Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friends of Animals Joins B.C. Wolf Protection Pack, Letters Needed!

Friends of Animals Joins B.C. Wolf Protection Pack, Letters Needed!
Friends of Animals has joined a growing coalition of groups in speaking up for wolves, as the BC government works to reduce or eliminate the already few measures protecting wolves in BC. These wolves are quickly running out of habitat, and are scapegoats for human-caused animal community decline, as we’re seeing with caribou. The BC Government maintains that wolves are responsible, despite the fact that BC Government ‘management’ has been an abysmal failure, and caribou populations continue to decline. Clearly it’s our use of caribou habitat, with projects like the oil sands being the real culprit.

Below is an Action Alert from coalition organizer Sadie Parr - let’s tell the BC Government that wolves need protection, and that we humans need to contain and limit habitat destruction.


The BC government released a draft management plan for wolves on November 14th that is heavy on management but lacking conservation, ecology, and ethics.  The proposed plan supports the:

·         Elimination of wolves where they overlap with ranchers
·         Machine gunning of wolves where caribou herds are in severe decline
·         Continued sterilization of wolves when a decade of this has not increased caribou numbers
·         Ongoing slaughter of wolves through lax hunting and trapping regulations (no bag limits, no specific tag required, year-round killing in some regions)

The draft plan needs to be changed!  Your voice is NEEDED.  Current wolf management in BC is extremely outdated.  What’s missing from the plan?  The incredible social nature and family bonds shared among this intelligent species.  Many wolf biologists argue that allowing wolves to express their natural social behaviour benefits the wider ecosystem as well as wolves.  The BC government wants to kill wolves for sport, to appease ranchers, and to help save endangered species.  The number of wolves being killed across the province is at an all-time high since recording began.

Wolf biologist Dr. Linda Rutledge states:

“We have no idea the extent of the impact that repeatedly killing over 25% of a wolf population has on their evolutionary trajectory.  But it’s dangerous to think that you can manipulate them so intensively and have negligible consequences.”

Top predators are among the most outstanding achievements of wilderness, evolving over hundreds of centuries.  The social structure of wolf packs has evolved with this.  It is the wolf pack that is the top predator, not the individual wolf.  Wolves are more than mere numbers.  Their social bonds and kin-based families define what it means to be a wolf. Management plans need to take this into account!

The BC governments’ draft proposal brings us back to a time of fear-mongering.  Wolves are being killed through hunting, trapping, livestock concerns, failing caribou herds, and on transportation routes across the majority of the province.   Extended family members of wolf packs are often butchered in a human-dominated landscape.  We can do better this!  Do not allow our ecosystems to become impoverished due to fear and mismanagement.  Speak against this bloodshed.

Although wolves require an adequate prey base, the defining factor in wolf persistence is protection from humans.  Aldo Leopold learned long ago that “Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf”. None is so hated; none so misunderstood. 

Conservation groups across the province have a vision for a better BC for wolves, wildlife & people. 


1.       Extend the deadline for public input to January 30.
2.       NO helicopter killing or sterilization of wolves.
3.       NO leghold traps, snares or baiting.
4.       Return to former species licence, quotas, bag limits, restricted seasons, and mandatory reporting of kills for hunting wolves.
5.       A decision and statement that lethal predator control is NOT an option for the recovery of mountain caribou and a stop to the Quesnell Highland wolf sterilization and removal project.
6.       A provincial management plan for wolves that considers  the social stability of packs as well as population size to ensure the long term conservation of the species in its most natural form.
7.       A commitment to reduce wolf-livestock-human conflicts through prevention, and provision of educational initiatives and incentives for responsible husbandry practices.
8.       Protect  large tracts of habitat for wolves and their prey.  Ensure that protected areas are large enough to support multiple wolf families with no hunting/trapping allowed.

Conservation of wolves and the wild habitat they thrive upon has even been linked to stopping climate change.  Indeed, wolves maintain biodiversity in ecosystems, which are thus better able to handle, as well as buffer, the effects of changes in nature.  The ecosystem services provided by a healthy environment, such as water and air purification, cannot be matched by a dollar value as we cannot replace these necessary services if we tried.  A better BC for all includes a future with iconic predators that Canadians identify with; management of our natural resources in an ethical and sustainable way; clean water and air, and wild spaces that can be explored by foot only.

