Posts tagged Seattle

Seattle teach-in on elephant advocacy is this week!

Chai in stall at Woodland Park Zoo

Chai in stall at Woodland Park Zoo

An Elephant Teach In will be offered at Phinney Neighborhood Center on Thursday June 13 from 6-7pm.

This event is free and all are welcome.

Topics include:  comparison between behaviors of wild elephants and the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo; action steps for concerned citizens; resources for further information on elephants in captivity.  The intention is to provide the public with information, resources and advocacy direction.

This is being offered by concerned citizens in the hope of inspiring interest and action on behalf of Chai, Bamboo and Watoto.  For more information, visit the Elephant Teach In site on Facebook

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: ‘Vegging out’ has new meaning in Seattle

Casper at Precious Life Animal Sanctuary (courtesy of Cuenca family)

Casper at Precious Life Animal Sanctuary (courtesy of Cuenca family)

by Christie Lagally

Originally published in City Living Seattle and the Queen Anne News

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

May 30, 2013

The need to be more conscientious about consuming animal products could not be greater than it is today. Factory farming, considerations of personal health and environmental preservation are all excellent reasons to reduce your consumption. So if you have ever considered trying a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it turns out you are in the right part of the world for success.

Recently, Bill Gates spoke publicly about the unsustainability of meat and dairy production as the world population grows. Gates, a leader in promoting human welfare, was offering a solution that one would expect from an activist of animal welfare: “try meat alternatives.”

On his website, GatesNotes.com, Gates presents the argument for plant-based proteins as a genuine opportunity to reduce environmental degradation and address human poverty, noting in an interview that 51 percent of global greenhouse gases come from the mass production of meat, dairy and eggs.

In March, I gleefully watched Justin Timberlake’s “Saturday Night Live” “Veganville” sketch in the hopes that the tofu-costumed, hip-hop artist would remind people that animals suffer in our factory-farming system. Like Gates, Timberlake was an advocate for animals that night. His on-stage arguments about animal suffering were inscrutable, and nowadays many people, like Bill Gates, know that vegetarianism is a sustainable lifestyle — particularly in Seattle, where, instead of ‘Veganville,’ we have Vegan Haven at Northeast 55thStreet and University Way Northeast.

Spreading the word
Earlier this year, the Vegetarians of Washington, a nonprofit education and support group, hosted the 12th-annual Vegfest at the Seattle Exhibition Hall. The group’s president, Amanda Strombom, and vice president, Stewart Rose, told me that it would be the “best Vegfest ever,” and then 17,000 people attended this food festival. Vendors from across the United States gave out vegetarian and vegan samples until folks were stuffed.

Vegetarians of Washington volunteers also work year-round to provide monthly dinning events at the Mount Baker Community Club in Seattle. Dinners feature food from a local restaurant and are a reminder to omnivores and vegetarians alike that reducing meat consumption is an achievable and very tasty goal.

Additionally, Rose and Strombom host classes on vegetarian solutions for personal health, environmental recovery, global hunger and animal suffering. The class includes cooking instruction and tips on eating vegetarian. Vegetarians of Washington has published four books in recent years to guide people on these issues, including “Vegetarian Pacific Northwest” and “The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.”

Luciano and Miranda the sheep (courtesy of the Cuenca family.)

Luciano and Miranda the sheep (courtesy of the Cuenca family.)

Sharing with like-minded folks

Even humane-conscious parents can find kindred spirits in Seattle. One recent Sunday morning, I met Christina and Fernando Cuenca and their son, Luciano, at the The Wayward Vegan Café in the University District for brunch.

The Cuenca family is vegan, and three years ago, they started the Seattle Area Vegan and Vegetarian Families Meetup Group to meet other parents and children who follow a plant-based diet. The Cuencas started the group in 2011, after Luciano was born, because they had questions about navigating the world of conventional food as new vegan parents. Although longtime vegans themselves, the Cuencas hoped to exchange ideas with other parents about raising vegan or vegetarian children.

Luciano and Fernando Cuenca and Donkey Margarita

Luciano and Fernando Cuenca and Donkey Margarita

The Cuencas and other members of their Meetup group plan veg-friendly outings for parents and children. Previous Meetup events include potlucks, camping trips and restaurant meals, all structured to be both kid-friendly and veg-friendly, too.

During my brunch with the Cuencas, 3-year-old Luciano recounted his visit with the Meetup families to Precious Life Animal Sanctuary in Sequim, Wash., just the day before. He told me he met a big cow named Casper and some bunny rabbits and a turkey. The children also met a donkey named Margarita and a sheep named Miranda at the mountain-side farm. The Cuencas were joined by three other families with children ages 2 to 4.

Christina Cuenca explained that group events are a safe place where the kids can meet other kids who are like them, and they can share the same foods as kids like to do. Currently, more than 80 families are members of the Seattle Area Vegan and Vegetarian Families Group, with new members weekly.

