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Human Befriends Bird--And the Story Continues In 2011 a retired Brazilian named João rescued this penguin, who was coated with oil and near death. He cleaned “Din-Din” up, fed him fish until he was fully recovered, and released him. But Din-Din wouldn’t go! He stayed for several months before finally swimming away--but he wasn’t about to forget Joâo’s -- --lovingkindness. For the rest of this remarkable -- --story, see Friendship Editor’s Corner Guest Review-Article: from Voices for Animal Liberation Reviewed by Karen Davis Voices for Animal Liberation: Inspirational Accounts by Animal Rights Activists. Brittany Michelson, ed., with Foreword by Ingrid Newkirk. NY, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2020. xix + 236 pp. $17.99 ppb. This book includes color photos and bios of each contributor, including color photos of animals by story contributor Jo-Anne McArthur, founder of We Animals Media. Anyone familiar with the obstacles to obtaining and maintaining justice for marginalized human groups in mainstream society cannot be surprised at the difficulty of obtaining justice for other animal species. Contributors to this anthology recall moments of awakening to the reality of animals’ lives that immediately or eventually turned them into animal rights activists. Such moments range from coming face to face with a suffering, terrified dairy cow so intense that “at that moment I decided I had to do something,” to future activist Zafir Molina being told sarcastically by her father that she was eating the baby goat she had spent time with the day before. “Yet I continued to eat the flesh.” Voices For Animal Liberation presents autobiographical stories of how personal trauma, depression, distress, dysfunction, and in some cases food and drug addictions, foster insight into the trauma of animals trapped in human systems of abuse. Actor and filmmaker Chase Avior writes, for example: “Having been subjected to bullying, I know the feeling of being scared and defenseless, and I see the same terror in the eyes of every animal headed to the slaughterhouse.” Army veteran Jasmine Afshar describes how the desperation of trapped pigs she observed “to seek safety reminded me of some traumatic moments in my own past.” Whether animal liberation is “on the horizon” or an ever-elusive aspiration fortified by shaky victories, the takeaway is that the liberation of oneself and of animals is a work in progress for activists determined to exemplify and deliver our “fragile message to the masses.” Many, including your friends, will dismiss you no matter how you speak about animals and veganism. They will accuse you, says JaneUnchained News journalist Dani Rukin, of “flaunting your lifestyle.” Olympic medalist Dotsie Bausch, founder of Switch4Good, is taunted by her cyclist coaches for her “plant-based BS.” She tells them: “I don’t care if I fade away on this diet . . . and for once in my life I am going to stand up for what’s right.” Promoting the Vegan Message Contributors proclaim the vegan message with respect to food and more broadly as an all-encompassing philosophy of compassion for all forms of sentient life. Veganism is no longer considered, as was once commonly claimed, a mere “personal choice.” In Rukin’s words: “it’s never just a personal choice when there’s a victim.” Still, being vegan does not suffice for activists like Natasha & Luca, who come to understand that, in addition to diet, “The victim would want us to actively intervene.” At the same time, we need to understand our audience. Vegan activist Gwenna Hunter reminds us that people of color, for example, may resist our starting out cold with “animals are suffering.” White people have told them “you’re lower than animals,” and as one man challenges Hunter at a vegan lifestyle event, “Sister, you’re out here telling people not to eat animals, but what are you doing for our black community? Black men are being shot in the streets.” This is why, she says, “when speaking with communities of color, I always start my conversations with health and self-love.” She reminds us that for some people, and especially for those who are struggling, “eating is the only simple pleasure they have in life.” We cannot come across as if we are telling them, “I don’t want you to have this pleasure.”