Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Mayor Gregor Robertson: Please call a public referendum regarding the addition of more captive cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium!

VancouverAnimal – There’s a new petition taking off on, and we think you might be interested in signing it:

Mayor Gregor Robertson: Please call a public referendum regarding the addition of more captive cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium!

By Marcie Callewaert

Sign Marcie’s Petition

This petition aims to convince the current Vancouver Park Board Commissioners to respect democracy and allow a whale referendum question to be placed on the municipal election ballot on November 15, 2014. The referendum question would ask the public if they agree with keeping whales and dolphins in captivity in the public aquarium.

The only way that the Vancouver Public Aquarium can be compelled to end the barbaric practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity is through the democratic process. Because this aquarium is located in Stanley Park, which is public land, this means that the democratically elected Parks Board Commissioners have the jurisdiction to determine whether or not whale and dolphin captivity should be tolerated in Stanley Park. This is a sensitive matter that requires a wider public discussion and ultimately, a democratic resolution. Tragically, until now the Parks Board, regardless of which political party has been in power, has consistently refused to give the citizens the democratic option to express their opinion on this issue. The public should be consulted through a whale referendum during the upcoming November, 2014 civic elections. Please help make this happen and sign this petition.

Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent, intensely social, highly cooperative animals that in the wild live in extended family units called pods. In captivity, they are often forced to share tanks with animals from different pods, species and geographic locations. Like humans they suffer greatly in captivity. In captivity they are perpetually stressed out and often die prematurely. In the wild these animals dive hundreds of feet into the depth of the ocean and may easily travel more than a 100 kilometres in a single day. It is simply not possible to meet the complex physical and behavioural needs of these animals in captivity.

The American Humane Society has concluded that keeping dolphins in confinement in concrete tanks is “inhumane beyond comprehension”. They suffer whether or not they were taken from the wild or bred for captivity. For these reasons, in May 2013, the Government of India “officially recognized dolphins as non-human persons, whose rights to life and liberty must be respected” and thereby banned the import, capture and captivity of cetaceans in all public and private enterprises.

In stark contrast the Vancouver Aquarium is currently expanding its whale tanks and plans to maintain the whale and dolphin captivity program in perpetuity adding more animals to fill up those tanks. These animals are suffering in captivity for one reason only, profits. There is no educational or scientific value to the Aquarium’s whale and dolphin display. As the internationally respected oceanographer and educator Jacques Cousteau aptly put it, “the educational benefit of watching a dolphin in captivity would be like learning about humanity only by watching prisoners in solitary confinement”.



Filed under: Petitions,

Tell Health Canada to protect bees

Even while tens of millions of bees die, Health Canada isn’t doing anything.

On December 1, the European Union imposed a two year ban on neonicotinoids, the pesticide manufactured by Bayer that scientists have tied to the massive global bee die-off. It’s a bold step and not a moment too soon. With up to a third of all honeybees vanishing each winter, beekeepers are saying that we are “on the brink” of losing our crops’ vital pollinators.

The Canadian government agency in charge, Health Canada, has been dragging its feet for years. But we need a pollinator-friendly policy now, to ensure a safe, sustainable environment for future generations.

Tell Health Canada to protect the bees, and enact sensible restrictions on bee-killing pesticides now.

It’s not an exaggeration to say we owe our prosperity and even our survival to millions of bees. Bees are responsible for pollinating over 30% of world’s food supply, and they help generate over hundreds of billions to the global economy. And bees are dying worldwide. This summer, a shocking 37 million bees were reported dead across a single farm in Ontario. Bee die offs aren’t one off incidents — in China, the situation has gotten so bad that farmers are forced to hand-pollinate their trees. have been right at the front of the global campaign to save our bees. Over 360,000 of us have already demanded that Bayer drop the lawsuit to stop the two-year neonicotinoid ban in Europe. We also came together to fight Bayer at a huge independent garden store show in Chicago, where the German chemical maker was out in force. Tens of thousands from the Canadian SumOfUs community also took action to demand that big stores Home Depot and Lowe’s stop selling the bee killing chemicals. Now, we need to ask Health Canada to take action to save the bees.

You can bet the pesticide manufacturers are shovelling cash at lobbyists in order to continue selling their poisonous products in Canada. But we’re not here to protect corporate profits, we’re here to protect our ecosystem to ensure our future. Join in today to protect Canada’s ecosystem.

Demand that Health Canada take action on protecting our bees.

Thanks for all that you do,
Angus, Paul and the rest of us.

More Information:

Bee die-offs: New tests find bee-killing pesticides in ‘bee-friendly’ plants from garden centers nationwide, Friends of the Earth, August 14 2013.

SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.


