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Anonymous Guerrilla Artist Makes Statement About Ungar Furs

This morning around 9:30am I was traveling on the MAX reading a book and I saw bright red from the corner of my eye. I looked up to see bright red paint splattered across a building like blood. Then I noticed it was Nicholas Ungar Furs. So I got off the train to get some photos and info for this article. The entrance, the sidewalk, the windows, and the sign on the front of the building were significantly splattered. The Police arrived very shortly after I did leading me to believe that perhaps this just happened last night.
This morning around 9:30am I was traveling on the MAX reading a book and I saw bright red from the corner of my eye. I looked up to see bright red paint splattered across a building like blood. Then I noticed it was Nicholas Ungar Furs. So I got off the train to get some photos and info for this article. The entrance, the sidewalk, the windows, and the sign on the front of the building were significantly splattered. The Police arrived very shortly after I did leading me to believe that perhaps this just happened last night. I was not able to get the photos off of my camera but others will hopefully post some soon.

As of this posting I have not seen a communiqué from this anonymous guerrilla artist so I will attempt to piece together an understanding of why such an action has been taken. Ungar Furs, the last remaining furrier shop in downtown Portland located on 1137 SW Yamhill, has been targeted many times by local animal rights advocates. As the name implies they are a furrier shop and a particularly nasty one. They have even been busted by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife for illegal sales of pelts from endangered/banned species. The profits apparently make the fines look like an acceptable loss. A group recently formed out of the momentum from the Schumacher victory, Portland Animal Defense League, has been organizing an ongoing campaign since Dec of 2008 currently happening every Friday at 1pm to educate fur shoppers on the brutality of the process of taking fur from animals (Including: inhumane living conditions, anal electrocution, gas, neck breaking, skinning alive, etc.). Today's anonymous guerrilla art action appears to be in solidarity with that campaign but not part of it because it deviates from the stated mission and tactics of the Friday protesters found here  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2008/12/383411.shtml .

Hopefully someone more directly involved could provide a statement in the "contribution" section below. A communiqué from the artist or artist representative would be cool too.

Pics 15.Jun.2009 13:05

From Joe Anybody

.

Pics 15.Jun.2009 17:11

V

Got my pics off my camera

tyu 15.Jun.2009 17:41

asdf

asdf

Pics 15.Jun.2009 17:45

V

Got my pics off my camera

show support 15.Jun.2009 19:54

demonstrator

A bit of back-story;

Last December several animal advocates started protesting at SW 12th & Yamhill one day a week. In January they had upped the ante by going Monday through Friday from 1-5pm. They've diligently held vigil out front of Nicolas Ungar's Furs every week to date. (Two activists were there today, surprisingly no cops came to harass them.) Horst Grim, the owner (seriously his name), has repeatedly been aggressive toward activists and last Friday he hit me in the belly just below the ribcage with his fist.

Someone sympathetic with the suffering animals, and the dedication of the few demonstrators showing up week after week, has reminded everyone that there is blood behind the scenes everywhere that fur is sold, and people also violent to people behind the counter. The animals and protesters would love you to represent for a fur-free Portland and bring yourself to SW 12th & Yahmill, this week from 1-5pm. Sometimes people run a few minutes late, please support the Bombay Chaat Cart - iced vegan chai, huge 5$ lunch special - across the street until those with materials turn up.

Demonstrate against senseless slaughter for vain extravagance!

Monday-Friday
SW 12th & Yahmill
Nicolas Ungar's Furs

Extra signs and literature will be there.

just soe corrected info 16.Jun.2009 08:51

NC

The Saturday demos began around December 2007, not 8, and ADL was not formed out of the momentum of Schumacher victory, as this was a grass roots organization that formed from it's first meeting in Portland in October 2008. Demos had, however been going on at Ungar Furs for quite some time prior to December 2007, it was just then that other groups joined and every Saturday were there until they closed their doors on Saturdays.

oops, typo 16.Jun.2009 09:01

NC

That was October of 07 not 08 that ADL had it's first meeting. sorry for the typo

Thanks 16.Jun.2009 11:00

V

Thank you for the corrections. Lots of conflicting info online. That is precisely what "Contribution" section is here for. :)
Does Portland Animal Defense League have a website that folks can check out to find out more?

I saw this on Indymedia yesterday and 16.Jun.2009 11:37

starry skies

had to go see what it looked like in person. During my short lunch break I went past and saw a couple protesters with signs. Anyone going in or past that store got a very clear message of the sanitized bloodbath inside.

Thanks to those protesting folks who gave up hours of their day to stand in defense of animals, especially in a time of government repression of activists. You are the best that humanity has to offer - protection of the defenseless without regard to profit or personal gain. You guys/gals rock.

ADL website 16.Jun.2009 22:14

Barking Radish

ADL's site is: pdxanimaldefense.org

The website is outdated so a new website in gestation, soon to be revealed. There is still a good load of links and information. Give a peep.

A better site to be looking at for upcoming Animal Rights issues is: letlivefoundation.org

Thanks to IMC for the camera loan & everyone stopping by to support the demonstration, see you in the streets.

ADL and Vandalism Are Not Related 16.Jun.2009 22:23

Supporter

It should be made clear that Portland Animal Defense League does not engage in these sorts of underground activities, if that's what this was, and is strictly an above-ground group doing protests and demonstrations . It would not only be misguided to associate actions such as this one with Animal Defense League, it would be a breech of security. That being said, there is no judgment being made about underground activities or vandalism as valid tactics, but just that groups doing legal activity should not be associated with illegal activity merely because of similar or shared values or goals, because that is dangerous and a tactic of the Green Scare.

Also, these activists who do engage in legal protest are still going out EVERY DAY that Ungar Furs is open and need more support. Instead of discussing how much one another is familiar with the history of ADL or Ungar protests, maybe people could attend these demonstrations that have been getting more and more intense and being more and more successful. EVERY WEEKDAY!

photos 18.Jun.2009 10:32

from monday

while the paint was being cleaned.

and 18.Jun.2009 10:39

more!

from Monday afternoon. The walls were repainted on Tuesday, as was the gate. As of Wednesday, the only red paint that remained was on the sidewalk, on the "Nicholas Ungar," and some remnants between panes of glass on the front window.

discussion

When is vandalism not vandalism? 15.Jun.2009 13:31

Supporter

Lions and tigers and gorillas. Oh my!

