact Statement under NEPA.  Continue reading

Vegan Environmentalist Identity Campaign

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While the world too slowly awakens to the environmental necessity of global veganism, vegans now must become highly visible advocates for ecosystems and all species. We must do what mainstream environmental organizations are failing to act on: advocate for the solutions that only vegan lifestyles and a consistent philosophy of justice and nonviolence can accomplish. Veganism is required to stop our destroying the planet and biodiversity, slow global warming, and address human poverty.

Vegans have a unique opportunity to reform environmentalism with our visible advocacy. To that end, Green Vegans will serve as a resource to vegan environmentalists. globe_west_2048

Green Vegans is the first organization to comment on state plans to kill wolves from a vegan human ecology (explained on our “about” pages). We were the first organization to be clearly identified as vegan at the last International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Panama as whale advocates. You can image our joy as the three of us, experienced IWC veterans, introduced ourselves as Green Vegans at meetings and in lobbying conversations with state department level representatives—IWC commissioners from dozens of countries. The vegan environmental movement can only grow. Our goal now is to enable you to participate and grow the vegan environmental movement.

Opinions matter to us personally, but they are often not effective in changing government decisions on the environment. Government agencies are influenced when we provide new information, evidence-based critiques of their policies and proposals, and challenges to the legality of their actions.

Though environmental issues can be complex, Green Vegans will make it easy for you to participate. We will post campaigns and what you can do on our main Green Vegans page.

Green Vegans has been campaigning since 2009. Welcome to our Vegan Environmentalist Identity Campaign. This is your preparation:

We will post the first Vegan Environmentalist Identity Campaign here and on our home page soon. See our other campaigns by clicking on the “Campaigns” tab above.

Seattle Restaurants Vent Toxic Exhaust onto Public

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Seattle Ignores Restaurant Air Pollution and It’s Threats to Human and Environmental Health

After an investigation and documentation of unregulated toxic air pollution coming from many Seattle restaurants, including Whole Foods* and the Nickerson Saloon and Grill, that cook meat, Green Vegans petitioned both the city council and the mayor’s office to address the problem. They have not responded, so we have alerted the public with a media release later today. Seattle is not alone as this.is a national problem. It is yet another environmental and health impact related to the animal agriculture industry and the violence waged upon sentient beings. DSCN3554

Commercial cooking of meat in restaurants and food markets produces toxic air pollution that is being vented onto—and inhaled by—people in Seattle, a city that lacks code to establish air quality standards and enforcement authority to the Department of Planning and Development. Green Vegans documented this pollution before petitioning the city council and the mayor’s office in early February to address the problems.

“Breathing in particle pollution can increase the risk of early death, heart attacks, strokes, and emergency room visits for people with asthma, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Particles are smaller than 1/30th the diameter of a human hair. When you inhale them, they are small enough to get past the body’s natural defenses. Ozone and particle pollution are both linked to increased risk of lower birth weight in newborns.”[i] Children are at far greater risk from pollution because they breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight than adults.[ii]

Continue reading

Drone Update: Suprizing, Worrying

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Drone Update as of February 20, 2015

While the FAA considers Green Vegans’ letter charging they have failed to abide by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) regarding the regulation of drones, consider this surprising and worrying additional background. Drones will provide many benefits and can be a useful technology if used responsibly. Unfortunately, drones and their advanced technology are ripe for abuse that the FAA has too long ignored.

They are available to anyone with money, meaning there are tens of thousands of drones now and countless more to come. Hobbyists will continue to have more drones of considerable speed and size than all other sectors. Commercial drones, up to fifty-pounds and one hundred miles per hour if proposed rules are adopted, are and will be in the minority compared to hobbyist aircraft. Rulemaking for commercial drones cannot escape the need for an environmental assessment that considers the total number of drones.

3drobotics Rtfx8915 X8 Heavy Lift Multicopter Drone 915 MhzTaken together—and in individual instances—this many drones constitute a threat to public privacy interests, ecosystems and wildlife. With few exceptions, they are allowed to operate in public airspace. Hobbyists at present fly from ground level to 400 feet above—the approximate height of a forty storey building. The proposed commercial flight maximum is 500 feet. As we reported earlier, Amazon.com alone is reported to be selling 10,000 hobbyist drones every month. This is a new intrusion into human and wildlife habitats at a scale we’ve never experienced before.

