The Disturbing Practice of Capturing and Selling Wild Horses for Profit and Slaughter

1. Around 100,000 American horses are sent for slaughter each year.
2. The Bureau of Land Management estimates about 95,000 wild horses in the U.S.
3. Capturing wild horses disrupts their social structures, leading to increased stress levels.
4. Less than 20% of captured wild horses find homes through adoption programs.

As an animal lover and advocate for the rights of all creatures, I am deeply concerned about the capture and sale of wild horses for profit and slaughter. These majestic animals deserve to live their lives freely, without fear of being rounded up, separated from their families, and subjected to a cruel fate.

Growing up in a rural community, I had the privilege of witnessing the grace and strength of wild horses firsthand. Their beauty and power left an indelible mark on my heart. However, recently I learned about the disturbing practice of capturing these magnificent creatures solely for financial gain.

It breaks my heart to think that these innocent beings are being torn away from their natural habitats, only to face an uncertain future filled with suffering. Wild horses are an integral part of our ecosystem, and their presence contributes to the biodiversity of our planet. They play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of our natural landscapes.

Wild horses are not just symbols of freedom and beauty; they are living beings with emotions, families, and social structures. When they are rounded up and separated from their herds, they experience immense stress and trauma. Many are forced into cramped holding facilities, where they are deprived of their natural environment and the freedom to roam.

Furthermore, the fate that awaits these captured horses is even more distressing. Many are sold at auctions to individuals who view them as mere commodities. These horses may end up in the hands of people who do not have their best interests at heart. Some are subjected to abusive treatment, neglect, or even sent to slaughterhouses for their meat.

This issue has become personal to me because it goes against everything I believe in – compassion, respect for life, and the preservation of our planet’s biodiversity. We have a responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world and all its inhabitants. The capture and sale of wild horses for profit and slaughter is a direct contradiction to this responsibility.

There are alternative solutions to managing wild horse populations that do not involve capturing and selling them for profit. These include fertility control programs, range management strategies, and public education initiatives. By implementing these humane and sustainable methods, we can ensure the well-being of wild horses while also maintaining the ecological balance of our landscapes.

As concerned individuals, we can make a difference by supporting organizations and initiatives that advocate for the protection of wild horses. By raising awareness about this issue and educating others, we can help bring about positive change. Additionally, contacting our elected officials and urging them to prioritize the welfare of wild horses can have a significant impact.

It is time for us to stand up for the rights of these magnificent creatures and put an end to the capture and sale of wild horses for profit and slaughter. Together, we can create a future where wild horses are allowed to roam freely, where their families remain intact, and where they are respected as the remarkable beings they are.

1. According to a report by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), approximately 100,000 American horses are shipped across borders each year for slaughter.
2. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates that there are around 95,000 wild horses in the United States as of March 2021.
3. A study published in Animals journal found that capturing wild horses disrupts social structures within herds leading to increased stress levels among individuals.
4. The American Wild Horse Campaign reports that less than 20% of captured wild horses find homes through adoption programs while others face overcrowded holding facilities or worse – being sold at auction where they may end up at slaughterhouses.

Petition Goal:
We call upon lawmakers at local, state, and national levels to take immediate action towards banning the capture and sale of wild horses for profit-driven purposes, including slaughter. We urge them to:

1. Implement stricter regulations and penalties for those involved in the capture and sale of wild horses.
2. Allocate more resources towards humane management programs, such as fertility control, to address population concerns without resorting to capture.
3. Promote public awareness campaigns highlighting the importance of protecting these iconic animals and their role in maintaining ecological balance.

By signing this petition, we are standing up for the voiceless and demanding an end to this cruel practice that threatens the very existence of wild horses. Together, let us ensure a future where these magnificent creatures can roam freely, embodying the spirit of freedom that our nation holds dear.

– The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
– Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
– Animals journal
– American Wild Horse Campaign

Sign now with a click


Holiday Row Writers Program

The winter holidays are a challenging time for many individuals, and this is especially true for those who are incarcerated. Among them, the more than 600 individuals on California’s death row face unique difficulties during this festive season.

