Help Animals Affected by Oil Spill

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Help Animals Affected by Oil Spill

The timing of the spill, National Audubon reported Wednesday, could not be worse for birds, which are now nesting and therefore especially vulnerable in many of the places where the oil could come ashore. Said an Audubon bird conservation director: “We have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, including a true catastrophe for birds.” (Birder’s World)

You’ve certainly heard by now about the enormous oil spill spreading in the Gulf of Mexico.  It’s shaping up to be a major environmental disaster, likely even worse than the Exxon-Valdez spill.

The first recovered bird, a gannet, from the International Bird Rescue Response Team blog

What makes this particular spill even more dangerous than it would be otherwise?  The shores of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, where the oil has spread, are home to important nesting areas for thousands of shorebirds, many of whom are endangered.  Also affected are major stopovers and wintering areas for migratory birds. Approximately 400 species are threatened by this catastrophe.

There aren’t many of us who can travel across the continent to actively participate in the clean-up effort–so what can we do?

Jasmin Singer of Farm Sanctuary has written a helpful post at her blog, the Hen House:

Kelly Overton and his organization, People Protecting Animals and Their Habitats (PATH), have determined a need for logistical, supply and rescue support that will be needed for months to come. Our Hen House will be following Kelly’s rescue efforts and consistently speaking with him while he is on the gulf coast, from where he will be able to provide information on how you can help the rescue efforts. (more…)

Some groups are suggesting that people buy Dawn dish detergent, since Dawn claims to give some portion of every purchase towards wildlife rescue efforts.  You’ve probably seen the commercials, which feature cheerful, breezy music over a montage of a oiled duckling being cleaned and set free.   (Note that at the bottom of the ad, the small text admits that this is a simulation, which means that they covered a perfectly healthy duckling in some kind of gunk and then washed him off on camera.  Nice.)

What they don’t mention in the commercial is that Dawn is owned by Procter & Gamble, one of the most notorious animal testers on the planet.   Maybe it’s just me, but I’m just not into supporting a company who has no qualms about killing millions of animals when it’s just not necessary.

So what can you do?

  • Do you own a salon or a pet grooming business?  Do you have a collection of old nylons or pantyhose you can’t wear anymore?  Hair soaks up oil very effectively, and nylons can be stuffed with loose hair clippings. Donate them to Matter of Trust.
  • The National Wildlife Fund has put together a form letter asking US President Obama to take action in restoring Louisiana wetlands affected by the spill.  International signatures are accepted.
  • …and the Sierra Club has put together a similar letter asking for a halt of offshore drilling.  Again, international signatures are okay.

Whatever you do, do something!


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May 5, 2010 at 9:11 pm

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June 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I’m not supporting Dawn’s testing on animals but the reason it’s suggested to send Dawn dish soap is because it’s an excellent degreaser so it’s effective in cleaning off the oil that animals become covered in.


June 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Hi Meghan–yep, we know that. And really, it’s pretty fantastic that the company chooses to support animals in this way. But promoting Dawn as a company which helps animals is completely misleading–and the very type of people who buy Dawn specifically because they believe Dawn is an animal/environmentally-friendly company would probably be troubled to know that Dawn supports animal testing.

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