Support GJAE’s efforts to stop the Souh Korea, Colombia,
and Panama Free Trade Agreements at http://gjae.org/?page=End2010Appeal!
I’m writing to you today to call on your support in
fighting what we at Global Justice for Animals and the Environment (http://gjae.org) believe to be the greatest threat to the
environment and animal in the coming year – Congressional ratification of the
US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and two other trade agreements that
will gut environmental laws, erase wildlife protective legislation, expand
polluting and inhumane factory farms into developing countries, and open the lands of indigenous peoples to
exploitation by corporate polluters.
But you needn't take our word for it:
"The U.S. Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), if
ratified, would be the biggest shot in the arm to the meat and poultry industry
since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in
- Patrick Boyle, president and CEO of the American
Meat Institute, “Something to cheer for US-Korean trade agreement could be a
golden opportunity for meat and poultry processors”
MeatPoultry.com, December 20, 2010:
“Livestock are one of the most significant
contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is
required to remedy the situation.”
- Henning Steinfeld
Chief of the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch
analysis shows that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at
least 32,564 million tons of CO2e per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide
[greenhouse gas] emissions.”
Dr. Robert Goodland, Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute, and Jeff Anhang,
and Climate Change, Worldwatch, November/December 2009
Unless Global Justice for Animals and the Environment
and our allies in the trade justice movement are able to stop Congressional
ratification of the KORUS the agreement will allow low-priced US industrial
farm exports to flood the South Korean market, resulting in increased
consumption of pork by 9%, chicken by 6.1 %, cheese by 13.1, and butter by 14.1% .
This will not only fuel climate change, but will also mean tens of
millions of additional animals will be doomed every year to hellish lives on
factory farms and terrifying slaughterhouse deaths as a direct result.
Additionally, the agreement facilitates exports of
live animals to a nation that lacks even the minimal humane slaughter
protections afforded some animals in the United States. And despite a ban on the slaughter of horses
in every US
state, the agreement will allow for untariffed export of horses to a nation
where horses are still slaughtered for food – and used in gruesome fights to
the death. The agreement also provides
for live dog exports to South
Korea, despite the nation’s failure to
enforce its laws banning dog consumption and its notoriously cruel live dog
markets. Korean American animal
advocates working in conjunction with animal advocacy groups in South Korea, have reported that whereas the White House previously
supported enforcement of the dog meat ban, it now refuses to touch the issue in
the interest of avoiding any issue that may slow passage of the free trade
agreement. Shockingly, the agreement
even allows the export of live bears to South
Korea, undermining the effort of activists in South Korea to
shut down the horrific bear bile trade.
But increased trade in animals and animal products is
only one of the many troubling aspects of this agreement.
According to Sierra Club Executive Director Mike
Brune, “we are concerned that the agreement could have the impact of weakening South Korea’s
The KORUS also includes provisions that potentially
allow polluting US-based corporations to sue South Korea for enforcing its
environmental laws -and allows Korean corporations to do the same to US
environmental laws. Korean electronics
giant Samsung, for example, is notorious for its flagrant environmental health
abuses, resulting in cancer in 100 workers in South Korea – 30 of whom have died. When
the Obama administration renegotiated the KORUS, President Obama squandered the
opportunity to pressure the Korean government to intervene on behalf of the
Samsung Accountability Campaigns demands for justice and reform by this killer
Perhaps worst of all, passage of the KORUS paves the
way for additional destructive trade agreements.
If the KORUS passes, President Obama is expected to
send trade agreements with Colombia
to Congress for votes. These agreements
will increase the destruction of rainforests by logging, oil, mining, and
plantation agriculture, resulting in death and displacement for their human and
animal inhabitants. In 2007, Congress
ratified a free trade agreement with Peru, and this has already
increased the pace of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest by lumber,
mining, oil, gas, lumber, and agribusiness interests and led to the massacre of
indigenous people defending their land.
GJAE and our allies are committed to stopping Congress
from passing these agreements, but time is short, with both nations intending
to begin ratification proceedings in January, with some Congressional Republicans
pushing for a vote on all three agreements within six months.
That's why right now is the critical moment for you to
provide GJAE with the shot in the arm we need to fight and win this
battle. With your help, educate and
mobilize animal and environmental groups around the country to apply maximum
pressure to their members of Congress to vote “NO!” on these anti-animal,
anti-environment trade deals.
You can make a one-time donation or a monthly or
weekly recurring donation through Paypal via this link: http://gjae.org/?page=End2010Appeal. If you choose a recurring donation, you are
free to cancel at any time -- just email email@example.com.
As a project of Rainforest Relief, a 501(c)3
not-for-profit corporation, all contributions to GJAE are tax deductible. Contributions to Rainforest Relief collected
through this donation request are specially earmarked for GJAE.
Looking back on 2010, GJAE has had a tremendously
productive year. During the Winter Games in Toronto,
we campaigned against Canada
World Trade Organization challenge to the European Union’s seal product ban
with a street theater demonstration at the Canadian consulate.
