In a country with dozens of elephant camps masquerading as sanctuaries, one spot in Thailand stands out as the real deal — Elephant Nature Park, a refuge for dozens of elephants rescued from logging concessions, the entertainment industry and land mine explosions.
Most of the elephant camps in Thailand allow visitors to ride the animals, a sign that they are beaten into submission by “trainers.” Elephant Nature Park, on the other hand, prioritizes the needs of the elephants by rehabilitating them, incorporating them into a herd and providing them with as natural an environment as possible.
During the four days after Canada Goose opened its first retail store in the United States, animal rights activists staged massive protests at the entrance, dissuading shoppers from entering and shaming those who purchased coats after seeing images of geese and coyotes being terrorized and killed for their feathers and fur.
In this six minute video, Canadian journalist Zach Ruiter captured some of the dramatic encounters between the protesters and Canada Goose customers on the day of the store’s grand opening in New York City.
TheirTurn, which also reported from the grand opening, interviewed actor and comedian Dave Hill, who stopped by with his dog Lucy to lend his support. In addition to criticizing the Canada Goose for engaging in “mass slaughter” while masquerading as a “mom and pop” business, Hill contemplated asking the company, which uses wild dog (coyote) fur, if it would make a coat using Lucy’s fur.
In October, activists with PETA and Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) staged an in-store disruption on the opening day of its first retail store. According to PETA, “25 chanting, poster-wielding PETA supporters and DxE activists descended on the grand opening of Canada Goose’s first-ever brick-and-mortar store in Toronto. Less than a minute after protesters entered the building—where they were immediately locked in by security personnel—the company’s CEO, Dani Reiss, fled to the back of the store.”
Canada Goose is being targeted by animal rights activists because the company sells winter coats stuffed with feathers plucked out of the bodies of geese and lined with the fur of coyotes who are captured in steel leg hold traps. Advocates say that coyotes attempt to chew off their trapped limbs to escape and oftentimes starve to death while waiting for the trapper to shoot them.
Protest on the opening day of the Canada Goose store in NYC
The red and blue Canada Goose badge on the coats has become a status symbol in urban areas. Activists are working to ensure that customers, some of whom don’t realize they are wearing real fur, know that they’re wearing a “badge of terror.”
Activists help Canada Goose customers connect the dots between their dogs who they love and the dogs who they’re wearing.
On November 13th, several hundred people traveled to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, New York for the annual ThanksLiving celebration during which guests have the privilege of feeding rescued turkeys before feasting on a four course vegan meal.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, a shelter for rescued cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, and rabbits, gives visitors the chance to come “face-to-face with the animals they may only know as dinner and learn about the devastating effects of modern-day agribusiness on the animals, the environment and human health.”
Feeding the turkeys at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary is an annual ThanksLiving ritual
Terri, a popular vegan restaurant with three locations in NYC, catered the 2016 ThanksLiving celebration and donated the food.
Main course: Butter roasted Blackbird seitan, Grandma Terri’s classic stuffing, rosemary garlic whipped potatoes, Port shiitake mushroom gravy, lemon-sauteed green beans with almond slivers, citrus cranberry sauce
Before Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York, partake in a sacrificial ritual called Kaporos. During Kaporos, practitioners swing a live chicken around their heads while saying a prayer to transfer their sins to the animal, who is then slaughtered. In 2016, hundreds of animal rights activists disrupted the massacre.
Slaughtering animals on public streets is illegal, as it violates 15 city and state health, sanitation and animal cruelty laws, but NYC’s elected officials and the agencies that report to them, including the NYPD and Department of Health, turn a blind eye because the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities that partake in the ritual vote in blocs. NY-based attorney Nora Constance Marino is suing the City of New York on behalf of local residents and the advocacy group The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos for failing to enforce both city and state laws.
Shimon Shuchat, who was born into the Hasidic community but has since left, encourages a Kaporos practitioner to swing coins instead of live chickens.
Animal rights activists in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Jerusalem, cities with large populations of ultra-Orthodox Jews, are campaigning to ban Kaporos.
Angry about the weekly nighttime protests, neighbors of NY Blood Center board member Michael Hodin are lashing out at the activists who are using drums and whistles to demand that he reinstate funding for the chimpanzees he and his colleagues abandoned on islands in Liberia with no food or water.
While some neighbors are supportive of the activists, many argue that they should not be “held hostage” in this campaign or be forced to pay the price for the bad behavior of a man who happens to live on their street. The activists argue that many of these same neighbors ignored them for months when they protested during daylight hours and that Michael Hodin’s refusal to address the crisis has left them with no choice but to become more disruptive. For the past year, Michael Hodin has refused to answer the calls, letters and emails sent by advocates asking that he meet to address the crisis he created.
Neighbor of NY Blood Center board member Michael Hodin tells advocates that they are ruining his family’s quality of life.
Michael Hodin and his colleagues cut all funding for the care of the chimpanzees during the Ebola in Liberia outbreak in March 2015 in spite of the fact that his organization, the NY Blood Center, experimented on them for 30 years; earned an estimated $500 million in royalties off of the research; and promised to provide the survivors with lifelong care.
A chimpanzee abandoned by the NY Blood Center receives water from a caretaker being paid by the Humane Society of the United States with contributions from the public.
Among the many institutions that have issued statements condemning the New York Blood Center and demanding that it resolve the crisis it created are The Jane Goodall Institute, MetLife and Citigroup. Prior to cutting their funding, the latter two corporations were among NYBC’s most high profile corporate sponsors.
Institutions that have publicly condemned the NY Blood Center for leaving their chimps to starve to death
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 the NY Blood Center to provide lifelong care to their former laboratory chimps.