Thursday, December 17, 2009

Representative Ben Cannon Writes Back

Hi Jadene,
Thank you for your email about farm animal welfare. I support sustainable agriculture, which includes the humane treatment of farm animals.

While Oregon has not enacted all of the policies that you suggest, we have adopted at least one. In 2007, the state banned the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs. Here is a link that bill as passed: That bill was introduced with a ban on veal crates also included, but because there is no veal industry in Oregon, that piece was removed.

In 2009, we also passed legislation on behalf of horses. Horses were treated like livestock and not eligible for protections under anti-animal abandonment laws. The economic downturn had led to an increase in horse abandonment and neglect, so we changed the law to make it illegal to abandon or fail to provide minimum care for horses. Here is a link to that bill, if you are interested:

On my commute on I-5 to and from Salem, I oftentimes see the trucks filled with chickens packed together like sardines. Every time, it reminds me why I try my best to only eat free range poultry, and rarely. While I am not the best person to the take the lead on a bill banning battery cages because of my committee assignments, I would most likely support such a concept.

I appreciate your email and hope that you will continue to be in touch on this and other issues.

Ben Cannon
State Representative - District 46
900 Court Street NE, Room H-487
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 236-3351

-----Original Message-----
From: Site Administrator [] On Behalf Of Jadene Fourman
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 9:17 PM
To: Rep Cannon
Subject: Farm Animal Welfare

Dec 7, 2009

Representative Ben Cannon
State Capitol, Room H-484
900 Court Street, NE
Salem, OR 97301

Dear Representative Cannon,

Farm animal welfare is of increasing concern to members of the public, including myself, and my friends, family and neighbors. We have been happy to see laws passed in several states to eliminate the cruel confinement of farm animals, and to allow them at least enough room to stand up, lie down, turn around, and extend their limbs.
I'm writing to encourage you to please consider introducing similar legislation this session to ban battery cages for egg-laying hens, gestation crates for pregnant pigs, and veal crates for young calves.
Such legislation would help prevent needless animal suffering, and please the majority of your constituents.
For further information, I encourage you to read Farm Sanctuary's Legislator Brief and their Resource Guide for drafting such legislation. You can find both at

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration. I look forward to your response.


Ms. Jadene Fourman StumbleUpon

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Asking the White House to Protect Downed Animals

Greetings Mr. President and Administration Staff,
I appreciated Mr. Obama's compassionate and responsible action to protect downed cows from being further abused in Confined Animal Feeding Operations. I am deeply concerned about other factory farm animals being excluded from these protections. Pigs, chickens, turkeys, and all other animals feel pain and emotional stress. While I strongly support humane reform for all CAFOs in the United States, I am writing today to urge the current administration to extend protection and compassionate care for all downed factory farm animals.
This issue is very important to me. I would really appreciate hearing back from the White House as soon as you are free to get back to me. Thanks so much for your attention to this key matter.
Jadene Fourman StumbleUpon

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Earl Blumenauer Writes Back

Dear Ms. Fourman,

Thank you for writing me regarding H.R. 1326, "The Great Ape Protection Act". I am a co-sponsor of this legislation, which would end the use of chimpanzees in medical research and retires those currently in federally-owned medical laboratories to permanent sanctuaries.

The decision to continue to use animals such as Apes in medical research is difficult both for the medical and moral concerns. I have consistently supported legislation that requires that animals not be used in research, when other research options are available. I was a co-sponsor of the ICCVAM Authorization Act (Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Method), legislation that established, wherever feasible, guidelines, recommendations, and regulations that promote the regulatory acceptance of new and revised toxicological tests that protect human and animal health and the environment while reducing, refining, or replacing animal tests and ensuring human safety and product effectiveness. It is important to continue to reduce and replace animal tests whenever possible, while still ensuring continued safety and effectiveness of our medicine.

I'm proud to be a member of the Congressional Friends of Animals. I am a strong supporter of the Endangered Species Act and am committed to protecting both domestic and wild animals from harm. I was voted Humane Society Legislator of the Year, reflecting my strong support for legislative initiatives for animals, from banning steel jaw leg hold traps, to ending the suffering of downed animals, to preventing the cruel and inhumane practice of dog and cockfighting.

