Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Tell Nestlé to stop bottling from an Ontario aquifer in drought conditions.

Nestlé is sucking water from a Canadian watershed during drought conditions in order to bottle and sell it. From patenting flowers to claiming water is not a public right, Nestlé is trying to commodify everything.

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Tell Nestlé to stop bottling from an Ontario aquifer in drought conditions.

Nestlé’s Chairman and former CEO once infamously declared that “access to water should not be a public right.” And now his company is putting into practice its belief that every resource should be commodied and sold off. Nestlé is sucking up water from a Canadian watershed during drought conditions — to bottle and sell it off.

Nestlé has won a permit to drain an Ontario aquifer whenever it likes. Meanwhile, the surrounding communities which rely on the aquifer have by-laws to restrict their access to their own water during dry conditions in the summer. This just isn’t right, and Maude Barlow, the Council of Canadians, and Ecojustice are fighting back against Nestlé and the Ontario government office that handed out its permit. It shouldn’t take a legal proceeding to force Nestlé to do the right thing. Let’s tell Nestlé that a community’s access to its own water supply is more important than any company’s profits.

Tell Nestlé: Stop bottling Ontario’s water source during drought conditions.

Currently, Nestlé has a permit through 2017 to take about 1.1 million litres of water per day from Hillsburgh, Ontario for its bottling operations in nearby Aberfoyle — even during drought conditions while there are by-laws on water use for households. A number of groups are fighting back. “Ontario must prioritize communities’ right to water above a private company’s thirst for profit,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians.

Nestlé has been in the news a lot lately for attempting to profit from our natural resources. Last month, over 220,000 supporters signed our petition against Nestlé’s greedy effort to patent the fennel flower, a cure-all medicinal remedy for millions of people in impoverished communities across the Middle East and Asia. Several days after we sent out our petition, a video emerged showing Nestlé’s Chairman claiming that the idea that water is a human right comes from “extremist” NGOs and that water should have a market value. Nestlé has dealt with NGOs and lost before — the years-long boycott over Nestlé’s dirty tactics to get mothers to stop breastfeeding and use baby formula — which resulted in thousands of infant deaths from water-born illnesses — was a historic success in corporate campaigning.

Nestlé’s appetite to commodify water and natural remedies is a recurring strategy by a corporation with a pattern of seeking to privatize and profit from traditional knowledge and our natural resources. By speaking out against the draining of our watersheds, you will be taking a stand against Nestlé’s strategy to profit off everything in nature.

Demand that Nestlé stop commodifying everything in nature. Stop draining Ontario’s watershed to bottle water.

Thanks for all you do

Angus, Martin & the team from

More information:

Council of Canadians raises climate change and drought concerns in Nestlé case. Council of Canadians, Apr. 23rd, 2013
The Privatization of Water: Nestlé Denies that Water is a Fundamental Human Right. Global Research, Apr. 20th, 2013

SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.


Filed under: Petitions, , ,

Tell Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop stocking neonicotinoids.

Scientists hot on the trail of the cause behind the massive global bee die-off have unearthed a slew of evidence on the devastation across the food chain caused by the most widely-used pesticide on Earth, neonicotinoids. Once they enter the water supply, neonicotinoids wipe out dragonflies, snails and other waterborne life. The few hardy species that survive are left so toxic that they’re killing birds — and Home Depot and Lowe’s are putting this toxic product right in our back yards.

The European Food Safety Authority just imposed a two-year ban on neonicotinoids. It’s a bold step taken to avert a new Silent Spring. With up to a third of all honeybees vanishing each winter, beekeepers are saying that we are “on the brink” of not being able to pollinate all our crops.

Home and Lowe’s Depot still stock their shelves with neonicotinoid pesticides, spreading the ecosystem-destroying toxin to homes and gardens across Canada. As consumers, we need to demand that these retailers pull the devastating pesticides from their shelves.

Tell Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop stocking neonicotinoids.

