Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Anthony Marr's letter to Ed Asner - Los Angeles - 2010-04-21
Dear Mr. Asner,
It is an honor to break bread with you, and even more so to share our passion for the rights and welfare of our non-human animal brethren with whom we share this fragile planet.
In case you are not familiar with me and my work, may I first present my mini-bio written for the Animal Rights National Conference at which I have been a key speaker every year since 2004, often giving upwards of 10 speeches each time:
Anthony Marr has a science degree (physics) and is the author of the critically acclaimed "OMNI-SCIENCE and the Human Destiny" (2003) and “Homo Sapiens! SAVE YOUR EARTH” (2008).
A full-time wildlife preservationist and anti-hunting activist since 1995, he has
- cleaned up North American Chinatowns of traditional medicines containing endangered species ingredients such as tiger bone, rhino horn, bear gall and elephant ivory,
- been a leading anti-hunting activist since 1995, whose Bear Referendum campaign, in which he debated 50-120 hunters at a time 50 times in 50 cities, was hailed by the Globe and Mail as the "highest-profile animal advocacy campaign in Canada in 1996",
- fought the horrendous Canadian Seal Massacre since 1997,
- been to Japan twice to work against whaling and dolphin capture and slaughter,
- been to India 3 times and worked in 3 tiger reserves (Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Ranthambhore) to help save the Bengal tiger from extinction, which won him the title of the "Champion of the Bengal Tiger" in the award winning TV documentary series "Champions of the Wild" aired on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Knowledge Network in 20 countries.
He founded Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE) in 1999 and is the leader of HOPE’s Global Emergency Operation (GEO) on climate change and mass extinction.
He founded the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) in 2009.
He has conducted 6 Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions (CARE tours) since 2003, each covering 25-44 U.S. states over 3-7 months, and is currently on his 7th Compassion for Animals Road expedition (CARE-7), which will take him and GAHC VP Anthony Damiano begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting through 40 states in 7 months.
Through my last six continental tours, I have worked with numerous local animal advocacy groups on all kinds of animal rights and animal welfare issues. Where anti-hunting is concerned, he has worked with dozens of anti-hunting groups on as many local anti-hunting campaigns. Through this prolonged experience, I have found out one thing that is universal. Whenever a local anti-hunting groups fights a prohunting local government (which are always prohunting), the local anti-hunting groups always lose, which has led to my conceiving and forming the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition, with the local anti-hunting groups as member groups. To forge this coalition is one of the aims of the current CARE-7 tour. With the coalition forged in 2010, then in 2011, whenever a local anti-hunting group tackles a local prohunting government, we will bring the weight of the entire coalition to bear upon the prohunting local government, and win.
Why are the local governments always prohunting? First, not only local governments, but all governments on all levels, are always run by hunters. Why? Let me give a example. While nationally about 5% of the population hunt, in New Jersey, only 0.8% of the population do. In other words, 99.2% of New Jerseyans do not hunt. But only the 0.8% has the power to determine wildlife management policy. The state constitution of New Jersey clearly states that of the 11 voting members of the Fish and Game Commission which sets wildlife management policy, at least 6 must be hunters. As if this is not bad enough, all 11 were hunters last time I checked. Likewise for most other states. In other words, non-government biologists, ecologists, hikers, campers, photographers, much less animal advocates, have no say in the matter. It is wildlife management policies by hunters, for hunters. So much for "Democracy".
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is also the state-level Hunter Harassment Statutes. Near Pittsburgh, PA, a woman who had a 20 acre hobby farm complete with NO HUNTING signs was charged with 9 counts of hunter harassment for asking a group of trespassing hunters in the process of hunting deer to get off her property. She was tried and found guilty of all counts. These state-level "Hunter Harassment Statutes" violate the free-speech rights and property rights of non-hunting citizens, and are clearly unconstitutional.
And then there is the Big Lie. The prohunting government of Allentown, PA, for example, announced that the Trexler Nature Preserve, which had maintained a no-hunting policy since it's founding in 1906, had a deer overpopulation problem which damaged the park's ecology. Since the discharge of firearms is prohibited in an urban park, the bow hunters rushed in to "do the community a service". But when I entered the park on the opening day of bow-hunting, I saw hundreds of acres of forest having been plowed down and vast plantations of deer clover planted in its place. Rich deer food has the effect of maximizing the deer's reproductive rate, which did create an overpopulation problem. The whole thing was initiated by the bow hunters for hunting purposes and the prohunting government deluded the public to justify it. Bow-hunters are aggressive and organized, and systematically force their way into urban environments to indulge in their blood "sport".
Bow-hunting is the cruelest form of hunting. Notoriously inaccurate beyond a 20 yard range, resulting in a 50% non-lethal wounding rate. In other words, of 100 deer shot by arrows, 50 do not die, but stagger around with arrows imbeded in non-vital part of their bodies - rump, back, abdomen, neck, head, even eyes - for days and weeks. They try to justify bow-hunting by arguing that they hunt for food, which is a transparent lie. If they hunt for food, they would have used a rifle. Clearly, they hunt for entertainment. It is not called Recreational Hunting for nothing.
Even this is not all, but just a microcosm of the entire nation. 5% of the 300 million Americans are hunters, most of whom are deer hunters, most of whom want more than one deer . So, 30 million extra deer are needed to satisfy their blood lust. First, they eradicate all natural predators, mostly wolves, then plant "food plots" all over the country, on both public and private land, to boost the deer population by 30 million. But so many more deer lead to huge numbers of deer-vehicle accidents (DVAs), resulting in over 1 million deer fatalities and some 250 human deaths every year, year after year. The hunters are aware of this - at least I've told them repeatedly so - but press on with their "program" regardless, thus justifying the labels not only of "serial killers" of wild animals, but "premeditated mass murderers" of the 250 humans every year, and even "terrorists", since the victims never know who they would be, nor where nor when they would be killed.
