Category Archives: Animals

Pictorial Highlight: SEQUOIA part 2

Black bear; we also saw her two beautiful young cubs, sadly I didn't get any good shots of them.  Mama's keeping a close eye on us =)

Black bear; we also saw her two beautiful young cubs, sadly I didn’t get any good shots of them. Mama’s keeping a close eye on us =)

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Sequoia 4-09 289

Me saying hi to a beautiful red fir.

Me saying hi to a beautiful red fir.

The same lovely red fir <3

The same lovely red fir ❤

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More fire scars, along with some sequoia seedlings in front--imagine that one day those tiny babies could in a millenia be as big as the sentinel over them!!

More fire scars, along with some sequoia seedlings in front–imagine that one day those tiny babies could in a millenia be as big as the sentinel over them!!

Almost got stuck in the middle of this river rock-hopping.  Scary jump required, nearly got swept away.

Almost got stuck in the middle of this river rock-hopping. Scary jump required, nearly got swept away.

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Showing the PHENOMENAL girth of sequoias, and once again their stunning ability to survive massive wildfires (look at the size of the burn scar!)

Showing the PHENOMENAL girth of sequoias, and once again their stunning ability to survive massive wildfires (look at the size of the burn scar!)

General Grant Sequoia tree (I hate they name all these amazing individuals with the names of Indian et. al. killers  "/

General Grant Sequoia tree (I hate they name all these amazing individuals with the names of Indian et. al. killers “/

"Common fiddleneck" flowers; I didn't notice until I made this Pictorial, but there's a giant fucking spider on the left flower that almost made me scream when I realized, LOL.  And an ant on the right flower who didn't make me scream =p

“Common fiddleneck” flowers; I didn’t notice until I made this Pictorial, but there’s a giant fucking spider on the left flower that almost made me scream when I realized, LOL. And an ant on the right flower who didn’t make me scream =p

PDX Road Trip 265

coyote 2

Pictorial Highlight: SEQUOIA part 1

coyote

I think this adorable lil chubby-cheeked guy is some type of vole, one of 26 (!) species of rodents who make their home in Sequoia National Park.

I think this adorable lil chubby-cheeked guy is some type of vole, one of 26 (!) species of rodents who make their home in Sequoia National Park.

Beautiful spider lupine wildflowers.

Beautiful spider lupine wildflowers.

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Sequoia 4-09 208

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WIth me, demonstrating the magnificent, awe-inspiring width of the sequoias, as well as the incredible ability of these trees to survive massive wildfires.

WIth me, demonstrating the magnificent, awe-inspiring width of the sequoias, as well as the incredible ability of these trees to survive massive wildfires.

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Sequoia 4-09 115

Showing the absolutely stunning size of a fallen sequoia's root system.

Showing the absolutely stunning size of a fallen sequoia’s root system.

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Fireweed and meadow.

Fireweed and meadow.

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Room Tree

Pictorial Highlight: SAN DIEGO

Even though it’s a massive metropolitan area, the San Diego area still has some AMAZING pockets of nature and wild animals; this pictorial focuses on the coastal areas. Enjoy!

Untitled

January 07 026

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Amazing windswept (torrey?) pine at the edge of a bluff.

Amazing windswept (torrey?) pine at the edge of a bluff.

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The pyschedelic awesomeness of sea anenomes

The pyschedelic awesomeness of sea anenomes

torrey pines geology

That crazy stretching thing pelicans do...

That crazy stretching thing pelicans do…

Children's Pool sunset

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At Torrey Pines.

At Torrey Pines.

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Britches–The Monkey Who Sparked a Movement

Written as a Guest Blog for Los Angeles-based anti-vivisection group Progress for Science.

Britches

There is—I would say inarguably—no more iconographic an image of both the animal liberation movement and the horrors of the vivisection-industrial complex than that of a black-masked individual cradling a baby stumptail macaque monkey in his or her arms. But the story behind that image is at least as significant and representative as the image itself. It is the story of Britches.

This macaque monkey, who came to be known as Britches, was born in early 1985 in a laboratory at the University of California, Riverside, and torn away from his mother shortly thereafter. His eyes were sewn shut and a sonar device was strapped to his head 24 hours a day; this device emitted piercing, jarring metallic sounds. He was stuck in a tiny steel cage with only a blanket and a small padded post to which he would desperately cling, terrified and alone. This study was supposedly designed to study blindness; according to the researchers, they didn’t want to go through the trouble of traveling to actual blind people’s houses, and so instead performed animal mutilation. He exhibited extreme neurotic behavior—uncontrollable muscle spasms and twitching, rubbing incessantly at his body, and emitting shrieks at frequent intervals. The extent of torture he experienced can clearly be seen on the video shot by the liberators themselves.

Thankfully for poor little Britches—who was small enough to fit into the palm of your hand—there were people who cared, and who were compelled to do something about this senseless brutality. A courageous student working inside the UC Riverside laboratories managed to get the word out to an unknown ALF (Animal Liberation Front) contact, and a group was assembled to break in and rescue Britches and other animals. The ALF cell waited until spring break when there would be far fewer people on campus. In the middle of the night in March of 1985, they tunneled through air ventilation systems and broke through numerous locked doors, all the while staying clear of roving security guards. The liberators were dressed in white lab coats with black balaclava masks. Utilizing their clandestine contacts, an anonymous, sympathetic veterinarian was ready and waiting to examine the animals, and they’d already found a safe, out-of-state home for Britches to go. All told, that night some 700 animals were rescued from a lifetime of nothing but horrific misery, including mice, rats, rabbits, pigeons, opossums, and cats. It remains one of the largest and most high-profile “live liberations” of laboratory animals ever.