Filed under: Petitions, , , , , , , , ,

Primate Liberation Week, Help Stop UBC Animal Research Collect Signatures

Tomorrow marks the start of Primate Liberation Week – please join us on Wednesday, October 16th at 4:30pm at the Canada Line station at Georgia and Granville – we will be leafleting in support of the 1,000’s of monkeys languishing in laboratories in Canada and gathering petition signatures asking the Minister of Science and Technology for an immediate moratorium on the most invasive and cruel forms of animal research.
Another way to help animals in laboratories! Our entry into the Aviva Community Fund just has 2 more chances to make it to the next round –  please sign in and vote today and Sunday!
thank you for being their voice!

Filed under: Petitions

Tell Justin Trudeau not to support big oil and Tar Sands in Canada

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s only been on the job for a couple months – and already he’s getting off on the wrong foot by sounding like he’s shilling for the oil industry by promoting the Keystone KXL tar sands pipeline.1

Just weeks ago, he high-fived Alberta Premier Alison Redford for spending billions lobbying for the oil industry. And then, believe it or not, in the same breath he slammed Prime Minister Harper for not doing enough to promote the Keystone XL pipeline. Come on Justin – really? Billions in oil subsidies and massive cuts to countless environmental regulations weren’t enough?!

Here’s the thing: Justin’s new to the job, and he cares deeply about public opinion and is watching it closely as he formulates his policy agenda. A flood of messages telling Trudeau we want the next Prime Minister of Canada to stand with Canada’s First nations and Canadians from coast to coast who oppose dangerous pipelines and tankers could force him to change his position for good.

Click here to send your message now to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau: Do the right thing and stop promoting KXL.
Alberta’s tar sands are a human rights issue. Since 2007 by doctors, the Alberta Health Department have documented higher incidences of rare and deadly cancers in First Nations communities downstream of the oil sands. Massively expanding the tar sands as this pipeline will be game over for the climate as tar sands production emits 3 to 4 times more greenhouse gases than conventional crude oil.

Trudeau hasn’t yet firmed up his stance on the tar sands, and is vulnerable now because he needs to differentiate himself from Stephen Harper without losing ground to NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. A flood of emails now could shift Trudeau’s stance on KXL and the tar sands and help get us on the right track towards jobs we can be proud of.

Our MPs are supposed to make their policy agendas on what the public wants – not what lines the pockets of industry. We have a real opportunity now to force Justin Trudeau to amend his dangerous position on pipelines and tankers, and need to act now before he does damage we can’t undo.

It’s still possible that Justin Trudeau could become a Prime Minster that lives up to the legacy of his father that so many Canadians remember so fondly but that means standing up to interest groups and doing the right thing.

Canadians deserve to know right now: Does Justin Trudeau stand behind Canada’s First Nations and Canadians from coast to coast who are saying no to pipelines and tankers, or does he stand behind Big Oil?

Send your message now to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau now: Do the right thing.


Ben West
Tar Sands Campaign Director, ForestEthics Advocacy

P.S. The recent spill of 60,000 barrels of toxic water in Northern Alberta is just the latest reminder of the dangers of tar sands operations.2 Remind Justin Trudeau that we should be on a path to reducing global dependence on this dirty energy – not increasing the health and safety risks to people, the local environment, and our shared global climate.




Filed under: Help Needed, Petitions, ,

Great Bear Rainforest Agreement

The deadline for completing the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements is only nine months away. Will the province of British Columbia ensure new logging rules will increase conservation enough to sustain the health of this magnificent forest ecosystem? That’s the challenge. We know they will do something. But will they do enough?

It looks promising, but we’re not there yet. We need your help to ensure the BC government completes the Great Bear Agreement within the next nine months. Sign our petition to these leaders now!

Just last week ForestEthics Solutions co-hosted a Great Bear Rainforest Customer and Investor Roundtable with our allies (Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Canopy) along with representatives from 27 very large paper and lumber buyers from across the globe (including Home Depot, Lowes, Sprint and Kimberly Clark). We all share a common interest: to see the Great Bear Agreements completed.

There is a lot at stake for British Columbia’s reputation and forests. BC’s Minister of Forests, Steve Thomson, was the keynote speaker at the event. He said loud and clear that the Great Bear Agreements are a priority of the provincial government.

Let’s make sure they don’t fumble in the home stretch.

The recently elected provincial government meets together in the British Columbia legislature for the first time on June 26th. Over the next 100 days provincial representatives will meet with First Nations, logging industry, and environmentalists who have been working hard to implement the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement.



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

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.

Sign Petition
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, , , , ,

Stop Arctic Oil Drilling from

ConocoPhillips is dumb enough to drill in the dangerous Arctic, where extreme conditions and isolation make spills more likely and cleanup impossible.
Stop the next BP Deepwater Horizon or Exxon Valdez spills by telling ConocoPhillips to halt drilling in the Arctic.

Which oil company is dumb enough to go full speed ahead with its plans to drill in the Arctic?

