Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Peta Blog: Ding Dong the Bills Are Dead!

We are thrilled to announce that today, after bills that would have criminalized the filming of cruelty to animals on factory farms died in Florida and Minnesota, similar bills in Iowa (H.F. 589) and New York (S. 5172) have also officially died despite aggressive attempts by the meat industry to push them through! This news comes after months of PETA cross-country campaigning against the bills.

Among other actions taken, Republican strategist Mary Matalin personally appealed on PETA’s behalf to every Republican representative in Iowa where the GOP-backed bill was closest to passing; Iowa native Cloris Leachman called on legislators in her home state to reject the bill, which made Iowa look like it had something to hide; PETA visited each state capital and met with legislators; and thousands of PETA members and supporters expressed their outrage against the bills. This is a victory for animals and will protect undercover investigative work in these states that is crucial to exposing cruelty.

These pieces of legislation were desperate attempts by agriculture-industry giants to prevent consumers from learning the truth about how animals on factory farms suffer and die. Citizens’ right to document cruelty to animals—wherever it occurs—is crucial to helping local, state, and federal officials enforce anti-cruelty and other animal-protection laws. With the failure of these bills, we can continue to conduct undercover investigations, such as our 2008 investigation of an Iowa Hormel supplier, which found that workers were beating and sexually abusing pigs, to uncover cruelty and ensure that the abusers are held accountable. Thank you again for your help in making this possible.

Dan Mathews Senior,
Vice President People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Filed under: Blogging, Twittering, , , , , , , ,

Question to the public. Has Troy Gentry Paid For His Mistake?

We at VARC are curious how citizens feel about the following story.  We look forward to your feedback. Do you think Troy Gentry has shown remorse for his actions or do you think as a hunter he will simply do this again?

Troy Gentry illegally and unethically killed a pet cub bear in a canned hunt in Minnesota in 2004. According to CMT news: “Greenly and Gentry allegedly tagged the bear with a Minnesota hunting license and registered the animal with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as if it had been killed in the wild. The animal’s hide was subsequently shipped to a taxidermist in Kentucky for mounting.” SHARK (Showing Animals Respect & Kindness) writes “Troy Gentry, of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, pled guilty to a crime resulting from the horrendous slaughter of a tame bear inside a one-acre electrified enclosure.”  “In 2004, Gentry bought a tame cub named “Cubby” from Lee Marvin Greenly, the owner of “Minnesota Wildlife Connection,” where people can photograph wild animals that have been domesticated.  He paid Greenly $4, 650.00 and then filmed himself shooting an arrow into the poor animal, all the while pretending the bear was wild and even dangerous.”

“In the video, Gentry claims with glee that he shot Cubby in the lungs.  While this brought Gentry much pleasure, as his glowing smile attests to, the reality is that when an animal is shot in the lungs they literally drown in their own blood.” Watch the video here:

SHARK waged and won a three-year battle (including a victorious lawsuit) against the US Fish and Wildlife Service that forced the federal government to turn over the videotape of  Gentry’s canned hunt killing.

Troy Gentry writes a statement which is posted on the Montgomery Gentry website: saying the following: 

November 8, 2010

Four years ago I was charged for illegally tagging and
taking the hide of a black bear across state lines. For that, I paid a $15,000 dollar fine, served a period of probation and gave up my rights to hunt or fish in the state of Minnesota for 5 years.  At that time I apologized for the crime that I committed but failed to apologize to the public for the unethical way the bear was taken.There’s no one who feels as bad about this as I do.  I have beaten myself up about this over the years.  I made a mistake, a bad decision and it has been an embarrassment to both me and my family.  I have learned my lesson and have paid a huge price personally and professionally.  Since this happened, I know in my heart that I am a
different and better person.I am not proud of what I did and I am truly sorry.-Troy Gentry

Global Wildlife Warriors are requesting that citizens write to the Merritt Mountain Musical Festival organizers asking that Troy Gentry be removed from the line up of performers.  Please write to the organizers with the contact details below if you feel Troy Gentry’s actions should keep him out of the Music Festival.

CONTACT:  Tel:(250) 378-0965  Email:

Activist’s Sample Letter:

Dear Organizers of Merritt Festival,
I am contacting you to bring a crime to your attention, committed by Troy Gentry, the country singer performing
at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. The public is outraged that this person has been given this opportunity and I am asking you to cancel his performance due to his disturbing action of illegally killing a precious and tame bear cub in an example of “canned hunting.” There are you tube video’s showing how he mercilessly killed a cub with bow and arrow shot through the lungs where he died an agonizing death:

I believe this will bring negative attention to the celebration of the musical entertainers at this festival.

