Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

STOP UBC multi-day presence at UBC this week



In January, the Province newspaper published a front-page story about Stop UBC Animal Research‘s campaign to halt UBC’s brutal experiments on monkeys (See “Bid to Save UBC monkeys from grim death”). As noted in the article, Stop UBC Animal Research has urged UBC to release the monkeys to a sanctuary so they can live their remaining years in peace. After conducting horrific experiments on the monkeys, UBC intends to kill them, perhaps as early as April.

From Monday, March 28th until at least Friday, April 1, Stop UBC Animal Research will be maintaining a presence on the UBC campus.  Each day members of our group will be gathering at the UBC Student Union Building. (Click here for SUB address and directions.) During that week, Stop UBC Animal Research will be on the UBC campus in shifts from 8AM-12 and 12-4PM.

Stop UBC Animal Research is a community grassroots campaign that employs peaceful, legal, and compassionate approaches to educate the public about the grim realities of research on animals at the University of British Columbia and to ultimately bring about an end to research on animals at UBC. Please visit our website at:



Filed under: Blogging, Demo's, Planned Events, Rallies, Twittering, , , , ,

Seal Motorcade Saturday March 26th for the Seals!

CATCA seals and wolves alert!

Dear all,

Here below is some important info:

** TODAY at 12:20 PM we will be in Animal Voices CO-OP Radio at: 102.7 FM
Or: Satellite: Starchoice 845, Cable: Check your local listings, Telus TV: Channel 718


March 26th, Saturday at 10:00AM

10:00 AM – meet at the waterfront parking lot on Beach and Bute, Vancouver
10:30 AM- vehicle decoration and media reception
11:00 AM- departure from Vancouver
12:00 PM- media reception in Squamish
1:00 PM – media reception in Whistler
1:15 PM – we will go for lunch in Whistler and then we will return to Vancouver

The distance from Vancouver to Whistler is 120km/75mi which is 1/3 of 360km/225mi – the distance from Vancouver to Kamloops. At 1m/3.3′ per seal, 360km/225mi is the length of a single file of 360,000 dead baby seals lined up along any highway.

Anthony Marr has taken his anti-sealing message to the United States by leading his Motorcade for the Seals in numerous US cities.

The co-organizer of the event Ericka Ceballos of CATCA, coordinated the  international effort campaign at the EU from 2007-2010. She coordinated the actions of 16 organizations in North America and Europe during all that time.
As a result, that CATCA international seal campaign played a major role in achieving to get the ban on the import trade of seal products at the European Union.

Anthony Marr will lead the motorcade by motorcycle, rain or shine.

We need people to come and participate in the event!

If you would like to participate, pls. tell me how you can help:
1) Can you drive? Can you bring your car to the motorcade before and after we take off to Whistler?
2) We are looking for people to hold banners for about 45 minutes here ? Can you do that?
3) Can you bring family or friends to the event?
4) Do you know people in Whistler?

Pls. send me an e-mail if you can help us with any of the above at: is just a temporary
e-mail adress up to next Tuesday). I am having problems to receive e-mails, so if you need to contact me, contact me there.

Hope to see you there tomorrow!

**Our dear colleague Earl sent us an alert for the wolves in Norway.

Pls. take action and send and urgent e-mail to save the very last few wild wolves in Norway.
There is about 30 wolves left in Norway!

and don’t forget:

**Our CATCA bowling event for the animals!

Monday, Wednesday – all day, and Sunday before 3pm.
Price is $20.00 with a vegan or veggie food and a drink.
If you don’t want to eat, then is $13 for 2 games for Mondays and Wednesdays (shoes included or bring your own); and $15 for Sundays. IT IS MANDATORY TO CALL 1 or 2 days ON AHEAD TO RESERVE A LANE

If you didn’t make a reservation on advance, please call the same day to check availability and/or waiting times.
We thank you for your patience. Call (604) 580-2600 and say that you are going there for the CATCA Fundraising to get this promotion.

