Activist Spotlight: Dogs on Deathrow and Aboriginal Art at the Olympics
Activist Spotlight: Care2 members making a difference in their communities
One of the great things about Care2 is that anyone can make a difference. And one of the best ways to spread good and ignite change is to start your own Care2 petition! Each week, we will be selecting a few petitions, created by Care2 members just like you, to spotlight — and you never know, yours could be next. Here are some citizen petitions that we think you might want to know about.
Breed-banning law causes controversy: how do you decide if a dog is too “pitbull”?
In Brampton, Ontario, people are up in arms over two dogs, Rambo and Brittany, who were seized by animal control and are set to be euthanized because they look like pitbulls to an animal control officer. A city-wide ban on pitbulls started in 2005; but these dogs were born after the law went into effect, and were issued licenses by the city as non-pitbull dogs. Rambo and Brittany are siblings, and their owners, Maria Gaspar and Rui Branco, respectively, have veterinarian support that these dogs are boxer and American bulldog mixes, which are not classified as “pitbull” by Brampton law.
It’s important to note that no one complained about these dogs: they have not been aggressive, a disturbance, or violent — they’re guilty of nothing but having some pitbull-like features.
The owners of these dogs are devastated that their best friends have been confiscated and, depending on a court outcome, might be put to death. For me, the issue raises a lot of questions. What is a pitbull? The definition of a pitbull in itself is confusing: the Brampton breed-banning law places American Staffordshire terrier under the pitbull umbrella, while other sources say these are two separate breeds.And what if a dog’s lineage includes a breed that is part of the pitbull breed, and also that of non-pitbull breed? Should breed bans lead to breed witch-hunts, and breed exterminations? Many Brampton citizens say the law is too vague, and that dogs should not be judged on whether they “look” like a pitbull to an animal control worker.
Brampton folks are taking to the streets, staging peaceful protests to save Rambo and Brittany. If you are in the Brampton area, you can join them! And if you’re far away, or just can’t brave the Ontario cold, you can sign this Care2 member-created petition.
Aboriginal artists feel the wrath of Olympics big-business
The 2010 Winter Olympics start this weekend in Canada, and the masses who flock to watch the Winter Games will also be trolling the streets for Canadian souvenirs — but wait! That (supposedly) handmade aboriginal keepsake box you’ve been eyeing might be as fake as your “Fendi” purse. Aboriginal artists like those from Spiritworks in Vancouver, Canada are calling out the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) for labeling items “Authentic Aboriginal Products” when they are made by non-aborignals, and often even non-Canadians — these products were shipped from over-seas! The aboriginal artists are trying to bring their artwork to the mainstream, and saw the Olympics as a great way to promote their crafts.
Aboriginal art celebrates the culture of Canada’s First Nations, and in a local news story, one artist said that these handcrafts were the “largest form of direct revenue, into some of the most marginalized and impoverished communities in Canada”. Companies like Spiritworks were hoping to expand after the Olympics, but becuase of deals lost to people who were compelled to buy from official Olympic sponsors, they might actually have to downsize. It seems like once again, big business is stepping on the little guy.
These aboriginal artists are asking VANOC to stop using this misleading label, which they feel “waters down” their work. You can support the REAL aboriginal artists and help prevent mislabeling and mis-use of the word “authentic” by signing this petition.