Human Rights Day

Cartoon: Human (and other) RightsARAUNY tabled December 8, 2014 at Human Rights Day (Rochester Human Rights Committee) for the first time this year (though we’ve sent materials to be distributed in past years).  Check out the cartoon they used on their promotional materials – we’re all in this together!

One of the panelists, Paola Macas Betchart, specifically included animals in her opening remarks, and indicated she hoped to get a chance to speak about the Nature Rights that had been added to the national constitution of Ecuador.  Unfortunately I had to leave before she said any more about it.

Poster InjusticeWe wanted to be sure to make the connection that injustice to animals is a social justice issue, shoulder to shoulder with human social justice issues, with the same causes and  effects, so I made this poster and a flyer “What is Speciesism?”

This was a great event, with probably 200 people in attendance.  There was a potluck with many dishes labeled vegan, and the panelists were very interesting.  I had my qualms about the poet, not being a big fan of poetry, but she blew me away with her passion and wisdom – so moving.  I even got to sit next to Sandra Frankel at dinner!

I highly recommend this free event.

Metro Justice Alternative Fair

Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6

ARAUNY tabled at this fair again this year – always a great fundraiser.  This year we were selling tote bags, beautiful jewelry, buttons, delicious baked goods, gently used AR books and t-shirts, and more.  Everything was popular!  We sold many, many raffle tickets for a raffle basket containing $25 worth of cruelty-free personal care products such as soap and lotion, and a $25 gift certificate to The Red Fern vegan restaurant.  The raffle winner was a young lady in the 19th Ward, who reportedly had just the evening before been feeling overwhelmed by the non-vegan holiday treats around her and wishing she could indulge herself at The Red Fern (remember their dessert display?).

This is also an outreach event for us, so of course we had flyers on hand, for those who would like to know more about animal issues in Rochester.

And remember, our participation also benefits Metro Justice.  Everybody wins!

Thanks to those who staffed the table: Lois and Greg, Peg and Craig, JohnMark, and Tina.  Thanks to all who prepared items to sell, and extra thanks to Lois and Greg for all the preparation, setup, and cleanup.

Rochester First Unitarian Church
220 Winton Road South
Rochester, NY 14610

Elephants Wish They Could Forget

by George Payne of Gandhi Earth Keepers International
[The opinions expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the position of ARAUNY.]

Along with a dozen other local animal rights advocates from Upstate New York, I recently participated in a silent demonstration against the Ringling Brothers Circus. We gathered on a chilly October night in front of the Blue Cross Arena, while hundreds of people trickled into the building’s entrance. Our handmade yellow signs bore slogans such as, “Animals are born to be wild;” “Elephants Wish They Could Forget;” and “Boulder, CO Banned Animal Circuses.”

While standing in line with my yellow sign, I began to think about the evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson, who once said: ”Each culture has its own creation myth, the primary functions of which are to place the tribe that contrived it at the center of the universe, and to portray history as a noble epic.”

It occurred to me while contemplating Wilson’s quote that most people cannot psychologically consume the pain of these animals because they are not portrayed as being at the center of their noble epic. By and large, animals in our society are treated as resources, tools, pets, game, mascots, predators, clothing and costumes. Rarely are animals seen as having intrinsic value with their own “special” center. The reason for this blindness stems from a condition called aristocentrism. This is an unwarranted claim to superiority. In different ways we conclude that we are special, and insist that the cosmos have anointed us. We believe that our existence has the most special meaning of all, and that we have rare knowledge or a message to give to the rest of Creation. Inevitably this world view degenerates into an inordinate claim to superiority for oneself or one’s group. (The word aristocentrism comes from the Greek words agathos, “good” and kentrikos, from kentron, “the center of a circle.”)

The problem with aristocentrism is that it is based on an illusion. We are not the center of the universe. Our species is not the most important group in the cosmos. There are symbiotic relationships between all living beings that make superiority impossible. That is precisely why Gandhi wrote: “The greatness of a nation can be judged by how its animals are treated.”

The way we view our place in the cosmos has a direct impact on the way we treat all other animals; and the way we treat all other animals determines the quality of our character as moral agents. It was Gandhi’s belief that the strong have an obligation to protect the weak. The fact that circus animals are kidnapped, caged, drugged, intimidated, beaten, and exploited, means that people of freedom, sobriety, fearlessness, and physical strength should come to their aid. By coming to the aid of weaker animals in their time of ultimate need, we activate our best selves and overcome our limitations as a fundamentally egocentric species.

But to be in true solidarity with our fellow bio-companions, means that we see their worth as existing independent of our ability to appreciate and defend it.

In the Emotional Lives of Animals, author Marc Bekoff proves that nonhuman creatures exhibit Charles Darwin’s six universal emotions (anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, and surprise). He shows that wild and domestic species have a kaleidoscopic range of feelings, from embarrassment to awe, and that we dismiss them not only at their peril but our own. Bekoff writes, “It’s bad biology to argue against the existence of animal emotions. Scientific research in evolutionary biology, cognitive ethology, and social neuroscience supports the view that numerous and diverse animals have rich and deep emotional lives. Emotions have evolved as adaptations in numerous species, and they serve as a social glue to bond animals with one another.”

