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Indybay Feature
Related Categories: California | Animal Liberation
IDA Bay Area Events
by Mat Thomas (mat [at]
Thursday Jan 19th, 2006 10:33 PM
1. Help Improve Management of the Oakland Animal Shelter 2. Gopher Gardening at Ocean Beach 3. Fur Protest at Chinese Consulate in San Francisco 4. KFC Protest and Letter Writing Party 5. Film Screening of "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" 6. Animal Investigation Film Festival 7. Bunnies Need Homes to Escape Euthanasia 7. Compassionate Cooks' February Cooking Class: "Demystifying Tofu and Tempeh"
1. Help Improve Management of the Oakland Animal Shelter
2. Gopher Gardening at Ocean Beach
3. Fur Protest at Chinese Consulate in San Francisco
1. KFC Protest and Letter Writing Party
2. Film Screening of "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill"
3. Animal Investigation Film Festival
4. Bunnies Need Homes to Escape Euthanasia
5. Compassionate Cooks' February Cooking Class: "Demystifying Tofu and Tempeh"


1. Help Improve Management of the Oakland Animal Shelter

Thank you to everyone who attended last week's meeting to determine the future of the Oakland Animal Shelter, and to those who contacted the Oakland City Council urging them to remove the shelter from police supervision. The active participation of animal advocates clearly made a significant difference in the decision making process, because the City Council voted to postpone their decision for three to six months, at which time they will decide whether to keep the shelter under police supervision or transfer responsibility for the City's homeless animals to another agency. In the meantime, a new shelter director will be hired, and his or her opinion will weigh heavily in the final ruling.

The council's decision to consider this issue more deeply rather than automatically give control of the shelter to the police department represents at least a partial victory for those who want what is best for Oakland's homeless animals. IDA and other animal allies are committed to ending the repeated animal cruelty, questionable euthanasia practices, disrespect of guardians' rights, mismanagement and official unaccountability that have plagued the Oakland Animal Shelter for more than a decade. A large part of the problem is that the Oakland Police Department isn't qualified to run an animal shelter, nor should they have to. Authority over the City animal shelter should given to those with training and expertise in animal welfare and conducting animal cruelty investigations so that law enforcement officers can focus on stopping crime and ensuring public safety. Therefore, we need everyone who has been working to change this situation to follow through in order to ensure that the City Council makes the right decision. Please help us keep up the momentum by taking action.

What You Can Do:

- Oakland and Alameda residents: please contact the City Council and urge them to transfer management of the Oakland Animal Shelter from the police department to experts in animal care and behavior. Remind them that the City will save money by employing people who are trained to handle animals in a humane and efficient manner. Personal, handwritten letters have the most impact, so please write to individual City Council members at City Hall, One Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612. Be sure to let your district's City Council representative know that you are a constituent and a voter. You can find out who represents your district, the names of all City Council members, and additional contact information (phone, email and fax) at .

- It is very important that people attend the next City Council meeting at which the shelter's future will be discussed. Please speak up on the animals' behalf so that the Council members know there is strong community support for a change in management at the shelter.
What: Oakland City Council meeting about the Oakland Animal Shelter
When: Date to be determined - we will inform you when the meeting is scheduled
Where: City Council Chambers at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland (click for directions)

If you have questions or want additional information, please contact Melissa Gonzalez at
melissa [at] or (415) 388-9641, ext. 228.

2. Gopher Gardening at Ocean Beach

Join the San Francisco Wildlife Protection Project, an effort by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to create a wildlife "sanctuary" along the Great Highway. By landscaping the area according to the Parks Department's specifications, volunteers create a habitat for native gophers and prevent them from being trapped and killed. This is an ongoing monthly effort, and usually takes place on the first Saturday of each month.

What: Gopher Gardening
When: Saturday, February 4th, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Where: Corner of the Great Highway and Wawona Street, San Francisco, at the small brick Recreation and Park maintenance building. Click for directions to this event.

For more information, please contact Karen Steele at (415) 388-9641, ext. 217 or karen [at] .

3. Fur Protest at Chinese Consulate in San Francisco

Join IDA for a protest against fur at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco and help us bring attention to the atrocities committed against animals, including cats and dogs, whose lives are brutally taken to make clothes, fashion accessories and toys. IDA is hosting this demonstration in conjunction with protests being held at Chinese Consulates and Embassies by other animal rights organizations in New York, Canada, France and Israel. We are also actively trying to get more animal protection groups in other countries to participate in this global day of action against fur. By working together, we can focus the world's attention on the horrors that the international fur trade inflicts upon millions of innocent animals every day.

A recent investigation of Chinese fur farms documented dogs and cats stuffed into wire-mesh cages and exposed to the elements while being transported long distances across the countryside. Some of these animals still wore collars and tags, indicating that they were stolen from their guardians not long before. Upon arrival, they were thrown off the tops of trucks still in their cages to smash on the ground 20 feet below, further traumatizing the animals and breaking their bones. These cats and dogs all met the same cruel fate at the hands of farm workers that were videotaped laughing while skinning animals who were clearly still alive and conscious.