Death Penalty Focus on X: "It's very clear to us: The death penalty is inhumane and should be abolished. But if you need more reason- here's 10. #DeathPenaltyFocus #AbolishTheDeathPenalty" / X

Being separated from loved ones during the holidays can be emotionally challenging for anyone, but for those in prison, the absence of family and friends is particularly acute. The winter holidays are often associated with warmth, togetherness, and celebration, making the contrast with life behind bars even more stark.

For those on death row, the challenges are further amplified. Facing the prospect of imminent execution, they endure heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. The holiday season can serve as a painful reminder of the life they have lost and the future they may never experience.

In addition to the emotional toll, practical limitations also make the winter holidays difficult for incarcerated individuals. Prisons have strict rules and regulations regarding visitation, and during the holiday season, these restrictions can be even more stringent. Families and friends may face limited availability to visit their loved ones, exacerbating the feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Furthermore, the holiday season often brings an increased workload for prison staff, resulting in reduced recreational activities and limited access to amenities. This can lead to heightened tensions and frustrations among the incarcerated population, further impacting their well-being during this time.

Despite these challenges, efforts are made to provide some semblance of holiday cheer within the prison system. Many correctional facilities organize special events, such as holiday meals, religious services, and gift exchanges. These activities aim to alleviate some of the emotional strain and foster a sense of community among the incarcerated individuals.

Additionally, various organizations and charities work to bring joy to those behind bars during the winter holidays. They organize gift drives, send cards and letters, and provide support to incarcerated individuals and their families. These gestures of compassion and solidarity can make a significant difference in brightening an otherwise difficult time.

It is important to recognize that the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals during the winter holidays extend beyond those on death row. The entire prison population experiences the same sense of separation, longing, and limited access to the outside world. By acknowledging their struggles and offering support, we can help alleviate some of the burdens they bear during this time of year.

As we gather with our loved ones and celebrate the winter holidays, let us not forget those who are incarcerated and facing the holiday season behind bars. Acts of kindness, understanding, and empathy can go a long way in bringing a glimmer of hope to those who need it most.

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty » News

In conclusion, the winter holidays pose unique challenges for incarcerated individuals, particularly those on death row. The absence of loved ones, increased emotional strain, and limited access to resources all contribute to a difficult and isolating experience. However, efforts by correctional facilities and charitable organizations offer some solace and remind us of the importance of compassion and support for those who are incarcerated during this time.

That’s why I am a part of the death Penalty Focus and its continuing of its #HolidayRowWriters — a holiday card program for those sentenced to death.

In the coming months, I hope to provide more information on how to support people on death row by writing them letters through our new #RowWriters program. Starting in January, the state plans to continue transferring those on San Quentin’s death row to various prisons around California. When that process is completed, we’ll have addresses for those who signed up to be assigned a pen pal and we can match you with those individuals.

Until then, sending a holiday card is a simple way to brighten someone’s day. Please let us know if you have any questions, and thanks for your support of Death Penalty Focus and the Sustainable Action Now!

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Louisiana State Penitentiary, Arkansas Cummins Unit, the East Arkansas Regional Unit, Mississippi State Penitentiary also known as Parchman Farm

In recent years, the use of private prisons has become a subject of intense debate and scrutiny. One particularly controversial aspect of these institutions is the use of cotton picking as a work program in certain states, namely Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. This practice has raised concerns about modern-day slavery, exploitation, and the perpetuation of racial inequalities.

Private prisons, also known as for-profit prisons, are correctional facilities operated by private companies rather than the government. These companies enter into contracts with state or federal governments to house and manage inmates. The primary goal of these corporations is to generate profit, which often leads to cost-cutting measures and questionable practices.

In the southern states of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, private prisons have implemented a work program that involves inmates picking cotton. This program has drawn criticism due to its historical and racial implications. Cotton picking has deep roots in the history of slavery in the United States, and using it as a work program in prisons has sparked outrage among many activists and civil rights organizations.