Anika Ledhe, founder of Seattle’s VeganScore.com (a source for all things Seattle, vegan and new) reminded me in a recent interview that humans need community to thrive, and being vegan or vegetarian can be isolating regardless of your honorable intentions. Luckily, here in Seattle, good food, motivation, education and especially a genuine supportive community are not far away if you are ready to take the first step toward vegetarian- or veganism.

To connect with the Seattle Area Vegan and Vegetarian Families Group on Meetup, visit www.meetup.com/Seattle-Area-Vegan-and-Vegetarian-Families-Group.

To learn more about the Vegetarians of Washington, visit www.vegofwa.org.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at http://www.sniffingouthome.org. She also hosts the new “Living Humane” radio talk show on KKNW 1150AM. To comment on this column, write CityLivingEditor@nwlink.com.

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Adoption Event & Block Party with Second Chance Rescue – May 19th!

Wags and WhiskersOn Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 11a.m. to 2p.m., Northpointe Animal Hospital is teaming up with Second Chance Rescue and over 11 other local shelters and rescue groups, including PAWS and Seattle Humane Society, to offer homeless pets a new leash on life at the 3rd Annual Wags & Whiskers event at the corner of Alderwood Mall Parkway and 164th Street.

Everyone in the community is welcome to attend this adoption event and block party, hosted at Northpointe Animal Hospital.  Visitors can meet adoptable kittens, puppies, cats and dogs from local shelters and rescues.  Local businesses including Fred Meyer, Starbucks and Great Clips and pet vendors will also be supporting the event by providing free food, raffles, prizes and more.

Experienced shelter staff, Licensed Veterinary Technicians and Veterinarians will be on hand to help people find the right pet for their family.  The shelter staff especially has great insight into the behavior and temperament of each pet.  All animals available for adoption at the event are spayed or neutered and all adopted pets will receive a free office visit courtesy of Northpointe Animal Hospital, Main Street Animal Hospital in Mill Creek and Snohomish Station Animal Hospital in Snohomish.   Find out more at the Second Chance Rescue site.

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Second Chance Rescue saves homeless pets with needed special care

Dr. Valerie Sherer and Preston

Dr. Valerie Shearer and Preston

By Christie Lagally

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

Originally published in the Queen Anne and Magnolia News and City Living Seattle

April 5, 2013

[Update: Preston (left) has been adopted since the writing of this article.]

Every rescue group has a creation story, but this one is unique. It begins in the hearts of Dr. Steven Weinrauch and licensed veterinary technician Michelle St. Mary, as well as the many volunteers who rose to the call to provide top-notch veterinary care to shelter and homeless pets.

Weinrauch, a local veterinarian working at the time for a national, corporate-run veterinary hospital, saw a great need. The Gold Bar puppy mill had been raided, and a lot of those dogs needed medical care. So together with his future business partner, St. Mary, Weinrauch’s wife, Kathryn (a fellow veterinarian), and many other willing veterinarians in the Puget Sound region, Weinrauch attempted to open his hospital and give the dogs the care they needed.

But not everyone was on board: Weinrauch’s employer did not approve. Use of company hospitals and resources to help non-paying clients — let alone dogs without owners — was not allowed. Weinrauch and St. Mary, of course, took care of the dogs anyway.

That was four years ago. Since then, Weinrauch and St. Mary have expanded their initial ambition to care for homeless pets into a successful veterinary practice that carefully integrates their philanthropic values into every aspect of the business.

Both Drs. Kathryn and Steven Weinrauch and St. Mary now operate Second Chance Rescue, with a network of veterinary hospitals, including three they created from the ground-up: Northpointe Animal Hospital in Lynnwood, Main Street Animal Hospital in Mill Creek and Snohomish Station Animal Hospital in Snohomish.

 

Preston napping in his foster home

Preston napping in his foster home

A philanthropic mission
When you walk into the Northpointe Animal Hospital, it is obvious that the facility was built to suit a practice offering quality veterinary care and the ability to accommodate the needs of all patient needs — including those animals coming from shelters into the care of Second Chance Rescue.

This model, a synergistic combination of nonprofit and business, is not just about sharing space. Every part of Weinrauch and St. Mary’s practice has a philanthropic arm. Drug suppliers are asked to donate medicine for rescue patients when the company makes an order for antibiotics or arthritis medication meant for regular patients. Suppliers of vet-prescribed products, like prescription dog or cat foods, are asked to donate bags of food for the Second Chance dogs and cats.

Even in the construction of the new Northpointe hospital, St. Mary and Weinrauch asked contractors to donate a certain amount of their time to support the rescue.

The result is a fine example of socially conscience entrepreneurship that serves animal clients with or without human owners.