Many conservation groups are opposed to this plan, including Pacific Wild, Valhalla Wilderness Society, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, The Association of Protection of Furbearing Animals, Lifeforce Foundation, Northern Lights Wolf Centre, World Temperate Rainforest Network, Peter A Dettling Wilderness Education Centre, Friends of Animals and likely many more to come as they learn about this horrendous proposal!  PLEASE ADD YOUR VOICE!

“History has shown us that if deliberate efforts are not made to conserve large carnivores they are doomed.”  –Hummel and Pettigrew

Are we taking these steps?  Speak out for BC's wolves. Voice your concern.

Public input deadline is December 5. It's easy to submit your comments at:

Or contact:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Honourable Steve Thomson
PO BOX 9049 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC
V8W 9E2

Telephone: 250 387-6240
Fax: 250 387-1040 or

“By remaining silent, we allow others to prevail” – Martin Luther King
Thank you for your howls! 
Please cc.  and on letters sent if possible.
Most sincerely, Sadie Parr


Additionally, there are a couple online petitions you can sign:

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 World Vegan Day Bake Sale Report

What better way to celebrate World Vegan Day than to show off amazing vegan goodies with a bake sale fundraiser?

Goodies were brought down to Sarah's Place, a really big thank you to vegan bakers Kiley, Cara, Lisa, Jordan, Hayley, Jenn and Diana - there were cupcakes, cookies, muffins, rice puff squares, candy apples, energy bars and Nanaimo bars!

The fundraising goal is to print up more Friends of Animals' Vegan Starter Guides to distribute in the city - in May 2011 we printed up 4,000 (money also raised from bake sales!) and have given most of them out! So we're planning to raise another $3000 to print up even more. We'll be featuring more bake sales, and other fun events. $347 was raised at this one, thanks again for all who came down, and for the generous donations from our bakers! Contact us if you'd like to be added to our 'Victoria Vegan Bakers' list, and help out with future events!

Two more event photos below from Sarah Kramer, thank you again for hosting us outside of Sarah's Place in Market Square, the world's best vegan shop!!


Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Save-A-Turkey Trot 2012

The 3rd Annual Save-A-Turkey Trot on Sept 29th, co-sponsored by OrganicAthlete Victoria and Friends of Animals featured the best weather yet, sunny and warm, and even a visit from a few passing orcas in the Juan de Fuca Strait!

This year featured a record 34 participants, and split down the middle with about half running, and half out for a pleasurable stroll in support of turkeys and veganism on the scenic 5km route along the paths along the waterfront.

We also set out informative route markers this year, and as always, a huge supply of prizes distributed by draw. We also had three Top prizes, a Field Roast Celebration Roast donated by Sarah’s Place, and our Top runners were:
Top Male: Danny Taylor, 17’26 (2012)
Top Junior (U19): Etta Degnan, 19’57 (2012)
Top Female: Etta Degnan, 19’57 (2012) (Note: Top Female prize awarded to 2nd place Female, Jenn Marr, 20’04)

These are also our new Course Record times - Glenn Jasechko had the record from last year, with an 18’44, but couldn’t defend his record this year (and it was done barefoot!), and the previous Top Female was Lysanne Lavigne, with a 21’24 which held for two years from our 1st event in 2010.

That means our Top Vegan Times are now:
Top Male: Glenn Jasechko, 18’44 (2011)
Top Female: Jenn Marr, 20’04 (2012)

Over $650 in prizes were given out, and a big thank-you goes to our sponsors Purica, Sarah’s Place, Tender Heart Truffles, Green Cuisine, Vshoen Boutique, Equinox Health Clinic and Oak Bay Bikes plus all attendees got a sample pack of Vega One!

A big thank you to volunteers and OA members Ailsa, Heather, Nick and David for helping out with the event, thanks to Jenn Marr and Michelle Dagg for bringing out so many members of the UVic Tri Club, and a special thanks to Purica for providing the event tent.