Advocates of the cotton picking work program argue that it provides inmates with opportunities for skill development, work experience, and a sense of purpose. They claim that it helps in the rehabilitation process and can potentially reduce recidivism rates. Additionally, they argue that the program allows inmates to contribute to society and offset the costs of their incarceration.

However, opponents of this practice argue that it is a form of modern-day slavery and exploitation. They highlight the racial disparities within the prison system and argue that using predominantly Black inmates to pick cotton perpetuates a painful history of racial oppression. They argue that such programs do not address the root causes of crime and instead exploit vulnerable populations for financial gain.

Moreover, critics question the fairness and legality of the wages paid to inmates involved in the cotton picking program. In many cases, inmates receive extremely low wages, sometimes as little as a few cents per hour. This raises concerns about fair labor practices and whether inmates are being adequately compensated for their work.

Another concern is the potential for abuse and mistreatment within private prisons. The profit-driven nature of these institutions creates an incentive to cut corners and prioritize financial gain over the well-being of inmates. Reports of inadequate living conditions, lack of access to healthcare, and instances of violence have further fueled the opposition to private prisons and their use of controversial work programs.

As public awareness grows regarding the issues surrounding private prisons and the cotton picking work program, there have been calls for reform. Civil rights organizations, activists, and lawmakers have been pushing for increased transparency, oversight, and regulation of private prisons. Some argue for the complete abolition of private prisons, advocating for a system that prioritizes rehabilitation, fairness, and justice.

In conclusion, the use of cotton picking as a work program in private prisons in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana has ignited a heated debate about the ethics, fairness, and racial implications of such practices. While proponents argue that it provides inmates with opportunities and helps offset the costs of incarceration, opponents view it as a form of exploitation and a perpetuation of racial inequalities. As the conversation continues, it is crucial to consider the long-term impact of these work programs and strive for a criminal justice system that prioritizes rehabilitation and fairness for all.

Louisiana State Penitentiary

Expanding Prison Labor in Louisiana is Slavery by Another Name | Bridge The Gulf Project

The Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola Prison, is one of the largest maximum-security prisons in the United States. Located in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, the prison has a long and complex history. One aspect of this history is the practice of using inmate labor for cotton picking. In this blog post, we will explore the role of cotton picking at Angola Prison, its historical context, and its implications.

The History of Cotton Picking at Angola Prison

Cotton picking has been a significant part of the labor system at Angola Prison for many decades. The practice dates back to the late 19th century when the prison was a former slave plantation. After the Civil War, the state of Louisiana purchased the plantation and converted it into a prison. The inmates were put to work in the fields, primarily picking cotton.

During the Jim Crow era, Angola Prison continued to rely heavily on inmate labor for cotton picking. This practice was not unique to Angola; prisons across the Southern United States used inmate labor for various agricultural tasks. However, Angola became particularly notorious for its reliance on this form of labor.

The use of inmate labor for cotton picking had a significant impact on the inmates at Angola Prison. The grueling nature of the work, combined with the harsh conditions of the prison, created an environment of exploitation and abuse. Inmates were often subjected to long hours of labor in extreme heat, with little regard for their well-being.

Furthermore, the use of inmate labor for cotton picking perpetuated a system of racial inequality. The majority of the inmates at Angola Prison were African American, and they were often forced to work in fields that were reminiscent of the plantations of the past. This practice reinforced racial stereotypes and contributed to the dehumanization of the inmates.

In recent years, there have been efforts to reform the labor practices at Angola Prison. The prison administration has recognized the need to provide inmates with more meaningful and productive work opportunities. As a result, the reliance on cotton picking has decreased, and alternative forms of labor, such as vocational training and educational programs, have been introduced.

These reforms aim to not only improve the conditions for inmates but also to prepare them for reintegration into society upon their release. By providing them with valuable skills and education, the hope is that they will have a better chance of finding employment and staying out of the prison system.