Not Shell, who after spending 7 years and $5 billion dollars on Arctic exploration was forced to halt its 2013 plan to drill in the Arctic. A series of blunders and accidents including the grounding of its drill rig caused Shell to cancel its current plans to drill in the Arctic. Not French oil giant Total SA, whose CEO says that “energy companies should not drill for crude oil in Arctic waters because the environmental risks are too high”. Despite the failures and doubts of its rivals, ConocoPhillips is the oil company dumb enough to stick with its current plans to drill in the Arctic.

Tell ConocoPhillips to halt its ConocoPhillips Arctic drilling operations.

ConocoPhillips has pulled out of environmentally sensitive areas under public pressure before, dropping its plans to drill in the Amazon last year. Currently, the US Bureau of Energy and Management is reviewing ConocoPhillips’ 2014 plan for the Chukchi Sea, the same Arctic sea Shell failed to drill at. Just last Thursday, the Bureau barred Shell from drilling in the Arctic after allowing it to drill in 2012.

Public pressure campaigns from groups like Greenpeace succeeded in spotlighting Shell’s safety blunders and halting its current plan to drill in the Arctic. members can build on the energy from environmental groups to stop oil companies from Arctic drilling by telling ConocoPhillips that it is smart business to abandon its plans in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea.

ConocoPhillips: stop drilling in the Arctic.

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was catastrophic, but an oil spill in the Arctic would be far worse. The Arctic’s isolation from the rest of the world makes oil cleanup next to impossible. Its severe weather and unpredictable ice floes increase the likelihood of spills. Most dangerously, there is no proven method to cleanup oil spills in the Arctic’s extreme conditions.

ConocoPhillips’ proposed drill site is in a pristine and remote part of the world with no roads, airports, or hotels nearby to support cleanup efforts. Remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill? The inaccessibility of the Alaskan seas meant that it took crews many days to arrive while oil spread and destroyed ecosystems. ConocoPhillips plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan northern coast where it is more isolated than the Exxon Valdez spill location. And don’t believe ConocoPhillips when it says there won’t be a spill, it just paid the Chinese hundreds of million dollars in fines for its oil spill in 2011.

The Exxon Valdez images I saw as an 8 year old boy are still fresh: volunteers scrubbing otters and ducks with soap only to watch animals die. 23 years later, the killer whale populations have still not recovered, and the huge schools of whirling herring that fed fishermen have not returned. I don’t want to see these tragic images again.

Oil companies: We don’t need another BP or Exxon Valdez spill. Stop Arctic Drilling!

Thanks for all you do,
Angus, Kaytee, and the team at


Suggested Reading:

The Case Against Drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Waters. Forbes. June 14th, 2012.

Filed under: Environmental, Get Involved, Petitions, , ,

Mercy For Animals; “I could only watch as she lay kicking and blinking, conscious and suffering . . .”

I could only watch as she lay kicking and blinking, conscious and suffering, for minutes before she finally died.

Pig number 46257’s death was no less cruel than her life living in a filthy, metal gestation crate not much larger than her body. She could barely move. She developed sores on her face from being forced to lie pressed against the bars of her cage. By the end, she was too sick to stand.

There is a reason why these ‘torture chambers’ have been banned in the entire European Union and in nine U.S. states. We cannot allow Sobeys, Loblaws, Metro, and Walmart to continue selling pork raised in these horrific conditions. Sign my petition demanding these stores stop sourcing pork from animals locked in gestation crates immediately.

I am an investigator with Mercy For Animals Canada and I went undercover for 10 weeks at a Puratone factory farm supplying pork to these stores. Last week I went public on CTV’s W5 with footage of the horrific conditions I observed. The misery and abuse that I witnessed will haunt me for the rest of my life.

The good news is that we can change what these stores are selling, because we have done it before. Major retailers like Costco, Safeway, McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, and over 40 others in Canada and the United States have taken a stand against gestation crates, demanding pork suppliers do away with them.

Sign my petition and demand that Sobeys, Loblaws, Metro and Walmart follow their competitors and do the right thing.


MFA Canada Undercover Investigator


Filed under: Petitions, , , , , , , ,

Letter to Nepal Representatives Re: Young men rip goat Apart?

Dear Nepal Representative,

I was recently forwarded a petition from Care2 and I find this so deeply disturbing and difficult to believe that I thought I would write to ask if you have any further information. As far as you know, is this actually true? Is this a tradition in Nepal? Is this accurate information? Do young men actually rip a goat apart to be called hero’s? I sincerely look forward to your response and to finding out if this is accurate information. And if so I hope you can forward me information that would help to end this barbaric practice as I trust none of you, in your positions of authority could be remotely in support of this horrible tradition.

Sincerely, A. Rose, Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns

Email BCC:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Thank you to the following blog for their helpful info!

I would also like to know what PETA is doing about this if anybody has info!  Thank you!!

Filed under: Alerts, Blogging, Campaigns, Demo's, Letters, Petitions, Protests, Twittering, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Stop UBC Animal Research Campaign at Vancouver Art Gallery

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