Enjoy this fantastic event video from David:

Our photo album can be found here, and below are the full results from the runners plus a few more select photos, thank for being a part of the 3rd Annual Save-A-Turkey Trot, see you in 2013!
Runners - Male
Danny Taylor 17’26
Derek Binnersley* 20’12
Erik Venini 21’07
Jordan Reichert 21’10
Sam Lynch 26’52
Luke Chamberlain 26’52
Nathan Lam 31’12
Greg Gillespie 43’50

Runners - Female
Etta Dengan* 19’57
Jenn Marr 20’04
Jocelyn Hardy 21’10
Sydney Scout* 21’12
Michelle Dagg 21’42
Linnea Saltel 23’50
Lisa Trotter 26’42
Marlon Couture* 30’31
Krista Park 30’32
Jordan Gillespie* 39’45

* denotes U19 runner
And all our 'trotters': Susan, Mirriam, Krista, Mark, Marni, Simon, Solina, Oden, Eric, Kayla, Gavin, Alek, Tanis, Jane, Alanna and Melanie!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Activism 2012

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and is extra early this year!

We've got two events, and hope you'll join us - first up is the 3rd Annual Save-A-Turkey Trot, co-organized by OrganicAthlete Victoria and Friends of Animals on Saturday, September 29th at 11am:

It's a fun 5k walk/trot/run on the beautiful trails that run along the Dallas Rd waterfront. All are welcome, bring along your doggies, and your $2 entry helps support this event, and also enters you into the draw for tons of great prizes, all the details here:

The following day (Sunday, September 30th), FoA supporter Susan will be leading a leafleting session at noon outside Market on Yates downtown, giving out our Vegan Starter Guides, and encouraging people to go for a vegan Thanksgiving (and every meal!)

Please send a note if you'd like to join us, this will be a positive event encouraging people to consider turkeys, as well as adopting a vegan philosophy!

If you'd like to share info on this, here is a link to our leaflet on Thanksgiving, or feel free to use the image above. Also, our VeganMeans website has a great selection of recipes for the most amazing vegan feast you could imagine:

Have a great, turkey-friendly Thanksgiving!!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Aug 7th, Noon: March & Demonstration for Victoria's Carriage Horses

There's been another tragic incident in the city involving the carriage industry, with a horse clipped by a bus, spooked, ejecting the driver, and a runaway carriage with a terrified passenger.

We're marching on August 7th at Noon to protest this dangerous and antiquated tourist trap, we hope you will meet with us at Sarah's Place, where we'll march down Wharf to Belleville and Menzies where the carriages are, and continue the protest there until 2pm - join us any time.

There has been a lot in the media, and CTV has done an excellent job covering the issue, here is their initial report:

Here is their second report, and exclusive interview with the passenger, as she explains how she feared for her life:

Lots more coverage, including the Victoria News (accepts comments via Facebook), Times Colonist, and CBC (also accepts comments). Sarah Kramer also has a great blog entry on this, and you can sign our petition to ban the carriages at Sarah's Place in Market Square (above Green Cuisine.)

Below is our media release for the event, thank you for speaking up for these horses! Join our Carriage-Free Victoria page on Facebook as well:

Victorians March for a Carriage-Free Victoria
It’s 2012: time for this antiquated and dangerous industry to be put down.

The nightmare experience of a Victoria tourist, fearing for her life in a runaway horse-drawn carriage in downtown traffic further emphasizes the point Friends of Animals has been making for decades, and in the city for the last six years: horses don’t belong in the city.

This is the third reported incident in the last month. The Times Colonist featured an overturned carriage in mid-July, we were informed of another incident around 4pm on July 23rd in James Bay at Simcoe & Douglas, and then this harrowing tale from Wednesday, after a tour bus clipped Sarge, a carriage horse, spooking him, which ejected the driver and resulted in an uncontrolled carriage bolting down the street with two passengers on board. One jumped from the moving carriage, and the other wondering if she’ll even survive.

“It’s dumb luck that something worse hasn’t already happened,” says Dave Shishkoff, Canadian Correspondent for Friends of Animals.

Horses are flight animals; 50 million years of evolution developing this response to threats has not been undone in a few thousand years of domestication.

“Every moment they’re on the street,” continues Shishkoff, “they’re one loud noise, one errant dog or careless driver from something like this happening. It’s unfair to put horses through this experience, endangering them and the people in the downtown area.”

“James Bay is being held hostage to these tourist contrivances.” wrote in a concerned James Bay resident, upset with horses being treated this way, and the impact on the community.