The deed stands on its own merits . . . 15.Jun.2009 15:52

83980bf

says what it means to say.

Forget the "communique". Avoid compromise. Stay safe. Live for another day.

Give them NOTHING!

Cool. 15.Jun.2009 15:52

S.

Nice little action. <3

Terrorism! 15.Jun.2009 16:37

Oh My!

Time to call out the Feds, man. Looks like a clear cut case of 21st century "terrorism" to me.... Throw away the book on whoever dared to throw paint at this building, and protect the people who make their blood money off the blood, flesh, and tears of living beings of all species other than (perhaps) our own. Send em to Sherwood and lock em in a hole with the rest of the "terrorists."

about staying safe 16.Jun.2009 08:59

HM

MIGHT want to start making sure NLG is present at these demos from here on out, what with the paint incident as well as the physical aggression that Horst continues to portray. If I didn't have to be working I'd be there with my video camera, however having someone from NLG or indiemedia even wouldn't hurt. Remember Schumachers.
Oh, and demos in front of Ungar Furs have been happening since LONG before last December. Since before December 2007 they were a regular Saturday event. Just fyi.

There is no "safe" 16.Jun.2009 09:38

for the animals

Good suggestions regarding legal observers, but let's not over-state the ability to be "safe," nor the need to obsess over it. (This is meant kindly, sometimes it's hard to tell over the internet.) When animals are being violently separated from their own skin for a disgusting combination of vanity and profit, it's not the time to be thinking too hard about "safe."

Indy Cams 16.Jun.2009 11:45

PDX IMC volunteer

Video has loaned out the last functional collective camera we have to folks keeping vigil there. Use it how ever is useful. We just ask that a news story come from its use.

It would be pretty nice of a legal volunteer or someone who has been trained in legal observation to make it down there regularly. Most have jobs though. Maybe a training could be set up with the folks who plan to be there?

While Indymedia video has been used extensively in the past for legal protection and lawsuits, Indymedia actually focuses mostly on capturing the story of what's happening and the context for reporting purposes. The trainings for legal and media, while similar in many ways, are different. Some volunteers have done both trainings and some haven't.

Personally, I prefer the idea of each affinity group having their own embedded "journalist" reporting back to Indy through whatever medium they wish (video, audio, articles, photos, cartoons, poetry, whatever). Rather than an IMC volunteer doing it for you. It's more secure and first hand reporting is more accurate(& frankly far more interesting!). It also really helps groups to send folks to volunteer with us(too many reasons to list). The more embedded IMC volunteers the more people contribute(the more efficient our work becomes too!) and the better the content. In fact, the more people contribute, the more people check and use the site. I see Portland Indymedia as being the revolutionary answer to alternative media. You folks make the media/do the reporting, we organize & distribute it to millions of people. Everyone is a potential journalist reporting their own story instead of the people with elitist bourgeois degrees. Fuck professional journalism and fuck the corporate media!

Finally some attention to this protest! 16.Jun.2009 23:22

demonstrator

Several times over the last few months there have been call-outs for support and still the attendance has rarely increased, yet with all this media coverage we can be sure to see new bandanna clad faces out there. I guess Portland's radical vegans would prefer to find out if socialists or anarchists will win out in kickball. Hmmm...exploitation of some species...exploitation of most species....exploitation of laborers....oppressive society...what do the animals get for their pain?

Go out. 17.Jun.2009 04:29

Lilah lilah.music@gmail.com

Go out. Go protest. I wish I was there. My thoughts are with you!

Maybe the cameras could be hidden so that when Mr Grim punches people, it can be caught on tape. He'll play nice if he sees the cameras.

Getting folks out 17.Jun.2009 08:06

fellow pdx organizer

It takes a massive amount of outreach work and high energy to get people to attend events. Especially daily ones. You can't just post it and expect people to show. You have to create buzz and excitement. You need to be able to convince people that your tactic is making progress and can ultimately succeed. The buzz up til now has been a little negative. There are doubts about how effective this campaign is. Maybe now that it's daily and folks are hearing about it now that will change. But you gotta put in the effort to convince people you can win if you want to take full advantage of current public interest. It'll fade fast too, so hop to it. There are lots of campaigns going on which equals competition for people's time and attention. This autonomous artist did you all a huge favor by bringing attention and excitement to what you're doing. But there is above ground things that ADL can do too. Pull creative stunts and organize good entertainment. When Tre sat on the Forest Service building pooping in a bucket people came down to see what this weird guy was about and got educated by the folks on the ground. Reach out to your local radical arts community they're full of eye catching but thoughtful ideas. Tell every stranger you meet on the bus about it. Buzz on the bus is SUPER valuable. You have a captive audience there. What else do they have to listen to? Chances are your conversation will be more interesting than the stuff they've listened to a million times on their ipod. Make a special event day every week(change which day). Get interviewed on KBOO as often as you can. Go on Cable Access shows, like Jim Lockhart's. Do powerpoint presentations at colleges and artwalks. When doing call-outs for volunteers give a list of specific tasks they can do to help. Do you have an outreach committee? It helps tremendously to have people that can focus just on that.

Video 17.Jun.2009 11:23

demonstrator

The punch is all on video and the camera was right in front of him. Killing animals for food is also killing the entire biosphere, as the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions - methane (according to a 2006 UN report), within a few years a worldwide crisis will begin to be felt in even the most privileged cultures. Also, animal's flesh causes toxicity in obligate herbivores such as humynkind. Diseases like Diabetes, Cancer (especially of the prostate & intestines), Osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, Parasites, Ebola, E. Coli, Swine Flu, Avian Flu, and many other ills befall us if we aren't primarily eating raw vegan deliciousness.