The use of inmate labor for cotton picking at Angola Prison has a deep-rooted history that reflects the broader issues of racial inequality and exploitation within the criminal justice system. While efforts have been made to reform the labor practices at the prison, there is still much work to be done. By understanding the history and implications of cotton picking at Angola Prison, we can continue to advocate for meaningful change and strive for a more just and equitable society.

Arkansas’s Leading Cotton Production Prisons: Cummins Unit and East Arkansas Regional Unit

Slavery is alive and kicking in U.S. cotton 'prison farms' - CGTN

When it comes to cotton production in Arkansas, two prisons stand out as the largest contributors: Cummins Unit in Lincoln County and the East Arkansas Regional Unit. These correctional facilities have made a significant impact on the state’s cotton industry, providing valuable labor and contributing to the local economy.

Cummins Unit, located in Lincoln County, Arkansas, has gained a reputation as one of the leading cotton production prisons in the state. With a sprawling campus and dedicated agricultural programs, Cummins Unit offers inmates an opportunity to learn valuable skills while contributing to the cotton industry.

The prison’s agricultural program focuses on cultivating cotton crops, providing inmates with hands-on experience in every stage of the production process. From planting and harvesting to ginning and packaging, the inmates gain practical knowledge that can be applied beyond their time at Cummins Unit.

The cotton produced at Cummins Unit not only supports the prison’s self-sustainability but also plays a crucial role in meeting the demands of the local cotton market. The facility’s commitment to quality and efficiency has made it a trusted source for cotton production in Arkansas.

Another significant contributor to Arkansas’s cotton production is the East Arkansas Regional Unit. Situated in Lee County, this correctional facility has established itself as a key player in the state’s cotton industry.

Similar to Cummins Unit, the East Arkansas Regional Unit offers agricultural programs that focus on cotton cultivation. Inmates are involved in various aspects of cotton production, including planting, irrigation, pest control, and harvesting.

By participating in these programs, inmates gain valuable skills that can increase their chances of successful reintegration into society upon release. The agricultural training provided at the East Arkansas Regional Unit equips inmates with practical knowledge that can be applied in the workforce, particularly in the cotton industry.

The cotton production programs at Cummins Unit and the East Arkansas Regional Unit not only benefit the prisons and the inmates but also have a positive impact on the local economy.

By producing cotton crops, these prisons contribute to the overall cotton production in Arkansas, helping meet the demands of the market. The cotton they produce is sold to various buyers, including textile mills and cottonseed processors, generating revenue for the prisons and supporting the local agricultural sector.

Furthermore, the agricultural programs at these prisons create employment opportunities for staff members who oversee and manage the cotton production activities. This, in turn, stimulates the local economy by providing jobs and income to individuals in the surrounding communities.

Cummins Unit and the East Arkansas Regional Unit have emerged as the biggest cotton production prisons in Arkansas. Through their agricultural programs, these correctional facilities not only provide inmates with valuable skills but also contribute significantly to the state’s cotton industry. Their dedication to quality and efficiency has made them trusted sources for cotton production, benefiting both the prisons and the local economy.

The History of Mississippi State Penitentiary’s Convict-Leasing Programs

Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman Farm, holds a significant place in the history of the American prison system. One aspect that stands out is its convict-leasing programs, which allowed the state to lease incarcerated workers as hired work crews for various tasks, including picking cotton in the fields. In this article, we will delve into the history of these programs and their impact.

The practice of leasing convict labor can be traced back to the Reconstruction era in the United States. Following the abolishment of slavery, southern states sought alternative sources of cheap labor to sustain their agricultural economies. Mississippi was no exception.

In the late 19th century, Mississippi established the convict-leasing system as a means to generate revenue and control the growing prison population. Under this system, the state would lease out incarcerated individuals to private entities or individuals who required laborers for various industries, including agriculture.

Parchman Farm and Cotton Picking

Inside Mississippi's notorious Parchman prison | PBS NewsHour

Parchman Farm, located in Sunflower County, Mississippi, became a central hub for the state’s convict-leasing programs. The prison’s vast agricultural lands provided ample opportunities for utilizing convict labor in cotton production.