Thank you,

Sincerely, Name, Country

Filed under: Alerts, Blogging, Letters, Twittering, , , , , , , ,

Letter in support of Japanese Dolphins and Whales Circulates Planet. Please Keep it Going!

This letter circling around the planet, could you also please send and share? Over 1000 people have forwarded this message to the following contacts!
Dear Sir or Madame,

I am appalled at the continued capture, enslavement  and slaughter of dolphins and whales in Japan. The world has moved on from such archaic acts  into the new age of sustainability and ecotourism. It is now Japan’s time to stop these barbaric acts and gain back respect from the rest of the world. Japan is capable of learning to live side by side with dolphins and whales with monetary incentives through ecotourism. Japan’s reputation through the continued dolphin/whale captures and slaughters is in shreds. Many Japanese are unaware of the atrocities  that is happening in Taiji and the Government is not allowing freedom of speech to the media, I ask you why is this? The only reason this  would be allowed to happen is that you are ashamed of yourselves. And what would your people would say and do they would be appalled at your brutal acts. I appeal to your human nature and hope you put a stop to these unthinkable acts.

Sincerely, Name, Country



Filed under: Blogging, Help Needed, Letters, Twittering, , , , , , , , , ,

Ministry of Agriculture’s Cruelty to Animals Act is an Alarmingly Ambiguous Piece of Legislation

“The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture and is an alarmingly ambiguous piece of legislation.  Some of the law dates back over 100 years.  Dogs and cats are defined strictly as property and there is no regulation in the act addressing businesses that work with animals such as sled dog companies. Without this regulation, a place of business cannot be shut down for acts of cruelty against animals.  This legislation is clearly in place only to protect the rights of owners with “animal property”, not the rights of animals.”

Another Change.Org Article on B.C. Anti Cruelty Laws:  “It’s awesome to see how the collective voice of nearly 50,000 people has impacted and brought change to something so wrong as the killings of 100 sled dogs,” Ian Somerhalder said. “ISF is ecstatic that our recommendations for change became a voice in the Governmental Task Force Report. Now our job is to make sure the B.C. legislators listen to the people. It is time for B.C. to become the example in Canada by passing the strongest provincial Anti-Cruelty to Animals law.”

Filed under: Articles, Blogging, Twittering For Humanitarian and Animal Legislation

Not sure why, but we seem to be on a roll here.  Check out last weeks victories, including the petition to advance animal cruelty legislation in British Columbia.


Best. Week. Ever. Here’s what happened in the last seven days, because members took action:

1) Ai Weiwei released! A petition started by more than 20 directors of the world’s most famous art museums turned into an international movement. 140,000 of us joined the campaign, and on Wednesday the Chinese dissident artist was freed. Weiwei’s manager says members were “amazing” and personally thanked you for the support that helped to lead to his release.

2) Women in Saudi Arabia are driving! Saudi women activists won 3 campaigns on this week: With your help, they got charges dropped against Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested for driving a car in a country where it’s illegal for women to do so. After two more petitions targeting Hillary Clinton and Europe’s top ambassador Catharine Ashton, both spoke out forcefully in favor of giving women the right to drive (and Hillary says she only took a public stand because of this campaign!).

3) Sled dogs, saved! After a hundred sled dogs were brutally massacred in British Columbia, Lost actor Ian Somerhalder created a campaign on to get the province to change its policies governing the treatment of animals. More than 67,000 people signed, and British Columbia just adopted the strongest anti-cruelty laws in all of Canada! 

4) Grand Canyon, preserved! With a uranium-mining ban about to expire in the area surrounding the famous U.S. landmark, Arizona resident Suzanne Sparling led the charge to extend it. She collected 50,000 public comments from members, and last Monday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his support for another 20-year ban on the dangerous practice.

5) And the Minnesota Twins make 5. To cap it all off, CBS reported on Tuesday that the Minnesota Twins will be the 5th pro baseball team to make an “It Gets Better” video to help prevent suicide by teens who are bullied for being gay. Every team that’s made a video (Twins, Red Sox, Cubs, Mariners, and Giants) has done so after a local member started a petition asking them to. As these victories add up, the cumulative effect is eroding the culture of homophobia in men’s pro sports.

We accomplished all this together, but every single campaign began when one person created a petition on

Click here to start your own petition now — our tech team has made it easier than ever.

Let’s have another great week.

– Patrick and the team

P.S. Here’s another amazing fact: These are just 5 of the more than 200 campaigns that members have won in 2011. If there’s something you want to change about a policy in your town, a practice by a business, or anything you care about, click here to start your own petition.