“We need to find them a sanctuary where they can live out the rest of their lives with dignity.” says Sarah Kramer, co-organizer of the march. “These horses do not belong on the streets of Victoria and we must be moved to action to push Victoria’s City Hall to ban these carriages from the downtown streets.”

We can imagine a much better life for these horses, let’s make it a reality and improve Victoria in the process.

Friends of Animals and Sarah Kramer are rallying horse advocates at Noon on Tuesday, August 7th, meeting at Sarah’s Place - 560 Johnson Street (in Market Square - above Green Cuisine), will be marching down Wharf Street to ‘Carriage Corners’ at Belleville and Menzies, where the protest will continue, distributing literature and adding to the 2500 petition signatures already collected.


Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Highly Endangered Sturgeon Need Protection

Time Is of the Essence

Baltic sturgeon
Image from:
Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians are working hard to ensure protection for the members of 15 species of sturgeon at the very brink of annihilation. In addition to having to cope with treacherous dams, run-off from animal farms, and marine dead zones, they’re threatened with the trade of their eggs as caviar and their flesh as meat, and their bladders are used to make isinglass, a filter applied in the processing of certain cask ales and wines. Aquaculture also threatens them, as it sustains demand, and motivates further capture of free-living sturgeon.

We cannot emphasize enough the risk to these populations and communities! Some are still in the hundreds, but others are down to a few dozen breeding pairs, or even just a few individual representatives such as the up-to 8’ long Acipenser mikadoi (Sakhalin sturgeon) found in waters around Japan--estimated to have only 10-30 breeding pairs left.

Sign Our Petition

Right now we are targeting and, which enable the sale of caviar from many of these species. Amazon has traditionally responded well to environmental issues, and we hope to see that continued, and that they help preserve these fishes.
Spare the sturgeon by enjoying vegan offerings, whether it’s beer or caviar you’re into! For the beer, check out: 
And even if you thought caviar was unappealing, you might just love CaviArt:
Inspired to act? Here’s a plan.
ACTION 1: Please visit and sign our petition to Jeff Bezos, president of Amazon:

ACTION 2: Let’s get the sturgeon bladders out of our beer and wine. Pledge and sign:
Thorn sturgeon
Image from:
A Brief History of Sturgeon

Sturgeon have always swum primarily in relatively shallow freshwater or coastal areas. Notably, these massive fish are not particularly predatory; they are bottom feeders, and do not have teeth. Their long life spans (often more than 100 years) and slow maturation contribute to their vulnerability. Two hundred million years of evolution has not prepared them for the efficiency of human consumption, which has vacuumed most of the life out of the ocean in a few hundred years. We’re barely a blip on the scale of their timeline, yet our industry is a catastrophic blow to their existence.

Conservation Efforts

Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians are petitioning the US National Marine Fisheries Service to protect fifteen sturgeon species as “threatened” or “endangered” under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sturgeon are described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the most threatened group of animals on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Sturgeon are covered under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), yet are still being traded and smuggled at significant levels. Much more needs to be done to protect sturgeon, and ensure these populations remain and—we hope—thrive.

Sturgeon of Western Europe
(1) The olive-hued Acipenser naccarii (Adriatic sturgeon) once ranged throughout the Adriatic from Italy to Greece. Their numbers have declined from exploitation for their flesh. Currently only about 250 individuals remain in the wild population.
(2) Acipenser sturio (Baltic sturgeon) can grow to 16 feet in length. Poached aggressively for caviar, they have been reduced to a single reproductive population in the Garonne River in France.

The Caspian Sea, Black Sea, and Sea of Azov: the Heart of the Caviar Trade
(3) The olive-grey Acipenser gueldenstaedtii (Russian sturgeon; also known as Azov-Black Sea or Danube sturgeon) and (4) Acipenser nudiventris (Ship, Spiny, or Thorn sturgeon) have been commercially exploited and caught as by-catch, and are likely on the verge of extinction.
(5) Acipenser persicus (Persian sturgeon) are exploited for caviar and suffer habitat loss from dams and pollution.
(6) Populations of Acipenser stellatus (Star sturgeon) have been devastated by legal and illegal exploitation for meat and caviar. The Black Sea population is so depleted that commercial catch was halted in 2006.

