Summer 2014

    Issue: Summer 2014

    Table of Contents


    • Friends of Animals has received kind donations in memory of the following individuals:


      Linda Petrie

      Miriam Jutras

      Maria Barnett

      Emily Cericola

      Cindy Dwyer

      Ellen Banks

      Jamie Waldera

      Donald Lewis

      Anna Joan Sullivan

      Larry M. Clay

      Charles Cavallaro

      Erna McNamara

      Kathleen Goodgame

      Rose Mary Allen

      Andrew Grosser

      Ellin Dawson

      Sarah Oda

      Dale Hart




      Fiji Petrequin

      Dora Mora

      Princess Finkel




      Charlie Straus



      Elsie O’Neil



      Zak, River & Magic






      Sadie & Charo

      Kozmo Trodick

      Gypsy Roselouise

      All of Michael D. Harris’ Animals in Heaven



    • CHEERS

      Cheers to director Darren Aronofsky, who collaborated with visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), to ensure that no live animals were used in the filming of Noah, which was released in the spring. 

      In an interview, Aronofsky explained how ILM created a virtual collection of animal actors: “We basically went through the animal kingdom and pinpointed the body types we wanted: some pachyderms, some rodents, reptiles and the bird kingdom. They were brought to life with different furs and colors.” 

      After seeing the awful conditions some primates were kept in during the making of his earlier film The Fountain, Aronofsky decided to never use “animal actors” again. 

      Friends of Animals knows all too well about animals exploited by the entertainment industry since it manages the Primarily Primates sanctuary in Texas, which cares for many chimpanzees who were discarded after they were too old to control. With the capability of computer generated imagery, live animals are absolutely not necessary in the movie-making industry. 



      Cheers to vegan chef Jay Astafa, 21, known for his culinary creations at Three Brothers Pizzeria in Farmingdale, N.Y., who took a risk by making pappardelle pasta in the entrée round of the second annual Vegan Iron Chef competition held in San Francisco March 23. The risk paid off and he was crowned the winner of the event. 

      Astafa and fellow competitors Jillian Love and Chef AJ were each given a basket of ingredients and instructed to create one appetizer in 25 minutes, one entree in 45 minutes, and one dessert in 25 minutes with the theme of impromptu Sunday brunch to inspire them. 

      After the event Astafa revealed he is searching for the perfect location to open his own vegan restaurant in NYC later this year.

      “It’s going to be a vegan tasting menu only because there is nothing like that in NYC right now,” Astafa said. “It’s going to be high-end fine dining.”

      Stay tuned.




      Jeers to Lady Gaga for trying to get an endangered slow loris to co-star with her in her music video recently. After the primate nipped her she decided to “fire” him. This comes in the wake of Rihanna leaving behind a trail of Instagram photographs of her with a slow loris on a beach in Thailand. Those photos led police to arrest two people for allegedly peddling protected primates. 

      Slow lorises have become increasingly endangered due to the illegal pet trade after people see them looking cute and cuddly on YouTube. 

      In captivity slow lorises are usually unable to clean themselves properly. This, combined with unsuitable diets, is a death sentence for the slow loris. 

      Pop stars should use their celebrity to raise awareness about the dark side of the illegal exotic pet trade, not fuel it and devastate the population of endangered species even more.

      You can tweet Lady Gaga at @ladygaga. Or write on her official Facebook page at




      Jeers to Animal Planet and its show Call of the Wildman, which is yet again making headlines for its rampant abuse of wild animals, this time due to photographic evidence depicting the terrible treatment endured by a trapped coyote. 

      According to Mother Jones, the coyote involved in this incident was illegally transported over state lines while sick and kept in cramped conditions for days. The producers intended to release the coyote in a shed and film the animal being captured “in the wild.” 

      This offense comes on the heels of a seven-month long investigation of the show by Mother Jones, which showed multiple cases of death, abuse and injuries many different animals suffered during filming. The show follows “Turtleman” Ernie Brown, Jr. and his animal removal business. 

      This show should be cancelled because it does not encourage the public to respect animals in their natural habitat and instead enforces a notion that animals are something that need to be “managed.” Our new blog ( encourages peaceful coexistence with wildlife.




      Please tell Stan Minasian that no animal is an “it.”  All animals are either a he or a she, including those who are spayed or neutered.  If Mr. Minasian doesn’t know which, he can pick one.  He can always change later if he finds out that they are the opposite or just say he/she.

      Other than that, I enjoyed the 10 Lives article (Spring 2014). 

      Brenda Sauer

      North Brunswick, NJ




      I received the enclosed letter almost 13 years ago from the Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon.  Regretfully, Mr. Sharon recently passed away.

      I had written to Mr. Sharon regarding a proposed horse track to be built in Israel and about the cruelty and abuse to horses used in racing.  I was glad to receive a nice reply from the Prime Minister’s office stating that my “stand against cruelty to animals who are unable to cry out and tell of their suffering is commendable.”

      At that time I was living one mile from an Air Force base while my son was an airman and I was sorry to hear that the military used animals in some training.  I read this in an animal welfare newsletter.