We also have a CATCA basket worth it over $100 Dollars with products from the Body Shop. Tickets are $1.00 Each. You can buy them at the Xcalibur Bowling Reception.


Help the animals today!
Go to

Filed under: Planned Events, Twittering, , , , , ,

UBCO Professor Joey Castricano Raises Ethical Questions on Animal Research

UBCO professor Jodey Castricano highlights some sensitive issues around the use of animals in research.  Some of her thoughtful comments are quoted in a recent article written by  Jennifer Smith of the Kelowna Capital News.  I was so impressed by the commentary of  Castricano that I had to investigate a little bit more.

When UBCO professor Jodey Castricano, whose work deals with the ethics of animal testing, began asking questions, she too was not impressed with the answers she recieved.

Castricano points to research on everything from strokes to HIV to that Parkinson’s disease research to show that there is just as much to learn from the human body as animals—if not more.

She believes people really need to question whether animal testing actually advances medical science.

“We start talking about human benefits and our minds go numb,” she said, pointing out there is very little emphasis on just how much can be learned without the animals.

The professor asked to see the facility, but was turned away because the university says the animals cannot be contaminated by having those who are not trained in how to move through the lab come through the facility.

When she asked for the tour, the facility, which is set to open next fall, was empty, she said.

“It’s really difficult for people to wrap their minds around the idea that animals are subjects of their own lives,” said Castricano.

At various points in history, women, slaves and Jewish people have all been in the same position, treated like we currently treat animals—without rights.

She contends the university is overlooking the fact that science, too, is a social phenomenon and, therefore, the very idea of animal testing should subject to moral analysis, not removed from it.

Read Full Article Here


Jody Castricano is the Coordinator of Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Creative & Critical Studies; serves on the UBCO Senate and sits on the DVC Committee for Human Rights and Equity as well as on the Senate Research and Learning Committee.  She has recently been appointed a Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics at Oxford University, United Kingdom.

Jody Castricano studies ethics and has written a book entitled Animal Subjects:


“Animal Subjects…is…a major contribution to the overlapping interdisciplinary field variously named animal studies, human-animal studies, or even critical animal studies, depending on one’s ethical and political commitments. The text is unique in that it treads a line between abstract academic and more accessible and overtly political writing. Consequently, the text will likely make people nervous on both sides of the current debates about what role, if any, advocacy should have within animal studies. On one hand, there is a fear that rigorous scholarship often suffers under the desire to ameliorate or abolish animals’ suffering and use. On the other, there is a concern that the animals of animal studies are now regarded as the next reservoir of interesting topics to tap, without any kind of accountability to the billions of non-human beings who are harmed through institutionalized animal practices. Fortunately, Animal Subjects works against the notion that careful scholarship and political weight are inversely proportional…. The insightful text demands that we confront the limitations and myriad contradictions in various schools of thought, such as ecology, sociobiology, legal discourse and philosophy among others…ground-breaking…. Hopefully, Animal Subjects is just the beginning.”

— Lauren E.J. Corman, Topia


It makes me very curious to see how those in the scientific community, who are supposedly on the leading edge of open minded thinking are still so deeply entrenched in what I would call medieval thinking. Critical thinking, in my opinion results in a logical, thoughtful, conscious review of one’s own actions and how they affect others.  It also explores many concepts and questions about our perceived truths and cultural idea’s.  Free thinking is an expansion of awareness. I would personally encourage all of those deeply entrenched in such thinking who accept unquestioningly the concept of using other beings as subject matter rather than subject beings to read her work. Perhaps if they were to begin exploring their own inner thinking and to really apply the same valuable critical thinking skills that philosophy demands, these pseudo scientists would arrive at the same ideal that many of us have:


Buddha:  May all that have life be delivered from suffering.
Louis J. Camuti:  “Love of animals is a universal impulse, a common ground on which all of us may meet. By loving and understanding animals, perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other.”
Charles Darwin: “There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties… The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.”
Leonardo Da Vinci:  “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
Jeremy Bentham: “The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but rather, “Can they suffer?”


