Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Update on The Victoria Vegan

Greetings readers,

Just a quick update that I'm no longer with Friends of Animals, and this blog and website are currently an independent project. Hopefully we'll continue with the projects we're running, like the Greater Victoria Deer Advocates group and Carriage-Free Victoria.

Let us know if you have any inspirations for activism! In the meantime, we'll still be putting on the Victoria Vegan Fest (and a bake sale this Saturday, Apr 26th) which should have a third amazing year!

Eat your veggies,

Dave Shishkoff, Editor
Twitter: @Victoria_Vegan & @VeganCyclist (personal)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Oak Bay Deer Booklet Distribution!


UPDATE: 2nd distribution session on Saturday, March 1st from 12-4pm - come to our table in front of Oak Bay City Hall to get booklets, and select your neighborhood for dropping booklets in mailboxes - we need bodies to complete this project!

NEW FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE:

Photos: from our first session in February, where our volunteers gave out 2,500 booklets to north Oak Bay: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.499395750170047&type=1

Media coverage from first session:



This Saturday & Sunday (Feb 8th & 9th), we'll be distributing the 5,000 Living With Deer booklets we've just had printed!

We'll have maps, and you can pick a neighborhood in Oak Bay, or get assigned one, and help ensure every home has one! It'll be a fun wander around the streets, bring your family and dogs! This will go a long way to helping people understand how we can coexist with deer, and prevent the proposed deer slaughter.

Our meeting locations each day will be:

* Saturday, 1-4pm, meet on Cadboro Bay Rd north of Lansdowne (note: corrected)
* Sunday, 1-4pm, meet at Oak Bay City Hall

We'll be distributing around 'north' Oak Bay neighborhoods on Saturday, and the southern half on Sunday.

Please dress for the weather and bring water and snacks, and post below if you have any questions, or email Dave: dave@friendsofanimals.org

Thanks so much for helping; we can stop the deer kill, and education is the first step!

UPDATE: Media release (PDF, 101kb)

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Friday, January 31, 2014

Oak Bay: Are Deer the Problem, or is it Speeding?

On Thursday, January 30th, an elderly man was struck by a vehicle at a crosswalk on Cadboro Bay Rd in Oak Bay, according to this Times Colonist news story.

Friends of Animals has been targeting Cadboro Bay Rd for speeding and dangerous driving, but on behalf of deer. According to the CRD Regional Deer Management Strategy collision map, nearly all Oak Bay accidents with deer occur on Cadboro Bay Rd across from the Uplands golf course. We’ve even held a demonstration on the road, encouraging people to slow down, and speeding was still evident.

While this accident occurred a few blocks south of the main ‘Deer Accident’ corridor, it’s still indicative of attitudes on this stretch of road – that speeding is somehow okay. This needs to be addressed, for the safety of people and deer. Furthermore, there needs to be more lighting.

Something needs to be done about this stretch of road, and we’ll continue to demonstrate here – if you’d like to get updates on our activities, please join our email list.

Also, visit our Greater Victoria Deer Advocates page, with a digital copy of our new Living With Deer booklet, to be distributed to Oak Bay households in early February.

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oak Bay: Slow Down for Deer!

On Friday, December 20th, from 4-5pm, seven other deer activists joined me on Cadboro Bay Road across from the Uplands Golf Course on a frigid, rainy night holding bright signs to persuade drivers to slow down. Our media release can be read here.

This section of road is the #1 site for deer fatalities in Oak Bay, according to the CRD Deer Management Strategy Map (see graphic to the right).

It's no coincidence, given the factors that make up this stretch: it's the only road in Oak Bay with a 50kph speed limit (and many speed here.) The road is poorly lit, and trees along the west side of the road make it hard to see if there are deer, and they can easily step out on the road and get hit.

You can see on the map there are almost no other areas that accidents have occurred. This is why we targeted this area: this is solvable.

We definitely had an impact - most cars slowed when they spotted us. Several drove by dangerously, clearly above the marked speed limit. It would be helpful if Oak Bay Council installed flashing speed signs in this spot, to remind drivers that they need to obey speed limits.