One of the main reasons I chose to participate in the silent demonstration against Ringling Brothers was to physically and spiritually acknowledge this primal wisdom that Bekoff writes about so eloquently in his books. Elephants are a prime example. Just to acknowledge the suffering of elephants trapped in circuses is an act of resistance. Nearly all 60 Asian elephants incarcerated by Ringling were captured in the wild. Baby elephants suffer painful rope lesions when being pulled prematurely from their mothers. There is a chronic failure to test elephants for tuberculosis, unsanitary feeding practices, and a failure to maintain, clean, and repair their transport cages. There is an overall inability to provide adequate veterinary care. Elephants get pushed and prodded with bullhooks, and they are forced to perform whether they are healthy or sick.

According to PETA, Ringling has admitted to chaining elephants by two legs, on a concrete floor, for 16 hours a day, which is a direct violation of the Endangered Species Act. They have also admitted to chaining elephants in boxcars an average of 26 straight hours (often 60 hours) when traveling. Treatment of animals like baby elephants has gotten so bad even corporate giants such as VISA, MasterCard, Denny’s, and Sears & Roebuck have ended their promotion of the circus.

These creatures are not dependent on human beings to guarantee them their rights; but we cannot be truly ourselves in any adequate manner without animals as miraculous and beautiful as Asian elephants being free of confinement, harassment, torture, and murder. Asian elephants console others who are in distress using physical touches and vocalizations. They have been shown to demonstrate keen intelligence. Like people, they live in complex societies with family units at their core. For these reasons alone, we must put a stop to this slavery. Let’s prove that we are not a nation of cowards and killers but a community of friends working for the betterment of all species. This is what Gandhi meant when he employed the term Sarvodaya. The least we can do is stand outside with a yellow protest sign.

Information obtained from:
Spring 2014 Emory Magazine (What Can Animals Teach Us? pg.35)


Adopt-A-Highway … Since early 2002, ARAUNY has tended to a section of highway in Rochester NY. Ours is a 2-mile-section on Browncroft Blvd, down through Ellison Park, from 590 to Qualtrough Road. If you drive down Browncroft, you’ll see a big blue AAH sign at each end of our section.

Marylynn Marino is ARAUNY’s AAH Chair, leading our volunteer members:  Linda and Mike W., John A., Kim G., Martha S., and an occasional few others. Our volunteers go out several times a year to clean up, and they wear bright orange vests and hardhats provided by DoT. If you would like to help, please contact us.



Vigil for Squirrels

Holley, NY’s Fire Department hosts an annual squirrel-killing contest.  February 3, 2014, a group of ARAUNY and AAWNY members gathered on a busy street corner outside Holley in very unpleasant weather for a vigil.

Help for the Seabird Victims of the Gulf Oil Crisis

ARAUNY took donations to help the birds hurt by the gulf oil crisis.
The birds of the Gulf of Mexico need our help.
It is unbearable, and incomprehensible to realize all the birds and wildlife suffering and dying, from the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico … along the shores of LA, MS, AL, FL.

ARAUNY helped by taking up a collection and sending it to one of the many rescues. ARAUNY sent your collective donations to:

Indian Shores, FL

Thank you for caring about nonhuman animals.


~Lois Baum, President
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY

Protest Rabbit and Lamb Fur

11/26/10 – Friday (day after Thanksgiving)
* EYE CANDY, 320 East Ave, Rochester NY  14604
* 12:00 – 1:30pm
*  Please wear black ~ esp a long BLACK trench-coat if you have one
ARAUNY asks that participants please:
* do NOT wear any animal skin to this demo
* do NOT shout at customers – we are there to educate, as calmly as possible
Advocate wearing plant-based fabrics: cotton, linen, hemp, ramie, jute, bamboo, and/or synthetic: nylon, dacron, rayon, polyester …
Presently, Eye Candy is selling Rabbit fur coats, and Lamb (mongolian) fur vests for women.  Eye Candy is new to Rochester this year.  Earlier, they participated in an area fashion show where the blood-money went to the Center for Youth Services.  In an effort to NOT be so predictable this year ~ ARAUNY will be at this (new) location, hosting a peaceful, non-confrontational demo against the selling of Rabbit and Lamb Fur.
The True Price of Fur
Fur-Free Retailers  
Animals do not exist to provide their skin (or anything else!) for our use
= leather, down, silk, fur, cashmere, wool … nor fur-trim!

Michael Budkie of SAEN: “Life in the Lab”

September 29, 2010  (Wednesday)
Michael Budkie of SAEN speaks in Rochester NY:
Life in the Lab: the Hidden Truth about Animal Experimentation
  • 7:00 pm Power Point Presentation, followed by Q&A
  • FREE and Open to the Public
  • Brighton Town Hall AUDITORIUM, 2300 Elmwood Ave, Rochester NY 14618   (wheelchair accessible elevator at rear entrance)
Michael Budkie is Executive Director of SAEN: Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!.  SAEN was founded in 1996 to force an end to the abuse of animals in laboratories.  Currently on a book tour across the USA, Budkie is selling his new book, Tear At the Jacket.  This explosive expose’ blows lab doors wide open by revealing the horrors of daily lives of primates in laboratories across the USA.  SAEN fights for animals’ freedom until all laboratory cages are empty.
Cosponsored by Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY (
and Rochester Area Vegetarian Society (
Vegan refreshments by RAVS ~ and AR literature by ARAUNY.



(Daily Offering Vegan Ethics To All In our Lives)
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY welcomes all to our very first DOVETAIL event, bringing local grassroots, social justice groups together.  A collective gathering of people opposed to all oppression and violence, who have a compassionate awareness of our planet.  Dovetailing our energies for a better world.
  • AUGUST 29th, 2010  (Sunday)
  • 12:00pm begins  (ends approx. 7:00pm)
  • Open to the public  (Dogs welcome too – ON A LEASH)
CATERED entirely by RAVS  ~ a day-long PICNIC of Vegan foods (,
plus donations from area restaurants (Natural Oasis, Owl House, Golden Dynasty)
and EcoBella Bakery’s Vegan and gluten-free goodies!  (
P R O G R A M :
12:00  –    Door Opens ~ (indoor) picnic begins!
12:30  –    debut of the “DOVETAIL SINGERS”, a new chorus of activists
1:00   –    HAROLD BROWN, “A Life Connected”  ~
                  former farmer turned Vegan/animal advocate (
                *Will discuss the world’s common threads of oppression.  Q/A
3:00  –    ANTHONY MARR, “Methane Time Bomb”  ~
                from Vancouver, Canada, world renowned environmentalist, wildlife preservationist
                *Will address preventing runaway global heating.  Q/A
4:30  –    Fun with DR. VEGGIE  (Ted Barnett, MD) ~ leads game of *Vegan Jeopardy*
                All are encouraged to discuss and share solutions to get off the grid!
TABLING ~ various grassroots groups and individuals, artists for animals and environment, sharing literature, selling their items (on the other side of the food tables):
-  Artists for Animals: John and Steve Carbonaro, winner of art awards (
-  Nature Photographer:  Ted Barnett
-  RAVS: Rochester Area Vegetarian Society
-  Veg Mondays: Martha Sullivan, Debra Couch, Carol Barnett
-  Green Irene: Margie Campaigne, eco-consultant for home & office energy efficiency
-  EcoBella Bakery:  Jeaninne Ottman
-  Electric Motorcycle and Car:  David Daunce, advisor
-  ARAUNY: Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY, Yetta Panitch
-  and more … come and see!
SOUTH LODGE @Ellison Park, Rochester NY:
~ just west of Daisy Flour Mill (1880 Blossom Road, 14625)
~ just east of Mercy High School (1437 Blossom Road, 14610)
~  turn south into park, off Blossom Rd, by creek
~  make immediate right (by pond – watch for geese!)
~  follow signs to “South Lodge”  (and posted *DOVETAIL* signs)
~  rustic lodge, wheelchair accessible, picnic tables w/attached benches – no backs!
~  potable water (pump) available outside
~  flush toilets (just 400 yards away, over foot bridge), plus porta-potties
~  pine woods on hillside
~  ample parking
~  Entire event is INSIDE South Lodge  ~
~  and/or  ~
RAFFLE TICKETS for a TOTE BAG full of Vegan, Cruelty-Free goodies for anyone
…  no one turned away for inability to donate $$
…  all proceeds will help defray ARAUNY’s costs for this event, as we continue to
work for the prevention and abolition of all forms of animal abuse and exploitation.


ARAUNY walks in the “Pride Parade”

pride_2010_2As an LGBTQ *welcoming* group ~ ARAUNY walks in the Pride
Parade in Rochester NY, on Saturday, 7/17/10. Plan to arrive for line-up at 2:00pm (Park and Brunswick) … the parade route is Park Ave & Goodman St.

We would love our participants to wear our newest T-shirt (though not mandatory) ~ available at a 25% discount for those walking with us and wearing it in the parade that day. It reads:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
-Marting Luther King, Jr.

For a World Without Oppression,

~Lois Baum, President
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY

pride_2010_1P A R A D E    D E T A I L S :

Pride Parade Saturday, July 17, 2010 3:00pm-4:30pm

Join the crowds lining the streets of Park Ave. and Goodman Streets for Rochester’s 21st Pride Parade. There will be bands, floats, drag Kings & Queens, motorcycle riders, politicians and of course the annual protesters.  Line-up starts at 2:00pm and step-off is at 3:00pm from the corner of Park Avenue and Brunswick.

“To provide an opportunity for networking and outreach by the many businesses, services and organizations that openly welcome LGBT people their friends and families.”

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists,
and I did not speak out, because I wasn’t a Socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me,

and by that time,
there was no one left to speak up for me.

1945 by Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)