There have been men and women, great scientists and thinkers far more intelligent than those currently experimenting on animals who were horrified that men were capable of harming such innocent beings.  I think perhaps it is time to take a lesson in kindness, compassion and in depth analysis from those who have walked this path before.

Filed under: Editorial, , , , , , , ,

Update on Endangered Sea Turtles at UBC~ How To Help


UBC plans to trade sea turtles for turtles at UK Aquarium
University says it will experiment, kill new turtles from Britain

Endangered Sea Turtle

As reported last week, a UBC insider tipped off Stop UBC Animal Research about the university’s plans to kill seven endangered green sea turtles. The whistleblower claimed UBC was killing the turtles because the university was closing some animal research facilities on UBC’s south campus and had no place to move the animals. UBC obtained the turtles ten years ago from a turtle farm in the Cayman Islands.

Since the story made international news last week, a UK-based aquarium has offered to exchange older turtles from its facility for the UBC turtles. The older turtles would be transported to UBC where researchers would conduct highly invasive experiments on them then kill the animals. (See: Also watch Stop UBC Animal Research on CTV’s Canada AM t Click story, “UBC under fire for studying endangered turtles.”)

Stop UBC Animal Research immediately condemned the proposed deal (see: We do not support such an arrangement because it would trade one life for another and traumatize the turtles from abroad.

*Urge UBC’s President to release the turtles immediately to a sanctuary so the animals may live their remaining days in peace. Urge UBC to reject any deals that would exchange one life for another. To contact UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Stephen J. Toope:

Phone: 604.822.8300
Fax: 604.822.5055

*Donate to Stop UBC Animal Research so we can continue our important work to end animal experiments at UBC. Go to:

All seven species of sea turtles are at high risk of extinction. Listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, sea turtles face a host of threats. Those threats include: pollution, especially from oil spills, beach front development, ingestion of marine debris, such as plastic bags, the illegal turtle shell trade, and turtle egg and meat consumption. In addition, artificial lighting along beaches often discourages female turtles from nesting and disorients hatchlings who may mistakenly wander inland, exposing them to predation.

MEDIA (Click story, “UBC under fire for studying endangered turtles)

Global TV (

Stop UBC Animal Research is a community grassroots campaign that employs peaceful, legal, and compassionate approaches to educate the public about the grim realities of research on animals at the University of British Columbia and to ultimately bring about an end to research on animals at UBC. Please visit our website at:

Filed under: Follow Ups, Help Needed, Letters, Twittering, Updates, , , , , , , ,

March 19th Demo for Seals in Nanaimo


On Saturday, March 19, 2011

There will be a demonstration against the commercial seal hunt at the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo on Saturday, March 19, 2011. We’ll be at the traffic lights just outside the terminal in two shifts, from 1000 to 1030 and from 1200 to 1230 to catch most of the cars coming and going from Vancouver. Thus people would only need to commit to being there for 30 minutes if they wanted to do one shift. Those willing to do two shifts could retire to a nearby pub from 1030 to 1200.

People are encouraged to bring along their own homemade anti-sealing  FOR THE SEALS signs.

Best wishes,

David Stanley

PS.- The ferries from West Vancouver arrive in Nanaimo at 1010 and 1210 and leave at 1030 and 1230.
Anyone from the Vancouver area who wishes to join us could board the 0830 ferry at Horseshoe Bay.



Sea Shepherd Photo of Seal with Hunting Ship Behind



Filed under: Planned Events, Protests, , , ,

Motorcade for The Seals in Vancouver and Whistler

Motorcade for The Seals in Vancouver and Whistler (CHANGE OF DATE!)

Due to weather conditions we decided to move the Seal Motorcade to:
March 26th, Saturday at 10:00AM.

