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
At a news conference on February 18th, 2011, Japanese Fisheries minister Michihiko Kano stated they will suspend their "research" whaling because the Sea Shepherd activists had succeeded in their attempts to harass those who hunt and kill whales in the Antarctic region. "The whale war in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is over. The whales have won!" announced Captain Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin.
On February 12th, a benefit is being held for the Red Vic Movie House on Haight Street in San Francisco. Organizers state that "San Francisco is dangerously close to losing this 30-year old worker-owned community establishment. All the filmmakers and speakers in this series are donating 100% the box office revenue to the keep the Red Vic's doors open so they can continue to give voice to films like these that [the] mainstream does NOT want you you to see!" Lovers + Liberators is a fund-raising event for the Red Vic that brings together three films with the themes of liberation and domestic "terrorism".
John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America
and Food Revolution
, says the film Bold Native
"is the controversial story of young adults who just can’t sit by and stay silent in the face of massive cruelty to animals. Unwilling to passively succumb to resignation and despair, they take a stand, not just with their words, but with their actions. Some might see them as threats to society, others might admire them as self-sacrificing heroes, but no one could see this remarkable film and not gain a greater understanding of what courage really means.”