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Animal rights activists demonstrated at the Chipotle Restaurant in Santa Cruz on January 24 as part of an international series of actions organized by Direct Action Everywhere. A letter was delivered to the manager reminding the company of the abuses animals farmed for food experience. It was a public delivery for patrons to witness, conveying the message, "It's not food. It's violence."
On October 5, the eighth U.S. fur farm raid since July saw 2,000 mink freed from a farm in New Holstein, Wisconsin. Across the U.S., over 10,000 animals have been released since July — a level of activity not seen since the late 1990s. The latest raid also marks the 100th (known) release of animals from a fur farm since the Animal Liberation Front officially began it's fur farm campaign in 1995. The ALF appears to be targeting newly discovered farms, with six of the eight farms visited this summer having been made public in the last two years.
The first-ever lawsuit against an animal research lab under California's cruelty and unfair competition laws was filed in early January in a complaint with the California Superior Court of Santa Cruz County against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., for violating state animal cruelty and unfair competition laws by failing to properly care for their animals according to numerous Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspections.
On June 27th, George Cadman interviewed local activist and best-selling author John Robbins about his latest book, No Happy Cows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Food Revolution. John and George talked about the revolving door between Big Ag and government agencies like the FDA, the rising cost of healthcare in the United States, the predatory ad campaigns that are directed at children by big fast food companies and the misleading "Happy Cows" advertising campaign of the California Milk Advisory Board.
At least two individuals have been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury that appears to be investigating a fire set at the home of a UC Santa Cruz animal researcher in 2008. There was no claim of responsibility for the fire, and there is no evidence activists were responsible. Nonetheless, the incident became the impetus for the "AETA 4" case, which saw the indictment of four Bay Area activists before charges were dismissed in 2010.
On November 8th, 2011, four students from Renaissance High School went to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds to protest against the way the circus treats their elephants. Students attending the protest joined other demonstrators from the bay area that were following the circus around to their performances. One protestor was assaulted while handing out flyers about the circus. The students stayed at the fairgrounds protesting for animal rights from 3pm to 7pm.
On August 17th, opening night of the 2011 Ringling Brothers Circus in San Jose, nearly a hundred activists gathered to protest and to inform circus-goers about the cruelty involved when wild animals are forced to live in small cages and perform for audiences across the country. Ringling Brothers has a history of maltreating the animals under its care, from physically abusing them as part of their training to failing to adequately meet basic medical needs. Animal activists encourage others to help keep the heat on Ringling to drop the use of animals in their live shows. Demonstrations are planned for Ringling Brothers appearances in San Francisco and Oakland from September 1st through 11th.