Filed under: Blogging, Newsletters in Activism, Twittering, , , , , , , ,

Help End Calf Roping at Calgary Stampede

On behalf of the Vancouver Humane Society:

What you can do to end calf-roping at the Calgary Stampede



Please ask Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, not to attend the Calgary Stampede when they visit Calgary in July.

Comment on the website of their official residence, Clarence House here.


See our press release here.

Contact the Stampede to tell them you want an end to calf-roping

Vern Kimball
Chief Executive Officer
Calgary Stampede
Box 1060
Station M
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 2K8
Tel: 403 261 0101 (local)
Tel: 1 800 661 1260 (North America toll free)
Fax: 403 265 7197

Comment via the Stampede website

Write letters to the editor or comment online


When you see media coverage of the Calgary Stampede or other rodeos, send a letter to the editor, use online comment features, call feedback lines or call radio talk shows. Add your voice to the case against calf-roping!

Thanks to the “We Animals” project for use of photos:


Please tell Bell Canada to quit sponsoring cruel rodeo events

If you haven’t already done so, please tell Bell Canada to stop sponsoring cruel rodeo events.

Telecommunications company Bell Canada is a key sponsor of the Calgary Stampede rodeo, in which six horses died last year.

VHS is asking the public to write to Bell, urging the company to stop supporting the Stampede rodeo. Animal advocates who are Bell customers can also advise the company that they can switch service providers if they believe Bell is supporting animal cruelty.



or write to Bell’s Chief Executive Officer:

Mr. George Cope
Chief Executive Officer
Bell Canada
1 Carrefour Alexander Graham Bell
Verdun, Quebec H3E 3B3

Filed under: Letters, Petitions, Twittering, , , , , , , ,

Phones at Subaru HQ Ringing off the hook
In just 24 hours, the petition started by Saudi women activists calling on Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until the ban on women driving is lifted has exploded.

More than 30,000 people have signed. It’s made international news. And phones at Subaru HQ are ringing off the hook from reporters asking what the company will do next.

Companies like Subaru pay close attention to how they’re perceived on social networks. So to amp up the pressure, click here to post the campaign on Facebook right now

Thanks, and we’ll keep you updated.

– Weldon

Filed under: Uncategorized

Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei released after international uproar

Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei released:  Another example of how social media and merely expressing one’s outrage can effect humanitarian causes: BEIJING (Reuters) – The dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, whose detention in April ignited an international uproar, was released on bail Wednesday under conditions likely to keep the outspoken critic of Communist Party controls silent for now.

“Without the wave of international support for Ai, and the popular expressions of dismay and disgust about the circumstances of his disappearance, it’s highly unlikely the Chinese government would have released him,” said Phelim Kine, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group.

Read More:

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

Human Rights and Animal Rights: online activism works! helps Saudi women with illegal driving.

A few days ago, we shared a link about a puppy in China who according to the media outlet was roasted alive on a street corner in eastern Chinese city of Kengkou.

It was heart breaking to say the least and we know how difficult and shocking it was for many to witness.  Several of us have been having a few positive and helpful discussions about what to do with this information once you see it and asking IF there really is anything one can do…all the way over there in China. Is there any point in burdening our hearts with this information? Will it really make a difference?

Well, we think so.  And we think the petition below shows how social media and world wide influence can help.  When we started signing petitions 4 years ago everybody told us how pointless it was and that online petitions didn’t count and not to forward them and waste their time because they would not help anyway!  In fact we were told repeatedly that doing anything was pointless!! We could not affect or change anything for animals!  Well the world is being transformed by petitions and activism and we are so glad we did not listen, but instead followed our heart’s that insisted we MUST, at all costs speak up for the little beings we share this planet with! had 20,000 individuals respond to a petition to have charges dropped against a women in Saudi Arabia arrested for driving her own car and after this petition the charges were dropped!  And she now is taking it to Hillary Clinton. And now, the same Saudi women are launching their biggest campaign yet: calling on car company Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until women have the right to drive.

The difference is, animals can not represent themselves.  They can not ask for assistance.  They can not walk up to a stranger and tell them their life story.  And they certainly can not ask a politician to change the laws for them.  As we know, they have no voice, at least not a human voice.  And thus no way to be protected with even basic, minimum, living rights.

That is why it does make a difference if we are all representatives of animals.  If we all stand in solidarity and rise up to the occasion to speak out for justice.  And justice, as we know, comes directly from the mind of the heart.  And when we spread our outrage and protest, or even our kind and quiet thoughts or actions, we are definitely speaking up for animals.  When we twitter, blog, email and talk about what is going on, things start to change, through the ethers and into the hearts that need transformation most.