Much needs to be done, and it is achievable and could significantly reduce accidents. Lighting can be improved, speeds can be controlled, which would have the most impact. A full fence will be unpopular with the Uplands Golf Course, but other solutions exist: there could be more shrubs grown, motion-sensor lights and radios could be installed, and roadside reflector technology which lights up the road when a car passes could also be helpful in keeping deer away from the trees and road.

Come on, Oak Bay - let's do it!

Media:




Thanks to our volunteers for braving the elements!

If you're on Facebook, join our Greater Victoria Deer Advocates group, otherwise sign-up to our email list to get updates on deer and more.

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Monday, November 18, 2013

ACTION NEEDED: 25 Deer Sentenced to Death in Oak Bay – Write City Hall Now!

A deer spotted on Richardson Street.
Oak Bay City Hall has announced that they’re planning to exterminate 25 deer over the next year (see Times Colonist article here). Killing animals is a brutal and barbaric decision, and is rarely effective in reducing their numbers long-term. Nature is resilient, and often even more animals return due to the upset of their settlement – “nature abhors a vacuum”. The same elements that are attracting deer now remain, and will only continue to draw in more deer.

Additionally, this thinking only institutes a costly and never-ending bloodbath. What happens in 2015? Another deer kill at $12,500? And the year after – another $12,500? How many years along do we overspend the amount it would take to make happy the few who complain? If the money were invested in deer-proofing their yards instead, we could all get along.

There are ways to resolve the problems people have without killing, and we must look into these options – deer deserve our respect, not captive bolt-gun shots to the head.

ACTION: PLEASE WRITE OAK BAY MAYOR NILS JENSEN AND CITY COUNCIL, AND TELL THEM KILLING DEER IS UNACCEPTABLE, AND THAT BETTER OPTIONS EXIST.

Deer snacking in the Ross Bay Cemetery.
You can write to:
Oak Bay Municipal Hall
2167 Oak Bay Ave
Victoria, BC V8R 1G2
Fax: (250) 598-9108

Or email:
oakbaymayor@oakbay.ca
obcouncil@oakbay.ca

In addition to the points described above, some topics to consider including in your letter:
  • There is a bylaw against feeding wildlife, but it is poorly enforced. Between 2007 & 2012 there were only 5 tickets issued. Plenty of people grow plants that attract deer, and are breaking the bylaw, yet Oak Bay does nothing about it.
  • The number 25 is totally arbitrary, no one knows what kind of impact this will have and is literally a shot in the dark.
  • The total cost of the project is $12,500 or $500/deer. If they’re planning to implement this over 10 years, that’s $125,000. This money could be used to help people who are having problems instead.
  • We need to change our own behavior. Managing deer is near-impossible. We have total control over ourselves, and can grow plants that deer are less interested in. We can adapt our behaviours in other ways that would allow for co-existence with deer.
  • Deer were here first – we’re filling up and denying them what was originally their space. Deer belong here, and that is the attitude we must adopt.
Thank-you for speaking up for deer, and please share this action - let’s work together to find a peaceful solution!

A deer visiting a Fairfield home.
Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Save-A-Turkey Trot 2013


Last Saturday, October 5th was the 4th Annual Save-A-Turkey Trot! It's a fun 5k walk/trot/run along the scenic, seaside trails at Clover Point.

It was a cool, slightly overcast day, and a record number of Trotters gathered around the Purica tent to sign up and help us celebrate and promote an animal-friendly Thanksgiving. This year we welcomed 60 people, including 25 runners!


We have lots of great vegan literature to give out, online you can check out our Vegan Starter Guide, and our Thanksgiving: A Celebration For All leaflet. Also at the table was helpful info from some of our our event sponsors:


Shortly after 11am, we sent out the walkers and their dogs, and at about 11:20, the runners were off!