In Will Tuttle's book, 'The World Peace Diet', it's reasoned that all of the fear and anxiety that is chemically stored in the flesh at the time of slaughter manifests in psychological ways that plague humyn society. These fight or flight hormonal triggers become problematic for the people who consume animals, and those who do the killing also suffer from psychosis that is alike post-traumatic stress which is carried over into their life outside of work. This may be why they become excessively violent, as shown in many undercover videos, and vent the psychotic episodes at the creatures who are powerless to them, lest they become out of control in the improper setting where ramifications would come of abuse upon fellow humyns.

Back to the subject of this fur shop, and the torturous mass-murder that supports it, fur is an elitist luxury and unnecessary in modern humyn cultures. It seems obvious that fur burgers could not be delicious, so I hope that author was being sardonic or will take a few minutes to reflect on how moronic they've shown themselves as.

For good information on our optimal diet see:
rawveg.info

Here's to getting up off our asses 17.Jun.2009 11:29

response to demonstrator

"I guess Portland's radical vegans would prefer to find out if socialists or anarchists will win out in kickball."

Sad grin of empathy. I feel your pain.

As someone who spent the last three years desperately trying to get ANYONE AT ALL to give a fuck about sea lions being brutally murdered for the crime of EATING on the Columbia, I totally feel your pain. And as someone who has spent decades fighting for the lives of animals, I can tell you it never seems to get any easier.

It's very hard to be the rare person who actually sees the living, thinking, feeling beings who live all around us, recognizing them for who they really are. It's so hard to see what humans do to them, and to watch fellow "activists" blow it all off as if it doesn't really matter. It can be so very, very frustrating watching what I came to see, in my more bitter moments, as scenester "activists" sitting around on their asses talking revolution and doing virtually nothing. At least, this is really how I saw it. (Shit, writing letters was not "cool" enough, and getting arrested was too, you know, getting arrested-y.) It's impossibly hard not to become bitter, frustrated, and angry about that. But hang in there. I know it sounds facile, but people do come around. They really do. It only takes a few very dedicated, very committed people to make a huge difference. (Schumachers is gone now, right?) Try not to let this kill you. The humans are what they are, even the "activist" ones. Try to see beyond the ones who should be there but aren't, and instead see the ones who *are* there. Their numbers will grow, even if it's just enough to make a difference and not any more than that. That's all that really matters, right? Making a difference.

People really do care more than you think they do, and eventually more of them will push past the entropy and start turning out. Patience is very hard when animals are dying every day, I know. But energy is building, and your presence out there in front of that store is making a difference even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Re:Getting folks out 17.Jun.2009 11:40

Skinless Mink Still Alive

Agreed, these activists being vegan spending 20-30 hours a week on actually doing activism is not enough. You must market yourself. Get out there and convince us couch vegans to transition from criticizing people on Indy Media to actually getting up and doing something. Come on, you can't just announce a call out for action and expect people in this town to actually rely on their sense of ethics, conscience, and internal direction to get up and do something.

</sarcasm>

Sorry, I am one of the stuck @ work 9-6 M-F people or I would totally be down.

But I realize the sacrifice these individuals are doing and help out every chance I can.

Don't wait for a 'buzz' or a scene to emerge for you to make your appearance. This is about beings being confined, losing their minds, getting sick, chewing their limbs off, and being skinned, sometimes alive. We are entirely too far removed from the situation when we think we need human motivation for activism. You know it's right, you know what you should be doing. If you are burned out on people and activism in general, go watch Earthlings and then weigh your burnout or apprehension Vs the daily reality that is hidden from us.


PDX VEGANS • PLEASE WAKE UP • ACTIVATE • RE-ACTIVATE


Earthlings:

 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6361872964130308142

RE:Here's to getting up off our asses 17.Jun.2009 12:06

Skinless Mink Still Alive

Thanks for the positive comments!

<3 to all activists out there trying to heal our world.

We may not be working on the same campaigns or using the same tactics, but we've gotta show the love for those who are WORKING for change! :-)

Criminal 17.Jun.2009 13:01

Susan

I don't think criminal behavior is ok, nor is defacing a small business...In Va. PETA thought it would be a great idea to protest a Pow-wow in Newport News Va. one of the first years they moved into the Norfolk Va. area...(It didn't go well for Peta) I also saw the hurt in all the Native Americans who stood proud and took the abuse,... but guys there are better ways to get your point across with out making the word a worse place to live in full of people who are all intolerant of one another...

Susan, what does this 17.Jun.2009 13:54

?

have to do with PETA or legal protests in Virginia? Cultural tradition is also no excuse for animal abuse. I'm just about done with trying to rationalize cruelty by invoking tradition, culture or ethnicity. "Ethnocentrism" is no more evil than blatant anthropocentrism.

With your example are you trying to make the argument that legal protests are intolerant? Sorry, but fur shops don't close down with rational conversation. The people running them have no problem with hurting and killing animals for a fashion item.

Criminal 17.Jun.2009 14:06

Skinless Mink Still Alive link

Susan, perhaps you would like to expound upon your concept of "criminals"?

Because the concept changes according to the legislation in each time and location.

Do you also abhor the criminals Martin Luther King or Jesus Christ?

You see, "criminal" is a person who is accused of breaking a law, any law, at any point in time, anywhere in the world.

You may feel partial to the laws of the USA today, but the laws of every age in USA history have been largely popular at the time.

Ethics, on the other hand stand regardless of time or legislation.


PS - None of this has anything to do with peta, please educate yourself.

yep 17.Jun.2009 19:51

up off our asses

"Get out there and convince us couch vegans to transition from criticizing people on Indy Media to actually getting up and doing something."

Word.

"Don't wait for a 'buzz' or a scene to emerge for you to make your appearance. This is about beings being confined, losing their minds, getting sick, chewing their limbs off, and being skinned, sometimes alive."

And word.

This was my reaction to all that as well, but I didn't know how to say it.

This ain't a scene. It's real life, and really, animals are dying. This is war. Time to take a side and fight.

Still Small Numbers 17.Jun.2009 23:06

Sitka

I'm glad to see the spark that this action and this discussion has created. I'm glad to see people are talking about the slactivist vegan scene in Portland. I'm glad that people are talking about coming out to show support for a small few activists who go out week after week and day after day to fight for the animals. I'm glad people want to stop the excuses and take action for the animals that suffer everyday at the hand of humanity. It's really nice to see people even acknowledge the last 7 months of dedication on the part of these activists.