Later in February, we launched the Animal Ethics
Reading and Discussion Group, a project devoted to deepening animal rights
activists’ understanding of the philosophical foundations of their movement in
order to make them more compelling and persuasive spokespeople for the cause of
In April, we launched our first corporate campaign,
collaborating with environmental justice groups to expose Dow Chemical’s “Run
for Water” fundraising event as a cynical cover-up of the company’s atrocious
environmental and human rights record- -- including a NAFTA challenge to
Canada’s ban on a toxic pesticide produced by Dow. Over the course of a week our ad hoc
coalition held a film screening, panel discussion, presentation by
environmental movement legend Lois Gibbs, and organized a highly successful
street theater and direct action protest that successfully disrupted the run
and exposed it for the greenwash sham it truly was. We also educated hundreds of New Yorkers –
including many children -- with our literature and kids’ activity booth at
Earth Day New York’s annual Earth Fair.
In collaboration with our allies at TradeJustice NY
Metro, we organized Toxic Trade, a panel discussion on free trade agreement
investor rules, mining, and the environment at which GJAE premiered our slide
presentation on anti-environmental NAFTA state-investor cases. Later that month, we returned to the Canadian
Consulate – this time as part of a national day of protest again Canadian
mining company Pacific Rim’s state-investor case against El Salvador for having
the audacity to block a cyanide leach gold mining project that would have
likely contaminated the Rio Lempa, the nation’s largest river and primary
source of drinking water.
In July, GJAE informed hundreds of animal rights
activists about the threat to our fellow creatures posed by free trade
agreements with 8 presentations and an information book at the Animal Rights
2010 national conference. Our talks
explained how free trade agreements contribute to the destruction of wildlife
and the exploitation of animals used for entertainment, exhibition, and for
food. We also spoke on the importance of
cross-movement coalitions to effective animal advocacy and on why the animal
rights movement needs to better communicate its philosophical foundations to
prevent its message from being co-opted.
Throughout the summer, we developed a series of
reports detailing how free trade agreements exacerbate the environmental
problems posed by extractive industries (mining, oil, and natural gas),
logging, and industrial agriculture in the Americas. Armed with this information, we organized a
series of demonstrations in September against the presidents of Chile, the Dominican
and Colombia when they spoke
at events organized by the Council of the Americas, an unholy alliance of
multi-national corporations pushing for more NAFTA-style trade deals.
At GJAE, we believe in the vital importance of an
international solidarity movement for global justice and in the vital need to
defend the human rights of our fellow protesters. In October, when 500 activists in Brussels, Belgium
were arrested and tortured, we spearheaded an international support campaign
and launched the website http://belgiumsolidarity.blogspot.com. We inspired an international outcry, as
academics, parliamentarians and human rights groups condemned Belgium’s flagrant human rights
In November, the Animal Ethics Reading and Discussion
group premiered we http://readanimalethics.org,
which is rapidly becoming the most comprehensive site on the internet on the
philosophical basis of animal liberation.
In December, we collaborated with local environmental
justice activists to organize a rally at the United Nations during the COP 16
Climate Summit in Cancun as part of an
international day of action. We
condemned false “market solutions” to the climate crisis. Speakers explained why New Yorkers should
care about climate change, how false climate solutions contribute to the exploitation
of indigenous communities, how our consumption of industrially produced foods
and animal products is contributing to climate change, and why free trade
agreements will mean more global warming.
Just last week, we began work on a Spanish language
version of our website which we will launch in early 2011.
As 2010 draws to a close, we are now preparing for the
fight ahead by developing an in-depth report on the animal and environmental
impacts of the KORUS.
AT GJAE, our New Year’s resolution is to continue our
non-stop advocacy for animals and the planet in 2011, focusing our energies to
doing everything in our power to stop the passage of the KORUS and the Panama and
Colombia FTAs. But to make this possible
we need your help.
Run entirely by volunteers, GJAE operating on a minute fraction of the
budget of most animal and environmental groups.
Founded as an uncompromising voice for animals and the environment, GJAE
refuses to be co-opted and has never taken a dime in corporate or government
grants. That’s why we are entirely
dependent on the donations of caring people like you to cover basic expenses
like office rent, internet service, phones, office equipment, printing, protest
supplies, registration fees for exhibiting at events, and web hosting. Please contribute today at http://gjae.org/?page=End2010Appeal.
Thanks in advance for your support of our effort to
defeat the South Korea, Panama,
and Colombia Free Trade Agreements. With
your support, we can and will tell Congress and President Obama that animal and
human rights and the survival of our planet are more important than the profits
of corporate factory farmers and rainforest destroyers.
For Humane and Sustainable Trade Policy,
P.S. Support the fight for animals and the environment
while reducing your tax burden -- donate before December 31st to use your
contribution as a 2010 tax deduction!
Donate at http://gjae.org/?page=End2010Appeall!