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Visit this page frequently for actions you can take on behalf of animals.

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Tell Oakland City Officials: ANIMALS ARE NOT PLANTS

Last week, the Oakland Planning Commission approved a proposal on urban agriculture that classifies animals as plants by including them under "Community Gardens," which means any individual who wants to keep any number of animals or "livestock" can do so in any part of the city without even needing a Conditional Use Permit. The proposal now goes to the City Council, and they need to hear from you now.

So many "calls to action" are about closing something down that already exists, which is extremely hard to do! This is about stopping slaughter and cruelty before it begins. PLEASE speak up for the animals. Here's how you can help!

1. Join my mailing list (see the sidebar), check the box Oakland Backyard Slaughter to stay notified about this particular issue, ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN THE SF BAY AREA. We will NEED you to show up for the next meeting this proposal goes to, most likely on October 14th.

2. Listen to the audio message below to get some background about this issue.

3. Write a letter to your Oakland City Council member TODAY. Find out who they are and how to contact them here. (NOTE: If you don't live in Oakland, you can still write letters to city officials expressing your concerns.)

  • Please BCC contact@joyfulvegan.com so I can compile your letters when presenting to the City Council.
  • Be respectful. Assume your council person doesn't know the details of this issue.
  • Keep your letter short and to the point. Tell them Animals Are Not Plants, and urge them to remove "livestock" from the definition of "Community Gardens."
  • Refer to the definition in the proposal: "Community Gardens are defined as land that is used for the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, herbs, and ornamental plants.” It's a perfect definition. But tell them to eliminate the next part that says "...and/or animal products and livestock production.”
  • Use the talking points here to emphasize why it's a bad idea to allow people to raise and kill animals in Oakland.
  • Express concern that the proposal on urban agriculture passed the Oakland Planning Commission without proper comment from the public since the chair of the Commission (Chris Pattillo) asked people to leave who were there to talk about animals. It's alarming that a member of government would tell citizens that their voice would not be heard about an issue on the agenda.

4. Write a letter to the Oakland Tribune or the San Francisco Chronicle. Express the concerns listed above. Be articulate and respectful. We want the public to understand what we're asking for: Animals Are Not Plants. That's clear and not controversial.

If this passes, it will have negative impacts on thousands of animals for decades to come. We need everyone in Oakland to get involved to encourage officials to do the right thing for the human and non-human animals of Oakland.

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