Yet for the last few days, it has still been small numbers, no more than 3 people. I would be glad to see people put their words into actions. Ungar Furs is putting up a fight, hiring security and private investigators. These activists would really enjoy more support, and Ungar would crumble if the numbers kept growing.

Please do something

come out and protest! 18.Jun.2009 11:32

vegan power

The above-ground campaign against Ungar Furs could really use some more support. It is puzzling how many people support this campaign: passers by, motorists, folks here on indymedia, et cetera, yet are unwilling to join in. It is understandable that schedules can be tough to work around, but come on- there have to be more than four people in this city who can make some time on weekdays to help raise awareness about the torture and murder that inevitably goes into every fur garment.

You don't have to be there the whole day, and you don't have to be there every day. Coming out to support the anti-fur movement for even a couple of hours a week is better than doing nothing but criticize on indymedia. If you can reliably show up one day a week, that would be amazing.

Posters announcing these demos have been posted around Portland for over half a year and announcements have regularly gone out on indymedia, yet there has been no increase in the number of activists involved in this campaign.

"Maybe now that it's daily and folks are hearing about it now that will change." The protests have been daily for at least a couple of months now; this is not new. And the only people I've talked to who didn't know about this campaign are the random people walking by downtown who say "Oh, I didn't know there was a fur shop here" or "I thought Schumacher's closed down already?"

The daily demonstrations are perfectly legal; don't let AETA chill stop you from exercising your freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom of association- this is all in the first amendment. Please feel "free" to use what rights we still have.

There are activists in front of Ungar Furs every weekday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Act up, fight back.

To all those who still question why we do what we do 18.Jun.2009 13:38

No Comprimise and No Regrets

"If we are trespassing, so were the soldiers who broke down the gates of Hitler's death camps;
If we are thieves, so were the members of the Underground Railroad who freed the slaves of the South;
And if we are vandals, so were those who destroyed forever the gas chambers of Buchenwald and Auschwitz."

Ok so now I am mad 18.Jun.2009 15:52

Injun b

If you really want to point fingers it was white people who killed off the buffalo and now are killing off the salmon and all the other species. The traditions of native americans is our Identity now that you have taken our land and have take our freedom you want to take the only thing that we have left. The native americans have lots of respect for there animal neighbors and did not destroy this world so please do not rob us of our only remaining things we have left. If you want to fight factory farms I am in agreement there is no respect for animls in factory farms but I will continue to eat meat and if you cannot accept that then we might not be able to work together.

response to Injun b 18.Jun.2009 19:42

world citizen

Nobody is pointing fingers at one race or another for abusing animals (other than you, I suppose). Fingers are being pointed only at those members of the human race who exploit non-humans. I understand that using animals is a cultural tradition for many Native Americans, but so it is for many Whites as well (and others, but these are the two that you brought up). Anybody, from any race, can choose to live a cruelty-free lifestyle. "Because that's how we've always done it" doesn't fly in my book, no matter who is saying it.

Animals deserve respect at all times 18.Jun.2009 20:02

Not just when it fits your agenda

Sounds as though you can support the rights of animals to live a life free of suffering, captivity, exploitation, cruelty and death when it is convenient to you and your beliefs. Being a native american in the year 2009 does not give you the right to use animals as you see fit. The times have changed. We use to burn people we believed to be witches and we "owned" people and used them as slaves because we felt we were superior.

Re cultural relativism and the rights of animals 18.Jun.2009 21:21

AR

I don't really want to sidetrack this discussion away from the Ungar demo, but I know and like Injun B, so I feel compelled to respond to what he wrote.

Injun B, maybe people did not express this in a very sensitive manner -- ie, seeming to point fingers at Native people when the problem is ALL of us and the people I see going in and out of Ungar sure aren't Native. But I think the reason it came up is this: Invariably, when the subject of the rights of animals comes up, someone points out that "the Indians did it so it's cool." Usually, the person making that statement is NOT Native. It's usually some white person trying to justify killing and torturing animals. (Sadly, though, that's not always the case. As in the fight over sea lions, in which there are Native people who actually and inexplicably support the killing, or the case of whales in Neah Bay, where Native people are claiming that chasing whales in speed boats and shooting them to death with automatic gunfire is "traditional.") But you know what I'm saying: "You can't speak against eating meat because 'the Indians' did it, and they respected the earth," or "you can't complain about fur because 'the Indians' did it, so that makes it all right." That is, on its face, a racist claim that lumps all Native people together into a monolithic stereotype, and it appropriates someone else's culture to make a point. I'm sure you see the racism in that.

However, regarding whether anyone is "taking away" the "right" of Native people to hurt and kill animals? I really have to say that I could never support anyone's "right" to hurt and kill animals, and knowing you as well as I thought I did, I'm surprised that you could imply such a thing.

Let me give you a comparison.

In Hmong culture, there is a practice known as "marriage by rape." It is a long standing custom, in which a Hmong male will unilaterally select a woman whom he wishes to marry. He will flirt with her, and if she seems in any way receptive -- even if only in his own mind -- then he is obliged to forcibly drag her off and rape her. Thus consummated, the couple is then considered to be "married." Part of the custom is that the woman is supposed to object. She's "supposed" to kick and scream and resist, and he's "supposed" to overcome that resistance. There is no culturally acceptable way for the woman to opt out. No way to dissent, because No means Yes. Needless to say, this is not a custom that Hmong women had much of a say in creating. But it has gone on for centuries. When Hmong people began moving to this country, the practice caused some furor. There were a couple of spectacular cases involving attacks on non-Hmong women, including one in which a woman at a university in California was dragged off and raped by a man who then tried to use the cultural defense plea to escape prosecution for it. His lawyers claimed that, since this is a "normal and accepted practice" in his own culture, he should not be held accountable for rape. Even though the woman had not consented, the lawyers argued that, because he just "thought" she had, despite her screams and protests, what she really meant did not matter. Only his perception mattered.