The course was marked with chalk, and we once again set out our distance markers, with facts about turkeys:


It turned out to be a perfect day! While everyone was out, we set out the draw-prizes. As we do for all OrganicAthlete Victoria events, we distributed nearly all the prizes through the draw - all names go into a hat, and when we draw a name, they simply get to choose which prize they want - and we aim to ensure everyone walks off with something! In addition, Purica offered a sample pack of their Cordyceps and Vega sent us packs of Pre-Workout Energizer as samples to give to the first 40 people to sign up - bonus!


The table was PACKED with an amazing number of prizes, valued over $1000! (Click here for the detailed list.)

We had barely set things out when the runners started to return! Darren Tannas was back first, covering the 5k in a blistering 17 minutes and 56 seconds! The sixth runner to appear was Leah Stott, in 20'21, our fastest female for the day.

There was an extra contest for the runners, our 'Are You Faster Than A Vegan' challenge! We had two OA representatives, Nick Patenaude and Sandra Hardy, out to set the bar. Any who beat them would win an Edge Food Energy Bar - so an extra congrats to Darren, Ryan Heffernan, Glenn Jasechko and Leah for keeping ahead of our team members and taking home an extra prize, and being our speediest runners!


Here are the full results:
Runners - Male
Darren Tannas 17'56
Ryan Heffernan 18'21
Glenn Jasechko 18'28
Nick Patenaude 18'29
Brent Hall 19'51
Ibraham Vanjgel-Shedid 22'15
Jesse Crawford 24'21
Karsten Provan 24'38
Magnus McElroy 25'01
Graeme Stewart 26'13
Phil Cottrell 27'08
Eric Hallman 34'38
Bruce Hardy 36'03
Runners - Female
Leah Stott 20'21
Sandra Hardy 21'38
Anika Sander 25'40
Chris Cox 26'06
Line Marie St Jacques 27'08
Sarah Kwak 27'34
Missy Morrison 29'17
Stephanie Lockett 31'59
Cynthia Barker 33'40
Jess Moreland 34'38
Laura Hardy 36'03
Elaine Taylor 36'23
Trotters: Veronica Patenaude, Toryn Patenaude, Kieran Patenaude, Chris Beese, Sarah Beese, Brenda Macevicius, Celeste Macevicius, Daniel Pfeifer, Marg Rothery, Linnea Comolli, Melanie Hudson, Dana Quantz, Maria Fedrigo, Christine Lee, Jade Carter, Nina Carter, Kayle Cheeke, Zareef Houston, Marni Springer, Simon Springer, Soli Springer, Oden Springer, Laura Taves, Adam Pilling, Scott Beck, Haley Lonsdale, Linda Copping, Dee Dee Winger, Dell McLean, Kathleen Garvi, Jacqueline Eluic, Karen Hartley, Rob Kreiser and Colleen Northmark - thank you all for attending!!


We'll be back next October for the 5th Annual Save-A-Turkey Trot, and will likely have a similar event in the Spring; join our email list to get updates on this, and other Friends of Animals activities! Also check out our local website: The Victoria Vegan.

If you'd like to get involved with OrganicAthlete Victoria, visit our website for more info on joining our team (mainly runners, cyclists and triathletes), and getting discounts on Vega, Purica and The Edge Food Energy Bar products!

Thanks to all who helped with set-up and take-down, and especially the lovely Lesley Fox for support. Much gratitude is also owed to our event sponsors, who donated prizes and helped promote the event:
  • Purica - from Duncan, lots of great recovery and health products (plus they loaned us their tent once again!)
  • Vega - from the mainland, lots of great nutritional supplements, including athletes
  • Vegan Essentials - an amazing US-based online vegan emporium
  • Saanichton Physio - the excellent Sandra Hardy has the distinction of being one of the few vegan physios in Victoria
  • APFA - The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, based out of Vancouver, speaking up for wildlife
  • Pure Lovin' Chocolate - a local purveyor of organic, fair-trade and vegan goodies
  • Green Cuisine - our favorite vegan restaurant, and long-time title sponsor of the OA Victoria team!
  • Equinox Health Clinic - one of the top sports massage clinics on the island!
  • Victoria Vegan Fest - our annual vegan celebration!!
  • Oak Bay Bikes - the best bike shop in town
  • Benjamin's Bites - Victoria-made vegan, gluten-free cookies, check out the double-chocolate chip!
  • The Edge Food Energy - from Qualicum Beach, vegan and organic bars in compostable packaging
  • Field Roast - from Seattle, some of the best meat alternatives out there!