But because of its specialty services, animals taken into the rescue are referred by groups like PAWS, not directly from the public. Kay Joubert, PAWS director for Companion Animal Services, explained that Second Chance is one of its Placement Partners, a trusted organization with which they transfer animals to ensure proper care and the best chance for the right adoptive home.

Second Chance came with a glowing recommendation from the Everett Animal Shelter, which rescued the Gold Bar puppy mill dogs. Joubert said that the decision to transfer a dog to Second Chance depends on the needs of that animal and whether Second Chance has the right foster home to give an animal long-term care.

Preston at the park

Preston at the park

Currently at Second Chance, 7-year-old Preston is up for adoption. True to its mission, Preston is under the care of Second Chance because of his epilepsy. This gentle soul needed special attention to control seizures and receives that from Northpointe veterinarian Dr. Valerie Shearer.

In fact, every person who works for St. Mary and Weinrauch’s hospitals also gives their time to the rescue of dogs and cats. Shearer also serves as Preston’s foster family until the right home is found.

A new solution
Second Chance Rescue appears to have done more than create a new rescue group: It created a new solution to help homeless pets.

“We have a wonderful collaboration with Second Chance,” Joubert said, adding that PAWS also consults with Weinrauch on medical cases within its shelter system.

The advantages of having an animal-rescue focus on specialty veterinary care are clear. Dogs and cats become homeless for a variety of reasons and come to shelters and rescue groups with many complex needs. Some need a trainer, some need a breed-specific rescue and some, like Preston, need a generous dose of expert veterinary care from the dedicated volunteers at Second Chance Rescue.

For more information about Second Chance Rescue, visit www.2ndchancerescue.org. Information on PAWS can be found at paws.org.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is host of Living Humane on KKNW 1150 AM (livinghumane.com) and writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at http://www.sniffingouthome.org. To comment on this story, write to QAMagNews@nwlink.com.

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Pasado’s provides safe haven for abused animals

Lamp Chop as a baby sheep

Lamb Chop as a baby sheep

By Christie Lagally

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

January 10, 2013

Originally published in the Queen Anne News and City Living Seattle

The grunts and oinks from Bentley and Oscar started up immediately as we walked into their stall at Pasado’s Safe Haven. Stacie Martin, the sanctuary director of operations, was giving us a tour, and she kept saying we should come meet the pigs. But clearly, we were there for the pigs to meet us.

Stacie Martin and Bentley

Stacie Martin and Bentley

Bentley a stout, pink Potbelly pig had a lot to say — particularly where to scratch on his back and grunts of hello to my husband, who joined me on the tour.

Pasado’s is a unique place as a sanctuary for all types of animals, but also for their work changing law. In its nearly 15-year history, the organization has pressed through anti-cruelty laws that made many types of animal abuse toward companion and farm animals a felony in Washington state.

The sanctuary is named for the loss of a loved one: a beloved donkey named Pasado, who was brutally beaten and killed by teenagers. In the wake of his death, the founders of Pasado’s Safe Haven made it their mission to require stiff penalties for animal cruelty and to see that justice is served.

In that fine tradition, today, Pasado’s employs three animal-cruelty investigators and, this year alone, has re-homed or provided sanctuary to more than 700 animals in need. Many of the sanctuary animals are rescues from cruelty investigations.

Chickens at roosting hour

Chickens at roosting hour

A better life

A chicken barn full of white to red, big to small chickens, roosters and even a rogue turkey was our next stop. Martin explained that 50 of the white birds had come from a factory farm in Turlock, Calif., where 50,000 hens were left to starve to death earlier this year. Local animal-control agencies found 17,000 hens dead on arrival.

Animal Place, a farm-animal sanctuary in California, took more than 4,000 of the hens, and other organizations like Farm Sanctuary and Pasado’s took hens as well.

Now, with the freedom to walk around and to act like a chicken, these hens — unlike their pig neighbors — had little concern for our presence at the twilight roosting hour.

But the difference between the conditions shown in a photo of battery-caged chickens on the barn wall and the busy, nesting white hens before me was not just visual — it was palpable. These animals had been rescued from horrible conditions, and they intended to live their lives uninterrupted from now on.

Goat turned in for the night

Goat turned in for the night

Our tour continued to meet some goats tucked into piles of wood chips for the night. Whoopi Goatberg came to the stall door to observe and say hello to Martin.

“We have a bunch of animals named for celebrities,” Martin explained, rattling off a list that included Michelle O’Llama, Ellen Deheneras and George Plummy.

‘Guests of honor,’ not meals

Pasado’s is built on 85 acres of rocky, steep, forested land just east of Seattle. Generous donors have enabled continuous building and rebuilding to accommodate all types of animals, from goats to cats.

Dali Llama protecting his barn

Dali Llama protecting his barn

With the exception of the abusive pasts that so many of these animals suffered, this sanctuary is farm life as it should be: safe, comfortable, clean and honest. By its very existence, it is advocacy against the modern factory farm.

