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2 Things to do Today

Today's post was too long and will likely be a 2-parter, which is fitting. End 2008 and start 2009 with it. It's probably the most important thing we can all do on a daily basis, other than be vegan: educate others.

But for today, Chris from Beijing sent something to make you smile. It's in Chinese, but fortunately for me, the pictures, as Chris wrote, tell the whole story. A young woman rescued a goose from a restaurant. I dare you not to smile. Thanks, Chris!

Also, Stephanie sent:

I'm posting to ask you to participate, ASAP, in's Ideas for Change in America project, in the AR category of ideas. First-round voting ends at midnight, PT, on December 31, so we need votes right away, to show the president's administration, Congress, and the public that animals matter.

Here's a quick rundown on the project: The final 10 ideas from this effort will be presented to the Obama team mid-January. For the last several weeks, individuals have been able to post ideas for changes they would like to see Obama make in any of 30 or so categories. The ideas in each category are competing against one another now, and the top 3 ideas from each section will go on to the second round. In the second round, all the top 3 ideas from the individual categories will be in one giant pool, and only the top 10 will go forward to Obama. Please see the project's main page and About page for more details on how this all works.

I'm a bit of a cynic, so I'll admit freely that I'm not overly confident that any true AR idea will make it to the final top 10 or that any animal-related idea that does make it to the top 10 will really be implemented, but it's worth trying for, if for no other reason than to get exposure for these ideas and issues and to show that there are a number of us for whom animal rights is a priority.

In the AR category, the top spot is currently held by a welfare reform re: inspecting (some) puppy mills, and it's likely to continue holding that spot because it was posted and pushed by a giant nonprofit (you can guess which one, I'm sure), unless we get an enormous number of additional votes on AR ideas from advocates in the next couple days, but the other 2 top spots are still up for grabs if we get the votes going.

Consider reading the post on voting strategy before you start voting, and remember that if you have previously voted, you can remove your votes now too (e.g., if you previously voted for all ideas you agreed with, including those currently in the top 3, but you now wish to throw your support to ideas below the current top 3, to raise them up, you can remove your previous votes and lower the top ideas' numbers).

If you go to the AR category, you'll see an Animal Welfare Act idea with my name attached to it, but try to resist the urge to tell me what a bad idea it is–I already know.  I submitted it in a rush, when I needed to post a realistic, fairly mainstream AR idea on short notice, just before the project launched (we bloggers didn't know about it until just before launch), and I've regretted it ever since. There will be a humble post full of self-criticism regarding it at some point on the blog. But following are some other AR ideas I recommend that still have a chance of making it to the top 3 and of being implemented if they were to make it to the top 10:

Rescind the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Increase Funding for Non-Animal Research Methods and Mandate Their Use

Offer Vegan School Lunch Options (This idea, posted by Alex Hershaft of FARM, is actually in the Agricultural Policy section now, where it's currently in the top 3, but it could easily be knocked out of that position, so please, please vote for it too.)

Provide Legal Protections for Animals Through the Animal Bill of Rights
Stephanie Ernst

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I ran it through babelfish and here are some bits of translated Chinese (hope babelfish did a good job):
    "You and I are the same. We deeply love life. Please love me, do not eat me!"
    "Please treasure our all beautiful animal friends, they and we are the same. We are conscious and have rich emotional lives… only the shape is different!"

    December 30, 2008
  2. Mary Martin #

    How sweet! Thanks, Elaine!

    From one who has spent more time with ducks and geese than the average person, I can say that they have a wonderful sense of humor; they're very playful. And affectionate. And loyal. All the qualities you'd want in a friend. (And no, we shouldn't respect them because of those qualities–I'm just saying I simply adore them.) They're great at being joyful when they have something to be happy about. Like their freedom (as you can see!).

    December 30, 2008
  3. You're right Mary… couldn't see those pictures without smiling 🙂 I loved the ones with the duck following her… itty, bitty feet so anxious to keep up – precious.

    On Ideas for Change – so many of the voting catagories are duplicates of basically the same agenda… I suppose that's why we can vote for more than just one. But really just the right "one" would cover them all wouldn't it?

    December 31, 2008

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