Last Chance for Animals

Not too long ago, I was walking on the beach and saw this van and it piqued my curiosity:

animal news van

What is the Animal News Van?

The Animal News Van (ANV) is Last Chance for Animal’s education and news reporting tool.

Partnered with the website, it effectively educates millions of people in Southern California on animal issues.

The van’s TV screens, speaker system, and LED message board impart important information. It is the first of its kind on the West Coast, reaching people across cultural and economic lines.

What Does the ANV Educate About?

The ANV educates the public about the plight of animals used in modern society for food, entertainment, clothing and scientific curiosity.

The ANV is committed to disseminating truthful information and promoting conscious, informed lifestyle decisions in order to improve the manner in which animals are treated in the American culture. Millions of dogs, pigs, rats and other animals will be grateful when human compassion and understanding finally reaches out its arms to embrace them. (Info from LCA website.)

I’ve been involved in animal activism for a long time, but I had never heard of Last Chance for Animals, so when I got home, I researched the organization and learned about their mission statement:

Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and media attention.  LCA believes that animals are highly sentient creatures who exist for their own reasons independent of their service to humans; they should not be made to suffer for the latter.  LCA opposes the use of animals in food and clothing production, scientific experimentation, and entertainment and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle and the ascription of rights to non-human beings.

Pretty cool, huh?

I reached out to local volunteers and offered to participate when there was an outreach event that needed some help. A couple weeks ago, there was an opportunity at the Escondido Street Fair, and I signed up for the morning shift.

It was a great opportunity to connect with the public and educate them about the plight of factory farmed animals and the myriad of vegan options that are cruelty-free and SO healthy.

We handed out lots of vegan chocolate chip cookies and plant-based “milk”.

If you’ve never heard of Last Chance for Animals, visit the website and get involved!

Last Chance for Animals


“From One Kid To Another: Bindi Irwin Should Oppose SeaWorld”

A note from Princess Rosebud of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife:

This letter needs to go viral and author Rose McCoy, twelve-year-old animal activist, needs to be honored.

I wish more of her generation was as passionate and compassionate toward the defense and welfare of animals.

I am so proud of you. You go, girl!

From Rose McCoy…

Bindi Irwin is only a few years older than I am, but we are worlds apart on our views about cramming orcas and dolphins into SeaWorld’s floating prison cells. I went to jail after jumping in front of SeaWorld’s Rose Parade float to protest the amusement park’s cruelty to orcas and dolphins. Bindi jumped at the chance to be SeaWorld’s new “ambassador” because, well, I’m not sure why.

As someone who lost a parent at a young age, Bindi seems like the last person who would be a spokesperson for SeaWorld, knowing that it has taken baby orcas away from their loving moms, leaving them thrashing and wailing with grief. Wild orcas never permanently leave their moms and pods. Please, Bindi, you should know how awful it is for SeaWorld to separate mothers and children, which it does all the time.

Orcas and dolphins in the wild have the whole ocean to swim in, and they have dozens of friends and family members who love them. They are super-smart animals who work together as a team, talk to each other using special dialects, and swim for many, many miles every day, enjoying the currents and the sights of the sea. At SeaWorld, all of this is taken away. Their world is shrunk from square miles to square feet.

Intelligent orcas with individual personalities are reduced to cartoon “Shamus.” And how many audience members realize that every single orca performer, male or female, in SeaWorld’s parks is called “Shamu”?!

Swimming in circles in SeaWorld’s fish bowls makes orcas and dolphins crazed, frustrated, and angry. Who wouldn’t feel the same way if they were kidnapped, imprisoned in a tiny tank, and forced to perform silly tricks on command?

There is nothing that SeaWorld can do and no one it can hire who can erase the truth that those of us who saw “Blackfish” know. Customers are running away from SeaWorld! Ticket sales are down, musicians are canceling shows, and schools are canceling field trips. SeaWorld can never make up for the lives it has destroyed. The only thing that it can do now is stop hurting more animals and release the orcas it has to coastal sanctuaries.

