Along with a need for campaigns aimed at enacting change in the policies and practices of our governments, schools and businesses, NARN also realizes the importance of providing support for the individual looking to live a life of compassion. Visit our Action Calendar for more on these efforts.
UW Watch Project
Right here in Seattle, countless animals are tortured behind closed doors in the name of science. Researchers associated with the University of Washington conduct painful experiments over and over again, frequently not conforming to animal welfare standards. Even as we speak, there are primates who have had "medical" equipment implanted in their brains and eyes for an experiment that has been going on for decades with no conclusive results.
NARN's dedicated volunteers attend Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IUCAC) meetings at the UW, hold peaceful demonstrations at the lab, sift through valuable documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and engage in outreach activities. If you would like to find out more, contact us via link here.
Prompted by Woodland Park Zoo's decision to relocate a "troubled" elephant to a zoo in Tacoma, NARN is now actively watching WPZ's elephant management program. After a history of abuse (some at the hands of current employees) including beatings and chaining, and after decades of life in a tiny enclosure, two elephants now regularly display abnormal repetative behavior and others have been separated due to aggression toward one another.
Even more troubling is WPZ administrators' insistence that elephants do not require space to be happy and healthy and that pacing in tiny circles, swaying back and forth, or repetitive head-shaking are nothing to be concerned about. WPZ has already shown that Bamboo is not required for their elephant "collection", so NARN is campaigning to have her moved to The Elephant Sanctuary, where she could live out her remaining years in comfort. For more information, please go to freewpzelephants.com
With the state our country is in today, activists can be sent to prison simply for making a speech or putting up a website. Others are compelled by conscience to use illegal, non-violent actions to prevent animal suffering. Whatever the circumstances leading to their incarceration, these prisoners spend years separated from friends, family, and society, living in fear and isolation. Many are not provided with vegan food and must buy food from the prison commissaries.
NARN seeks to bring relief to prisoners in the form of letters and financial donations to prisoner commissary funds. A current list of vegan activists who are incarcerated, along with format rules compiled from various facilities, can be found here. Letter writing parties are listed in NARN's free e-newsletter or you can contact NARN at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what you can do to help.
Ongoing Vegan Outreach
Vegan outreach is a mainstay of NARN's efforts, as being vegan is one of the easiest, most direct, and most comprehensive ways to eliminate the widespread abuse of animals. Outreach efforts go on year round, at numerous events such as farmers markets, concerts, public forums, speaker tours, with considerable frequency during the summer when outdoor fairs are nearly constant. NARN volunteers distribute thousands of leaflets educating the public about the atrocities committed on animals raised for food and other abusive animal industries. NARN has also hosted events such as film screenings, vegan food-sample giveaways, educational seminars, and social gatherings that focus on the benefits of veganism.
NARN can always use more help with spreading the word. Write to us if you can join us in our outreach efforts.
Vegan Mentor Program
The Vegan Mentor Program is a campaign to ensure those who wish to adopt a lifestyle of compassion have the necessary long-term support and guidance from others, with the necessary resources, teaching, and counseling for a positive life-long path that affirms the life of all beings.
Our all-volunteer base of Vegan Mentors assists new vegans with the necessary long-term support to address the various issues, questions, and concerns surrounding the practicalities and the principles of being vegan. For those who wish to take the Vegan Pledge and get paired up with a mentor, or for the long-term vegan who wishes to be a mentor, please check out our Vegan Mentor Program.
Over 10 billion land animals a year are killed for food, with uncountable billions more animals taken from the sea. 99% of all animal deaths are due to slaughter. Humans have created artificial boundaries between the animals they pet, who they see as a member of their family, and the animals they eat, who they see as commodities who are merely harvested. The demand for meat and dairy has created large industries that clear-cut land, pollute the surrounding environment with animal waste, and create over half of the total output of greenhouse gasses. Even farming dubbed "humane" conducts painful procedures that are considered normal agricultural practice (learn more about the humane myth).
In response to the desire to not support these practices, a person may choose to be vegetarian or vegan. A vegetarian is someone who chooses not to include the flesh of animals in his or her diet. This definition of animals include both fish and chicken, and this choice is most often made in response to the desire for a healthier lifestyle. A vegan (VEE-gun) abstains not only from the consumption of animals themselves, but also products derived from animals - which include eggs, honey and dairy products.
Although the consumption of meat and dairy products is far and away the leading cause of animal deaths in terms of sheer number, the use of animals in experiments may well be considered just as morally repugnant. Though we deliberately expose animals to the dangers and maladies that affect humans in a misguided attempt to ensure healthier lives for ourselves, at some point we need question the relevance studies which addict rats to cocaine. Animals experiments are misleading and prove more costly than modern methodologies such as in-vitro (test tube) experiments and computer modeling.
The practice of wearing the skins of animals for fashion is rooted in the historical use of dead animals for warmth and protection against the climate. In modern times, however, technology has led to the development of synthetics that are less expensive and provide better protection from the elements. Today the practice of wearing the skins and coats of other animals continues because it is deemed fashionable, when in fact the torment these animals must endure makes the choice nothing less than criminal.
From circuses to rodeos to dog and horse racing, the human species has found many ways to entertain itself thru the exploitation of non-human animals species (not to mention the depths to which we've stooped in exploiting our own species). Seen as little more than property and tools by which "owners" can reap profits, the lives of these animals are long and tortuous as they endure the "training" techniques employed to bend their wills.
Our section on Frequently Asked Questions about Veganism and Animal Rights seeks to address many of the concerns, questions, and misconceptions about how one can live a life without the use of animals for food, fashion, research, or entertainment.