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Activists Jump on Stage During Gala Honoring NYC Horse-Drawn Carriage Drivers

October 1, 2016 by 2 comments


The News

Angered that the preservation group Landmark West was honoring NYC’s horse-drawn carriage trade, animal rights activists disrupted the organization’s gala at Tavern on The Green, a restaurant in Central Park.

In 2006, activists launched a campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages, arguing that they are inherently inhumane and that their operation is especially cruel and dangerous in the congested streets of midtown Manhattan.  In 2013, Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio made a campaign pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages, but he failed to deliver on his promise when he took office.

The preservation group Landmark West honored horse-drawn carriage drivers at its gala. Animal rights activists disrupted the event.

The preservation group Landmark West honored horse-drawn carriage drivers at its gala. Animal rights activists disrupted the event.

In addition to protesting the horse-drawn carriage trade itself, activists are targeting Mayor de Blasio, demanding that he expend the political capital necessary to deliver on his promise. On September 15th, just a few days after a carriage horse collapsed in midtown, over 200 activists staged a protest at Gracie Mansion, the Mayor’s home, and confronted him as he exited a downtown gala several hours later.

Animal rights activists in NYC demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfill his promise to ban horse-drawn carriages.

Animal rights activists in NYC demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfill his promise to ban horse-drawn carriages.

NYC’s horse-drawn carriage operators own approximately 2oo horses. When the horses are not pulling carriages in midtown, they are kept in small stalls in former warehouses or garages in Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood on the far West Side of Manhattan.

The horses who pull carriages in NYC are housed in multi-story buildings after working in midtown. NYC has no pasture where the horses can graze and interact with other horses.

The horses who pull carriages in NYC are housed in multi-story buildings after working in midtown. NYC has no pasture where the horses can graze and interact with other horses.

Your Turn

Please contact Landmark West to let the organization know how you feel about its decision to honor NYC’s inhumane horse-drawn carriage trade by posting a comment on its Facebook page and/or retweeting this tweet.


Advocates Disrupt Dr. Laurie Glimcher Over NY Blood Center Chimp Abandonment Crisis

September 29, 2016 by 3 comments


The News

One minute after Dr. Laurie Glimcher began speaking at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, animal rights advocates launched out of their seats to disrupt – and ruin – her presentation. Glimcher, who served on the board of the New York Blood Center (NYBC) when the organization decided to abandon 66 chimpanzees on islands in Liberia, has refused to address the crisis since advocates approached her in mid-2015.

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding” for its former lab chimpanzees, leaving the animals to die of starvation and thirst. With virtually no resources and burdened by the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, volunteers in Liberia kept the chimpanzees alive until an HSUS-led coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis — until NYBC reinstates funding.

Laurie Glimcher is escorted out of the room during the disruption.

Laurie Glimcher is escorted out of the room during the disruption.

In 2015 and 2016, activists in NYC staged almost twenty protests targeting Dr. Glimcher at her Upper East Side home and at Cornell Medical College, where she served as the Dean.  Activists in Boston have taken over the campaign because Glimcher moved to Boston to become the CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Animal rights activists in Philadelphia disrupted Laurie Glimcher, who served on NY Blood Center board when it abandoned chimpanzees

Animal rights activists in Philadelphia disrupted Laurie Glimcher, who served on NY Blood Center board when it abandoned chimpanzees

Your Turn

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.

In a letter to the NY Blood Center, Jane Goodall said the organization has a moral obligation to pay for the chimps' care.

In a letter to the NY Blood Center, Jane Goodall said the organization has a moral obligation to pay for the chimps’ care.


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.”

catskill-animal-sanctuary-food

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.