Recently, California state lawmaker Richard Bloom introduced a bill that would force SeaWorld to do the right thing by making it illegal for SeaWorld San Diego to hold orcas in captivity. I wish I lived in California, because I would like to walk right up to Mr. Bloom and give him a big hug.

It makes me sad that instead of working to free orcas — to have them live in the great oceans again — Bindi Irwin is using her name to help keep them in small, barren tanks. We don’t want to see orcas and dolphins turned into circus clowns. Animals are so much better than that. We should be, too.


We’re witnessing a profound shift in the way people regard animals. They matter more to us now. We think of them less as objects at our disposal, as science increasingly reveals them to be intelligent, emotional, social beings that are not as different from us as we used to think they were. We’re increasingly committed to learning about them, more interested in understanding and improving our relationships with them, and more passionate about protecting them. The Dodo will channel this shift every day by covering the most important and fascinating stories including photos, videos, Vines, etc. And we want you to join us: Share your stories, your pictures, your media, anything animal-related, and you’ll be part of an unprecedented community for all those who love animals, are concerned about their welfare — and want to make a difference.


We’re resurrecting the dodo — a mysterious bird we drove into extinction nearly 400 years ago — to remind us of just how great our impact on animals is, and to inspire us to get it right this time.


CEO and Editor in Chief: Kerry Lauerman
Co-Founder and Editor at Large: Izzie Lerer
Head of Product: Colin Sterling
Senior Editor: Jaime Lowe
Staff Writers: Stephen MessengerDan Nosowitz
Social Media Editor: Chris Tackett
Community Editor: Kate Bratskeir
Assistant Editors: Melissa CroninJenny Kutner


Recent Reads

When my brother and I were little, we were both voracious readers; books, magazines, newspapers, street signs, cereal boxes, anything and everything. Since I know he reads my blog, I’ll give him a shout out–“Hi, Skip!” He’s much, much older than I am, practically doddering, as it were. He told me that he really began to feel old when he got his Medicare card. It represented the symbolic confirmation that he’s… OLD!  Ha ha ha. It was nice to grow up having an extremely older big (old) brother. I was the baby (still am) and could torture him all the time and never fear retaliation! All kidding aside, he was a great big brother until he went off to college and I was all alone with no one to torture except for our parents; they bore the brunt of my rebellious teenage “boy crazy” escapades. Ah, the good old days of ditching school and hanging out at Plum Street and listening to the Doors at ear screeching volume for hours on end!

Environmental/Animal Rights:
I’m not sure if he still reads as much as I do, but I am lost without a book.  I was out of chick books and picked up a novel my son sent to the captain, T.C. Boyle‘s When The Killing’s Done. It’s a real departure from my normal fantasy-based romance and witty banter menu, but it is a must-read; savagely compelling.  It’s based on the true story of how the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy rid the  Channel Islands (off the California coast) of  sheep, pigs, black rats and, finally, opportunistic golden eagles, in order to give the rare island fox and some nomadic seabirds a fighting chance for survival. As expected, animal rights activists protest and actively thwart the efforts by attempting to sabotage the killing of some species to “save” others. It’s not all about the animals; there are relationship subplots and twists and turns that made it impossible to stop reading. I had to skip over a few of the more graphic paragraphs (thanks to my son who warned me), but I don’t think that minimized the brilliance of the writing nor the importance  of the subject matter. It was an especially timely read for me during our great squirrel relocation program last week.
When I finished that book, I was searching around the house for something else to read and picked up one of the magazines delivered to the captain every few months. If you love nautical/maritime reads, you will love this. It was really interesting with beautiful pictures. Power Ships is a publication of the Steamship Historical Society of America. In this issue, they highlight the Providence Steamship Company. In the 1920’s the owner’s wife took over management of the tugboat company when her husband died. Some say she was the inspiration for the popular “Tugboat Annie” character.

Enough of that, I said to myself. I am excited to start reading Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand novel.