Bayer and other pesticide manufacturers are shoveling cash at lobbyists in order to continue selling their poisonous products. But we’re not here to protect corporate profits, we’re here to protect our ecosystem to ensure our future. The first thing we need to do is take this devastating toxin out of our own neighborhoods.

One of the reasons these pesticides are so toxic is that they don’t simply coat the surface — neonicotinoids are absorbed into the plant itself. Scientists believe honeybees that stop by later to pollinate the crops accrue a lethal dose in their systems as they wander from flower to flower. Research suggests that the neurotoxin scrambles their system of navigation and other critical parts of the bee’s brains. Even when it doesn’t kill the bees outright, neonicotinoids alter immune system function in bees, making them more vulnerable to parasitic infections that are spreading through bee populations like wildfire.

Major retailers don’t care what type of pesticides they sell, only what type of pesticides their customers will buy. If we send Home Depot and Lowe’s, the two large home-and-garden superstores, a loud, clear message, we can get these toxic products off their shelves and out of our back yards — and get smaller retailers around the country to follow suit.

Tell Home Depot and Lowe’s to get rid of the bee-killing neonicotinoids.

Thank you for being one of us,

Taren and the team at

More information:

The Independent: ‘Victory for bees’ as European Union bans neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for destroying bee population, 29 April 2013
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? (PDF), 2012
American Bird Conservancy: Birds, Bees, and Aquatic Life Threatened by Gross Underestimate of Toxicity of World’s Most Widely Used Pesticide, 2013
Mother Jones: 3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide, 29 March, 2013


Filed under: Blogging, Environmental, Help Needed, Petitions, , , , ,

Help our dear friends in Ontario fight bird habitat destruction

CK Woodlot Preservation

It might be about power and politics and fear more than money. Too many have the impression that to pass a By Law is upsetting the Ag community, which is so cherished and prevalent in our area. However, maybe to NOT pass a By Law is upsetting to many of the Ag community too as well as all the rest! Again, this has been painted as a rural vs urban debate and many, including councillors, still have that falsehood in mind and it has proven very difficult to change that. You will notice the ones holding out in most votes on the issue are the prime Ag jurisdictions. They think they are doing what their rate payers desire and we need to show them numbers and majority!!! I don’t think we can simply count on them to “do what’s right” for the future of the Municipality and everyone in it. They need to know where their constituents stand.

Emailling is helpful, or your local councillor, whose email can be found at

Also, sign and get your friends and family to sign the online petition at



Filed under: Letters, , ,

Peta response to local restaurants serving boiled lobsters

Quick follow up on the conversations around serving boiled lobster. Peta is following up with a letter to the General Manager of the Restaurant who decided that boiling them alive is the most humane alternative.

Please check out the link that Peta Staff offered to send to other restaurants who still do this barbaric practice and forward it to any restaurants you know of that do this. And please let us know!

OBVIOUSLY we are dealing with pretty low life forms of sentience if we are talking to a tadpole conscious species who think boiling incredibly intelligent, sentient, feeling amazing creatures alive is, yummy! However, do your best to be kind, respectful and polite as it goes much, much further than harsh words (like the comical ones, we couldn’t resist writing here…. Sigh)

Dear Ms. Rose,

Thank you for your reply. I did forward the restaurant’s email address to the appropriate PETA staff member.

If you do contact other restaurants, you could send them the link to the Crustastun system of quickly killing crabs and lobsters. To learn more please visit

Thanks again for writing and for caring about lobsters.




Filed under: Alerts, Environmental, Follow Ups, , , ,

Passionate Letter on larger scale farming in Okanagan

Passionate Letter forwarded to us:

This is ALL over the Okanagan, it is so sickening! There is another farmer named August Bremmer who is larger scale and even worse. Outside enderby past the salmon arm turnoff, past the horrific cedar mill toward grindrod on hwy 97, on the right side you can see cows in muddy stalls dreading the day they will be slaughtered after hours on transport trucks. Turn down the driveway on the right after passing this scene to the end and that is where he has one of his dairy/veal operations. There is a large barn where he imprisons and tortures mothers and many small pens where he imprisons and tortures newborn babies in the heat of the summer with NO ventilation nor shade.