Here's a fun post-event interview with The Raging Kucing about the event as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIwdKaVqwhc

Once more, thanks to all participants and supporters, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fundraiser for New Anti-Carriage Postcard Campaign


We're excited to launch a new campaign to ban the horse-drawn carriages in Victoria!

Our new postcard is targeted at City Hall, and asks Mayor Fortin and City Council to ban the horse-drawn carriages. City bylaws have a ban on all animal acts in Victoria, but there are exemptions for dogs and horses. We're asking City Council to update this, and remove horses from the exemption.

Life in the city is neither decent nor safe for horses, who when released, should reside in sanctuaries. Please help educate City Council – pressing them to end this antiquated commercial industry.

We hope to raise $400 with our Fundrazr effort to cover costs for printing postcards, other promotional materials and postage.

You can view a PDF of our postcard: http://thevictoriavegan.com/foa/files/foa-hdc-postcard-1.pdf

NEW! Our poster, to promote the cards, is here: http://thevictoriavegan.com/foa/files/foa-hdc-postcard-poster.pdf

Information on our carriage campaign, including our new FAQ leaflet is available here: http://thevictoriavegan.com/foa/

Your donation is appreciated, even if it's just $2 or $5 - any amount helps us print up more cards! Click here to support our Carriage-Free Victoria page: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/9aUC1

Finally, if you'd like some of our postcards to distribute in your area, please contact us, and we'll get some of our new cards to you!

Thanks kindly,

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Saving Beavers on the Sunshine Coast!

These last two Wednesdays I had the pleasure to join the Fur Bearer Defenders crew in going to the Sunshine Coast to help build and install a few 'beaver flow devices' (see Wikipedia entry and description here.)

It's a pretty neat concept: instead of tearing down the beaver dam, or trapping and killing the resident beavers when a dam becomes an inconvenience for humans, flow devices can be installed which maintain the water levels of their ponds, and barely disrupts the beaver family.

There are a number of designs and ways to install these devices. In this instance a culvert had been blocked decades ago by sediment build-up (and a pretty impressive amount, as we discovered! About half a meter deep, and a couple meters out from the end of the culvert!)

The device prevents culverts from being re-blocked, so water can continue to drain. It's a pretty simple solution that costs very little, but has been very effective in numerous areas in allowing us to live peacefully with beavers with minimal disruption to either.

Check out our two galleries below, and contact the Fur Bearers if you'd be interested in installing one of these in your community!



Direct link to Gallery #1.


Direct link to Gallery #2.

UPDATE: Story on the build in the Coast Reporter: http://www.coastreporter.net/article/20130819/SECHELT0101/308199998/-1/sechelt/volunteer-help-saves-beavers-and-highway

Second story: http://www.martinezbeavers.org/wordpress/2013/08/20/did-you-know-the-cavalry-is-in-vancouver/

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Action: Letters Needed for Oak Bay Deer

Action: Letters Needed for Oak Bay Deer

Monday’s Province features a story covering a collision between a cyclist and a deer (see http://www.theprovince.com/life/Urban+deer+population+causes+Victoria+politicians+animal+rights/8714670/story.html ). Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen expects their community deer kill plan to work in deterring other deer from entering Oak Bay. One simply needs to ask if the deer even realize there’s a danger? How can others possibly know when one is trapped and killed with a bolt gun? It’s foolish and short-sighted. Killing deer and other steps like hazing and contraception will ultimately fail to reduce numbers. Deer will simply move to other areas, returning when ‘safe’.