Does that sound right? Hmong people are an oppressed minority culture that has been crapped on a lot by the dominant culture. So should Hmong men get a free pass to rape women? Because, you know, it's traditional, and they have been oppressed. The courts had an interesting perspective on that: They seem to have decided that when a Hmong man rapes a non-Hmong woman (especially a white woman), then it is a crime. But when he rapes a Hmong woman, it is rarely prosecuted because, whether she wanted it or not, they assume that by virtue of the culture she was born in, the woman just has to take it.

Do we have the right to speak up for the woman in that exchange? Or do we need to be "culturally relative" and allow men to continue to rape women like that?

Here's another, similar example. There are cultures all over the world in which it is not only acceptable and legal, but it's actually obligatory for men to literally kill women for perceived insults to their "honor." So a woman who talks to a man she is not married to, a woman who speaks up in an uppity manner to a male, a woman who dares to have sex with someone she's not married to... these are all considered capital offenses in some cultures. (A woman in Iran was once shot to death on a bus because her head scarf had fallen back, exposing some of her hair, and when the religious police demanded that she fix it, she told him to get out of her face.)

Many of the cultures in which honor killings are still practiced and condoned are indigenous cultures. Should we just look the other way and tell people not to interfere because, hey, it's their traditional culture? What about the victim? Doesn't she have a say?

In some parts of Africa, men still kill women whom they consider to be witches. Again, I ask, is it all right since it's being done by people from indigenous African cultures? Does the victim get no say?

All right, and one more. In some cultures, it's all right for parents to kill their own children -- especially daughters -- for various reasons. For example, if a daughter dishonors her family, or if the family already has "too many" daughters, or if the child is born with a handicap. Again, do we just sit back and let that happen because, hey, it's their culture?

Some would say yes. I say no. I say that those who do not have a say in shaping these traditional practices should not be left without protection on "traditional" grounds. It's always the powerless within a given culture who bear the brunt of the violence and injustice. That includes the dominant culture, but it also includes indigenous cultures.

It tends to be women, and children, and non-human animals. They are the ones who suffer the "traditions" of violence and oppression, and they are the ones who had the least power to shape those traditions. Those of us who care about oppression of others must care no matter which culture is imposing that oppression. Just as I would stand up for the right of my next door neighbor not to be raped or murdered, I must stand up for the right of a Hmong woman not to be raped, or an Arab woman not to be murdered. And just as I would stand up for the right of any person not to be brutally murdered by *anyone,* regardless of culture, so I must stand up for the right of an animal not to be brutalized and murdered, no matter who was doing the murder, no matter what culture the murderer came from.

No one has the "right" to hurt and torture and kill others. No one.

This is not to say that it's Native people doing the bulk of killing. Clearly, it is not. Nor is it indigenous cultures that are oppressing women the most. Oppressing women and children and non-human animals takes place in every culture. The point is, there is nothing honorable or acceptable about that kind of violence, suffering, pain, and brutality, regardless of culture. I think many animal rights advocates are tired of the implication that it's all right for animals to be hurt and tortured and killed if "the indians" did it. It is not. Period. No non-human animal was ever asked to sign onto any treaty giving the right to hurt and kill them away to humans. If they had been asked, do you think they would have assented to that? Would you have?

I'd like to think that we can continue to work together Injun B. Because I really like and respect you. But please don't ask me to turn my back on the oppression of animals, for any reason, ever.

WoW 18.Jun.2009 22:27

Thank You

x!wow!x

To AR 19.Jun.2009 02:29

Injun B

Thank you for your comments I do see your point to a certain degree. No of coarse not it is never ok to rape women even if it a cultural thing, however we were talking bout eating animals and not raping women. Animals kill other animals this is how the world works you may not like it but it is a fact. Should we stop animals from killing other animals because we think it is cruel? No of coarse we couldn't for that is how they must live to survive. In that sense some native Americans today maybe not in the lower 48 and Hawaii must live in order to survive, bit many in Canada and south America do. Now do I need to eat meat in order to survive? No I don't but I sometime choose to Identify with other Native Americans by eating meat you can call me cruel but in the end I think the world is a cruel place. Nature is unforgiving.

the way of the world 19.Jun.2009 08:29

--

animals kill other animals because they have no choice. Most of us (reading indy today) have a choice. Why take a life if we don't need to?

Regarding the way of the world 19.Jun.2009 09:51

AR

The reason I used the example of culturally condoned rape and violence toward women and children is not that I thought you would condone that, Injun B. I know you would not. I used examples that have to do with the cultural oppression of humans rather than the cultural oppression of animals because so many people are so far from empathy for non-human animals that they are incapable of recognizing them as legitimate beings. Too many people are initially incapable of recognizing when social justice should apply to animals, because non-human animals are treated as so very, very Other.

But animals can think, and feel, and suffer pain, just like you and me. They have deep emotional lives, and they don't want to be made to suffer and die any more than you or I do. I used the examples that I did because I needed to make a point about culturally condoned violence that anyone can see, even if they can't yet see that animals deserve to be protected from that oppression as much as humans. But animals DO deserve to be protected from that.

Again, I want to make it clear that Native people aren't oppressing animals more than anyone else. (Or even as much.) The reason this came up is, like I said above, that there's always someone who wants to excuse the suffering of animals on the grounds of culture, and I do not think that is acceptable. For the reasons given. But please do not think I'm trying to point a finger at Native culture while ignoring the factory farms, ghastly laboratories, fur farms, and violence of the dominant culture.

It is true that animals often eat other animals. Some amount of suffering seems built into the system somewhere. This is a painful fact of life that I confess I do not understand, and I don't have an answer for that. I've tried to figure that one out, but I can't. So you are right about that. But does that mean that we can knowingly, willingly condone, support, and take part in causing more suffering, just because others do it? Again, I don't think so. I think we must look into our hearts, and put ourselves into the place of the other. If I don't want to be crammed into a tiny crate away from the sun for my entire life, then I must not knowingly inflict that harm on others. If I don't want to be brutally electrocuted or clubbed to death and have my skin torn off, then neither should I allow that to be done to others. If I don't want to be hung up in a slaughter house and bled to death, then neither should I allow that to happen to others.