Hunting is not my only concern, and domestic animal abuse goes without saying. One more thing about the cruel community and industry. The hunters post a lot of hunting videos on the internet, due to which they are also in support of the "Crush Videos", where women in their bare feet or high heels crush cats and dogs to death on video for the enjoyment of perverts, and they are legal! Only yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a long standing law banning such videos, on grounds of freedom of speech!
Now for something infinitely destructive, which could drive millions of species to extinction within decades. We are currently in the 6th mass extinction which threatens to be the most devastating yet, certainly more so than the 5th which wiped out over 30% of all species including the dinosaurs by means of an asteroid strike 64 million years ago. The 3rd, the End-Permian Mass Extinction 251 million years ago, caused indeed by global warming due to massive volcanic activities associated with continental drift and splitting of continental shields, led to the extinction of 75% of all land species and 95% of all marine species, including all the corals. The current 6th mass extinction promises to match or even outdo the 3rd. The cause of the global warming is different, but the result will be the same or worse. We have an estimated 20 million species on Earth today, only 10% of which is known to science. By the end of this century, over 16 million species could have fallen extinct, including some of the most magnificent, such as the tigers, elephants, bears, rhinos, whales, dolphins, eagles and butterflies. What kind of a world are we passing on to our children?
One thing that could make this nightmare come true is Latent Heat, or rather our unawareness of it. When I give a global warming talk, I often start with a question to the audience, "How many of you have heard of the term 'Latent Heat'?" Of an audience of 100, maybe one or two hands would come out, and at that hesitantly, time after time. Let me explain. Take a pot of ice water, place it on a stove set on low heat, and stir it with a thermometer. My next question would be, "When would the temperature of the water begin to rise?" The answer is, "After all the ice has melted off." For as long as there is ice remaining in the pot, the temperature would remain near freezing. But as soon as the last of the ice cubes have melted, the temperature will rise. It is not exactly that the ice "cools" the water, but that the heat infused into the pot will go first into melting the ice - without raising the temperature, and this is latent heat, "latent" meaning "hidden". After the ice has melted off, however, the temperature will rise, and the heat infused as of this point is called "Sensible Heat". The Arctic Ocean can be considered a huge pot of ice water, and the summer sun the stove. For as long as there is still sea ice to melt, the Arctic Ocean water temperature would remain relatively cool, instigating global warming deniers to say, "Global warming? What global warming?", which is what the oil lobby, which has spent $200 million on the Denial Movement, wants us to say. But as soon as the summer sea ice has completely melted off - as early as 2013 - the Arctic Ocean temperature will rise, and rise meteorically, and by then, it could be too late.
But there is still something even worse - Methane, a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide - by about 70X. Methane is a major byproduct of animal agriculture, which annually emits 25% more CO2-equivalent in methane than the entire transportation system. Even more so is the Arctic and subArctic permafrost which is loaded with methane by the billions of tons, and which has already begun melting as we speak, releasing their lethal genie irretrievably into the atmosphere. Once the Arctic water and air temperatures begin to skyrocket - as early as 2013 - the permafrost, both on land and under the sea, will begin melting at unprecedented rates, and vast quantities of methane will be released into the atmosphere, enough to generate its own feedback loop, where more methane in the atmosphere will warm up the globe even faster, melting even more permafrost, releasing even more methane. Once this process has begun, the much dreaded Runaway Global Heating can be said to have commenced. Once it has started, it will be almost unstoppable. Another term for Runaway Global Heating is the Methane Time-Bomb, or the M-Bomb - a "slow bomb" which would take decades to spend, but once detonated, it will inexorably run its course until it is spent, by which time millions of species will have fallen extinct. Quite amazing really to see how this coincides with the Mayan calendar prediction of December 21, 2012, being the end of the world.
Something so momentous - Latent Heat and the Methane Time-bomb - should have become a household word but now. But think back to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change convention, or the 2009 one at Copenhagen - how many times have you heard the term "Latent Heal" or the word "Methane" mentioned? Almost zero times. At most, they talk about CO2, which is only the fuse. The bomb is Methane.
It is predicted that the 21st Century will be a century of global drought. Consider the 20,000 glaciers in the Himalayas which feed the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers due east, and the six rivers in Southeast Asia and India due south, the latter providing for over 1.5 billion people today. What will happen after they have all melted off later this century? Jame Lovelock of Gaia Hypothesis fame predicts that by the end of this century, 5 billion people will have perished due to water shortages, and therefore food shortages, and therefore mass starvation.
Back to the present, as mentioned before, while I conduct a long tour, I offer local activists and groups my aid to their local campaigns. In California, the leading local wildlife campaign is against black bear hunting. Currently, the hunters are driving for three things: 1. Unlimited Black bear hunting. 2. Using dogs for the purpose. And 3. To mount GPS units on the dogs to lead the hunters to the treed bears, if they have not been torn apart by the dogs already. I ask Californians: How many Grizzly bears are there in California? The answer is "One" - the one on the state flag.
Not long ago, there used to be thousands, which have long since been exterminated. Next question: Do you want the Black bears to suffer the same fate?
Obviously, to conduct a 40-states-in-7-months road tour won't come cheap. We have no budget to finance the entire tour. It is a wing and a prayer and one day at a time. If you could help sustain this 7th Compassion for Animals Road Expedition of mine, I would be eternally grateful. I created my organization Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE) in 1999, and have yet to pay myself a single cent in salary. Rest assured that all donation dollars will go to the animals, the planet, and our children's future.
Thank you for reading my proposal.
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)
www.facebook.com (search for “Anthony Marr Heal Our Planet Earth”)