Convicted individuals, often African Americans, were forced to work long hours in the cotton fields under harsh conditions. The state would charge leasing fees to those who hired these work crews, creating a lucrative source of income for Mississippi.

The labor-intensive nature of cotton picking required a significant workforce, and the state prison system readily provided this through the convict-leasing programs. This practice continued well into the early 20th century, with Parchman Farm becoming synonymous with the exploitation of incarcerated workers.

The Impact and Controversy. The convict-leasing programs at Mississippi State Penitentiary had a profound impact on both the incarcerated individuals and the larger society. On one hand, the state benefited financially from the leasing fees, allowing it to sustain and expand its prison system. However, the exploitative nature of the system led to numerous human rights abuses and raised ethical concerns.

Incarcerated individuals were subjected to brutal working conditions, inadequate housing, and physical abuse. The lack of oversight and accountability within the leasing system made it difficult to ensure the well-being of those forced into labor.

Furthermore, the convict-leasing programs perpetuated racial inequality. The majority of those leased out were African Americans, reflecting the systemic racism prevalent during that time. This exploitation of black labor further deepened the racial divide in Mississippi and contributed to the perpetuation of discriminatory practices.

The End of Convict-Leasing Programs

The convict-leasing programs at Parchman Farm eventually came to an end in the early 20th century. Growing public awareness of the abuses and mounting pressure for prison reform led to the discontinuation of this exploitative system.

Reforms in the prison system gradually phased out the convict-leasing programs, shifting towards a more regulated and centralized approach to incarceration. While significant progress has been made since then, the legacy of the convict-leasing programs still lingers, reminding us of the dark chapter in the history of Mississippi State Penitentiary.

The convict-leasing programs at Mississippi State Penitentiary, particularly at Parchman Farm, played a significant role in shaping the state’s history and the larger narrative of the American prison system. These programs, while providing financial benefits to the state, exploited incarcerated individuals and perpetuated racial inequality. The eventual discontinuation of the convict-leasing system marked a step towards prison reform, but the impact of this dark chapter continues to resonate today.


Army / Navy

Army Stops Mutilating Ferrets at Wayne State. Now Let’s Urge It to End Weapon Tests on All Animals!

In response to PETA’s outcry, a brain-damage test on ferrets at Wayne State University, which was funded by the U.S. Army, has finally come to an end. While this is a step in the right direction, it is important to continue advocating for a complete ban on weapon-wounding tests on all animals. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of this development and discuss the importance of ending such tests altogether.

The End of Ferret Mutilation

PETA’s efforts have successfully put an end to the brain-damage test conducted on ferrets at Wayne State University. This test involved subjecting ferrets to traumatic injuries in order to study the effects of brain damage. The U.S. Army’s decision to halt this experiment is a positive outcome and reflects a growing awareness of the ethical concerns surrounding animal testing.

Why We Need to Go Further

While the cessation of the ferret mutilation experiment is a significant victory, it is crucial to recognize that this is just one instance among many. Weapon-wounding tests on animals, including ferrets, rabbits, and pigs, continue to be conducted by the military. These tests involve inflicting injuries on animals to simulate battlefield conditions and evaluate the effectiveness of various weapons.

It is important to acknowledge that animals used in these tests experience immense pain and suffering. They are subjected to severe injuries, which can lead to long-term physical and psychological trauma. Furthermore, the results obtained from these tests may not accurately reflect the impact of weapons on human beings due to the physiological differences between species.

Advocating for Change

Now that we have seen the positive outcome of PETA’s efforts in ending the brain-damage test on ferrets, it is crucial to build on this success and urge the military to completely eliminate weapon-wounding tests on animals. There are several reasons why this shift is necessary:

  1. Ethical concerns: Inflicting harm on animals for the purpose of testing weapons raises significant ethical questions. Animals should not be subjected to unnecessary suffering, especially when alternative methods, such as computer simulations and human-based research, are available.
  2. Inaccurate results: The physiological differences between animals and humans can affect the reliability and relevance of the data obtained from these tests. Relying on animal models may lead to misleading conclusions about the effects of weapons on human beings.
  3. Technological advancements: With advancements in technology, alternative methods for testing weapon effectiveness have emerged. Computer simulations, virtual reality, and human-based research can provide more accurate and relevant data without the need for animal experimentation.