Thank you again for writing with your thoughts on animal testing and the use of Great Apes. I will follow this legislation closely and keep your thoughts in mind should it come up for a vote on the House floor.

Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress StumbleUpon

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Does Trader Joe's Source Any of Its Animal Products from CAFOs?

I am writing to inquire about the source of Trader Joe's animal products. In particular I would like to know if TJs gets any animal products, specifically meats and milk products, from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
I am alarmed at the treatment of animals in these facilities as well as the significant food safety dangers they pose. If TJs does procure some of its supply from CAFOs, I would like to strongly urge TJs to immediately replace its contracts with farmers who use humane animal rearing and slaughtering procedures, allow animals to eat green grass and breathe fresh air, see the sun, move about naturally, and receive adequate treatment if ill or injured.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. I will gladly continue to patronize TJs and encourage my social network to do so if TJs has or makes a commitment to sustainable and humane animal product sourcing.
Jadene Fourman StumbleUpon

What Is the USDA's Responsibility Regarding CAFOs & Their Effect On the Environment?

To the USDA,
I am writing because I'm alarmed about Confined Animal Feeding Operations. The USDA is allowing animal abuse in the millions. These places brutally harm and create disease and suffering in animals used for food. Why is this allowed? I understand that there are laws for humane animal treatment that do not "cover" animals used for food, and that the USDA does not make laws. However, it is a huge food safety issue that CAFOs confine animals in their own fecal waste for extended periods. It is a serious pollution of the food supply that animals in CAFOs are fed "corn" that is not actually corn anymore, and forced medicines to try and keep them alive on the unnatural "food" they are fattened on. Infections that go untreated for the life of food animals isn't healthy as far as food production goes. Cages that do not allow natural movement do not constitute healthy and safe food production conditions. Animals not allowed to breathe dust and particulate free air, see the sun, or eat green grass are not healthy or natural, and they do not make a healthy or safe food product. Also, environmental pollution is heavy, with livestock waste pouring overland and into waterways from these facilities. Pollution on this scale affects other food sources negatively.
I feel these facts should be obvious to the USDA. I furthermore would like to hear the USDA's explanation for its inaction regarding the issues of food safety posed by CAFOs. Third, if the USDA feels that conditions in CAFOs are outside of its responsibility, I want to know what governmental or private body the USDA leaves this responsibility to.
Jadene Fourman StumbleUpon

What is the FDA's responsibility in CAFOs?

Dear Food and Drug Administration,
I am writing to find out what the FDA's responsibility is in allowing Confined Animal Feeding Operations to continue to brutally abuse, neglect, and kill cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals used for food.
Here are my questions:
What is the FDA's position regarding the fact that citizens and journalists are not allowed to visit inside the facilities where these animals are raised and slaughtered?
CAFOs provide the major source of the United States meat supply, so what explanation does the FDA have for allowing what goes on inside the facilities to remain hidden from public scrutiny?
Does the FDA's acceptance of CAFOs mean that the FDA considers animal abuse, neglect, disease, confinement, pain, suffering, and slaughter without access to sunlight and green grass healthy and safe for the American public?
If the FDA does not accept responsibility for the regulation and sweeping reform of CAFOs, what governmental or private organization does the FDA officially defer to on the matter of their reform?
I honestly submit these questions in anticipation of honest answers. I don't understand how the FDA allows CAFOs, based on the dangers they present to public safety, environmental sustainability, consumer protection, and animal welfare. I am also submitting this letter to many organizations as an outcry towards legislation that extends animal cruelty legislation to animals used for food. I am extremely concerned about this issue and urge the FDA to consider the impact of CAFOs on food safety.
Jadene F

(also sent to the following organizations from,,,,,,,,,,,
animal liberation front ,,,,,,,,,,, StumbleUpon

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mainstream Media on Wikipedia

In the United States of America, all mainstream media is owned by the following corporations as of 2002 (possible further mergers have since taken place, reducing the number of media houses in control of all news and television programming even further): AOL/Time Warner, AT&T, General Electric, Viacom, Walt Disney, Liberty Media Corp., Sony, Vivendi Universal, Bertelsmann, and (Murdoch) News Corporation.

What does this mean? It means that American citizens are receiving a daily dose of news and entertainment from companies, not investigative journalists, not independent journalists or media houses. Why is this important? It is important because by definition corporations are created and run to make a profit. If American citizens and foreign citizens tuning in to American news programs and newspapers are getting daily news reports from profit-motivated media houses, many stories are being left out, and spins are being incorporated into the stories that are printed and reported on television; namely to the effect of supporting and promoting the profit motive of the corporations that operate the media houses in question.

It is relatively easy to step out of this box of manufactured news by looking for investigative journalism, magazines like Yes! and Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly are good starting points for finding alternatives to the mega corporate news.

Wikipedia StumbleUpon

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boycott of McDonald's corporation

Submitted via McDonald's website:
I am writing to let McDonald's know that I pledge not to ever purchase or consume anything made by your company. If McDonald's corporation seeks to reverse my pledge it must actively halt its support of big corporate beef and chicken producers that treat animals horribly. To gain my patronage and that of my entire network, which I am actively advising a permanent boycott of McDonald's, McDonald's must stop abetting the rapid fattening of cows on corn in lots where they stand ankle deep in their own fecal waste and do not have green grass to eat. McDonald's must demand that the chickens used in its restaurants be treated humanely instead of being fattened rapidly in houses that lack windows and in which the birds cannot walk but must sit and lie in their own fecal waste and often die horribly. Your statement that: "Customers can trust McDonald's to provide them with food that is real and made with high quality ingredients. Our high quality food choices are made with fresh ingredients from the most trusted suppliers." is an outright lie, and I for one am disgusted at McDonald's irresponsible practices and will spread the word to my network about who McDonald's buys meat from and ask my network to spread the word to their network until McDonald's makes a necessary and major change in support of humane animal treatment and sustainable farming practices that include crop diversity, organic standards, and fair and legal treatment of workers. StumbleUpon

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The White House Responds

I received the following two letters about the issue of Great Whales and other marine life being damaged irrevocably by military testing in the ocean. I also received a form response letter from Barack Obama's office, which is to be expected at least at first, on the issue of health care reform. The envelope from the White House was addressed by hand and both the Senator and the Representative to whom I wrote replied personally. I am sharing their responses to provide a resource and on-going demonstration of the power of citizen letter-writing.

"Dear Jadene,
Thank you for contacting me with your views. I always appreciate hearing from my constituents about the issues that matter to them most.
I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts regarding military testing off of the Oregon Coast. Protecting the environment and wildlife are two of my top priorities in Congress and I am disturbed by an action that threatens the health of either precious resources. You can be sure that I will continue to monitor this situation closely. I appreciate your advocacy on this important issue. Your opinions are important, and you can be sure that I will keep them in mind as I continue my work in Congress.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me with your concerns.
Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress"

"Dear Ms. Fourman,
Thank you for contacting me about the Navy's proposed Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC) expansion. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. As you know, the proposed expansion of the NWTRC would include exercises with guided missile submarines and unmanned aerial systems. The military would implement new air and sea surface targets, new electronic signal emitters and development of a small-scale underweter training minefield. I was disappointed that the Navy initially appeared to intend to expand the NWTRC with minimal public input. I was joined by the Oregon Congressional delegation in February in requesting that the Navy extend the public comment period on their proposal, and that they schedule additional public meetings. The Navy agreed to extend their comment deadline until April 13, 2009, and held an additional meeting on their proposal in Tillamook.
While I am pleased that the Navy took these steps to provide the opportunity for greater public input, I still have many concerns about the environmental and economic impacts expansion of the NWTRC will have. On April 9, 2009, Senator Jeff Merkley and I sent a letter to the Navy outlining our concerns, including the economic health of fishing communities and the potential impacts on marine mammals and endangered species. I believe that these concerns must be balanced with our national defense needs, and I am hopeful the Navy will strike the appropriate balance. I look forward to hearing back from the Navy about our concerns. Please know that as I continue to follow the issue, I will keep your views in mind.
Thank you again for keeping me apprised of the issues that are important to you. If I may ever be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Ron Wyden
United States Senator"

These letters are encouraging examples of typical responses from elected officials to citizen letters. I find it interesting how each official educates and invites further dialogue. StumbleUpon

Friday, June 5, 2009

Health Care Legislation

The following letter was handwritten three times and is being sent to President Obama, Senator Max Baucus, and Senator Edward Kennedy (the two chairmen of Senate committees writing health care legislation):

"Rather than mandate health coverage for those who can afford it, and thus STILL leave uncovered those without resources to pay for health care, America needs AFFORDABLE health coverage for ALL citizens. Good health and a government that demonstrates its concern will allow and encourage the impoverished to contribute as productive citizens.