Americans love their animal companions and have made it clear that they do not want to support such unbelievable cruelty. Many dog and cat guardians have contacted IDA outraged at the Chinese fur industry and asking us what they can do to stop China from skinning dogs and cats for their fur. We now have a new tactic as part of our strategy to end this carnage. The Chinese pet products industry is very profitable: it is larger than their toy and candy industries combined, and it brings much more money to the booming Chinese economy than cat and dog fur sales. This makes China vulnerable to a boycott that will hit them where it really counts: their bottom line. As part of our campaign against the Chinese cat and dog fur industry, we are urging all animal lovers not to buy any products sold in pet stores labeled "Made In China" until the Chinese Government initiates and enforces meaningful legal humane standards to regulate the raising and harvesting animals for fur. We are also asking pet store owners across the country to refuse to stock these items in the first place.

IDA urges everyone to never buy anything with fur on it, including cat and dog toys, because all fur products are made from the dead bodies of animals who suffered - no matter what species they are or what country they were killed in. We are using our campaign against the Chinese cat and dog fur industry to help people understand that animals like foxes, minks and raccoons suffer just as much as cats and dogs exploited by the fur industry. Most people automatically understand that abuse of cats and dogs is wrong, so reminding them that other animals are living, feeling creatures just like our animal companions sensitizes them to the way other species are treated on fur ranches.

What You Can Do:

- According to the Chinese calendar, 2006 will be the Year of the Dog, so please join IDA at our upcoming protest as we fight to save canines and other animals from a horrible death.
What: Fur protest
When: Monday, February 13th, 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Where: Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in San Francisco, 1450 Laguna Street (at the corner of Geary & Laguna - click to see a map)

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Melissa Gonzalez at melissa [at] or (415) 388-9641, ext. 228.

- Click to sign IDA's petition urging the Chinese Government to pass National Animal Welfare Laws.

- Tell the pet store owners and managers in your community that you are boycotting products made in China as a protest against the Chinese cat and dog fur trade, and urge them to join the boycott by refusing to sell toys or any other products (like bowls, leashes, etc.) that are manufactured in China. If the owners or managers want proof that cats and dogs are being killed for fur in China, write to IDA at antifur [at], and we will send you some of our materials, including a video and brochures.

- Write a letter asking the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. to urge his government to enact an animal welfare law that will prohibit the cruel handling of dogs, cats and other animals at markets and during transportation.

His Excellency Zhou Wenzhong
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 328-2574
Fax: (202) 328-2582

- Watch IDA's new PSA exposing the abominations that take place behind the scenes of the Chinese cat and dog fur industry by clicking and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Be forewarned, however, that the PSA contains scenes that are extremely graphic and disturbing, and viewer discretion is advised.

- Click to read an article about the Chinese fur trade published in the Press Gazette. Also visit IDA's website for more information, including a comprehensive report on the Chinese fur industry by EAST International/Animal Protection SAP.


1. KFC Protest and Letter Writing Party

Join Bay Area Vegetarians (BAV) this weekend for a day of activism and delicious vegan food in San Francisco. First, stick up for chickens abused by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) suppliers at a protest outside the notorious fast food franchise. Join the nationwide effort to educate the public about how the Colonel treats chickens wrong! Posters, leaflets and other materials will be provided. New and experienced activists are both welcome at this monthly event.

What: KFC Cruelty protest
When: Saturday, January 21st, 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Where: KFC, 1900 Irving St. (near 18th Ave.), San Francisco (click for directions)

Afterwards, enjoy a delicious vegan lunch and letter writing party at Shangri-La Vegetarian Restaurant, winner of the "Best Lunch" category in BAV's 2003 vegetarian restaurant contest. Write letters to the editor promoting compassion for animals, as well as to state, county, and federal legislators and officials in support of animal protection measures. These personal, handwritten letters have a much higher impact than form emails, and you'll feel good afterwards about what your efforts have accomplished. Alerts from IDA and other organizations will be provided, but it's helpful if you can bring pens, paper, envelopes, stamps, the name of your State & Federal legislators (click to find out) and any veg/animal rights topics you want to write about.

What: Vegan lunch at Shangri-La restaurant
When: Saturday, January 21st from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Shangri-La, 2026 Irving Street (at 21st Avenue, three blocks west of KFC), San Francisco

Please RSVP ( ) for these events.

If you can't make it to San Francisco, see BAV's calendar ( ) for other monthly KFC Cruelty demos and letter writing parties in Berkeley, Pacifica, San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Palo Alto, as well as other veg advocacy events throughout the Bay Area.