The Way Forward

Ending weapon-wounding tests on animals requires a collective effort. As concerned individuals, we can take several steps to advocate for change:

  • Support organizations: Support animal rights organizations, such as PETA, that actively campaign against animal testing and work towards finding alternative methods.
  • Spread awareness: Share information about the ethical concerns and scientific limitations of weapon-wounding tests on animals with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Contact your representatives: Write to your elected officials and express your concerns about animal testing. Urge them to support legislation that promotes the use of alternative methods and the phasing out of animal experimentation.

The recent termination of the brain-damage test on ferrets at Wayne State University is a positive step towards ending animal testing. However, it is crucial to continue advocating for the complete elimination of weapon-wounding tests on all animals. By supporting organizations, spreading awareness, and contacting our representatives, we can contribute to a future where animals are not subjected to unnecessary suffering in the name of scientific research.

Navy Must Ban the Use of Animals in Cruel Decompression Tests

The use of animals in scientific research has long been a contentious issue, with concerns over animal welfare and the ethics of such practices. One area where these concerns are particularly relevant is in the use of animals in decompression tests by the navy.

Decompression tests are conducted to study the effects of rapid changes in pressure on the human body, simulating conditions that navy divers may experience. These tests involve subjecting animals, such as pigs, to extreme pressure changes and monitoring their physiological responses.

While the navy argues that these tests are necessary for the safety and well-being of their divers, there are several reasons why the use of animals in decompression tests should be banned.

1. Ethical concerns

Using animals in decompression tests raises ethical concerns. Animals are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain and suffering, and subjecting them to extreme pressure changes can cause immense distress. It is our moral responsibility to treat animals with compassion and respect, and using them in such tests contradicts these principles.

2. Scientific limitations

There are scientific limitations to using animals as models for human physiology. While animals may share some physiological similarities with humans, there are significant differences that make their responses to pressure changes unreliable indicators of human reactions. Relying on animal data may lead to inaccurate conclusions and compromise the safety of navy divers.

3. Availability of alternative methods

Advancements in technology have provided alternative methods for studying the effects of decompression on the human body. Human-based models, such as computer simulations and in vitro testing, offer more accurate and reliable data without the need for animal experimentation. These methods should be prioritized and further developed to replace the use of animals in decompression tests.

4. Public opinion

There is growing public concern and opposition to the use of animals in scientific research, including decompression tests. As society becomes more aware of animal rights and welfare, it is important for the navy to align its practices with public sentiment. Banning the use of animals in decompression tests would demonstrate a commitment to ethical research and garner public support.

5. Legal considerations

In some countries, there are legal restrictions on the use of animals in scientific research. These regulations aim to protect animal welfare and promote the use of alternative methods. By banning the use of animals in decompression tests, the navy would comply with these legal requirements and set an example for other organizations.

In conclusion, the navy must ban the use of animals in decompression tests. Ethical concerns, scientific limitations, the availability of alternative methods, public opinion, and legal considerations all point towards the need for a more humane and effective approach. By embracing alternative methods and prioritizing the well-being of animals, the navy can lead the way in responsible and ethical scientific research.

Take Action Against The Navy Now!


Birds of a Feather on Feather-Free Friday

Every year, millions of birds are subjected to abuse and slaughter in the name of fashion. These innocent creatures suffer immensely, all for the sake of creating items made with feathers. It is disheartening to see that some brands still continue to sell products that contribute to this cruelty. On Feather-Free Friday, which falls on November 24th this year, let us come together to make our voices heard and demand change.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

The Dark Side of the Fashion Industry. The fashion industry is notorious for its impact on animals, and birds are no exception. Down feathers, often plucked from live birds, are used to fill jackets, pillows, comforters, and other products. This process is painful and traumatic for the birds, as their feathers are violently ripped out, leaving them with open wounds. The birds endure immense suffering, both physical and psychological, all for the sake of human vanity.