Many people are excited and enjoy seeing deer, and this should be considered by decision-makers as well. But if we’re collectively unwilling to adapt our lives to living with deer, then we need to take steps in eliminating what attracts them: the veritable buffet we’re offering with careless growing of plants and easily accessed gardens - it's literally candy for deer. Nearly all wildlife ‘issues’ are due to humans providing food. It’s no different from bears to skunks to deer. So long as we’re giving them something to fill their bellies, more will always return. As we eliminate food sources, deer numbers will reduce.

Please take a minute to write the Honourable Stephen Thomson, Forestry Minister, who has the final say on deer kills in BC, and let him know that killing deer in Oak Bay (and elsewhere) is an unacceptable option for you. Instead of managing deer we need to act responsibly and manage our own behaviours. And if having deer in your neighbourhood is something special, be sure to highlight this fact: no doubt they get complaints, but let’s send compliments as well.

Thank-you for speaking up for deer, here is Minister Stephen Thomson’s contact info:
Email
FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Post
PO BOX 9049
STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA, BC
V8W 9E2
Telephone: 250 387-6240
Fax: 250 387-1040

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Monday, March 25, 2013

Event Report: Save Our Seals Sprint

It was a grey, cool day, one I'm sure seals could appreciate for the 'Save Our Seals Sprint' 5km fun walk/run, co-organized by Friends of Animals and OrganicAthlete Victoria.

The event is modeled slightly after a 'zombie run', where runners are 'humans', and out on the course are 'zombies'. In this case, our runners are seals, and out on the course we had a couple seal 'clubbers', who would chase and harass the seals as they were out for a 5 kilometer 'swim' around the scenic paths along Dallas Road to raise awareness about the awful seal slaughter on the East Coast that occurs this time of the year each year.

We had 7 walkers (thanks for coming out Steph, Sara, Kelly, Donald, Todd, Dee Dee and Linda), and 10 runners (listed below in the results). There were also at least five dogs out as well! Each participant also received a 'Save Our Seals' event headband:



The runners line up!
Just after 11am we sent the walkers off, and kept the runners back until 11:15 (so all would arrive much closer to the same time for the draw prizes.)

Out on the course were volunteers Al and Jason, who would chase and yell at the seals, holding signs like 'WEAR SEAL FUR' and 'WE HATE SEALS'. They were piloting the SS Harper and SS Hakapik.

Here comes Callym, he was 10 and the fastest runner!
It was also his birthday!

Some of the seals fought back, here's Lysanne, Dianne and Mirth.

Oscar and Chris dodge the grumpy clubbers!
Back at the table, I actually had people stopping by, to let me know that there were 'protesters' out there, yelling at our runners - hilarious!


The walkers also carried signs, and were often stopped along the course to talk to other walkers about seals.


We also had 9 'course marker' signs along the route, with facts about the seal slaughter.

Our runner finishing times are:
Callym - 28:52 (10yrs old!)
Tamara - 29:27 (Callym's mom)
Lysanne - 30:03
Diane - 30:03
Maria - 35:19
Krista - 35:19
Tom - 35:19
Hannah - 35:19
Oscar - 38:44 (8yrs old!)
Chris - 38:44

Next up were the prizes, we had over $500 in prizes (see here) - a huge thank-you to Lysanne Lavigne of Equinox Health Clinic, who offered all entrants $20 off a massage. A big thank-you to all of our other supporters who contributed prizes: Vancouver Island Paragliding, Purica, Green Cuisine, Sarah's Place and the Victoria Vegan Festival Society. There were just the right number of prizes, as all participants and volunteers left with something in hand. Another thank you to Al and Jason for being our 'clubbers', a big thank you to Ailsa and Carolyn for helping set up, and another thank you to Lysanne, Todd and Diane for helping take everything down (and Todd for the photos!)

Click here to enjoy the full gallery of photos, and below is one last shot, thanks to Chris, of a seal on a rock who was hanging out near the turn-around point on the course!


Hopefully we won't have to do this next year, and the seal slaughter will have ground to a halt, but we'll be back if we have to!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Event: Save Our Seals Sprint!