Sturgeon of the Aral Sea and Tributaries
Three sturgeon species, (7) Pseudoscaphirhynchus fedtschenkoi, (8) Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanni, and (9) Pseudoscaphirhynchu kaufmanni, have declined or disappeared along with the Aral Sea, which shrunk by more than 60 percent from 1973 to 2000 and continues to shrink. Dangerous heavy metals and agricultural run-off also threaten these populations.

Sturgeon of the Amur River Basin, Sea of Japan, Yangtze River, and Sea of Okhotsk
(10) Acipenser mikadoi (Sakhalin sturgeon) can grow to 8 feet in length and were historically common in Japanese markets; now, only 10-30 spawning adults survive.
Increasing pollution from Russian and Chinese agriculture is threatening (11) Acipenser schrenckii (Amur sturgeon), which have declined an estimated 95 percent.
Also native to China and Russia, (12) Huso dauricus (Kaluga or Great Siberian sturgeon) are among the world’s largest freshwater fishes, exceeding 18 feet in length and one ton in weight. They are heavily poached for caviar.
(13) Acipenser baerii (Siberian sturgeon) are taken for caviar and have lost nearly half their spawning habitat from dam construction.
(14) Acipenser dabryanus, (Yangtze sturgeon) may only survive due to stocking, and there is no evidence that stocked animals are reproducing naturally.
The massive (15) Acipenser sinensis (Chinese sturgeon) were deemed a major commercial resource in the 1960s. Less than 300 wild individuals remain.

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

ACTION: Letters Needed For Seals, Write A Canadian Senator NOW!

There has been some much-needed progress with the Harb Seal Bill, calling for an end to the commercial seal slaughter. This year is the third year it’s been introduced by seal supporter Senator Mac Harb, and for the first time it’s been passed in the first round, and debate on the issue will be permitted. In all the past efforts, it hasn’t even made it far enough that the Senate would even discuss the issue!

Senator Mac Harb posted this on Twitter today: Some senators complained , the past 2 days,thousands of emails,jamming their computer,proving seals voices are being heard,loud and clear. (!/mharb20/status/198018785779793920 )
This is a critical time to write letters to Senators, and encourage them to consider the bill, and support a ban of the commercial seal slaughter. Let’s fill their inboxes with emails about seals so they have NO DOUBT where Canadians stand on this matter.

Here is the complete list of Canadian Senators:

Below is a list of British Columbia Senators, including links to their Senate web page, and their email address:

Senator Larry Campbell

Senator Mobina S.B. Jaffer

Senator Yonah Martin

Senator Richard Neufeld

Senator Nancy Greene Raine

Senator Gerry St. Germain

All BC Senator email addresses:

Please write at least one, if not all Senators in your Province, and ask that they consider what Senator Mac Harb is presenting, and make the right choice for Canada and end this stain on our country. Let them know why you want the seal slaughter to come to and end. (International readers: please don’t hesitate to select a few Senators and write as well.)

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Wrap-Up

Friends of Animals, Sarah Kramer and the Victoria Vegan Fest volunteers would like to thank all who came out to our April 28th Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Day event, the third time we've done this! (In the previous two, we raised nearly $2500,  which has printed 4,000 of our Vegan Starter Guides for distribution in the city!)

Thanks to a small army of generous and imaginative bakers, we had three tables full of goodies, and while we fell short of our ambitious goal, by my count we raised $1039.98, which will go towards the Vegan Fest. (Total raised is now $1160, with the previous Purple Rain movie night!)

This included a raffle, with a ton of amazing prizes donated to us, organized as usual by the Victoria OrganicAthlete chapter.

A big thank you goes out to super-star volunteers Paulina, Paradox and Ashley, and a special mention of Jon K who must have eaten the most goodies. ;)

Enjoy the photos below, and join our email list to keep posted on our events, or join our Facebook group page to engage in local topics. (Full photo gallery here.)

More fund-raising events coming soon, including more movie nights, Scrabble Tournament, and more!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Newfoundland Continues Its War On Seals

(Note: also posted on the main Friends of Animals blog.)

