Jeffrey Masson, an author famous for his books about animal emotions, has written a book comparing the behavior of humans, especially violent behavior, to that of other animals. He gave a talk and slide presentation of the facts about animal behavior that he has uncovered. He contends that non-human animals rarely kill members of their own species and usually only kill other species for food. As a result of his concern for animals, he became a vegan several years ago, and is opposed to the idea of “humane meat,” contending that there is no such thing.
This film took us on an eye-opening and sometimes humorous quest to determine whether humans and non-human animals should be treated differently. The conversations ranged from those with neighbors of pig farms to passers-by on a city street. Although many of those interviewed felt that humans deserved better treatment than non-humans, no one could quite articulate why. Bruce Friedrich, Paul Shapiro, Gary Francione, and others dispelled the speciesist myths.
SCCAA members leaflet regulary at farmers markets and events in Silicon Valley. This is part of our vegan educational outreach.
~~SCCAA’s fourth annual vegan bake sale raised over $700, which was shared with Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley http://www.wcsv.org/. Attendance was down a bit from last year, most likely due to the bitter cold. But we had a tower heater, which convinced some passersby to stop & take a look. It's always amusing when people say that they can't believe it's all vegan! We also had some gluten-free items. To top off the festivities, Santa took a break from receiving visitors inside the mall to come outside and pose with us.
The bake sale is our biggest fund-raiser, enabling us to present movies and speakers throughout the year, as well as funding our on-going educational outreach. Every fall we start lining up bakers, so keep us in mind if you would like to participate. Many of the recipes are featured here: http://www.activistsforanimals.org/resources/2012-bakesale-cookbook.pdf
~~Melanie Joy,PhD, gave a talk and slide presentation discussing the points from her book. The book explores why we, as a culture, are so willing to eat some animals while we’d never consider eating others. As a social psychologist, she says that we are only able to do that through denial, which allows us to ignore the pain and suffering of so many animals. Her entire presentation can be watched online at http://www.carnism.org/carnism-presentation-video. We then had a delicious meal donated by Veggie Grill.
~~Hope Bohanec gave a slide presentation illustrating the points from her book, which discusses the recent shift in raising and labeling animals processed for food and the misinformation surrounding this new method of farming. She discussed the fact that there is no humane way to kill an animal that has been raised for food, and she showed pictures of some gruesome attempts that some farmers have made. This seemed to have quite a surprising effect on some of the audience members, as many were unaware of the issue. Afterwards, we enjoyed a raw dessert bar prepared by Bernadette Astrella and had a drawing for free entrees at Veggie Grill.
~~This documentary film chronicles the story of 50,000 hens left to starve in Turlock, CA in February 2012, after they were abandoned by their owner. ANIMAL PLACE, http://animalplace.org/, a sanctuary for farmed animals, managed to save several thousand in a quickly assembled rescue operation. The film depicts the amazing delight the hens experienced when their feet touched the dirt outside a building for the first time in their lives. It illustrates the abject cruelty of egg production on factory farms. Afterwards we had a talk by director Keegan Kuhn and a representative from ANIMAL PLACE, who answered questions about the experience.
Animal activists come together every summer to protest Ringling Brothers' use of wild animals in circuses. SCCAA members joined with others in San Jose, Daly City, Oakland and Stockton to protest the cruel confinement and training methods of animals, particularly elephants and tigers. Humanity Through Education has been organizing these protests for over 20 years and both the type and number of animals used in circuses have gone down. Mark your calendars for August, and join with us in San Jose or elsewhere to educate the public of the truth behind the spectacle.
~~This heartwarming film depicts the lives of orphaned & rescued orangutans and elephants in their native environments. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, it was cheered by the audience. Afterward, we showed “No Fun For Elephants”, narrated by Bob Barker. About the tragic lives of circus elephants, it contrasted sharply with the previous film. To wrap up the event, Pat Cuviello spoke about his efforts for the past 20+ years to document animal abuse within circuses and protest against them.
SCCAA continued its popular presentation series with "Short on Compassion," a selection of short films about various animal issues. After viewing the films the audience enjoyed a delicious vegan dessert bar.
Our third year tabling for the Green Kids conference was an overwhelming success. Crowds of kids with their parents in tow visited the SCCAA table to learn about the many problems caused by animal agriculture. Kids young and old learned about animals by playing the Fur and Feathers trivia game with us. We all dicovered that a cow doesn't have an upper set of teeth and that a cat can run 30 miles an hour. Everyone knew the correct answer to this true/false question: "We should never leave a dog or a cat in a locked car." (True, of course!)
The lunches served at the event all had a note inside saying that ""Your lunch is 100% vegan because animal agriculture contributes to water pollution, global warming, deforestation, oceanic acidification & environmental degradation." The notes also displayed the SCCAA logo and website. Once again, Green Kids was a great event for us to talk with all ages of very savvy kids.
More than 60 people came to SCCAA's presentation of the award-winning documentary film "Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home" at the BlueLight Cinema in Cupertino. The audience members were deeply touched by the film's portrayal of several life-long farmers who realized that they could no longer in good conscience rasie animals for food.
In the discussion after the movie, one person told us: "Seeing this movie only strengthened my belief that I'll be a vegan all of my life." Another person said, "This film was very powerful. The personal stories really bring home the fact that we are related to all animals, as extended family, just as we are to all human beings."