SOS Sprint - Save Our Seals Sprint

The SOS Sprint is a fun, 5k run or walk, inspired by ‘Zombie Runs’ - where along the course you may encounter ‘zombies’, but given that you’re a ‘seal’, you’re going to want to watch out for the ‘seal clubbers’!

Participants all receive a ‘Save Our Seals’ event headband to identify them, and the ‘clubbers’ (hidden on the course to ambush seals for their fur!) will be easily identified, piloting their boats among the ‘ice floes’ searching for fleeing seals. Each year tens of thousands of seals are slaughtered off the coast of Newfoundland, and this event is to raise awareness and help bring an end this travesty.

The course is a scenic loop along the beautiful waterside pathways from Clover Point to just before the breakwater. Please arrive by 11am, parking on Dallas or at Clover Point. All are welcome, bring your kids and dogs!

$5-10 sliding scale entry (pay what you can), tons of prizes from OrganicAthlete Victoria and Friends of Animals supporters (distributed by draw). Prize list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mDpneSeIL8dqsCOz7wpORPAwtS-vBNzg8Tvq7lKubWc/edit?usp=sharing

RSVP on our Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/432589096818915/

Download our event poster PDF: http://thevictoriavegan.com/files/2013-sossprint-poster.pdf


Hope you'll join us in speaking up for seals!!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Friday, February 1, 2013

Poster Party for National Anti-Fur Day

= Example of Poster =
National Anti-Fur Day 'Poster Party' in Victoria at Vshoen
Friday, February 8th, 12-2pm
Vshoen, 620 Broughton Street

Friends of Animals and Vshoen invite you to assist in defending fur-bearing animals at our Poster Party for National Anti-Fur Day on Friday, Feb. 8. We're coordinating with the Fur-Bearer Defenders in Vancouver, who have a similar action planned, and we'll be joining dozens of other cities across Canada holding events and demonstrations.

We'll provide posters and vegan snacks while you display posters downtown with anti-fur messages such
as 'HAVE A HEART, DON'T WEAR FUR!'

More than 3 million animals are brutalized and killed for their skins in Canada each year by trapping, ranching, shooting and clubbing. While full length fur coats are less popular, fur trim is shockingly common in Canada. Look around next time you're in downtown Victoria. A surprising (and deplorable) number of garments include fur from coyotes, wolves, foxes, rabbits, seals and other animals who were murdered in their skins for the frivolous fur industry.


Fur coats look better on the original fur-bearing animals. Please help us educate Victoria residents that fur hurts by joining Vshoen and Friends of Animals on February 8th!

Join our Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/163271273819992/

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friends of Animals Joins B.C. Wolf Protection Pack, Letters Needed!









Friends of Animals Joins B.C. Wolf Protection Pack, Letters Needed!
Friends of Animals has joined a growing coalition of groups in speaking up for wolves, as the BC government works to reduce or eliminate the already few measures protecting wolves in BC. These wolves are quickly running out of habitat, and are scapegoats for human-caused animal community decline, as we’re seeing with caribou. The BC Government maintains that wolves are responsible, despite the fact that BC Government ‘management’ has been an abysmal failure, and caribou populations continue to decline. Clearly it’s our use of caribou habitat, with projects like the oil sands being the real culprit.

Below is an Action Alert from coalition organizer Sadie Parr - let’s tell the BC Government that wolves need protection, and that we humans need to contain and limit habitat destruction.

ACTION ALERT

The BC government released a draft management plan for wolves on November 14th that is heavy on management but lacking conservation, ecology, and ethics.  The proposed plan supports the:

·         Elimination of wolves where they overlap with ranchers
·         Machine gunning of wolves where caribou herds are in severe decline
·         Continued sterilization of wolves when a decade of this has not increased caribou numbers
·         Ongoing slaughter of wolves through lax hunting and trapping regulations (no bag limits, no specific tag required, year-round killing in some regions)

The draft plan needs to be changed!  Your voice is NEEDED.  Current wolf management in BC is extremely outdated.  What’s missing from the plan?  The incredible social nature and family bonds shared among this intelligent species.  Many wolf biologists argue that allowing wolves to express their natural social behaviour benefits the wider ecosystem as well as wolves.  The BC government wants to kill wolves for sport, to appease ranchers, and to help save endangered species.  The number of wolves being killed across the province is at an all-time high since recording began.

