BraveBirds Times Online
Online newsletter of the Eastern Shore Sanctuary & Education Center
"A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." So says PETA cofounder Ingrid
Newkirk. Here at the Eastern Shore Sanctuary, we know that birds are
Chickens look so much like Archaeopteryx and Muscovy ducks look so much
like reptiles that it's easy for us to see that birds, like turtles,
are descended from dinosaurs. Meanwhile, turtles lay eggs and have
beaks. As animals, birds and turtles share the capacity for feeling.
Like everybody else, they hang onto life and pursue happiness. They
maintain friendships and family ties within their own species and can
even extend care and companionship to members of other species.
Unfortunately, they also share the same persecutors: People.
Earlier this week, sanctuary cofounder Miriam Jones was trying to save
a turtle crossing a highway when a woman in an SUV swerved to
deliberately run over the poor reptile, crushing the small animal under
the huge tires of her gas-guzzling vehicle. The very next day,
sanctuary cofounder pattrice jones found a freshly-killed turtle on a
straight country road, blood still oozing through the cracks in her
broken shell. Turtles walk slowly. They do not dart under the wheels of
cars. Running over a turtle on that road could only have been an act of
A few years ago, we learned about a local annual turtle race to benefit
a fire department. A news story about the race spoke jokingly of
normally slow-moving turtles forced to move quickly by the burning
sensation of being placed on hot asphalt. We immediately publicized the
atrocity nationally while also demanding that local law official
enforce the state laws that prohibit such deliberate infliction of pain
on animals. In response to our request, people from all over the
country wrote to local officials and the local newspaper, condemning
the cruelty and vowing to withhold tourism from the region as long as
it continued. Local law enforcement officers did contact the race
Unfortunately, the annual "Great American Turtle Race" continues. The
organizers no longer capture large numbers of turtles to give to any
person who shows up wanting to participate. They also instituted the
practice of carpeting the track so that the turtles' feet would not be
burned. Thus, fewer turtles are abused and they are not subjected to
intense physical pain. But, still, the perverse and hurtful spectacle
continues, as does the annual wild pony "round-up" to benefit another
local fire department. Both are considered to be good, clean, family
What does this have to do with chickens? Here on the Delmarva
Peninsula, people kill and cut up more than a million birds every day.
Even those who do not directly participate see the birds crowded into
"chicken houses" and transport trucks every day. It's easy to see how
they might become numb to animal suffering. But why would they go out
of their way to hurt animals?
In his story "This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentleman,"
concentration camp survivor Tadeusz Borowski writes of prisoners who,
assigned to shift incoming people from the transport trains to the
trucks headed for the gas chambers, came to feel rage and scorn toward
the people they were helping to kill. Perhaps this emotional dynamic
helps to explain why chicken "growers," slaughterhouse workers, and
others associated with the poultry industry seem to take pleasure in
"The Turtle Talk" is Online
In response to several requests, we have posted the text of "The Turtle
Talk" delivered by sanctuary cofounder pattrice jones at the Paths to
Animal Liberation plenary session of AR2006 on our website.
The talk has nothing to do with turtles and everything to do with the
most controversial tactics in our movement. Intrigued? Read it online
or download the pdf:
While you're at it, have a look at our expanded archive of speeches and
Also at AR2006, a groundbreaking meeting of gay/lesbian/bi/allied
animal activists led to the creation of an online work group that
probably will grow into an organization that will explore the
connections between gay and animal liberation while also providing
resources and support to LGBTQ activists who want to do vegan education
or animal advocacy within their local LGBTQ communities. If you are
interested in such projects but missed the meeting, reply to this
message and pattrice will add you to the email work group.
Don't Hide in Your Shell!
Climate change is here. Already, animals are dying as the tides rise
and the seasons shift. More and more human and nonhuman animals will
suffer as the pollution created by people poisons and heats up the
biosphere. What are you doing about it? If the answer is "no" or "I
don't know," then visit our page on climate change and help us to turn
down the heat!
Remember the Dancing Sea Turtles!
Do you remember the dancing sea turtles who helped to shut down the
World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999? Okay, they were
people in turtle costumes. But, still, they were there because trade
globalization hurts animals by weakening environmental and animal
welfare protections while also making it easier to buy, sell, and
transport animals across borders.
Because of this, the Eastern Shore Sanctuary proudly participates in
the Global Justice for Animals campaign. To learn more, visit:
Eastern Shore Sanctuary is also a partner in the Global Hunger Alliance
coalition of organizations that oppose the globalization of factory
farming while promoting plant-based solutions to the world hunger and
water crises. To learn more, visit:
If your organization might like to become a partner in GHA, write to
We are busily getting ready for winter and also for the arrival of
eight former roosters who were confiscated from cockfighters in Florida
and are in need of rehabilitation. The birds have been tested and found
free of disease, so they are cleared for travel to the sanctuary. But
we still need to find drivers to bring them from Florida to Maryland.
If you might be able to make part of that drive, write to us and we
will forward your email to the person arranging the transportation.
Eastern Shore Sanctuary & Education Center
13981 Reading Ferry
Princess Anne, MD 21853 USA