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In NYC, Hundreds Stage Dramatic Memorial Service for Animals (VIDEO)

September 23, 2016 by 1 comment

The News

It was a sight that stopped hurried New Yorkers in their tracks — hundreds of people, many cradling the bodies of dead animals, staging a memorial service for the billions animals who are killed each year by humans.

Photo: Gunars Elmuts

National Animal Rights Day ceremony in NYC (Photo: Gunars Elmuts)

Established by “Our Planet. Theirs Too.” in 2011, The National Animal Rights Day (NARD), which is observed in cities in the U.S. and Canada, “gives a voice to all animals and raises awareness for their rights, until all animals are free from enslavement and their rights are established and protected by law.”

Following is a short video of the NARD memorial ceremony in NYC:

Two of the  NYC organizers, Michael Dolling and Alfre Amin, traveled on multiple occasions from NYC to live animal auctions in Pennsylvania where they collected the bodies of dead animals who had been thrown into dumpsters.

NARD organizers retrieved animal bodies at live animal auctions in New Holland, PA

NARD NYC organizers retrieved animal bodies at live animal auctions in New Holland, PA (photo: Michael Dolling)

According to Dolling, “We hold the bodies of animals because it is a powerful way to expose the truth. These animals are ghosts in the machine of animal agriculture, hidden away from the world. I found many of these animals thrown away like trash in dead piles and in dumpsters, and I believe that they deserved more then that. We clean them, hold them, love them, wrap them up and place flowers on top of them in this very respectful and beautiful ceremony. They were never shown respect in life, so it is our obligation to give them that love and respect after death. In this ceremony, they represent the billions of animals slaughtered each year who suffer and die due to human greed.”

After the ceremony, which included the reading of the Declaration of Animal Rights, singer/songwriter Vanessa Dawson debuted “Be Their Voice,” which is the song used in the video. Throughout the afternoon, other musicians and speakers took to the stage, and food vendors served plant-based fare to participants and the hundreds of onlookers in Union Square.

Vanessa Dawson debuts "Be Their Voice" at NARD (photo: Bernard Jones, Jr.)

Vanessa Dawson debuts “Be Their Voice” at NARD (photo: Bernard Jones, Jr.)

Your Turn

Please visit National Animal Rights Day for more information.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary Hosts 15th Anniversary “Shindig” in Upstate New York

September 18, 2016 by Leave a Comment

The News

On September 17th, about 1,500 people traveled to upstate New York to attend Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s (CAS) annual “shindig,” a day long celebration with rescued animals, live bands, cooking demonstrations, vegan food vendors, speakers and hayrides.

According to Kathy Stevens, the founder of CAS, sanctuaries enable visitors who aren’t already vegan to “connect the dots between their lifestyle choices and the suffering of these beautiful animals.” She asserts that people must “understand that our choice to eat animals condemns countless beings to an unthinkable level of torture, fear and terror.”

Attendees bond with farm animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary's 15th Anniversary Shindig

Attendees bond with farm animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s 15th Anniversary Shindig

By inviting many vegan food vendors to the shindig, Stevens demonstrates that adopting a diet free of animals is hardly a sacrifice, given how delicious vegan food in 2016.  And while not all vegan food is health food, a plant-based diet, Stevens asserts, is better for our health and for the planet, as animal agriculture “is the primary cause of the global devastation we’re experiencing.”


At least a dozen vegan food vendors lined the roads within the sanctuary.

Your Turn

Please visit Catskill Animal Sanctuary to learn more about and support the organization’s life-saving work.

In Confrontation with Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Activists Demand that He Fulfill Promise to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (VIDEO)

September 16, 2016 by 3 comments

The News

In response to the collapse of a carriage horse in NYC, at least two hundred activists staged a protest at the home of Mayor Bill de Blasio to demand that he fulfill his 2013 campaign pledge to “end carriage rides” in NYC. The protest marks the re-birth of the movement to ban horse-drawn carriages from the congested streets of midtown Manhattan.

Following the protest at Gracie Mansion, which is located in uptown Manhattan, many of the activists traveled downtown to confront the Mayor as he exited an event at Cooper Union College.

The collapse of a carriage horse triggered about 200 activists to protest failure of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to fulfill his campaign promise to ban horse-drawn carriages

The collapse of a carriage horse triggered about 200 activists to protest failure of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to fulfill his campaign promise to ban horse-drawn carriages

In the months leading up to the 2013 Mayoral election in NYC, Bill de Blasio publicly vowed on several occasions to outlaw NYC’s horse-drawn carriage trade. After de Blasio declared that animal rights would “move into the mainstream” if he was elected, the community took to the streets to help him get elected.

The campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages from NYC was launched in 2006, but the animal rights community has been unable to free the horses because of opposition from the media, labor unions and NYC lawmakers. In addition, Bill de Blasio, who was the horses’ most powerful potential ally, has failed to effectively exert his power as Mayor to achieve a ban.  By the time he introduced a compromise bill that would contain the horses within Central Park, the majority of NYC lawmakers had already decided to take the politically expedient route, which was to reject any changes to the carriage trade.

Activists say that horse-drawn carriages cannot be operated humanely or safely in NYC.

Watch What Happens When Activists Show Earthlings on TV in NYC (VIDEO)

August 30, 2016 by 1 comment

The News

Activists with Friends of Animals United (FAUN) screened the documentary Earthlings in Union Square, a public space in New York City with a high concentration of pedestrians. The following video, which was viewed almost 300,000 times in the 24 hours after it was posted on Facebook, shows some of reactions generated by the film:

Phyllis Letthembe, the organizer, told TheirTurn that the activists show Earthlings and distribute information in an effort to open peoples’ eyes to animal cruelty and tap into their empathy.

Pedestrians in NYC stop to watch the documentary film Earthlings

Pedestrians in NYC stop to watch the documentary film Earthlings

During the two hours that Earthlings was screened, hundreds of pedestrians stopped to watch the film and talk to the activists who were standing by to answer questions. “We can tell based on the discussions we are having that people are profoundly affected by the video,” said Letthembe. “We wouldn’t be out in the streets if we didn’t think we were making a difference. After all, it was videos like Earthlings that made me and many of my fellow activists go vegan.”

The next outreach event takes place in the same location on September 15th.

Your Turn

To watch Earthlings, please visit the website for the film.

Neighbors of NY Blood Center Exec Michael Hodin Lambaste Chimp Advocates Over Nighttime Protests (VIDEO)

August 28, 2016 by 4 comments

The News

After staging over 10 daytime protests at the home on New York Blood Center (NYBC) Board Member Michael Hodin and receiving no response, animal rights activists escalated their campaign by staging three nighttime protests, a change that is infuriating his neighbors. Hodin, along with his NYBC colleagues, abandoned 66 chimpanzees on islands in Liberia with no food or water after conducting experiments on them for three decades and making a public promise to provide the survivors with lifelong care.

As Hodin watched two of the protests from the windows of his multi-million dollar apartment, his neighbors, most of whom ignored the activists for months during the daytime protests, lambasted them for the nighttime disruptions. Activists told his angry neighbors to “take it up with Hodin.”

Activists plan to resume the night time protests at Hodin’s building after Labor Day, when area residents return from their summer vacations.


Your Turn

Use the tweet sheet to contact the NYBC and its corporate donors.

Sign the Care2 petition to MetLife, NYBC’s largest corporate donor.

Join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure NYBC board members to fulfill their promise to provide lifelong care to their laboratory chimps.

Follow TheirTurn on Twitter, and follow “Save NYBC Chimps”on Instagram and Twitter.