October 9, 2016 Newsletter

Dear Animal Lovers, Advocates, Rescuers & Activists:

What a disaster of a week. Literally. Bill C-246 died on the floor, with 194 nay votes to 80 yay.  I do want to take a moment to commend Nathaniel Erskine-Smith MP et al, for their incredibly hard work, as well as all the coalition members who worked hard to get compassion onto the parliamentary agenda.

While I've been tempted to sever my relationship with my MP, that would be cutting off my nose to spite my face. So I'm booking a meeting with her in early 2017. And we're gonna have the talk again. I, for one, am not going away.

Despite post-vote public assurances from the Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould (pls start memorizing these names and getting a little more used to the political landscape) promising a review of Canadian laws for animals, we know two things: a) it ain't gonna happen tomorrow; and b) no matter WHAT Bills are put through parliament, we KNOW that lobby groups are going to fight every last one into the ground. And like the NRA south of border, these hunter/angler/dairy/sealers play to win. We advocates need to start, and learn, to play much smarter and much bigger.

Make no mistake, we are living in one of the greatest generational divides of all time. Boomers, still in control of governments internationally (tho they can't master tweeting and don't even know or care how to find and leverage YouTube), are hanging onto the past/tradition with a vengeance (e.g., Brexit, Trump).  Meanwhile, millennials, X, Y, Z-Gens, understand climate change, technology, diversity, purpose, and the need for reform on all fronts to save this planet, let alone her animals (thank you Fareed Zakaria).

Where does that leave us? Well, surprisingly, imho, there's light at the end of the tunnel that might not necessarily be a train.  Yes, we have about another decade before the old-school retires (myself included :)) A decade is a LONG time to plan, and gather strength. And gather strength, we must.

Post C-246, I'm going to be circling back to coalition members, and doing some analysis on what worked, and what didn't, and what we've learned from it that we can apply to the next round. Cause there will be one. Many, actually.  I will, once done, make results available to all groups who are looking to use best practices in advocacy, for greater efficiency and stronger laws going forward.  

So where does that leave your average day-to-day animal advocate?  It leaves us with a RESPONSIBILITY to up our game. Please join me, in paying better attention to the parliamentary bills, and to work them more effectively. Learn how to maximize social media for advocacy purposes. Establish and build a long-term relationship with your MP. 

For the more ambitious community leaders, we will be looking for reps to manage REGIONAL and PROVINCIAL advocacy groups. Urbans actually succeeded on C-246, it's the rural areas that need education. 

It also leaves us with an imperative to educate/mentor the next generations to take over from where we leave off. Cause we will. Let's not let our experience and knowledge fall by the wayside, and force the next generations to learn the hard way, as we have.

The work starts NOW. We have a decade. I'm looking for community leaders. Are you IN?  Talk to me. Please.


Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't address the dear Burlington pigs this week. What happened, is what the psyches call "Capital T-Trauma". Sure, transport trucks overturn with reasonable regularity. But that's no reason to be sanguine about it, or push it into the near-past as a bad day. It was a horrific day. It just so happened that this truck overturned in the middle of one of Toronto Pig Save's "bearing witness" vigils. Young pigs, who never felt the sun, or smelled fresh air, had a few minutes experiencing the world, before they were rounded up, BOLTED through the brain, and ushered or bulldozed into the slaughterhouse. WHILE our brothers and sisters in arms bore witness.  WHILE Dr. Anita Krajnc was re-arrested for trying to document the pain and suffering of the animals in the truck. 

You all know I love my animals. All animals. WHY I'm so particularly affected by farm animals, I don't know, except to call on my mother's teachings about never walking away from someone in need. A dog or a cat has a hope in hell of reaching the human psyche, due to the role they have played and the status they've earned in our day to day lives, for millennia. Farm animals, are utterly HELPLESS. They cannot call on the emotional support of humans, because humans are in denial, eating their flesh, taking their babies, and using them in any manner that will turn a buck. Humans run away from the truth, all day, every day, when it comes to farm animals. 

How many turkeys are being consumed this weekend? How much thought are we putting into that? Any chance you'd consider making ONE vegan dish and introducing it to your family? 

Sometime soon, I'm going to make time to attend a slaughterhouse vigil. I know it'll be enough to crush my heart and psyche, and will call on me to face my greatest fears.  I will do this. Because to not do so, is to be remain part of the problem. I have to look deeper into what I believe in, and act more strongly accordingly. We need to take care of ourselves, regain our strength, get much better organized, and go back at it, bigger and better. Cause that's what it's gonna take.  No room here for light-weights. And we have to do it in MUCH bigger numbers.