Non-human animals have just as much inherent right to be protected from that as you or I have.

Yes, animals sometimes eat other animals. But would you want to be eaten? If not, then you understand how they feel. They fight for their lives just as you or I would. If you were in their place, would you want bystanders to turn away because that's just "the way of the world"? Or would you want someone to stand up for you, to save you?

We aren't allowed to eat each other, right? Why, then, should we be allowed to eat others whose only crime is being different than us? (But not nearly so different as so many of us seem to believe.) There are exceptions -- famous gruesome plane crashes or mountain strandings where people had to eat their dead to survive. We make allowance for that, because they had to do it. But if they don't have to, we don't let them. That should be the case for eating other animals also. If one has to do it to survive, well that's the way of the world. But if one does not have to....

Killing when you don't have to seems immoral to me. It just seems wrong, and it seems like something that one should stand up against.

AR 19.Jun.2009 12:26

Injun b

Yes but like I said in some places killing is necessary for survival. Does that make it right for me to kill to eat if I don't have to? Well I feel that it would be ok for a a bear to eat me if he was hungry and would die other wise just as if it would be ok for me to kill and eat him to live survival is inherently selfish. The law of the jungle is kill to eat or to from being eaten. Humans to today many times kill for fun or to make a fashion statement or because it suites our pallet preferences and not to survive. This kind of killing is and always will be wrong.

One Struggle 19.Jun.2009 14:46

non-breeder because I care about the planet

Here are a few tangent thoughts of a free associative sort:

"Science has shown repeatedly and convincingly that other animals have minds and emotions so like our own that their joy and suffering is essentially indistinguishable from our own joy and suffering. People are waking up to the implications of this fact; a revolution has begun."- Rick Bogle

In 'Of War & Peace' Leo Tolstoy writes, "As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields".

Enough independently verified evidence is available to validate raw vegan diets as the optimum consumable for human physiological interrelations. There is also a decision involved and the awareness that our race, humanity, is capable of coauthoring the evolution of our species. By deciding to consume Non-Violently Acquired Sustenance*, our presence on the Earth and the social condition transforms into the peaceful potential that everyone who's reasonable desires.

* In 'The Secret Lives of Plants', by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird, it's noted that edible herbs become elated when a person appreciatively consumes them. This is recorded with sensitive instrumentation that monitors the flow of energy through the plant. Their reaction to being lovingly consumed registered on the opposite of the spectrum from being burnt, uprooted or dismembered maliciously. Evidently, there is an actual enjoyment for a plant to be assimilated into a respectful herbivore, that some would describe as a meaningful transmigration for the life force.

The capitalist, fascist police state of free trade & globally dominant militarism has to be dismantled piece by piece, beginning with inner peace. What companies and individuals are we reliant on for our daily "needs"? Can I go a day without buying anything, a week without buying anything, a month without buying anything in packaging? Can I go a year without supporting any corporations, and the desk jockeys profiting heinously, and not buy into the reductionist consumerism that provides us hermetically sealed personal packaging? Henry David Thoreau promulgated that "For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root." Go vegan, raw, sustainably, and (if you're a heterosexual man) receive a free vasectomy from Planned Parenthood. "This is the Omniverse, fuck what ya heard, do not multiply!" Adoption and fostering are the only ethically defensible ways for couples to enter parenthood in the present era. Get Sterilized!

To the potential biological mothers desiring the experience of gestation and birth: Not every couple will read, nor head this announcement, so you may live it vicariously. If that seems unfair, think about how fathers have always experienced pregnancy and parenthood, aright?

To the non breeder 19.Jun.2009 19:24

sterilize yourself, thanks

Talk about hi-jacking this discussion!

I find the term "breeder" to be disgusting. It's offensive hate speech that denigrates mothers and motherhood, in a culture that likes to blame and denigrate mothers for absolutely everything already. Check yourself.

The problems of this world are not traced back to the womb, as so-called "non breeders" would like to imply.

This is not a debate over "breeding" versus "non breeding," though, thank goodness. If you want to start one of those, write your own article and start a new thread. This is about an action at Ungar, about animal rights. I liked the other things you said, and I agree with everything other than the facile, "I Care so I don't BREED and if you cared neither would you" thing.

So back to the subject: Awesome to see that someone took some action at Ungar that is getting people thinking, talking, and hopefully at some point, ACTING!

keeping the evil fresh 19.Jun.2009 20:11

when you consume from an abyss, the abyss consumes you also

> Can I go a day without buying anything, a week without buying anything, a month without buying anything in packaging?

Right, right, if it wasn't for that infernal devil-spawned PACKAGING, everything would be groovy.

The way of the world, culture, and animals 19.Jun.2009 22:30

Other

Once, men considered women to be inferior and Other, so that violence against them, ownership of them, and denial of rights for them were "just the way it is." It was normal, traditional, if you will. But then women struggled and fought and kicked ass on oppressive traditions that treated them as sub-human, as inferior, as property and things.

Once, white people considered people of color to be inferior and Other, so that violence against them, ownership of them, and denial of rights for them were "just the way it is." It was normal, and traditional, if you will. But then people of color struggled and fought and kicked ass on oppressive traditions that treated them as sub-human, as inferior, as property and things.

Now, humans often consider non-human animals to be inferior and Other, so that violence against them, ownership of them, and denial of rights for them are "just the way it is." It's considered normal, and traditional, if you will. And now, some of us are struggling and fighting and kicking ass on oppressive traditions that treat them as sub-human, as inferior, as property and things.

It's all a matter of perspective. As long as we see those who are different from us as somehow "less" than us, just because they are different, we will be breeding ignorance and injustice and immorality. As long as we excuse suffering and injustice just because "that's the way the world is," then we are part of the problem. It is when we see ourselves in the Other, when we recognize our kinship and our Oneness with other beings, no matter what their gender, their race, their species, only then can we begin to build a better world.

About Ungar 19.Jun.2009 23:53

non-breeder

Animals in the cages at fur farms are treated heinously by people who were made by the egg and sperm of breeding humans. These brutalized beings would understand that the tyrants who imprison, torture and slaughter them are of a species who make the majority of all earthling's dilemmas and it's simply obvious that every person who ever took part in destroying nature and enacting cruelty, including myself, are so "conceived".