The ensuing fallout from the action was monumental. The ALF-sympathetic veterinarian found on Britches a shoddy suturing job that resulted in multiple lacerations of his eyelids and damage to his corneas. Lesions were found all over his upper body. Dr. Ned Buyukmihci, UC Davis Veterinary Opthamologist, went on record, insisting that the sutures used were far too large, and that they were even an improper type. Dr. Buyukmihci stated, “There can be no possible justification for this sloppy, painful experiment.”ons” of laboratory animals ever.

Outrage came from many sectors. President Grant Mack of the American Council of the Blind said the experiments were “…repugnant and ill-conceived boondoggles”. He stated that to spend “$275,000 to artificially blind monkeys and study those animals…in hopes that they will learn something that will help human beings is reaching quite far. I would think that the purposes would be served a good deal better if they used the same amount of research to find out about blindness from blind people…people who can articulate how they really feel and how they react…”

Not surprisingly, UC Riverside went into the familiar deny-everything-mode. They claimed that it was the ALF-sympathetic veterinarian who damaged Britches’ eyes, and that the footage of Britches was doctored with makeup, and that all of their experiments were completely painless. However, when internal documents were later obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the University’s claims were exposed as blatant lies.

This is something we’ve seen again and again and again, since some of the first footage came out of vivisection laboratories, and continuing to this very day. Universities scramble to justify their pointless and torturous experiments, repeating their tired mantras ad infinitum. Sadly, the majority of the public swallows their lies with nary a hint of critical thought. It is up to us—those who know the truth and care about the agony of voiceless innocents—to expose the corporate institutions’ lies and brainwashing for what they are.

In the end, Britches, that one tiny monkey, can stand as a model, a symbolic pillar, of the wastefulness, cruelty, sociopathology, and callous murderousness of not only the vivisection-industrial complex, but of industrial civilization as a whole. Live liberations of laboratory animals have become in most cases prohibitively difficult given the increase in security and surveillance of the modern techno-fascist police state and its corporate-friendly (to put it mildly) laws and prison sentences. For this reason, it is imperative that those who care about life on our planet adapt, evolve, and overcome in order to find ways to bring about real justice when the cards are stacked against us. This no doubt involves vamping up the militancy of our thoughts and actions and those which we support, until the level of action we either undertake or vocally support becomes commensurate with the calamitous problems at hand. We owe at least that much to the memory of Britches—and to the courageous unknown warriors who saved him and all the other animals that night.

A quick note on little Britches’ fate: Instead of being murdered and dissected after a short, miserable existence inside UC Riverside, he lived for 20 joyous years with an adopted primate mother at a sanctuary.

Sources used for this article:
Free the Animals by Ingrid Newkirk
http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/Actions-USA/Britches.htm

Interview with ALF Arsonist/Prisoner Walter Bond

FANTASTIC interview with Animal Liberation Front arsonist, political prisoner and green anarchist Walter Bond.

“…we will have to not only get rid of the road we are on, but also get rid of the road.”

“No machine is morally neutral when it’s sole design and intent is to eviscerate, vivisect, slash cut and transport the splintered, destroyed and devastated remains of the biosphere! The technologies we use to heal the sick and, lessen pain and suffering and generally make the human world a more comfortable place are scant in comparison to the damage done.”

Profane Existence

walterbondWALTER BOND INTERVIEW

Punk bands tour the world singing anthems that promote militant direct action & activism, putting out albums with flaming Molotovs emblazoned across their covers, with militant messages; but few of us ever truly put those words into action. Walter Bond on the other hand has spent decades working tirelessly, whether leafleting at shows and in the streets, tabling at Pride events, protesting, or volunteering at animal sanctuaries before finally turning to the more militant tactics of the Animal Liberation Front. Walter is a proud anarchist, Vegan, of Latino heritage, who identifies as bisexual. He also is currently a prisoner  in one of the most controversial and restrictive prisons in the USA today.

I have been writing to Walter in prison since he was first arrested 2 years ago, after his brother snitched him out. At the time of his arrest, Walter…

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Pictorial Highlight: YOSEMITE part 2

Amazing geology, carved by the ancient hand of inching glaciers.

Amazing geology, carved by the ancient hand of inching glaciers.

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Stunning giant sequoia in the Mariposa Grove.

Stunning giant sequoia in the Mariposa Grove.

lizard

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The beautiful little mohawked squawky Stellar's jay.

The beautiful little mohawked squawky Stellar’s jay.

More stunning glacier-carved terrain.

More stunning glacier-carved terrain.

Dippin my feet in the icy snow-fed Merced River

Dippin my feet in the icy snow-fed Merced River

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Bald eagle!!

Bald eagle!!

Looking westward in a lovely little ponderosa pine wood.

Looking westward in a lovely little ponderosa pine wood.

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My lil yellow-bellied marmot buddy =)

My lil yellow-bellied marmot buddy =)

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