      Now, 10 years later, I’ve written a letter to Idaho Governor Otter urging him to stop the wolf killings (murder) in Idaho where they recently held a “wolf derby” where hunters get paid cash for killing wolves.  This is an inhumane and horrible event that must never be held again.  There were protests by supporters of our fellow creature the wolf.  May there be more protests in hopes of stopping the murder of God’s creatures!

      Helen Kett 

      Boise, ID



      Friends of Animals you are an amazing organization. I am 12 years old and I am in love with animals! I would like to say that I support the case against Charlie Seal.  What he” t said on 60 Minutes was SO NOT TRUE! First of all, what he said was completely irrelevant and didn’t make sense at all.  The interviewer asked, “How can you kill something you love?” and to that he replied, “I know it's for the welfare of every one of those animals.  You sacrifice one so that many more are born.”  What does sacrifice have to do with the birth of a species?  They have endangered species in their hands and they decide to kill them off?  What jerks!  I'm sorry, I get very fired up about this.


      Via e-mail


      TIME Gets it Wrong


      I stopped reading Time long time ago, so I missed the Dec. 9, 2013 issue. 

      I can’t believe that, in this time and age, they publish (and advertise it on the cover) an article on deer being a “pest.”  With the widespread awareness of environmental and wildlife issues permeating the media and social internet, I was stunned to learn how far behind Time editors are.  Like you rightly said, animals are struggling to survive in a planet overtaken by humans.  We could write volumes about it.  And it’s getting worse every day to the point that the boomerang is going to knock us down sooner than later.

      All I can say in face of such idiotic journalistic blunder, is to quote, once again, David Attenborough:  “If humans disappeared overnight the world would be a better place.” I would add on my own:  “Humans (not deer) are the curse of the planet.”

      Mireya Landin

      Riviera, AZ












      It’s unthinkable that New Yorkers and tourists would no longer be able to visit parks, lakes and other areas to observe and admire these elegant birds that have been beloved by the public since the 1800s. A park I frequent in my Queens neighborhood has a pair of mute swans that co-exist peacefully with Canada geese and ducks and I’m continually thrilled by the sight of the snow white, long-necked, graceful birds gliding along the lake. 

      A New York without mute swans would not happen on our watch. As soon as we heard about the plan we demanded the DEC replace its swan eradication proposal with legal protections that would instead allow New York residents to live in harmony with these treasured birds.

      We rallied ornithologists, our members and other activists to vigorously oppose the DEC’s crazed plan. In the DEC’s preposterous Draft Management Plan for Mute Swans in New York State, the agency tries to justify this potential killing spree by claiming swans can cause a variety of problems in spite of their small numbers, which only equal about one half of one percent of all waterfowl in New York. It claims the problems include aggressive behavior towards people, destruction of submerged aquatic vegetation SAV, displacement of native wildlife species, degradation of water quality and potential hazards to aviation—yet offers no demonstrable evidence of these absurd claims.

      DEC’s flimsy attempt to blame 2,200 mute swans for causing significant environmental damage throughout all of New York lacks scientific evidence. While the diet of mute swans consists of SAV, studies have shown that runoff from fertilizers, pesticides and animal waste contribute significantly to the loss of SAV in other areas, like the Chesapeake Bay. 

      As the backlash against the plan intensified, we recognized the need for legislative action to ensure it was struck down. We contacted New York State Senator Tony Avella, a longtime defender of animal issues, and urged him to introduce legislation. With input from FoA and ornithologists, Avella introduced Senate Bill #6589 on Feb. 10, boosting the campaign to save the swans and garnering much media attention.

      Avella said, “I was horrified to learn that our state wildlife agency would make such an extreme, unfounded proposal, and do not believe that the DEC has provided evidence to justify the elimination of these beautiful swans…In addition to imposing a two-year moratorium, my bill requires DEC to illustrate the necessity of eradicating this non-native species by demonstrating the actual damage to the environment or other species caused by mute swans. We should be researching ways of how to protect these birds, not eradicate them.”

      DEC caved under the pressure and said they would scrap the plan and release a “revised plan” in the Spring of 2014 followed by another 30-day comment period for the public to weigh in. DEC admitted receiving more than 1,500 comments from individuals and organizations, including FoA’s official statement, 16,000 letters and 50,000 signatures via petitions in opposition of the swan kill plan. 

      By the time this article appears in Action Line, the DEC’s revised plan will have been released. We are committed to rejecting any new DEC proposal that pushes forth a control scheme that manages swans to extinction—denying these beautiful birds flight, families and the right to live in nature.  

      We restated this commitment with Avella at a press conference in Albany on March 12. Our goal is full protection for NY’s mute swans and we intend to make sure that not a single mute swan is killed or harassed nor a single swan egg destroyed or sterilized. FoA is also requesting that Governor Andrew Cuomo issue a New York state proclamation to recognize an official “Swan Appreciation Week.”  NY DEC’s hateful attitudes are out of step with the very residents of New York whose tax dollars fund the agency. 

      The DEC has perversely been operating for far too long as if its only duty is to act in the interests of hunters. This swan extermination plan is a dream come true for hunters who overall dislike mute swans because they are not a hunted species and charge mute swans with displacing waterfowl species they can hunt. 

      Our ongoing message to the DEC is “Hands off NY’s swans.”  

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