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  • Donate to help GJAE stop the South Korea, Colombia, and Panama Free Trade Agreements!

    Dear Friends:

    Support GJAE’s efforts to stop the Souh Korea, Colombia, and Panama Free Trade Agreements at  http://gjae.org/?page=End2010Appeal!

     

     

    Dear Friends:

     

    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 1994."

    - 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

     

    “[O]ur 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,

    Livestock 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 emissions standards.”

     

     

    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 company.        

     

    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 and Panama 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 adam@gjae.org.

     

    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 and Norway’s 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 animal liberation.

     

    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 Republic, Peru, 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 abuses.

     

    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,

     

    Adam Weissman

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Global Justice for Animals and the Environment is a project of:
    Wetlands Activism Collective
    Phone: (718) 218-4523
    Fax: (501) 633-34761
    activism @ wetlands-preserve.org