. . . . Bearing Witness In keeping with this view, Anita Krajnc, founder of the Save Movement and armed with the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy’s call to bear witness, defines her strategy as “the moral duty and obligation of society to collectively bear witness and recognize the individuality of every animal, their desire and right to live a natural life, and our corresponding duty to help them. . . . The concept of bearing witness creates the opportunity to get closest to the animal standpoint, which generates the most empathy, compassion, and action. We absorb a small fraction of the animals’ pain and learn a tiny bit of their story, which we share with others to help them wake up to this reality.” In my own contribution to the book, I describe how back in the 1970s I responded to Tolstoy’s concept of nonviolence in his essay “The First Step” by not wanting to continue eating meat, a practice I hadn’t thought about before. But it was Tolstoy’s piteous description of cows and lambs in the Moscow slaughterhouse he visited that caused me to stop eating animals immediately, confronted with the reality of what “meat” really meant. Life-changing encounters with specific animals include pledges to them to fight for them from that moment on. Such pledges are made in moments of misery, as Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia, describes her encounter with a female moon bear she named Hong in a cellar of hell at a bile-extraction farm in China. These moments will affect some readers more deeply than conceptual analysis alone can do, although empathy and analysis reinforce each other and enrich this book. Amy Jean Davis, founder of Los Angeles Animal Save, writes: I still remember the moment I first looked inside a transport truck full of baby pigs. Their skin was colored so softly and delicately, and they were looking at me with wide, terrified blue eyes. They looked like big pink dogs, crammed on top of one another, scared and confused. It felt like lightning hitting the center of my chest, as if my heart might burst from the sadness and helplessness I felt all at once. . . . To be free to walk back to my vehicle and drive home to a soft, cool bed without someone dragging me to a gas chamber. It’s a moment I will never forget. Alex Bez of Amazing Vegan Outreach recalls his moment of meeting cows who were about to die: “As the truck rolled to a stop, I tentatively approached the side. Peering through the small holes in the metal walls, I saw gentle, furry giants staring back at me. Each of their breaths pushed small clouds of vapor out of their nostrils into the cold air. Their heads swayed back and forth, trying to see what was happening outside.” Former investigator of farms and slaughterhouses, Matthew Braun, describes an incident in a chicken slaughterhouse. “I watched as the first chicken to reach the conveyor stood up, spread her wings, and ran. . . . She did not look scared like you might expect. In fact, she looked happy as she ran toward me. Maybe she thought that she was finally going to be free. Her happiness was short-lived, because I had to reach out, grab her by the leg, and hang her upside down in a shackle. I think about her often, and sometimes it brings me to tears. When people eat animals around me, I am reminded that somebody ate her, too.” Dealing With Demons “Considering a baby’s experience – just wanting her mother, but getting the rough hands of workers taking her to her death instead – how can this be the world I live in?” – Amy Jean Davis, founder of Los Angeles Animal Save “If our destruction of the natural world, the animals, and each other persists, then obviously we are dealing with a very unsympathetic entity – ourselves.” – Shaun Monson, documentary filmmaker of Earthlings and Unity The apathy of human society toward animals and nature, while it may be lessening, is an omnipresent reality that requires a daily renewal of commitment and a constant battle against despair. A unifying theme among the 25 voices presented in this book is the personal stamina that being part of a global animal activist community brings. In her riveting account of an open rescue of caged hens in 2015 sponsored by Direct Action Everywhere, Zoe Rosenberg, founder of Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary, describes stepping out of a battery-cage building where “We had no idea what would be waiting for us outside.” Then, “I looked up and saw hundreds of activists gathered by the other entrance.” This experience can stand as a metaphor for the strengthening sense of purpose, relief, and gratitude that the camaraderie of our shared commitment to animals and animal liberation provides. We help each other and the animals by holding strong together. Inside each of us, a river of sadness runs; a perceptual conflict seethes. Teacher and writer Brittany Michelson, who created this powerful book, conveys our shared experience: “When I see someone excited over pizza or ice cream, I think of the calves stuck in those hutches, peering out with wide eyes, and the long low moaning reverberating across the farm. It is visuals like these that haunt me and anger me, yet also ignite my activism to greater heights.” Voices for Animal Liberation simultaneously