2. Film Screening of "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill"

The acclaimed documentary "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" tells the story of Mark Bittner, who has spent the last decade studying, feeding, caring for and protecting a flock of over 200 cherry-headed conures in San Francisco. The film chronicles the life, loves and complex relationships the parrots share with one another and their friendship with Bittner. This weekend is your chance to see this fascinating movie. This is a film that everyone will enjoy, so bring your family and friends!

What: Screening of "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill"
When: Sunday, January 22nd, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast Peace Cafe, 1665 Haight Street (near Cole), San Francisco (click for directions)

Admission to this event is free. You can also enjoy delicious food and beverage offerings at the Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast Peace Cafe, which features organic vegan tamales, smoothies and other vegan treats.

IDA and other animal allies have been working recently to preserve the wild parrots' habitat near the Greenwich Steps in North Beach. Partly due to these efforts, the Director of City Greening in the Mayor's Office has been facilitating negotiations between North Beach landowners and the Northeast San Francisco Conservancy (a nonprofit land trust) to prune two existing cypress trees and plant additional trees to give the parrots a secure perch from which to watch for hawks before swooping down to feed from Bittner's hand. Our goal is to enable the parrots to maintain the close connection they have developed with Bittner over the course of years. After the film, you can sign IDA's petition to protect the wild parrots' habitat on Telegraph Hill, or you can click to add your signature online now.

3. Animal Investigation Film Festival

Join East Bay Animal Advocates (EBAA) ( ) for a double feature of short films exploring animal protection issues:

- Public Screening Premiere of EBAA's California Egg Industry Documentary: Each year over 19 million egg-laying hens are raised in concentrated confinement to produce eggs for California consumers. According to the California Poultry Workgroup ( ), close to 100 percent of egg-layers are confined to battery cages. The short film depicts the real lives of egg-laying hens (including rare footage of spent hens before slaughter) before their eggs are sold in supermarkets across California.

- Wegmans Cruelty: A small investigative team from Compassionate Consumers in New York produced this half-hour documentary that captures actual footage of chickens suffering inside Wegmans Egg Farm. For more information, visit .

What: EBAA film screening
When: Wednesday, January 25th, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street (Between Telegraph & Broadway), Oakland (click for directions)

To RSVP, click info [at] or call (925) 487-4419.

4. Bunnies Need Homes to Escape Euthanasia

With unwanted bunnies sure to be dropped off in the weeks following Easter, Bay Area shelters are already overrun with many more rabbits than they have the resources to care for. If homes are not found for the animals within the next few weeks, shelter operators say they will have to euthanize them to make room for incoming hares.

A number of factors have contributed to the recent surge in the homeless bunny population. For one, rabbits breed quickly, and often have sizable litters with several babies. In addition, many people who do purchase or adopt bunnies (often around the Easter holiday on a whim) don't realize the level of commitment that is required for their care, and pet stores that sell bunnies don't always prepare potential guardians for the responsibility. When they are no longer wanted, the animals are often surrendered to shelters that don't always have the resources to provide for their long-term upkeep. Demand for bunnies as animal companions isn't as high as it is for cats or dogs, so they often languish in cages for weeks while waiting to be adopted, only to be euthanized to make room for new animals. Sometimes people release them into the woods, but domestic rabbits are not able to survive in the wild, where they die of exposure or are eaten by predators.

What You Can Do:

If you are looking for an affectionate and furry friend to share your home with, please consider adopting one of the many bunnies who are waiting in Bay Area shelters for their forever homes. Rabbits generally get along well with most other species (such as cats and dogs), and can be trained to use a litterbox so you can let them roam around the house (after rabbit-proofing). For more information about bunny care and behavior, visit the House Rabbit Society website at

To adopt a rabbit, contact or visit these Bay Area animal shelters:

- The San Francisco/Marin House Rabbit Society:
- San Francisco Animal Care & Control:
- Oakland Animal Services:
- The Marin Humane Society:

5. Compassionate Cooks' February Cooking Class: "Demystifying Tofu and Tempeh"

Join Compassionate Cooks for their next vegan cooking class, "Demystifying Tofu and Tempeh," and learn to make five delicious, nutritious dishes, including Tempeh Reuben Sandwich, Tofu Filet with Spicy Cornmeal Crust, Better-Than-Chicken Salad, Tofu & Vegetable Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce, and Chocolate Cheesecake. Using local, in-season, mostly organic ingredients, Compassionate Cooks features easy-to-prepare recipes and debunks myths about plant-based diets. Join the class in February for yummy food samples, a soy milk taste test and a lot of fun!

What: Compassionate Cooks' February Cooking Class: "Demystifying Tofu and Tempeh"
When: Saturday, February 25th, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Where: The First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th Street (at Castro), Oakland (click for directions)

Be sure to register in advance by Thursday, February 23rd either online at or by calling (510) 531-COOK. You can also mail a check to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, P.O. Box 18512, Oakland, CA 94619. The $45 cost of the class includes instruction, food samples, copies of recipes and much more.