August 26th, 2008


animal terrorists?

The Congress recently passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. This act essentially clamps down on anyone who interferes with an animal business in any way that will affect the business's bottom line. Although intended to exclude peaceful protests, the language of the law does allow arrests of persons engaging in such activities, if those activities are actually successful in reducing the income to the business.

It's absurd right out of the box. There have been no deaths from any animal group's protests. There has been some destruction but mostly there have been rescues and graphic photographs and videos resulting from the more aggressive animal rights groups. Yet this small group has been targeted in a big way, far out of proportion to how many there are and what they actually do. Clearly the reason for this ridiculous law is that the meat and dairy industries feel threatened and they are willing to use the current administration's fear-mongering ways as a way to exaggerate the effects of animal abuse protests.

The law needs to be repealed. It tries to shut up people who try to expose the horrors of animal agriculture and drug and cosmetic testing in this country, even when those people harm nobody. It is hard to believe that the law was passed at all and I would love to hear the justification given by those who voted for it. I suspect, though, that like many bills, this one was not given a really close look before the vote came up.

Please look at Elaine's post on this subject for more information and a video.

Action Alert from Farm Sanctuary

California: Action Needed to Stop Legislation Attempting to Codify a Right to Animal Research

California state legislation AB 2296 has been reframed as a bill for academic research and was just amended to suggest that academic freedom includes a constitutional right to perform animal research. Farm animal advocates are concerned because within the last few decades, an increasing number of scientists are using farm animals in research. There is no constitutionally protected right to engage in animal research, lawful or otherwise, and AB 2296's suggestion that such a right exists is misleading. Please ask your State Senator to oppose AB 2296.
cat, Stretch

Getting the Green

So I decided that a year had gone by and it is time for me to paint something. I went to Home Depot to look at colors and chose colors for my kitchen and living room. Then I decided I wanted paint that is not only low in toxins but also vegan. I remembered a store in Atascadero called Green Goods. I wrote to them to ask what brands of paint they carry. SafeCoat and Bioshield, wrote back a manager.

Elaine determined for sure that Bioshield makes paints that contain no animal products (she called the company). Well, hallelujah! What could be better than going to a local store to get something like this? Off I went to Atascadero, to a store that is "downtown", about 16 miles from my house.

Nice looking place. Right on the street, kitty-corner from the Carlton Hotel, a recently restored gem. I went inside to see a wealth of building materials, all green in some way or another. I asked about the paints.
Green Goods Store
A nice young man named Tim showed me to the paint wall. There were many paint chips of SafeCoat paints but I didn't see Bioshield so I asked about it. Turns out they carry Bioshield oils and stains and similar products but not the paints. They can order them.

I told Tim I am looking for paints with no animal products in them. He wasn't sure about SafeCoat so he made a phone call. He was only able to leave a message. In the meantime he showed me paint chips for Bioshield in case I wanted to order from there. There is a really limited range of colors for that paint. None of the colors were remotely similar to what I had in mind.

I was able to choose reasonably close colors in the SafeCoat lineup, though. But we did not have an answer on the animal ingredients by the time I was done there so I took the chips with me.

While I was there I looked at other products they offer: glass tile, recycled glass countertop material, pressed paper material (what a winner; I would love to have it for my countertop), a clay wall product (you trowel it on very thinly; it looks beautiful), cabinets and cupboards, flooring, and doors. The doors especially attracted my attention. There were four or five of them, all of them incredibly beautiful in a way that I have not seen elsewhere. They are made from bamboo and other sustainably-farmed materials, glued with soy glues and so on. And just so beautiful. I asked about approximate costs. Tim could not tell me. He said he has asked the maker for a list of prices and he is developing one. They are all made by a local woodworker, which makes them even more desirable. I am lusting after those doors. Just one, just one, that's all, I am not greedy.

I asked Tim when he thought their website would actually have stuff on it. Right now it is just one page saying they exist and where and to wait for the real thing. He said they just hired an advertising person who is working hard on making that happen. I hope to be able to share pictures of some of these materials and especially of those doors.