Wolf biologist Dr. Linda Rutledge states:

“We have no idea the extent of the impact that repeatedly killing over 25% of a wolf population has on their evolutionary trajectory.  But it’s dangerous to think that you can manipulate them so intensively and have negligible consequences.”

Top predators are among the most outstanding achievements of wilderness, evolving over hundreds of centuries.  The social structure of wolf packs has evolved with this.  It is the wolf pack that is the top predator, not the individual wolf.  Wolves are more than mere numbers.  Their social bonds and kin-based families define what it means to be a wolf. Management plans need to take this into account!

The BC governments’ draft proposal brings us back to a time of fear-mongering.  Wolves are being killed through hunting, trapping, livestock concerns, failing caribou herds, and on transportation routes across the majority of the province.   Extended family members of wolf packs are often butchered in a human-dominated landscape.  We can do better this!  Do not allow our ecosystems to become impoverished due to fear and mismanagement.  Speak against this bloodshed.

Although wolves require an adequate prey base, the defining factor in wolf persistence is protection from humans.  Aldo Leopold learned long ago that “Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf”. None is so hated; none so misunderstood. 

Conservation groups across the province have a vision for a better BC for wolves, wildlife & people. 

WHAT TO ASK FOR

1.       Extend the deadline for public input to January 30.
2.       NO helicopter killing or sterilization of wolves.
3.       NO leghold traps, snares or baiting.
4.       Return to former species licence, quotas, bag limits, restricted seasons, and mandatory reporting of kills for hunting wolves.
5.       A decision and statement that lethal predator control is NOT an option for the recovery of mountain caribou and a stop to the Quesnell Highland wolf sterilization and removal project.
6.       A provincial management plan for wolves that considers  the social stability of packs as well as population size to ensure the long term conservation of the species in its most natural form.
7.       A commitment to reduce wolf-livestock-human conflicts through prevention, and provision of educational initiatives and incentives for responsible husbandry practices.
8.       Protect  large tracts of habitat for wolves and their prey.  Ensure that protected areas are large enough to support multiple wolf families with no hunting/trapping allowed.

Conservation of wolves and the wild habitat they thrive upon has even been linked to stopping climate change.  Indeed, wolves maintain biodiversity in ecosystems, which are thus better able to handle, as well as buffer, the effects of changes in nature.  The ecosystem services provided by a healthy environment, such as water and air purification, cannot be matched by a dollar value as we cannot replace these necessary services if we tried.  A better BC for all includes a future with iconic predators that Canadians identify with; management of our natural resources in an ethical and sustainable way; clean water and air, and wild spaces that can be explored by foot only.

Many conservation groups are opposed to this plan, including Pacific Wild, Valhalla Wilderness Society, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, The Association of Protection of Furbearing Animals, Lifeforce Foundation, Northern Lights Wolf Centre, World Temperate Rainforest Network, Peter A Dettling Wilderness Education Centre, Friends of Animals and likely many more to come as they learn about this horrendous proposal!  PLEASE ADD YOUR VOICE!

“History has shown us that if deliberate efforts are not made to conserve large carnivores they are doomed.”  –Hummel and Pettigrew

Are we taking these steps?  Speak out for BC's wolves. Voice your concern.

Public input deadline is December 5. It's easy to submit your comments at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/public-consultation/grey-wolf/

Or contact:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Honourable Steve Thomson
PO BOX 9049 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC
V8W 9E2

Telephone: 250 387-6240
Fax: 250 387-1040

Steve.Thomson@gov.bc.ca or steve.thomson.mla@leg.bc.ca


“By remaining silent, we allow others to prevail” – Martin Luther King
Thank you for your howls! 
Please cc. SadieParrwolfpact@gmail.com  and on letters sent if possible.
Most sincerely, Sadie Parr

===

Additionally, there are a couple online petitions you can sign:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/930/233/344/stop-the-bc-wolf-cull/
and:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-the-british-columbia-wolf-hunt.html 

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 World Vegan Day Bake Sale Report

What better way to celebrate World Vegan Day than to show off amazing vegan goodies with a bake sale fundraiser?

