The Viva Vine: vol #4, no #1: January / February 1995
The following is an open letter from Henry Spira, whose Animal Rights International bought
the space for the March 15, 1994 "face branding" ad published in the New York Times, (reproduced
here in "The VivaVine" on page 7).
We have every reason to believe that the rule to eliminate face branding of Mexican cattle
will be signed and published in the Federal Register soon. After two waves of ads exposing face
branding many outraged readers protested to the USDA; so many that the agriculture agency
scrapped its planned expansion of the program, instead offering a proposal to end it
Many of you also voiced strong concern about the well-being of other farm animals. Now, in a
precedent setting initiative, the USDA is committing itself to reexamining practices pertaining
to the well-being of all farm animals. We at Animal Rights International plan to encourage the
USDA to develop an institutional culture which will never again tolerate abuses like face
branding.All the best,
The following quotes Henry Spira as published in the February, 1995 issue of Vegetarian Times
in response to a featured debate about how the animal rights movement should direct and portray
"[Reform] is basically about strategies; [abolition] is the ultimate goal. The two aren't
mutually contradictory, however. If you push for all or nothing, what you get is nothing."
This is surely Mr. Spira's secret to his many successes on behalf of animals.
Similarily, this is why tireless champion of chickens and all fowl Karen Davis can work on
behalf of a humane slaughter act for chickens and at the same time advocate for veganism and
against factory farming. This is why Ms. Davis will work on any front to make any change for any
improvement on behalf of the lives of our winged friends some people call food.
In the following "Dear Abby" letter published in November Ms. Davis illustrated to millions
of people that roosters are glorious creatures completely worthy of our awe and respect:
I agree with the Portland, Ore. farmer who asked, "Why all the commotion about how to stop a
rooster from crowing?" May I add a few words to the farmer's knowledgeable comments:
Chickens are originally from the jungle. Their wild relatives have lived in tropical forests
for tens of thousands of years. Perched in the trees and sensitive to infrared light, roosters
see the morning light at least 45 minutes before we humans do. They also have very keen ears -- a
distinct advantage when living amid dense foliage. It can be difficult to see a predator and keep
track of one's flock.
Why do roosters crow? Through their crowing, every rooster knows where every other rooster is
at all times. Each rooster can recognize the crow of at least 30 other roosters -- probably more.
As the protector of the flock, roosters are always on the lookout for possible enemies that could
threaten their well-being.
In his own fascinating world of chickendom, the rooster is a lover, a father, a brother, a
food-finder, a guardian and a sentinel. He is nothing to abuse, scoff at or degrade.
--Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns Inc."
Abby answered Karen that she would never be able to enjoy another chicken dinner again. This
is not to say, perhaps, that she will never again be able to eat one.
[Become a member of United Poultry Concerns. Send $20 to UPC, P.O. Box 59367, Potomac, MD
20859. Call 301/948-2406.]
Unidentified woman who volunteered to sit in our veal crate for 3 minutes (68K).
One of the accomplishments of The VivaVegie Society in 1994 was the building of a veal crate
to spec and displaying it on various outings around New York City. Part of the display was to
have a person sit in the crate for extra effect. Passers-by were beckoned to sign a petition
calling for the end of the veal crate.
At the top of each petition page read the following: We, the undersigned, believe that the
"veal crate" as it is used in the U.S. to raise so-called "milk fed" veal today is a barbaric
assault upon hundreds of thousands of sentient creatures every year and reflects one of the
lowest levels of human moral decay ever known. The U.S. must today immediately take steps to
follow Great Britain in making the veal crate illegal. We demand that the USDA immediately usher
in a phase-out policy of the veal crate, in earnest, and on a strict time-table.
The VivaVegie Society sent the signed petitions (24 pages), or copies of them, to then USDA
head Michael Espy, President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Senator Alfonse D'Amato (NY), Senator
Patrick D. Moynahan (NY) and US Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY). Initially only President
Clinton's office responded. That letter follows.
Dear Ms. Teisler:
Thank you so much for your letter. President Clinton greatly appreciates
the trust and confidence you have shown in him by writing.
To ensure that your concerns are addressed, I am forwarding your letter to the Department of
Agriculture for review and any appropriate action.
-- Sincerely, James A. Dorskind,
Special Assistant to the President, Director of Correspondence and Presidential Messages
Only after being prompted by the President's office was a letter from the USDA received. The
Dear Ms. Teisler and Other Concerned Citizens:
Thank you for your letter of September 5, 1994 to President Clinton enclosing a petition to
Secretary Espy supporting the banning of crates used to raise veal caves.
We certainly understand your desire for these animals to be treated humanely. Under the
Animal Welfare Act (AWA), our Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible
for ensuring that certain animals used in research or exhibition, sold as pets at the wholesale
level, or transported in commerce are provided with care that meets or exceeds certain
established standards. While we are aware that there is a growing public concern about certain
methods of animal agriculture, the AWA, as passed by Congress, excludes from coverage animals
used for food or fiber.
-- Sincerely, Lonnie J. King, Acting Administrator, United States Department of Agriculture
Dear Ms. Teisler:
Please send me a copy of your "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian." I'll
appreciate it greatly. Thank you.
-- Sincerely, M. Kupinski, Vienna, Austria
Please send me a copy of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian." I live and work
in Okinawa, Japan and it is extremely difficult to find this type of literature. -- K.
Please send me the pamphlet containing the "101 Reasons" to become a
vegetarian. I read the article in Vegetarian Times and was interested. I always get asked, "Why
are you a Vegetarian?" meanwhile I'm looked at as if I was from outer space. And I am getting
tired of having to explain the reasons when I feel they are so apparent and everyone should
already be aware of them. Thanks,
-- Missy, Myrtle Beach, SC
[Ed. Note: Thank you, Hubert Davis and Duane Cornella for your generous contributions to The
VivaVegie Society, I believe that with these donations we have finally paid for the building of
our veal crate. Again, thank you to everyone who helped to make the veal crate campaign a success
for The VivaVegie Society.]
Next article or back to previous article.
Copyright © 1995. The VivaVegie Society. All rights reserved.
HTML source file: Copyright © 1995 EarthBase, Inc. All rights reserved.