Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Archives

Animal Rights Activists Protest State-Sponsored Mass Shooting of Bears in NJ

December 5, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

Dressed in a bear costume and hauling a dummy of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Friends of Animals’ Edita Birnkrant fearlessly paraded into the state capitol building to disrupt business as usual. That’s because she, like many other animal advocates across the state, is outraged about the upcoming state-sponsored mass shooting of black bears. TheirTurn reported on location:

Some of the bears will be lured out of their habitat with food. During a press conference about the bear hunt on the steps of the statehouse, state Senator Raymond Lesniak, who introduced legislation to ban the hunt, said, “Baiting isn’t hunting; it’s target shooting.”

From left to right: NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak, a dummy of NJ Governor Chris Christie in a bear-proof garbage can, Friends of Animals' Edita Birnkrant

From left to right: NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak, a dummy of NJ Governor Chris Christie in a bear-proof garbage can, Friends of Animals’ Edita Birnkrant

During the massacre, which starts on Monday, December 7th, hundreds of bears, including cubs and nursing mothers, will be hunted down and killed with guns and arrows.

NJ Governor Chris Christie receives a manual pat down at the NJ State House

NJ Governor Chris Christie receives a manual pat down at the NJ State House

Governor Christie claims that the annual hunt protects the public from bear attacks, but Senator Lesniak and the advocates who gathered at the capitol building argue that only bear-proof garbage cans coupled with public education will keep the bears out of residential areas. Dispensing licenses to kill, they say, doesn’t protect the public; it merely rewards Chris Christie’s pro-hunting campaign donors.

NJ Fish & Wildlife promotes killing, not protecting, its animal residents

NJ Fish & Wildlife promotes killing, not protecting, its animal residents

Your Turn

For more information about the bear hunt and to take action on their behalf, please visit Friends of Animals and the Animal Protection League of NJ Action Center.

A Fish & Wildlife employee weighs a bear during a previous hunt (photo: AP)

A Fish & Wildlife employee weighs a bear during a previous hunt (photo: AP)


Filed under: WIldlife
Tagged with: , , ,

Turning the Tables, Filmmakers to Lock Up Humans in Crates

December 8, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Activists will go to extreme lengths to help animals — from protesting naked to liberating minks from fur farms. But how many are willing to live in their own excrement for 10 days?  “We have a waiting list,” according to the makers of Farming Humans, a one-hour documentary film in the early stages of development.

In Farming Humans, 12 people will be locked up in small cages for 10 days to emulate the intensive confinement of pigs, calves and chickens on factory farms. Unlike other animals, the captive humans will be able to describe their physical discomfort, the smell of their waste and the stress of being unable to move. They will also be able to beg for mercy and leave if they start to go insane, which is what happens to pigs in gestation crates.

gestation crates

Pigs who go insane from confinement chew the metal bars that imprison them

The filmmakers will make life difficult for the human animals, but they will stop short of carrying out the worst abuses, such as castration, dehorning, tail cutting, branding, debeaking, gratuitous physical attacks and, of course, slaughter.

TV host Jane Velez-Mitchell talks to the filmmakers about their provocative concept in an interview.

This isn’t the first time that human animals have stepped into a farm animal cage. In the months leading up to a vote on a gestation crate ban in New Jersey, HSUS challenged people in the state to step inside of one. That challenge, however, lasted only 4 minutes.

Gestation crate challenge in NJ (Photo: HSUS)

Gestation crate challenge in NJ (Photo: HSUS)

As expected, NJ governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill in an effort to curry favor with  hog farmers in Iowa, who have an outsized influence in the race for U.S. President. In reaction to his veto, actress and musician Cher called him a “despicable bully,” and comedian John Stewart criticized him on his show:

cher gestation crate

Your Turn

To learn more about the project and/or support the filmmakers in this endeavor, please visit Farming Humans.


Filed under: Food
Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Will NJ Governor Veto Gestation Crate Ban?

November 28, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has until early December to sign or veto a bill banning gestation crates, the small metal cages that intensely confine female breeding pigs for most of their adult lives. He vetoed a similar bill in 2013, claiming that pig farmers made a more persuasive argument than the activists.

gestation crates factory farm

Even though the current bill was passed in the House and Senate and has the support of 93% of NJ residents, Christie has suggested to Iowa farmers that he intends to veto it. Iowa, a key state in the race for President, is the nation’s biggest pork producer.

In an editorial on November 21st. the Asbury Park Press, a local NJ newspaper, wrote, “If he vetoes the ban, he’s a lost cause. We can then be certain that from here forward everything Christie does as governor will be based on how it will influence his presidential campaign.”

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show, catapulted Christie’s political dilemma into the national spotlight in a comical eight minute segment with a very strong anti-gestation crate point of view:

In late October, Jane Velez-Mitchell spoke to a panel of guests about gestation crates. During the interview, HSUS Public Policy Manager Matthew Dominguez said that the political landscape has changed since 2013 and that Iowa voters support a ban on gestation crates.

If Christie does, in fact, veto the gestation crate bill – for a second time – he will assuredly become a target of the animal rights community.

Chris Christie (Photo: Lee Day)

Chris Christie (Photo: Lee Day)

Gestation crates are being phased out in several states and by several pork producers at the request of their customers, including major corporations like McDonalds. However, far more work needs to be done to eliminate these crates in the U.S. and worldwide.

Your Turn

Please take the following steps to convince Chris Christie to sign the bill banning gestation crates in New Jersey:
1. Call the Governor’s office 609-292-6000
2. Tweet  Governor Christie (@GovChristie) in support of the bill and use the hashtag #signS998
3. Sign the Change.org petition

Filed under: Food
Tagged with: , , ,

NJ Passes Strictest Ivory Ban in the U.S.

August 7, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

NJ Governor Chris Christie, who was a target of animal rights activists in 2013 for vetoing a bill to ban gestation crates, has signed into law a ban on ivory trafficking. Christie says that the law, which prohibits the import, sale or purchase of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn, not only protects wildlife but also helps to cut funding to terrorist groups. Global ivory sales are booming, with poachers in Africa killing an average of 96 elephants per day. In 2012, 35,000 elephants were slaughtered in Africa for their ivory.

Poachers; AP Photo/Anupam Nath

Poachers in India; AP Photo/Anupam Nath

News & Opinion

No amount of helicopters, night-vision goggles and park rangers can stop the poaching of elephants as long as state-sanctioned carving factories in China are creating ivory products that are meeting the demand of Chinese consumers. If  China banned the import and sale of ivory, the sophisticated poaching operations that supply the market would probably vanish, as demand in the rest of the world is much lower. That said, we must also strengthen the anti-ivory laws in the U.S.


Filed under: Victories, WIldlife
Tagged with: , ,

NJ Governor Chris Christie Defends His Veto of Gestation Crate Ban

April 3, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

In a town hall meeting, a NJ resident asked Governor Chris Christie to reconsider his veto of a bill that would have banned gestation crates, the small cages in which female pigs are confined on factory farms. In response, he said that the pig farmers made a more persuasive argument than “animal cruelty activists.” In response to the veto, lifestyle maven Martha Stewart sent a letter to NJ lawmakers asking them to override it and added, “These animals have committed no crime, yet they’re treated worse than even the most violent criminals would be treated.”

NJ Governor Chris Christie

NJ Governor Chris Christie

News & Opinion

Chris Christie, who is accused of creating traffic jams in Fort Lee NJ to punish the local Mayor, was once considered the Republican frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race. His decision to veto the gestation crate bill, which was passed by the NJ state legislature, was clearly political — he didn’t want to alienate Iowa, a pork producing state. Several states have already banned gestation crates and other forms of cruel confinement due in part to undercover footage taken by Mercy For Animals and other animal rights groups. To find out how you can help, please visit F.A.R.M. (Farm Animal Rights Movement).


Filed under: Food
Tagged with: , , , , ,