comforts and inspires us with the knowledge that we are not alone with our demons. As individuals we can contribute to the growing power of animal liberation activism around the world. Saengduean Lek Chailert, founder of Save Elephant Foundation in Southeast Asia, writes: “I am asked why I rescue the old elephant. The images of suffering should speak for themselves, yet my answer is quite simple. It is about respect. To protect them is a high calling. By doing so, we also protect and strengthen our own hearts. . . . We rescue in order to honor them, to offer a moment of respect in a tragic life.” The rescue of a solitary animal does not solve the overwhelming problems, she admits, but to the one being rescued and the rescuer, it “means everything.” Karen Davis, Ph.D., is founder and president of United Poultry Concerns. (Note: In my copy of this book, the front matter and introduction are repeated near the end.) NewsNotes Farm System Reform Act Last December, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) proposed the Farm System Reform Act, a measure intended to break the monopolistic power of a handful of animal flesh processing firms, especially Smithfield, Tyson, and JBS. In May, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined as co-sponsor, and Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) proposed a companion bill in the House. The measures are intended to be the beginning of the end of factory farming. See Breakthrough (For Mr. Booker’s Pilgrimage account, see PT 134 ) Letters: A. J. Morey Dear friends: I enjoyed reading the review of Inside Animal Hearts and Minds, and was struck by this thought: Human beings are also capable of great kindness, not to mention heroism, as we are seeing in local communities during this pandemic. But we are also seeing some appalling selfish and destructive behavior as well. When populations are under stress, we see the best and the worst, just as we would in the animal world. This isn't a thought that has anywhere to go. . . . just reflecting on what I've read. I loved the photo of the otters and the orangutan! Unset Gems “Please don’t eat the animals. They don’t like it.” --Elizabeth Farians, Ph.D. “The world is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to sharpen.” --Eden Philpotts Book Review: Mama’s Last Hug De Waal, Frans. Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2019. 352 pp. incl. notes and bibliography. $16.95 ppb, $27.95 hb. This book has both stories and science about experiences and research on animal minds (including humans) showing the growing knowledge about feelings and emotions in various species. It begins with the story of a 40 year recurring relationship between Jan van Hooff (rhymes with “both”), a research biologist and professor who had known and studied a female matriarch chimpanzee named "Mama" many times over 40 years. Then van Hooff, now age 80 and living across the Atlantic, received notice that Mama, now at age 59 was close to death. Jan van Hooff visited her in her night cage on the large forested chimpanzee island at the zoo, where the aging Mama recognized him with a big smile, and gave him a hug and gentle pats on the neck. De Waal summarizes research on primates who laugh and smile in their social situations, showing abilities in empathy and sympathy, He compares the emotions that we humans share with other primates: shame, guilt, jealousy, etc, and the parallels of their social structures to our own politics and power hierarchies, citing studies documenting sentience and emotional intelligence of chimpanzees in their interactions with each other and with humans. Some chimps have been taught over 100 sign-language signals to communicate with each other and the human researchers. Twenty two photographs in the book illustrate these feelings being acted out in the society of chimpanzees. In Chapter Five, de Waal turns to human society for comparison. Politics and various public interactions of social leaders are very similar to those in chimpanzee groups. (Mama's Last Hug was published in 2019, so you are likely familiar with the parallel examples from public figures in our own human society demonstrating parallel feelings, including political actions and tantrums, and male versus female power structures in both chimpanzee groupings and in humans.) Chapter Six explores recent research on how emotions are used in human lives, as our emotions interact and influence the contents of our intelligence. Experiments have demonstrated that chimpanzees and humans react similarly to the fairness and unfairness we observe in 3rd party transactions. Primates, both humans and chimpanzees, have a measurable brain reaction called "mirror neurons" wherein we react emotionally to observing third parties in a situation we can identify with, and