Thank-you for your feedback and thank you for caring!

Enjoy this victorious story below and we  look forward to sharing positive victories for animals in the future that are less troublesome for the heart and mind to digest.



Below is a copy of the letter from if you would like to read for yourself how online activism does make a difference!

Amazing! Last week, a group of Saudi women activists started a petition calling on Saudi authorities to drop charges against Manal al-Sharif, a woman arrested for driving her own car. Days later, the charges were dropped!

Then, they launched a second petition calling on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speak out publicly for Saudi women’s right to drive. Clinton initially resisted, but after 20,000 members joined the call, she declared, “What these women are doing is brave, and what they are seeking is right,” at a major press conference.

Now, the same Saudi women are launching their biggest campaign yet: calling on car company Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until women have the right to drive. Please click here to sign their petition, then send this email to everyone you know.

Subaru markets heavily to women, especially in the U.S. and Europe — and has built up a progressive brand for itself. Yet the company still sells cars in Saudi Arabia, the only country on earth where women are prohibited from driving or even riding a bike.

(The ban is a huge impediment for women who are forbidden to drive to work, stores, or even a hospital. Many women can’t afford male drivers, and those that can are often harassed by them.)

The activists at Saudi Women for Driving tell us, “Manal was released, Mrs. Clinton spoke out, and some brave women have started driving in defiance of the ban. This is already the largest women’s rights movement in Saudi history and no one here knows what will happen next, but a big company like Subaru pulling out could help change our country forever. Help us do it!”

It’s simple: A massive campaign to push Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia — and the threat that they might leave — will put huge pressure on the Saudi royal family and shine a bright light on the “gender apartheid” in the country. It’s a chance for the company to live up to its brand and make a huge difference for nearly 13 million women. members have already won more than 200 campaigns in 2011. Let’s win this one, too.

Click here to stand with Saudi women and ask Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until women win the right to drive:


– Weldon and the team


Sign Petition Here:


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

Air Canada Transports Primates for Animal Research Please Write

Primates Suffer in Cargo Transport Please Write to the Addresses Below

BUAV investigates Primates as Cargo
Airlines transport primates packed into small wooden crates to research facilities  worldwide, including to the U.S. Some die in transport because of the deplorable conditions of being shipped as cargo. Others endure and survive only to reach a cruel fate in research.

A recent report from BUAV cited 11 airlines that continue to transport primates. They found that Air France ships to Covance Clinical Research Units in the USA; Air Canada ships primates from  China to labs in Canada; and China Southern and Eastern airlines transport them to the U.S.

During flights, the primates endure delays, poor ventilation, noise and dangerous temperature fluctuations on their extremely long journeys. The anxiety and stress they suffer can lead to increased susceptibility to infection. Documents obtained by BUAV provide a disturbing insight into how these animals suffer.

BUAV investigates Primates as CargoThe following reported incidences illustrate the pain and suffering endured by the primates:

‘On uncrating, he was found in moribund condition. Part of the wooden crate had been chewed away and no food was present in the crate. The primate died while IV fluids were being administered.’

‘One animal died during transport from Vietnam. The animal was removed in Paris at the airport; the cause of death was reportedly from … [the build-up of gas in the intestinal tract]

‘One animal imported from Mauritius was dead on arrival.’

Conditions that resulted in the death or euthanasia of primates (during the quarantine period) imported into the USA during 2009 included pneumonia, enteritis, gastroenteritis, dehydration, weight loss, poor body condition and infection.

Contact AirlinesNEAVS is calling on supporters to contact airlines listed below to request that they cease involvement in primate transport and implement an immediate ban on the transportation of primates for research.

Suggested text

I am shocked to learn that your airline has, is or would be involved in the international transportation of primates to laboratories. It is inhumane and unacceptable that living animals are packed into small crates and shipped like cargo only to end up in laboratories where they will suffer or die in experiments.

I urge you to join the increasing number of airlines that have stopped their involvement in this money making cruelty and instead refuse to be a part of the trade in living animals for profit and research. Until you do, I will not be flying with your airline.


Your name

Send to:
Air Canada
Air Canada Centre
Fax: +44 (0) 208 750 8495
Email: and American Airlines
Gerard J. Arpey, Chairman
Fax: +44 (0)20 8745 1469

Continental Airlines
Fax: +44 (0)1293 567122

Other Airlines:
Air China

Air France

Caribbean Airlines

China Eastern Airlines

China Southern Airlines
Email: and

Philippine Airlines

Vietnam Airlines

Filed under: Help Needed, Letters, Twittering, , , ,

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Stop UBC Animal Research Campaign at Vancouver Art Gallery

Flickr Photos