The assembly will be at the water-front parking lot on Beach and Bute in English Bay, downtown Vancouver

This year for the Annual Anti-Sealing Day, CATCA is delighted to joined force with HOPE-CARE and it’s Founder/President, our colleague Anthony Marr, who is well known for his animal advocacy work around the world, and who was honored with the “Best All-Around Activist Award” by Negotiation Is Over (NIH) in January 2010, and the “Henry Spira Grassroots Activist Award” by Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) at the 2010 Animal Rights National Conference in Washington DC.

“Tell someone that 360,000 baby seals are being killed this year, his left brain will shelf it under ‘big number’, and his right brain doesn’t quite get to see it at all, and his emotion does not get involved,” says Anthony. “But if you could find some way to show his right brain the scale of the carnage, he would likely take action. At about one meter per baby seal, a single file of 360,000 dead baby seals laid out along a highway will stretch 360km/223mi. You will have drive at highway speeds for 3 hours to go from one end of it to the other. People often stop in their tracks and look stunned.”

So, how do we show this vision to the public? Via media, of course. “We all know that a demo without media coverage ‘did not happen’,” says Anthony Marr. “What media want is not as much information but drama. It is more how a message is delivered than the message itself. Media wants something new, either in the message, or in the delivery, preferably both. But something new is new only once. So we have to invent a new way every time.”

The idea of the motorcade was conceived by Anthony Marr for his Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions (CARE-tours, of which there has been 7 since 2003, each covering 25-44 states in 3-7 months), and has been proven extremely effective as a media tool. A memorable one, involving about a dozen cars, was from Houston to Dallas, Texas, driving distance 385km/239mi, about the length of a single file of 360,000 dead baby seals, at 1 meter each, laid out along the highway. All 4 Houston TV stations showed up, plus newspapers of both Houston and Dallas. Overnight, Texans by the hundreds of thousands who knew nothing about the Canadian seal massacre learned something shocking about it, and took actions to oppose it.

Although he has done many motorcades before in the US, he has never done one in his own hometown Vancouver. So now, it is Vancouver’s turn.

We will ask media to show up around 10:30 AM. It is then we will be decorating the cars and motorcycles with posters and ribbons. The TV cameras will be going around zooming into the posters being taped on to car doors, and reporters will be randomly interviewing participants. At 11:00 AM, Anthony Marr will lead the procession on his motorcycle from downtown Vancouver via the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Squamish and Whistler. The event will end at Whistlerat 1 PM with a media conferencia.

The driving distance from Vancouver to Squamish is 64 km/40mi, and the whole distance to Whistler is 120 km/75mi (respectively about 1/5 to 1/3 the whole length of the 360km seal line).

We hope that you will able to go all the way to Whistler for a good arrival show. Even if not, please join in the departure from Vancouver for a good TV departure presentation. After that, you can go as far as you want – Horseshoe Bay, Lions Bay, Britania Beach, Squamish, Whistler. At Whistler, we will have lunch, then go our individual ways.

Those without cars please come for the media coverage anyway to make the assembly for TV as big as possible. (Recalled the Ambleside Park dog demo? If we would do it for 100 dogs, why wouldn’t we do it for 360,000 baby seals?). You could then go with those with cars, or perhaps hold your own foot demo after the motorcade has departed.


1) Cars and drivers
2) Drivers
3) People to be surrounding the motorcade and stay after the motorcade goes to Whistler, holding a POLITE demo with placards and banners.

If you intend to come, please let me know what you be willng to do, OK?
Can you bring some friends? Can you pls tell other colleagues about it?

Contact me at: ericka@

Thank you!

Campaigns Against The Cruelty To Animals
Western Canada Anti Sealing Coalition

Filed under: Demo's, Event Date Changes, Planned Events, Protests, Rallies, , , , , , , , ,

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Stop UBC Animal Research Campaign at Vancouver Art Gallery

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