As we entered a central hillside barn, we met Dali Llama, the protector of his herd. Nonviolent and clear in his convictions, as his name suggests, Dali watched over a donkey, two ponies, three little pigs and three sheep: Lady Baa Baa, Bo Peep and Lamb Chop.

“We give some of the animals names that reminds people of the food they eat.” Martin explained. The intention is to bring awareness to the fact that precious lives are lost for meat consumption, and Lamp Chop was certainly precious.

Roaming the barn with sheep and pigs, you cannot help but be reminded that these are the lucky ones, because modern agriculture has turned barns into factories where animals are caged and crated indefinitely and where antibiotics must be used to prevent sickness in atrocious and unhealthy conditions.

Lamp Chop all grown up

Lamb Chop all grown up

So this Thanksgiving at Pasado’s, human guests ate a gourmet vegan meal prepared by chef Bridget McNasser, and an honorary meal was served to the resident turkeys as reminder of the new role that animals can play during the holidays: “where turkeys are the guest of honor and not the main course.” The event was a fund-raiser for the sanctuary and a reminder that the holidays need not be about meat.

Our tour with Martin was completed with a walk past some tail-wagging dogs and feral cats.

Eric saying goodnight to Benley and Oscar

Eric saying goodnight to Bentley and Oscar

New things to consider

As my husband and I drove home, we reflected on each of the sweet faces and unique personalities we had met in such a short evening at the sanctuary.

While thinking of Lamp Chop’s serene presence to Bentley’s informative oinks, my husband asked, “Shall we have Tofurky or the vegan Field Roast for Christmas dinner?” I’m still deciding, but delighted to know I have lots of options for a humane holiday meal.

For more information on Pasado’s Safe Haven, visit http://www.pasadosafehaven.org. 

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is host of “Living Humane” on KKNW 1150 AM and writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at  HYPERLINK “http://www.sniffingouthome.org” http://www.sniffingouthome.org. To comment on this story, write to CityLivingEditor@nwlink.com.

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Seattle Veg Fest 2013: Seattle Times honors its veg-curious to vegan community!

Author and Chef Miyoko Schinner

Author and Chef Miyoko Schinner

VEG FEST 2103 SEATTLE, March 24 — First, hats off to Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose and their 1000+ volunteers for putting on the best Veg Fest ever this year!  Second, hats off to the Seattle Times and reporter Carol Ostrom for her VegFest experience article here!

My husband and I had an awesome time at Veg Fest 2013!  Thanks to an understanding boss who allowed me to fly home from a work week in Japan, a whole lot of Advil to get over a cold, and my dedicated husband who not only volunteered to set up for Veg Fest, but got me there to the even to enjoy every minute!

Coreena at Veg Fest

Coreena at Veg Fest

Without a doubt, the vegan cheese presentation with Miyoko Schinner was top-notch!  Her presentation on her personal journey discovering cheese and learning about the dangers of dairy consumption was so well presented that she should have her own show!  Oh wait, we found out that she now does!  Miyoko will be hosting Delicious TV’s Vegan Mashup that airs on KCTS beginning in April on our favorite local PBS station, KCTS!

Folks from Harbor Creek Farms

Folks from Harbor Creek Farms

Eric and I ran into a bunch of friends at Veg Fest who also volunteered.  Our musician friend Coreena, who recently made an appearance on Living Humane Radio, volunteered to help out at the Viana booth.  Apparently this is my first experience with Viana, since it was a new taste, and loved it!

Another fun surprise was the food from Harbor Creek Farm who make a vegan mushroom strudel that will rival any pastry from the boulangerie.    Then we stopped by the Field Roast booth to stock up on hot dogs that we already knew we loved, and made our way to a booth with vegan chili sauce that was knock-your-sock-off good.

Grama's Sweet Chili Sauce

Grama’s Sweet Chili Sauce

Bar-coded man

Bar-coded man

We also met a gentleman from Small Planet Organics with a bar code on his head.   We didn’t have one of those phones that could read his forehead, but I guess it took us to this website.

Folks from Chimp Sanctuary NW

Folks from Chimp Sanctuary NW

Luckily our friends from NARN, Fur Bearer Defenders, HSUS, and  Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest were there to remind us of one of the many reasons we choose to be vegan — the animals! But my favorite part of the whole day was just being at Veg Fest with my husband Eric.

Eric at Veg Fest 2013

Eric at Veg Fest 2013

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Pasado’s provides safe haven for abused animals

Lamp Chop as a baby sheep

Lamp Chop as a baby sheep

Pasado’s Safe Haven is a special place, and I encourage you to check out this story about the wonderful animals at the Sanctuary and the service that the organization provides our community.

City Living Seattle

Queen Anne News

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