The individual mandate favored in Congress by Democrats would offer Federal subsidies or tax credits to help defray the cost of insurance for people with low to moderate incomes. Better, though, is the "Blue Dog Coalition" idea that private insurers should be required to charge affordable rates so everyone can pay for coverage." StumbleUpon

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Power of Citizenship

in the office where i work, we receive daily announcements of the successes won by the environmental movement. i have recently been inspired by the current administration to take up writing letters again to elected officials, after a 10 year hiatus. i used to write to representative darlene hooley, rep for corvallis, when i was in college, and she always wrote me back. we talked about kenaf paper and other forest-related issues and solutions.
my last post reminded me that my sense of humor isn't easily accessible to strangers, or even acquaintances, which are basically the same thing, so i'll include the tidbit that the u.s. government counts a letter written and sent via snail (or regular) mail as the equivalent of two thousand citizens who concur with the author of the letter. the government's rationale is that two thousand of us feel the same way or would if we knew about the issue, knew how to compose an informed letter on the issue, or had any idea that writing a letter to an elected official meant something. it may seem like the simplest of things, sticking a self-adhesive stamp on an envelope and writing out the addresses, then walking to the mailbox. but for some reason* for many of us, the mind groans at the idea of such effort. this doesn't even include the composition of the letter, nor the research that must go into it. the internet allows comparatively quick research if one knows where to look. i suggest the websites of the major environmental groups as a start. you can use these to find out about atrocities around the world and begin forming what you would like to say about the issues you care most about. for those addicted to getting lost in minutia instead of acting, such as questioning the motivations of large environmental groups, you can still go further than their sites in your research and formulate your own letter; the point is to say something in writing and send it to an elected official, now, while there are still forests and whales.
having said that, i'm making a case again for writing letters to elected officials; now more than ever the administration in office is receptive, intelligent, and aware. as that fact stands, we bohemians, environmentalists, radicals, artists, etc. have a grand opportunity to let those serving in office know how we want them to handle the issues brought to the fore by greedy, mindless corporate polluters and destroyers. just think of the mega-million-dollar lobbying budgets (think it should be illegal? well there's your first letter!) the car, oil, gas, and logging industry (to name a few) have if you need a reason to get out of bed in the morning and write.
essentially, your voice counts, so please use it this month, year, whatever; just consider the natural resources, the purity of the fresh water supply, the undiscovered medicines, the dying native tribal survival wisdom, the stirring up of natural disasters by crazy resource and ecosystem destruction.
ok, so here is a direct link to finding the addresses of our reps and senators, and mr. obama himself. if you live in another state you can also find your elected officials by starting there.

*oh yeah, urban sprawl and the car insanity problem; but that's another story. StumbleUpon

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Great Whales & Military Sonar Tests

May 23, 2009

President Barack Obama

The White House,
District of Columbia 20500

Dear Mr. President,

A few years ago, I became aware of military testing of sound frequencies in the ocean. I am writing because that kind of testing endangers the natural life cycle of whales and other cetaceans by disrupting the vibrations of their calls across the ocean. They can't communicate with each other or find their way. In many reports, their communication organs, the parts of their bodies that they use to talk to and hear each other, are destroyed by the ultra low and other frequencies used undersea by the military in these tests.

It is important to me that something like this technology be scrutinized and regulated or halted immediately, because of the violent damage it does to marine organisms. It is unethical for our military to use technology that disables this inherently valuable species of life. Whales are amazing natural creatures who have a place in the ecosystem of Planet Earth. In fact, we do not know the role that they might play in the natural balance of things.

Please immediately do what you can to halt undersea tests that hurt cetaceans.


Jadene F.