Goodies were brought down to Sarah's Place, a really big thank you to vegan bakers Kiley, Cara, Lisa, Jordan, Hayley, Jenn and Diana - there were cupcakes, cookies, muffins, rice puff squares, candy apples, energy bars and Nanaimo bars!

The fundraising goal is to print up more Friends of Animals' Vegan Starter Guides to distribute in the city - in May 2011 we printed up 4,000 (money also raised from bake sales!) and have given most of them out! So we're planning to raise another $3000 to print up even more. We'll be featuring more bake sales, and other fun events. $347 was raised at this one, thanks again for all who came down, and for the generous donations from our bakers! Contact us if you'd like to be added to our 'Victoria Vegan Bakers' list, and help out with future events!

Two more event photos below from Sarah Kramer, thank you again for hosting us outside of Sarah's Place in Market Square, the world's best vegan shop!!

 Yum.

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Save-A-Turkey Trot 2012

The 3rd Annual Save-A-Turkey Trot on Sept 29th, co-sponsored by OrganicAthlete Victoria and Friends of Animals featured the best weather yet, sunny and warm, and even a visit from a few passing orcas in the Juan de Fuca Strait!

This year featured a record 34 participants, and split down the middle with about half running, and half out for a pleasurable stroll in support of turkeys and veganism on the scenic 5km route along the paths along the waterfront.

We also set out informative route markers this year, and as always, a huge supply of prizes distributed by draw. We also had three Top prizes, a Field Roast Celebration Roast donated by Sarah’s Place, and our Top runners were:
Top Male: Danny Taylor, 17’26 (2012)
Top Junior (U19): Etta Degnan, 19’57 (2012)
Top Female: Etta Degnan, 19’57 (2012) (Note: Top Female prize awarded to 2nd place Female, Jenn Marr, 20’04)

These are also our new Course Record times - Glenn Jasechko had the record from last year, with an 18’44, but couldn’t defend his record this year (and it was done barefoot!), and the previous Top Female was Lysanne Lavigne, with a 21’24 which held for two years from our 1st event in 2010.

That means our Top Vegan Times are now:
Top Male: Glenn Jasechko, 18’44 (2011)
Top Female: Jenn Marr, 20’04 (2012)

Over $650 in prizes were given out, and a big thank-you goes to our sponsors Purica, Sarah’s Place, Tender Heart Truffles, Green Cuisine, Vshoen Boutique, Equinox Health Clinic and Oak Bay Bikes plus all attendees got a sample pack of Vega One!


A big thank you to volunteers and OA members Ailsa, Heather, Nick and David for helping out with the event, thanks to Jenn Marr and Michelle Dagg for bringing out so many members of the UVic Tri Club, and a special thanks to Purica for providing the event tent.

Enjoy this fantastic event video from David:



Our photo album can be found here, and below are the full results from the runners plus a few more select photos, thank for being a part of the 3rd Annual Save-A-Turkey Trot, see you in 2013!
Runners - Male
Danny Taylor 17’26
Derek Binnersley* 20’12
Erik Venini 21’07
Jordan Reichert 21’10
Sam Lynch 26’52
Luke Chamberlain 26’52
Nathan Lam 31’12
Greg Gillespie 43’50

Runners - Female
Etta Dengan* 19’57
Jenn Marr 20’04
Jocelyn Hardy 21’10
Sydney Scout* 21’12
Michelle Dagg 21’42
Linnea Saltel 23’50
Lisa Trotter 26’42
Marlon Couture* 30’31
Krista Park 30’32
Jordan Gillespie* 39’45

* denotes U19 runner
And all our 'trotters': Susan, Mirriam, Krista, Mark, Marni, Simon, Solina, Oden, Eric, Kayla, Gavin, Alek, Tanis, Jane, Alanna and Melanie!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg