Wins for Spring 2021
It’s been an eventful few months since our last update. A new administration has fully transitioned into power. The world seems to be tentatively reemerging from seclusion after over a year of quarantine. On March 24, 2021, our world at In Defense of Animals changed forever as our founder and leader, Dr. Elliot Katz passed away. He was a trailblazer and monumental force at the forefront of the animal rights movement. Things will never be the same without him, but we are resolved to redouble our efforts moving forward to fill the gap left by his passing.
Dr. Katz would want us to keep fighting for the animals in his honor. So we are very pleased to report that your support has led to some very significant wins this spring. Truly, none of this would have been possible without you.
For Fur Free Friday 2020, we teamed up with world-renowned celebrity and animal advocate Ricky Gervais to call on Saks Fifth Avenue to stop the sale of animal fur. In April, Saks finally announced that it will stop selling fur products by 2023! We are thrilled with Saks’ decision, and we will continue to campaign until the sale of animal fur is banned everywhere. Thank you for your continued support to fight the cruel and unnecessary exploitation of animals for fashion — together we are making a difference!
In good news for wild animals and the environment, controversial oil and gas leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have been suspended! The push to open millions of acres of publicly-owned pristine wilderness to exploitation caused significant controversy as the sale was announced after the last presidential election, within weeks of the transfer of administrations. Thank you for speaking out for wild animals via our alert directed at the Bureau of Land Management — your voice was heard!
Wildlife killing contests are cruel events in which participants kill as many or as large animals as possible and are rewarded with cash prizes. In Defense of Animals supporters in Maryland signed our January alert to ban wild animal killing contests in their state… by April, our prayers were answered! We’re honored to be part of the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests and we hope we can count on your ongoing support as we pursue similar legislation in New York, New Jersey, and Oregon!
We’re happy to announce the rejection of a disc golf course installation at Hilltop Lake Park in Richmond, California, which would have displaced and killed wild animals. In April, over 5,000 In Defense of Animals supporters spoke out via our alert against a proposal to turn this near-hidden oasis for animals into an 18-hole course. The development would have devastated many species of animals who call the park home. You answered our call to action, and Richmond's Recreation and Parks Commission heard your voice!
Do you find it offensive when someone calls your beloved family member an “it?” Treating animals as objects through our language is a serious issue that undermines their rights. That’s why we’ve partnered with Animals & Media to call for the Associated Press Stylebook to update its recommendations on the use of personal pronouns for nonhuman animals. More than 80 respected leaders and scholars in animal advocacy and conservation are supporting our campaign, including renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, biologists Dr. Marc Bekoff and Dr. Jonathan Balcombe, and multiple animal organizations. With the recent passing of our trailblazing founder Dr. Katz, our work on his dearest Guardian campaign is incredibly poignant. We will not stop until all animals are respected and protected.
In April, we sent out an alert asking our California supporters to urge their assembly members to protect whales and other marine animals from becoming entangled and killed in crab trapping gear. Unfortunately, the Whale Entanglement Prevention Act didn’t pass, but there is still some good news. On May 18, California announced that its commercial Dungeness crab fishery season would close a month early this year to avoid entangling endangered humpback whales currently migrating along California’s coastline. Without question, whales’ and crabs’ lives will be saved because of this early closure.