Government agencies and first responders like fire and police services are making plans to increase their use of drones. And of course, amateur to professional hobbyists are yearning to fly where they want, filming, intruding on people and wildlife most often without any redeeming benefit compared to the impacts and next to no regulatory constraint. Continue reading

Seattle Climate Rally Update

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UPDATED INFORMATION FOR VEGANS AND OTHERS GOING TO THE SEATTLE CLIMATE CHANGE RALLY

Vegans, other environmentalists, organizations for justice and labor, and people from all walks of life are going to the Seattle Rally to Challenge Climate Change on Sunday, September 21. This rally is linked to a global day of similar events. It is a rare opportunity for the vegan community to have high profile media coverage for our message. The rally begins at 1:00 at the Westlake Mall Park in downtown Seattle. 20140907_184932 VEGANS are asked to show up at 12:15 to pre-event organize and meet and greet a few feet east of the Starbucks Coffee store across the street from the rally. Please bring your own poster board signs but leave one side plain if you want to tape on a Cowspiracy movie poster:

• Twenty Cowspiracy movie posters will be available to mount on your signs—a great visual and conversation opener.
• We will have at least two types of vegan literature specific to climate change for you to pass out or bring your own.
• At 12:15 to 1:00 we will meet at the vegan staging area, say hello to one-another and then ask for a vegan consensus about how we can be most visible as vegans at the rally. The “Cowspiracy” posters will be taped to signs here. There was a march planned for the event but we will get the final word on that after we attend an organizers meeting this Thursday evening.
• All organizations are encouraged to rally under your own identity and bring tables for literature.
• Green Vegans is asking for six people to carry two banners (made by Greener Printer). Please email contact@greenvegans.org for that or passing out vegan climate change literature. If we have your size, banner carriers will get a free organic cotton Green Vegan logo tee-shirt.
• We are looking for any original turtle costumes from the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) march and
Continue reading

Vegans! Join the World’s Largest Climate Change Rally Today!

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UPDATE: A large (hopefully) vegan contingent will be at the Bay Area climate rally in Oakland. Here’s their event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/521264274684672/

Vegans everywhere are preparing for these events. We are making sure that climate change activists include the vegan imperative. We and ecosystems will not win on climate change without veganism. On September 21, people in villages, towns, and cities around the world will come together in a call for action. In New York alone over 750 organizations and tens of thousands of people are gathering for a rally and march there as the United Nations convenes to address climate change policy. On the same day vegans in Seattle and everywhere will join them.earthspace

From http://peoplesclimate.org/march/: World leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.

With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

The Seattle rally will be at Westlake Plaza, downtown, Sunday, September 21, starting at 1:00 (changed time from 12:00). There will be a march to a nearby location that is TBD. All organizations, vegan and nonvegan, are encouraged to represent their own contingent with banners while individuals can bring their own signs. Use these links to stay updated on the activities in Seattle and also to find more events in the region:

http://act.350.org/event/peoples_climate/7857               

https://www.facebook.com/events/1446281475652868/?ref=br_tf

If you are not in Seattle, contact your local vegan organization and check for activities in your area here: http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

If you are happy to carry the two Green Vegans Banners (need 3 – 4 each), please email contact@greenvegans.org. Also, stay tuned for an update about where all vegans and their friends are invited to meet in a specific place very near the rally site. We will finish signs if needed and talk about how we can make the best visual impact and the literature you can pass out at the rally. Please bring your own signs as we may run out at this large event. We and other vegans/organizations will have free literature about the vegan imperative. Green Vegans, to reduce paper consumption, will hand out basic information on a smaller piece of paper that will include links to websites for further information. 

There will be tables with information and speakers who will focus the event. This is a great opportunity for everyone including those who want to make it clear that dietary choices must be part of the solution and included in the environmentalist response to climate change.

Said Will Anderson of Green Vegans, “Though there are many new lifestyle changes required for slowing climate change, the science is clear, none is more effective than going vegan.” 

Donations are always appreciated to cover our costs and fund campaigns.

Cowspiracy Documentary Premiers!

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COWSPIRACYposterA movie with a message too long ignored. For organizations receiving this, please email your members and post www.cowspiracy.com to your social media sites. You also will see the scheduled tour at www.cowspiracy.com that’s selling out to enthusiastic viewers.

For Seattle:
FRIDAY, July 25, 2014 from 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM
AMC Pacific Place 11 / 600 Pine St, #400 / Seattle
TICKETS: https://cowspiracyseattle.eventbrite.com / www.cowspiracy.com

From the producers:
This is the film that environmental organizations don’t want you to see.
“COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret” is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

This documentary will be as eye-opening as “Blackfish” and as inspiring as “An Inconvenient Truth.”

News: Sochi Olympics and Violence

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As the February 14 demonstrations protesting the Taiji dolphin slaughters and captures draws near, do NOT forget the Russian captures of beluga, pilot, and orca whales. Stories about orca whales and Taiji dolphins taking part in the Sochi Olympic games have faded in the media. The exception is this excellent investigation http://timzimmermann.com/2014/02/10/who-is-white-sphere-the-barely-disguised-conglomerate-behind-russias-wild-orca-captures/ by a journalist who took the time to uncover the truth.