Read into the previous articles, they diverted from the Ungar discussion, why is the one critical of a literal "birthright" being objected to? Centering all the rage about a topic on one word is semantics and gave us taboo profanity which fucks with genuine conveyance of thoughts as they come up for air time.

I wholeheartedly stand by my words just like standing every day this week in front of Ungar, and several days of most of the many weeks before. Niceties are a pre-mass extinction luxury.

Culture and "non breeders" and animals 20.Jun.2009 21:18

a human

First, Injun B, we like you even though we already knew you ate meat. You're a good person, but please do think about how the choice to eat meat (when you do not need to) impacts the lives and well being of others.

Second, I have to underline that the term "breeder" or "non breeder" is offensive to many of us, and it just seems snotty to imply that those of us who have procreated are the problem and those of you who haven't (can't?) are somehow more pure. Maybe you don't mean it to sound like that, but that's what it sounds like to me, too. Just saying that the people who torture animals were "made by the egg and sperm of breeding humans" is, gee, not enough to prove your point. Silly. Because those of us who care about the lives and dignity and worth and well being of animals were also born to mothers and fathers. And we are very, very rare in this world. There should be more of us who can see non-human animals for who they are. There should be enough of us to change the way humans relate to non-humans. Those of us who raise our children as compassionate, loving, thoughtful, respectful vegans are making a valuable contribution to the world.

Yes, over-consumption is a huge problem in this world. Address that in what way you will. If you choose not to procreate, that's your business. But it does kind of seem like you're implying that those of us who choose to procreate are all fucked up, and that's fucked up. More mother blaming.

Finally, regarding whether or not throwing paint all over a building is a legitimate tactic? Why the fuck not. It got people talking, didn't it? Got people thinking more about the cruelty of the fur industry, right? Then why not?!

Blaming Breeders 21.Jun.2009 00:11

non-breeder

It takes 2 to tango and I sincerely don't feel I'm surely right or should be vulgar to folks who have copulated and repopulated previously. People breeding is "natural" (typically), even I acknowledge, and the inherent value of anyone intent on gene propagation remains unchallenged by the provocative language used to dispute maternal instinct. Ironically, a male authors this as if with protective instinct for the nature that instilled so well a reproductive drive to match a previous abundance of sustenance that is now over-consumed to a moment of crisis. Also, the harshest of these terms is intended to draw a connection to the terminology of forced mating by animal industries. I'm not about to hopelessly mope and dwell on which desires for this lifetime can be dismissed to help lessen populace stress to the offspring of other people because I've been committed to renounce everywhere possible, although mostly in love for other lifeforms in this biosphere. After this, whoever will ignore the misery that each earthling suffers due to overpopulation of our species will breed in a sort of disconnected ignorance. That is just the opinion of one insignificant being, so do what you want to.

nature knows what is best for nature 21.Jun.2009 15:43

organism

There are abundant examples of intelligent non-human organisms causing suffering. Lets look at the Orca. When encountering whale mothers with calf, it is common for a pod of orcas to seperate the calf from the mother and spend several hours ramming, bruising and pounching onto the back of the defensless calf until it is drowned. What do the orcas get out of this massive expendeture of energy? Nothing more than the calfs tounge is consumed by the pod of intelligent orcas. These species have co-evolved together over millions of years - why have these beings who are at least as intelligent as humans (probably more so) so brutal to other intelligent species?

it is well documented that the bottlenose dolphin will forcibly rape the smaller spotted and dusky dolphins - why do these intelligent creatures who have co-evolved together for millions of years do this to one another? Can't orcas learn to get along with other whales? Why can't Bottlenose Dolphins stop raping smaller Dolphins of other species?

Whales and Dolphins have been on earth much longer than humans. They are as intelligent or more intelligent than humans - so why in all these millions of years have these species not learned to get along peacefully? Are there any wild vegan whales or Dolphins?

There was a post claiming that certain herbs get pleasure out of lovingly being eaten. Do whale calfs get pleasure out of being tortured for hours, being drowned and then having just the tounge eaten? Does the mother whale get pleasure from watching her calf being tortured? Nature always does what is best for nature and these species have co-evolved this relationship. Placing invented human morals on the relationships in nature built over millions of years is impractical and self involving - most often done so to further an agenda.

Plants have evolved with fire for a much greater time than with a human lovingly eating herbs. Many plants need fire as part of their natural life cycle - plants have evolved with fire to do so. Fire is a much more natural part of the lives of plant communities than being consumed lovingly by humans. Perhaps when a plant is burned it is elated to be fullfilling its evolved destiny with fire - after all fire and plants have a much longer relationship than plants and humans.

PREY RESPONSE is where an animal goes into a state of shock when caught by a predator. This is a co-evolved relationship that keeps the predator form being injured by an animal struggling for freedom, and keeps the prey animal from suffering due to the prey response shutting down the nervous system. This predator prey relationship is millions of years older than the first human. Nature takes care of herself, placing human moral values on the natural world and its co-evolved relationships is rediculous.

Oh, WELL then. 21.Jun.2009 20:52

a higher organism

If "an organism" claims that it's natural to cause suffering in the world, then I guess we can all just throw up our hands and give up trying to make anything better for non-human animals. I guess we're just following "nature" when we cram hundreds of thousands of living beings into tiny gestation crates, battery cages, and veal crates for their entire lives. I guess it's "nature" telling us to use millions of chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals to death. "Nature" hanging them up by their feet and cutting their throats, "nature" shoving metal tubes down their throats and feeding them till their livers burst, "nature" trading dignity and lives for a cheap and unnecessary meal.

And I suppose "nature" smiles on those who shove electrodes into the mouths and against the anuses of living animals, and electrocute them to death so that they can rip off their skin and sell it at Ungar furs.

Yes, I guess that a few examples of random violence in the world should be more than enough to convince us all to abandon any mercy or compassion for non-human animals and just jump on the assembly line of death that we call our culture.

Or not.

