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Winter 2004 - Act•ionLine

by Bill Dollinger | Winter 2004

Cheers and Jeers

Cheers:

To Cat Communication International, a telephone service provider in Roanoke, VA, for promoting a meat-free workplace and offering free vegetarian meals to employees in what they call their “Vegetaria.” The company encouraged thought and debate on the subject through a memo to employees, which contained the following:

“We at CCI are committed to promoting an end to cruelty towards animals. Approximately 10 billion animals, not including fish, are killed each year to satisfy the needs of American meat eaters. In his or her lifetime, each vegetarian will save the lives of 6,308 animals by not consuming them.”

To Budget Rental Cars, for promoting alternative energy sources by offering hybrid automobiles, which operate on electricity as well as gasoline. The development of hybrid automobiles leads the Apollo Alliance ten-point plan for Good Jobs and Energy Independence, which was endorsed by Ralph Nader. Consumers are now offered an affordable rental option that will reduce the use of fossil fuels. Alternatives such as the hybrid automobile must become accessible to minimize human encroachment and protect unspoiled lands such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

To Inditex, a Spanish fashion chain which includes brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti, for announcing that they are removing fur from the shelves of all store locations in the 54 nations in which they operate by Jan. 1, 2005. Inditex CEO José María Castellano Ríos told the BBC, “The measure is one step further in our commitment to respect the animals and environment surrounding us.”

To the city of Seattle, for abandoning a program in which geese were rounded up from city parks and gassed. This year, no geese were killed as the city used volunteers with dogs and laser guns to deter geese from taking up residence in five parks. While the Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services has called for a return to the goose-killing program, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported that the non-lethal program has worked out well, referring to a significant decrease in goose droppings as “good news for the geese.”

To actor Harrison Ford, for protecting elk and other animals by posting his Wyoming ranch against hunting.

While Wyoming state officials are targeting the Fall Creek elk herd, Ford has created a safe haven. Ranch Manager John Kelly told the Concord Monitor that Ford “doesn’t want any hunting to take place on his property.”

Jeers

To Ann Taylor, a national retail clothing chain which has reintroduced fur to its catalog. After years of not selling fur, they are now offering a line of rabbit and raccoon fur jackets, vests and hats in their stores and catalogs.

The company responded to our request for the removal of fur from the stores, writing, “As a fashion retailer, Ann Taylor recognizes that our clients expect and demand a variety of options that meet their individual needs and fashion preferences. In the end, we know that we may not be able to please all of our clients.”

Contact:
Ann Taylor Stores
J. Patrick Spainhour, Chairman and CEO
100 Ann Taylor Dr.
P.O. Box 571650
Taylorsville, UT 84157-1650
Tel: (800) 342-5266
Fax: (800) 232-9266
E-mail: clientservices@anntaylor.com

To the National Education Association, for their partnership with Atkins Nutritionals, the low-carb diet program, which is based on high levels of meat and dairy consumption. The agreement would grant the company marketing access to students as Atkins distributes materials on childhood obesity. The plan is opposed by the Partnership for Essential Nutrients, a coalition of consumer, nutrition and public health groups. Dr. Barbara Moore, a partnership member and president of Shape-up America, stated in a news release, “I find it particularly insidious now when the company may be experiencing financial woes that it has begun to target school children.”

As Dr. John McDougall of the McDougall Wellness Center puts it, “Populations following high-carbohydrate, low-fat, lower-protein diets, like those from traditional Asian and African countries are trim for a lifetime and avoid all the diseases common to people who follow the Western diet. The Atkins diet is simply an exaggeration of the unhealthy Western diet to a level that makes people sufficiently ill to lose their appetite.”

Reg Weaver, President
National Education Association
1201 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036-3290
E-mail: rweaver@nea.org

To Organic Style Magazine, which accepts advertising for Chicken Noodle Soup and other products that exploit and consume animals, rhapsodizes about the so-called green eating of organic organ meat, but refuses FoA’s paid advertising that encourages readers to shun fur.

Contact:
Jeannie Pyun
Editor, Organic Style Magazine
733 Third Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10017-3204
Telephone: (212) 573-0553
Fax: (212) 573-0219
E-mail: jeanie.pyun@rodale.com

To the NBC television show “Scrubs” for the Sept. 21 episode which featured a man who catches squirrels in a sack and kills them. Friends of Animals wrote to NBC President Jeff Zucker, asking, “With all of the routine violence these days… might you summon the decency to stop finding amusement in the deaths of animals?”

Contact:
Jeff Zucker, President
3000 W Alameda Ave
Burbank, CA 91523-0002
Telephone: (818) 840-4444
Fax: (818) 840-3247
E-mail: jeff.zucker@nbcuni.com

Bill Dollinger

Act•ionLine Winter 2004

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