we feel much the same reaction as when we are personally in those situations. Many other animals including dogs, birds, and elephants demonstrate these same reactions in behavior and brain scans. This has demonstrated that we share feelings of empathy. These observations have brought science to a point closer to recognizing animal consciousness and emotional feelings, rather than denying them as philosopher Rene Descartes had proclaimed in the 1600s. This book examines the progress in understanding that there is consciousness and feeling in animals down to and including fish. Chapter 7 examines the struggle over time to recognize evidence of animal consciousness and feeling, and covers the controversy today in challenging the treatment of animals in the meat processing industry, concluding that it is time for us to squarely face the degree to which ALL animals experience life, feelings, and emotions much as we do. --Steve Willey Steve Willey is a longtime member of the Sandpoint, Idaho, Friends Meeting, where he has taken leadership in raising Friends consciousness regarding animals. Pioneer: Cleveland Amory, 1917 - 1998 Cleveland Amory (1917-1998) was an American writer, journalist, and animal activist. In the last capacity, which was his primary concern in the last three decades or so of his life, he served on the boards of the Humane Society of the United States, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, and the Fund for Animals, which he founded in 1967. He also was involved in the founding of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 1981, and donated the first ocean-going ship used by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, among other animal-related works. Above all he is celebrated for creating Black Beauty Ranch, the famous sanctuary sheltering abused animals and the subject of his last book, Ranch of Dreams (reviewed in PT 80 ). So important was Amory's animal work that an executive director of the HSUS called him "the founding father of the modern animal protection movement." Amory was born and raised in a prominent Boston family. After attending Harvard, where he served as editor of the Harvard Crimson, and service in World War II, he drew from his background to write a series of three bestselling books on Society (capital S), The Proper Bostonians, The Last Resorts, and Who Killed Society?, all replete with entertaining but always good-natured anecdotes about persons and families considered out of the top drawer. These works led to his employment as a regular society/gossip columnist in several widely-circulated magazines, and as a light-hearted social commentator on the then-new medium of television. including the Today show. Then, in 1963, unexpectedly to most who knew him, another side of Cleveland Amory appeared. He learned that an American Legion post in North Carolina was sponsoring a "canned" rabbit killing contest. Amory traveled to the site, debated with the organizers about the idea of slaughtering animals for "sport," and when he returned presented a hard-hitting attack on Today, including the proposal that it would make as much sense to kill the hunters in cold blood and so humanely reduce overpopulation. This advocacy, typical of the cutting-edge language the otherwise mild-mannered socialite was occasionally capable of using with regard to animal issues, received overwhelmingly negative response from viewers and led to his being reprimanded by NBC. When, a few months later, Amory belabored the evils of vivisection on the show, he was abruptly dismissed. Nothing daunted, he went on to biting criticism of hunting in TV Guide magazine, where he was a television critic, and in a new book, Man Kind? Our Incredible War on Wildlife (1974). Then, as though to reflect his ongoing transition to another stage of life, he later published another set of three popular books, these on his beloved cat Polar Bear: The Cat Who Came for Christmas (1987; twelve weeks as #1 on the New York Times bestseller list), The Cat and the Curmudgeon (1990) and The Best Cat Ever (1993). In 1967 Amory founded the previously-mentioned Fund for Animals, using on their behalf a good share of the generous royalties his list of bestsellers had generated as well as other money he had raised. This work first attracted wide-eyed public attention in 1979 when it sponsored the removal, by land and helicopter, of 580 burros in the Grand Canyon otherwise to be killed by the National Park Service as an Polar Bear and Friend invasive species. To provide a refuge for these and other rescued creatures, Amory bought and developed Black Beauty Ranch, 1,460 acres in northeast Texas, where once-abused animals could run free and unfettered. The Fund received further publicity, and the Ranch more inhabitants, in 1985 when it rescued some 7500 goats and pigs from San Clemente Island off the coast of southern California, where they were to be killed as, again, an invasive species. The island was then under the control of the Navy, which showed little sympathy for Amory's plan. But the Bostonian was able to use his elite background to win over then-Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, who had been a classmate of Amory's at Harvard and, furthermore, his predecessor as editor of the Crimson. The well-placed old friend ordered the admirals to stand down and allow the activist to carry out his plan, hare-brained as it might seem to some. The list of Amory's animal activism activities could go on and on; but perhaps it would be well to end with his final book, Ranch of Dreams (1997) and the Black Beauty Ranch, now called the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, where his ashes were scattered after his death only the following year. Amory always insisted that the Ranch was not a zoo and the animals in no way showcased for the benefit of humans, but rather a place where they could run free and live their own lives in their own way. A very limited number of pre-arranged tours can be scheduled, and capable, reliable volunteers are always welcome. But generally speaking this is one ranch that is for the animals, not the human owners. Many readers will recognize that the name is from Anna Sewell's famous 1877 novel Black Beauty, with its unforgettable advocacy of kindness to horses and other animals. The last lines of Sewell's novel are on a sign at the entry to the Ranch, as though reflecting the thoughts of the many beasts who enter through that gate to leave behind a life of abuse, and to find both home and freedom: "I have nothing to fear, and here my story ends. My troubles are all over, and I am at home." --Robert Ellwood Recipe: Quick Chocolate Cake 1 ½ C. flour 3 T. cocoa 1 tsp. baking soda 1 C. sugar ½ tsp salt ¼ C plus 1 T. oil 1 T. vinegar 1 tsp. Vanilla 1 C. water Mix dry ingredients, then mix in wet ingredients. Pour batter into a greased 7” x 7” x 2” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour. The total prep time from beginning to end is about 45 minutes. --Betsy Griscom From The Peaceable Kitchen, by Sandpoint, Idaho Friends Mint Buttercream Frosting ½ C. softened vegan butter 2 C. powdered sugar 1 ½ tsp. plant-based milk (more if needed) ¼ tsp. peppermint extract Sift powdered sugar if lumpy. Cream together with vegan butter on low speed until product is smooth and homogeneous, adding the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and beating at medium-high speed. Add milk and peppermint extract and continue to blend. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar; if it’s too stiff, add more plant milk. Taste frosting to make sure proportions are right. Spread with rubber spatula or butter knife. --Two Sisters (veganized) Note: I realize that treats of this sort are not good for health, especially if they take the place of nature’s desserts, that is, fruit. But what’s a chocoholic to do? For me, it’s limiting refined sweets to one day a week plus special events, and having my three or four fruit servings every day without fail.--Editor Poetry for Children: Eugene Field, 1850 - 1895 The Duel The gingham dog and the calico cat Side by side on the table sat; ‘’Twas half past twelve, and (what do you think!) Not one nor t’ other had slept a wink! The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate Appeared to know as sure as fate There was going to be a terrible spat. (I wasn’t there; I simply state What was told to me by the Chinese plate.) The gingham dog went “Bow-wow-wow!” And the calico cat replied “Mee-ow! The air was littered, an hour or so, With bits of gingham and calico, While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place Up with its hands before its face, For it always dreaded a family row! (Now mind, I’m only telling you What the old Dutch clock declares is true!) The Chinese plate looked very blue, And wailed, “Oh, dear! What shall we do? But the gingham dog and the calico cat Wallowed this way and tumbled that, Employing every tooth and claw In the awfulest way you ever saw-- (Don’t fancy I exaggerate-- I got my news from the Chinese plate!) Next morning, where the two had sat They found no trace of dog or cat: And some folks think until this day That burglars stole that pair away. But the truth about the cat and pup Is this: they ate each other up! Now what do you really think of that? (The old Dutch clock it told me so, And that is how I came to know.) This poem is not featured to tell us anyth about the nature of dogs and cats (or any other animal species), obviously, but about human assumptions regarding their essential nature. I find it rather chilling.--Editor