ALL advocacy groups need to support other advocacy groups. It's not good enough to have dozens at vigils and demonstrations. We need to build up to hundreds, and then build up to thousands. 

I repeat:  The work starts NOW. We have a decade. I'm looking for community leaders. Are you IN?  Talk to me. Please.

These two dear pigs sought to comfort each other through the panic. Imagine their confusion. Think of what it might be like to get bolted through the brain. Identify, don't walk away.


CBC write up on Anita Krajnc's day in court this week: 

Boy, do I wish EVERYONE I know in newsrooms would just read this article:

EU ruling sentences thousands of elephants to death, DMI:

More signs of positive change: New Jersey wants to ban online internet puppy mill sales (thanks Connie Watt for sending):  http://bit.ly/2dpAcOq

Chilliwack Cattle Sales to plead guilty to animal abuse! Thank you Mercy for Animals Canada - awesome! 

True-blue patriarch Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, digs in his heels:

Romania bans trophy hunting! how humane! 



Meet Kovu and Loki! These cuties are looking for their forever homes. Learn more about these boys at  http://www.guelph-humane.on.ca/adoption_gallery.php

Hi everyone my name is Felix. I am a lab mix, possibly with a little Rotti, approx 2-3 yrs old. I came into Hamilton Animal Services as a stray. Some people found me in the country and brought me home. I got a little excited when I met the cat, and I was not properly introduced, so well um things didn't go well, lets leave it at that.  I can't really explain to everyone here what happened, so they are saying I really shouldn't live with cats, or to be on the safe side any small animals.  I can be a bit tough when I meet other tough dogs, but if the dog is soft and social I am usually pretty good. The girls here keep saying I need to be neutered, not sure what that means but they are really nice so sure I need to be neutered! Apparently once this happens I will be even better than I am now. I am very sweet, I love people and I really want to work with them. I LOVE treats and will do anything to get one! I do need some work on basic obedience because I was a country dog I think. With time patience and this neutering thing I will be amazing, that's what they say about me here. I like them -- they are very nice! They are giving me a chance. Could you give me a chance too? Love, Felix.  Contact:   City of Hamilton Animal Service, 247 Dartnall Rd, Hamilton, ON.  animalrescue@hamilton.ca  or  905-574-3433.


I want to take a moment to thank everyone who responded to our call for basket muzzles this week, for the homeless guardians of PitBulls in Montreal. Absolutely amazing, and oh-so-humbling to see everyone step up to help. We managed to gather an approximate 100 muzzles collectively, to ship to Montreal. Well done, all, you know who you are.

Coderre, Mayor of Montreal came out swinging again, saying he would not bow down to "special interest groups".  Call me special interest. I'm in.

Montreal police were quoted last night at YUL Town Hall mtg, saying "tell your friends we're coming to get your dogs". Seriously.  We now need 300-600 HARNESSES for S-M-L PitBulls. Everyone, we need you. Used or new harnesses, pls find me. 63 Victoria Street, Aurora. 905.726.2011.

Montreal advocates are planning a two-day conference to encourage dialogue and educate re: PitBulls, in November -- Elected Officials are in the program Friday 25th; organizations and citizens are invited Sat'dy the 26th. Bill Bruce is coming, amongst others!

We are looking for psychiatrists/specialists to talk about "deviant markers -- re: individuals who are anti-social, low self-esteem, involved in criminal activities, who use animals to bolster their own personal agendas". Any suggestions, network? contact me.


Friends, I cannot continue to advocate without back-ending my work with special needs petsitting. Please share with anyone you know who has a special needs pet, and help me continue the work I do.



The Save Movement is growing internationally! Meet two founding members of Manchester Pig Save, and hear the powerful statements they make regarding farmed animals. They're not angry ... they're lighthearted, common-sensical, brilliantly honest and articulate about why they cannot suffer the suffering of farm animals. Save groups are forming everywhere, as more and more of the next generation step up and speak out for the voiceless. 

For Sarah, with great love. This darling girl is gone now, but not forgotten. Her owner/guardians continue to advocate, and made the time to support Montreal PitBulls this week, in Sarah's name.  This is what makes the world go around. I gave her muzzle a kiss, before I packed it in a box, headed for Montreal, to help another of her breed. m.