IT IS AN UNSPEAKABLE CRIME! He has more operations down Emeny rd which is about 100 yards down the highway, turn right onto Emeny, drive to the end and there are more barns and pens where he operates the same torture enterprise. I took pictures of this last year and sent it to the media and contacted the spca. as expected, the spca declared it was legal and refused to do anything. Bremmer’s grandson who works this operation caught me taking pictures and was very angry. These people do not want to be exposed..

As i mentioned, I worked in different organic, free range and biodynamic farms and I can tell you that there is no way to get dairy without causing unbearable grief to mothers. One incident at a well known biodynamic farm i worked at made me forever give up all dairy. A mother cow was allowed to keep her baby for a year. When her child was taken from her, she screamed and screamed and cried for her baby days and nights non stop until she collapsed from grief and exhaustion. I have never been able to get her screams and cries out of my head since then. And this is supposed to be the best possible scenario for dairy production out there and it cannot do it without inflicting unbearable grief and suffering to mothers. I realized that this is what a mother had to endure for me to eat this politically correct “organic” butter or cheese for a few seconds of taste. The dairy production in cherryville that sells unpasturized cheese does the exact same thing to mothers.

The problem is evil bastards in govt have promoted crimes of farming as so called “legal” and everyone is too afraid to challenge or oppose it. They think that the govt and its “laws” are handed down from some god in the sky written in stone tablets and cannot be defied. Where are all the brave warriors?

All great and courageous leaders of every movement for justice have unanimously exhorted us to ONE impertive: It is morally incumbent on us to break and defy unjust laws….

“…. If a man has nothing worth dying for, then that man is not fit to live…” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Filed under: Letters,

Response from local restaurant on lobster “euthanization”

Hey there,

We have started a mini campaign at VARC, the kind where we politely walk into seafood restaurants and tell them a little about the sensitive nervous systems of lobsters and crabs and ask if they’d consider finding alternate ways of killing them. We just got a response from one restaurant stating that they consider boiling them alive the most humane method, well their words are a bit different, we’ll let you read below.

Not going to shout out the name of this high end seafood place in Vancouver as we do have a working relationship with them thus far, but we thought we’d share a bit of our conversation.

Please let us know what you think the most humane way of killing a lobster is, obviously there is NO humane way, but if worse comes to worse, which for lobsters, it does every day, what do you think is the least painful way these misunderstood sea creatures can be humanely euthanized?

Ad we encourage you to do the same to any local seafood place in your community. Politely tell them what you think of this rather barbaric practice and let them know how highly sophisticated these sea creatures are, in person, or by email. Its just awareness, step by step. There is a great peta link below with amazing info on crabs and lobsters.


Conversation Below:

Hi Rose,

Thank you for your interest in our food preparation practices. (blank) as a company, is continually taking steps to move our restaurants further along the environmentally friendly path.

Currently we are pioneering an effort to move to a zero waste model where, all or close to all materials and food waste are recycled or sent to compost.

Previous to this we joined ocean wise. We make every effort to carefully engineer our menus taking into consideration sustainability while keeping true to our concepts.

The note you made about the handling of lobsters did spark my interest. Upon further research including conversations with our executive team, we have decided that any evidence to an alternate method of preparing lobster is not strong enough to cause us to change our practices at this time.


On Sunday, May 5, 2013


I stopped into your restaurant and had a discussion with you about lobsters.
I was wondering if you had a chance to consider this any further and if there were any discussions about the most ethical ways to kill lobsters?

I was told there is a very specific way of killing them, that actually allows the lobster to die quickly and supposedly ensures the “meat” is more tender.

Here is some info on the sentience of their natures.
I hope you will read it.

I really look forward to hearing from you and hearing what your thoughts are about this.


Filed under: Education/Leafletting, Follow Ups, , , , ,

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