Once again, the seal slaughter has begun on the East Coast of Canada, this year further spurred with a $3.6 million dollar investment from the Newfoundland government, promising more money to those who opt to risk their lives on the diminishing ice floes. This year, seal skins are estimated to be valued around $27, from an all-time low of $15 from 2010. Some in NL are leery, and even they’re admitting the numbers don’t add up and that this is just a boondoggle.

Thanks to this cash infusion, there’s a very good chance we’ll see more seals killed than in the last couple years, so we cannot just sit back and hope this thing fades into oblivion – we can expect tens of thousands of baby seals (they’re killed at about 3 weeks of age) to be killed this year.

What can we do in Victoria? Letters, of course, can be sent to the Prime Minister, the Minster of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and of course Newfoundland officials, but in our own city we can make a little difference: boycott Seed of Life, the downtown health food store, and tell them why.

This is our third year of encouraging cities in Canada to take responsibility for themselves – we cannot rely entirely on the rest of the world boycotting seal products, we must show dissent from within as well! By ensuring your city is ‘Seal Friendly’, and eliminating seal products (primarily fur products and seal oil capsules), the rest of Canada can also show Newfoundland that even at home, we’re not putting up with this.

If you’re an activist in another city, all you have to do is find out where seal products are sold, and then start a boycott – spread the word to your friends and families and co-workers, and get them to join in and tell others. If we make this an issue, then shops will have no choice but to stop selling seal products. Can we make areas of a province, or even entire provinces Seal Friendly? Let’s find out!

In Victoria, the only shop we’ve found to be selling seal products is Seed of Life – we’re maintaining our boycott of them (and if you’re shopping downtown, Ingredients would be a more appropriate health food store destination.) Please take some time to write a letter asking Seed of Life to cease their sale of seal products, and mail it, or drop it off in person for more of an impact:

Seed of Life Natural Foods
1316 Government St
Victoria, BC V8W 1Y8

Thank you for speaking up for seals, and helping to bring this bloody slaughter to an end.

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Deer Advocates: Letter-Writing to CRD

Speaking Up For Greater Victoria Deer
Advocating for Human Management, not Deer Management
Greater Victoria Deer Advocates, Victoria, British Columbia
(On Facebook:

Dear deer advocates,

Friends of Animals is calling on all deer advocates to write the Capital Regional District (CRD) to encourage the adoption of a human management strategy, rather than a deer management strategy.

It needs to be recognized that we humans have encroached on their territory, and continue to reduce green spaces (and predators), leaving few alternatives for already declining deer communities. (Vancouver Island populations have dropped from estimates of 200,000 to 50,000 deer in the last 30 years.)

We do not need to attempt to control deer populations, as we've demonstrated ad naseum: we as a species are fantastically inept at predicting all outcomes when meddling with nature, with undesired and unexpected consequences often being the outcome. In this light, we really ought to be managing our own behaviours. Simply reducing deer numbers (through killing or contraception) fulfills a significant law of nature: "Nature abhors a void". Killing deer in an area results in more plant growth, which will eventually draw more deer, who will need more killing (or contraception), in an endless cycle, if the CRD follows this route.

If we manage our own spaces, and change our own behaviour, we can find a happy and sustainable medium that addresses the main concerns of the CRD and local population. This includes:

* driving at reasonable speeds
* erecting more warning signs (be creative with design to get attention)
* promote provincial grants for fencing where necessary (specifically for farms)
* provide educational information and materials that are easy to access

Home owners must accept that deer may be active near-by, and take steps such as utilizing native plants that deer are unlikely to eat. When enough homes become unappealing, areas will no longer be attractive to deer, and they will reside elsewhere - and not return.

Really though, it is a privilege to share our spaces with deer and other animals, and we really need to foster this attitude. With some effort, given how green Victoria is, we can welcome nature safely into our spaces, and co-exist peacefully with the rest of the non-human world.

Please take a few minutes to write a letter to the CRD - we're encouraging letters that include the following three main points:

* expectation of human management plans instead of deer management
* express sentiments of deer appreciation
* flatly oppose any and all killing of deer

Please send your email to or use this online form: - feel free to CC or post your letter to our blog. Spread the word, and tell your friends and other animal advocates.

Also, we encourage you to sign the letters as a 'Supporter of the Greater Victoria Deer Advocates' to identify our group.

Thank-you for speaking-up for local animals!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: