Letters [Sep 2007]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2007:
Trying to stop net-&-bolt deer killing

About a year ago, I became informed about net-and-bolt deer
killing, which is now going on in several cities here in New Jersey,
and is extensively practiced around the U.S.
In net-and-bolt deer culls, deer are baited and trapped in
nets (usually more than one at a time), and held to await execution
by an “authorized agent,” who usually has no veterinary experience
or other experience in killing animals with minimal pain and
distress. The deer are killed by firing a steel bolt into their
Killing hooved animals with a captive bolt gun is approved by
the American Veterinary Medical Association for use in
slaughterhouses and other situations in which the bolting can be done
quickly and accurately, with minimal awareness by the victim animal
that something bad is about to happen. However, netting and bolting
deer causes great pain and distress. The deer often do not die
instantly. Instead, they may receive several boltings before death,
because in order to cause instant death, the bolt must hit a certain
part of the brain. This is almost impossible because the netted deer
are flailing and throwing themselves around, making it impossible to
target one particular spot, which is much smaller for a deer than
for cattle, pigs, horses, and sheep, the species for whom the
AVMA recommendation was developed. Netted and bolted deer suffer a
slow, excruciating death, not to mention broken limbs resulting
from their struggles to escape from the nets.
Several of us are banding together to fight this, but we
need more support, more help. Please, if there is anything that
you can do, contact me.
–Jessica Ross
Princeton, N.J.

PetSmart rabbits

“The House Rabbit Society is hopping mad at PetSmart,” in
the July/August 2007 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, shows the influence
that animal organizations can have against the pet trade, and that
animal rights and welfare organizations have had an impact on the
huge “Pet Factory Farms.” Despite the obvious profitability of
selling animals, PetSmart is listening and is working with groups
such as the House Rabbit Society, and is selling dwarf rabbits who
have already been sterilized. We at The Angry Parrot strongly
support the House Rabbit Society, and are here to assist them as
PetSmart recently chose to try parrot adoptions in some
stores. We support this idea. We maintain that parrots are not
pets, but we would rather see unwanted parrots adopted than have
people purchase them as cute babies, to grow up to be yet more
unwanted parrots.
–Tami Myers
Founder and Director
The Angry Parrot Inc
PO Box 442
Thorndike, MA 01079

Quit meat-eating to save the planet

Your front page article, “Animals at risk from drought in
Zimbabwe, flooding in India and Bangladesh,” and the many other
recent reports of severe heat waves, flooding, wildfires,
droughts, severe storms, and other indicators of global warming
should be wake-up calls that the world is heading toward an
unprecedented catastrophe. Changes must be made as soon as possible
to prevent it.
I would like to suggest a strategy that the animal rights
movement should adopt that might make a difference. A 2006 UN FAO
report indicated that animal-based agriculture contributes more
greenhouse gases (in carbon dioxide equivalents) than all of the
cars, trucks, and other forms of transportation worldwide (18% vs.
13.5%). The same report projects that the number of farmed animals
will double in the next 50 years. If that happens, increased
greenhouse gas emissions from livestock would negate the reductions
from many other positive changes, such as increasing automobile fuel
efficiency, switching to more efficient light bulbs, etc.
Hence, while many things should be done to reduce global
warming, an essential step is a major shift toward plant-based
diets. Without this shift, and many more positive steps, global
climate change will get increasingly worse, with disastrous
consequences for humanity and all of creation.
The animal rights movement should organize a campaign to
increase awareness that it is imperative that there be a major shift
toward plant-based diets in order to reduce global warming’s worse
effects. This is an essential step in helping shift our precious but
imperiled planet to a sustainable path.
–Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
College of Staten Island
President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America
and Society of Ethical & Religious Vegetarians
Phone: 718-761-5876
Fax: 718-982-3631

Humane Research Council info site

The Humane Research Council recently launched a website,
<www.HumaneSpot.org>, which is a free online resource designed
exclusively for animal advocates.
<www.HumaneSpot.org> provides HRC’s comprehensive research database,
which ANIMAL PEOPLE readers might find particularly interesting. The
database has about 450 records currently, including many full
reports, and we are adding new items at a rate of 10-15 per week.
Our goal is to make this website the most comprehensive database of
opinion and behavior research available to animal advocates, and we
are already well on our way.
In addition to the database, animal advocates can sign up for
“humane spotlights” that deliver new research and data to them via
e-mail and/or RSS. These spotlights can be personalized to match
users’ interests and preferred e-mail frequency. <www.HumaneSpot.org
is also home to several case studies, articles, and independent
research reports provided by HRC.
Those who are actively involved in animal protection work can
register for free access to these and other resources provided on
<www.HumaneSpot.org>. Working together, we can all be more informed
and more effective for the animals.
–Che Green
Humane Research Council
P. O. Box 6476
Olympia, WA 98507
Phone: 206-905-9887

Anti-rabies walk

We distributed copies of the ANIMAL PEOPLE rabies questions
and answers flyer at our September 7 World Rabies Awareness Day walk,
and are preparing an Urdu translation.
–Mahera Omar
Pakistan Animal Welfare Society

Starting an animal charity abroad

If you are an American or Euro-pean, thinking of founding an
animal protection project in India or elsewhere abroad, here are some
ideas about getting started:
# Take a cold honest view of your financial situation, so
that you can prioritize your work according to the reality of your
resources as they stand right now. Yes, you can have good luck at
any future moment, but as you invest in the first stages you need to
know what money you have.
# Put your mission statement in writing. Keep your
first-year-plan small enough to be realistic. Be ready to ask for
material aid in a clear way, with a prioritized list of necessities.
# Become able to state with knowledge and authority what is
currently going on that you hope to change. Then succinctly explain
your strategy for changing it.
# Do not expect to win start-up grants, but look up animal
welfare people or organizations in your home community, in your own
nation, and explain to them your dream. You may need to start with
only whatever help is available from your personal friends and family.
# Visit the local government offices and look for people
with whom you can build familiarity and explain your objectives. Ask
them for guidance. They may not have guidance to offer, but always
ask. This gets the government people invested psychologically in
your mission, and it will be helpful for you to know who is the local
health officer, who is nice, who is not, etc.
# Call for volunteer help right away, through international
web sites, but have in mind specific jobs for the volunteers you are
# Be sure when hiring staff that if you do not have the
money for permanent employment you make this clear, so that your
hirees can plan their lives fairly. Look for people who really care
about feeding, bathing, walking, holding animals while they’re on a
drip, etc., who can learn by looking into animals’ souls.
Your staff don’t need to know anything at first, but if they
care (this is not always easy to find, mind you) the learning will
almost take care of itself.
All the hassles are worth enduring to achieve your dream.
–Erika Abrams
Animal Aid Unlimited (India)
4508 S.W. Massachusetts St.
Seattle, WA 98116

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