But thanks anyway.

suffering is natural 22.Jun.2009 09:41

non-breeder bummble bee

everything living thing on this planet feels and suffers, life does not exist without suffering. We don't touch a hot stove because of the suffering burn it will cause. Predators cause suffering on the animals they eat for food - it has always been so. This world is built of and from suffering, since the first life form came into existence almost 2 billion years ago.

What would you do if you came upon a gull with a broken wing? Would you put it out of it's misery? Or would you let it live out the rest of it's life in pain and suffering? The gull will run/swim from you and try to escape if you try to catch it so it can be put out of it's misery. That gull would rather live the rest of it's life in pain and suffering than to be "put down". That gull will do whatever it can to escape, even increasing the severity of it's injuries to do so.

Mother nature designed every life form with the gift of suffering, it is not up to one species or another to decide otherwise. Wild things do not have the ability to mask suffering as people do. If I have pain and suffering I can take a drug to hide the symptoms, I can hide from suffering if I cannot cope. Wild things cope with suffering.

I made a choice not to breed directly as a result of human caused suffering. My choice gives me the knowledge that I am and will be doing something good for the future of this planet. No matter what the intentions of someone who has made a choice to breed, those offspring will use resources taken directly from the planet. Every new human needs clothing, food, shelter - the impact just keeps snowballing. When I die the impact ends. Less people equals less human caused suffering. A planet full of 10 billion vegans will not end human caused suffering.


Is it better to have lived and suffered than to have never lived at all? Mother nature say YES!!

Birth is natural 22.Jun.2009 10:59

weird logic

Non-breeder thinks that suffering is natural but not procreation?

"What would you do if you came upon a gull with a broken wing?" I would take it in and help it heal its wing. What would YOU do?

Breeder still sticks 22.Jun.2009 14:35

Another non-

If you have even one child, chances are that you have caused more impact than a steak-eating hummer driver. We all need to slow down. There are plenty of orphans of all species in this world.

Breeder is not a sexist term, so stop trying to make that stick. Disagree, sure - but don't try to hide behind associating the term with oppression. People who use it mean it just as much to both sexes. Males have more responsibility to get sterilized because it is much safer, healthier, and simpler for them and saves womyn from having to use chemicals.

I do not begrudge the love of parents for their children, what's done is done and children deserve love, we just need to ALL think about the seriousness of the most impactful decision we will likely ever make.

Sexism is Sexism 22.Jun.2009 18:54

Pointing out the obvious

"Breeder is not a sexist term, so stop trying to make that stick"

Uh, YES, it IS.

If you can't see that, perhaps you also cannot see that being anti-immigrant is the same as being racist. Sure, there are people from all kinds of races who are immigrants, but we all know who you're talking about.

Breeder IS a an extremely, offensively, sexist term and I cannot imagine how anyone posting on this site could think it appropriate to use it.

be offended if you want, but for the right reasons. 22.Jun.2009 19:12

yet another non-breeder

"Breeder" is really, really, not a sexist term, actually. If you're seeing sexism, then the sexist one is you. Both males and females are equally responsible for breeding (or rather, for preventing breeding). I can understand how some people who choose to breed may be offended by the term, but seriously, stop trying to read sexism into it. Heterosexism, maybe. Sexism, no.

Do you think that only one sex is responsible for breeding? 22.Jun.2009 19:33

If so, then why are YOU calling OTHERS sexist?

Unfortunately, people of ALL sexes and genders breed sometimes, and those who do are - uh oh - breeders! Call it what you want - breeding, procreating, reproducing, population increasing - but the responsibility to protect the world from its most destructive species is on ALL of our shoulders.

Stop with the breeders and non breeders 22.Jun.2009 21:34

pointless distraction

Here is a MUCH more appropriate place to discuss the terms "breeders" and "non breeders." Please move the discussion over there, as this is about animals.  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2009/06/392209.shtml

(Oh. And please READ the article before you start posting.)

Now, if you have something to say about animals being used for fur, and about animal rights in general, please post away. But stop with the totally unrelated tangent around "breeders." Argh.

Once again, go HERE  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2009/06/392209.shtml if you want to talk about those things.

Other Animals 23.Jun.2009 00:50

veganimalien

The orcas selecting to self-regulate their population might have been responding to the situation of oceans emptied of their natural food by whalers and fishers. We could learn a thing or two from this natural way that these relative ancients show. Indeed, in some African tribes there is a tradition known as "Mukti" when the elders read the intestines of a goat (not vegan) and decipher if a newborn person needs to be cast into the river. Selecting ourselves to be sterilized is a less grotesque process than that and any child could be someone who someday buys a fur garment, I've seen fur trimmed jackets all over the city. If the Garment is under $150 they don't need to list if it is real fur or faux. It might come off the carcasses of cats and dogs in Chinese fur farms.

BACK TO THE ISSUE 12.Jul.2009 09:32

princepane

After doing an Evelyn Wood on the posts here I would like to get something off my chest and throw out these tidbits:

The self-proclaimed vegan President of the Nebraska Vegetarian Society is good friends with the owner of La Bouvette restaurant in Omaha which sells, of course, goose liver and many veal dishes. She, the president, refuses to protest or encourage protests against this dump. I'm finding this is typical hypocrisy of many vegans, in it for themselves and certainly not going to step on the toes of a "hip" "tony" French restaurant;

Regarding PETA protesting the Indians, I suggest everyone pick up a quick read of "Sacajawea" (only 1,300 pages) and read all about the rape, pillage and torture of the Indian women within their own tribes -- human beings -- let alone the torture of animals. Oh, but that was okay 'cause it's soooo politically correct and cool to support the drum beating victim Natives;

But back to the issue, I have one big problem with the paint throwers. Next time have the brains to use oil-based enamel! Other than that, cudos (sp?) to you. You are an inspiration and incentive to all of us cowards out here. Your brave action on behalf of these animals makes me feel inadequate, that I am never doing enough for these magnificent creatures!

America's Native Vegetarians 19.Jul.2009 12:39

veganerd

It turns out that indigenous American's cultures were predominantly vegan.

 http://www.ivu.org/history/native_americans.html