We ask you not to view the Olympic Games on TV (NBC in the US) in protest of these travesties and many others. Russian President Putin and his government are responsible for violence against these whales and dolphins, homeless dogs in Sochi, and LGBT people.

As for the Olympic Committee, we reject the notion that the highest standards of personal behavior and competition are required of athletes by the Olympic Committee while the same committee AND SPONSORS do not require hosting countries to uphold justice for individuals from other species and people. The Olympic Committee must reform the host country selection criteria or face dwindling public and commercial support for the games.

Taiji Dolphin Slaughter Update – two additional actions

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Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians and CNN, are reporting that the Taiji slaughter of dolphins is finished for this particular capture. Though the figures of dolphins killed and those sold into slavery to aquariums for “entertainment” differ between the two reports, Sea Shepherd’s numbers were specific while CNN’s vague and quoted from Tokyo sources.

Lolita Killer Whale

Additional Actions to take: After reading the Sea Shepherd accounting (below), and the evidence presented by Rick O’Barry of the Dolphin Project that these kills are not 400 year-old traditions please take these two additional actions. It is still important to let the Japanese government know you are not forgetting this barbaric travesty. So, in addition to yesterdays Action steps, please email your protest directly to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government: https://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment_ssl.html You will see a form to fill in. Then, send a note to Gerald Dick the CEO of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He could end future captures and killings enforcing WAZA’s code of ethics: Dr. Gerald Dick / gerald.dick@waza.org

Reports / Documentation from Taiji 2014

Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians describes the scene on 21 January 2014:

“For the fifth straight day the killers of Taiji, Japan inflicted further pain and suffering on 42 of the 250 Bottlenose dolphins that were herded into the cove. After the killers arrived at daybreak they pushed the first Bottlenose dolphin pod to the killing shore with the same inhumane muscle and force typical in Taiji. Unfortunately, however, the pod that fought so hard in the previous days was unable fight from lack of food, exhaustion, and injuries sustained from killers and motors over the last five days. …

… A total of 93 Bottlenose dolphins were taken from the ocean in the past 5 days by the barbaric killers and trainers of Taiji, Japan. The killers claim the barbaric drive, starvation, beating, and murdering of dolphins is their culture. However, they continue to try and hide their actions and make millions of dollars off of the captive industry that is used for funding the slaughter. Total: 52 captives / 41 deaths / 130-140 driven back out to sea.” https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.279034838913420.1073741883.109164785900427&type=1

From the Dolphin Project, correcting history

Unfortunately, media continue to not challenge the Japan government’s propaganda that this is an ancient cultural tradition. From Dolphin Project’s Rick O’Berry we’ve excerpted part of their 20 January media release: “Taiji Dolphin Hunt Not a Tradition”.

Claims being made by the Japanese government to the media and the public that the Taiji dolphin drive hunts, … are part of Japan’s “traditional culture” are completely false.  … 

One of Japan’s foremost defenders of the dolphins, our colleague Sakae Hemmi of the Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan, submitted a letter a few weeks ago to Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), which includes as a member the Japan Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA), one of whose members is the Taiji Whale Museum, which brokers dolphins from the dolphin hunts around the world.

 Dr. Dick responded to Elsa stating that WAZA would not take action against the hunts:  “As you know, in some Japanese communities these drives have been part of the culture for centuries.”  This same false claim is now being made to the media by the Japanese government.

“This claim of ‘Japanese tradition’ is nonsense,” stated Ric O’Barry, Director of Earth Island’s Dolphin Project. “The dolphin drive hunts, according to the town’s own written history, says a couple of drive hunts occurred in 1936 and 1944, but the current series of hunts only began in 1969.”

Ms. Hemmi has replied… “In fact, the history of dolphin hunting in Taiji is short. According to The History of Taiji, edited and published by Taiji town in 1979, the first recorded dolphin drive was in 1933, with subsequent hunts occurring in 1936 and 1944. It was not until 1969 that dolphin drives have been conducted on a large scale. The history of the dolphin drives spans not so-called 400 years, but a mere 45. Furthermore, in 1969, the main goal of the dolphin drive was to capture pilot whales as prized showpieces for the Taiji Whale Museum. In other words, the dolphin drive was purely for profit, having nothing to do with cultural history.” See more at http://savejapandolphins.org/blog/post/taiji-dolphin-drive-hunt-is-not-a-tradition

Green Vegans thanks the many people and their organizations who had to bear witness to this butchery so that the world would have eyes.