Furthermore, the demand for feathers has led to the rise of factory farming practices, where birds are bred and confined in cramped, unsanitary conditions. These birds are deprived of their natural behaviors, such as flying and socializing, and are often subjected to cruel practices such as debeaking and detoeing without anesthesia. The entire industry perpetuates a cycle of cruelty that needs to be broken.

Feather-Free Friday: Taking Action. Feather-Free Friday is an initiative that aims to raise awareness about the abuse suffered by birds in the fashion industry. It is a day when consumers can make a difference by using their purchasing power to support brands that are committed to cruelty-free practices.

On November 24th, the busiest shopping day of the year, take a stand against bird abuse by reaching out to companies that still sell feather products. Let them know that you refuse to support their business as long as they profit from the suffering of birds. Use social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, to share your message and encourage others to join the cause. Together, we can create a powerful voice that cannot be ignored.

Supporting Ethical Brands

Fortunately, there are many brands that have already recognized the cruelty involved in the feather industry and have taken steps to become feather-free. These companies use alternative materials, such as synthetic fibers, to create warm and stylish products without causing harm to animals.

When shopping for jackets, bedding, or other feather-filled items, look for brands that are certified as cruelty-free or vegan. These certifications ensure that the products are free from any animal-derived materials and have been produced without causing harm to animals. By supporting these ethical brands, you can make a positive impact and send a clear message to the fashion industry.

Feather-Free Friday is an opportunity for us to stand up against the abuse and slaughter of birds in the fashion industry. By raising awareness and supporting ethical brands, we can create a demand for cruelty-free products and drive change within the industry. Let us make our voices heard on November 24th and urge companies to ditch down and stop profiting from the suffering of birds. Together, we can make a difference and create a more compassionate fashion industry.

Click here for Nature’s Sunset!

Want to Help Animals This Feather-Free Friday?


Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Prada, Versace & now Pajar Canada, The Growing Trend: Fashion Brands Banning Fur

Pajar opens its first US store in Manhattan, New York CityPajar Canada Announces Fur-Free Policy After Public Pressure

Pajar Canada, a renowned manufacturer and retailer of footwear and outerwear, has recently made a significant announcement confirming its decision to discontinue the use of fur in its products. This development comes as a direct response to the mounting pressure exerted by over 144,000 emails received from our passionate supporters.

The decision to go fur-free marks a significant milestone for Pajar Canada, aligning the brand with the growing global movement towards cruelty-free fashion. By eliminating fur from their product line, Pajar Canada demonstrates a commitment to ethical practices and the welfare of animals.

The power of consumer advocacy cannot be underestimated, as evidenced by the overwhelming response from our supporters. The collective voice of compassionate individuals has the ability to drive change and hold brands accountable for their actions. Pajar Canada’s decision to listen and respond to the concerns of its customers reflects a commendable willingness to evolve and adapt to the demands of an increasingly conscious consumer base.

Pajar Turns the Page for Canadian Footwear – Sourcing Journal

While the use of fur in fashion has long been a contentious issue, public sentiment has been shifting towards more sustainable and compassionate alternatives. Pajar Canada’s move to eliminate fur from its products is a clear reflection of this changing landscape, where consumers are actively seeking out brands that prioritize animal welfare and sustainability.

By embracing a fur-free policy, Pajar Canada joins a growing list of forward-thinking companies that recognize the importance of ethical sourcing and production. This decision not only contributes to the overall well-being of animals but also positions Pajar Canada as a leader in the industry, setting a positive example for other brands to follow.

Pajar Canada’s commitment to going fur-free extends beyond a mere marketing ploy; it is a genuine demonstration of their dedication to making a positive impact. By choosing alternative materials that are both sustainable and cruelty-free, Pajar Canada ensures that their products meet the highest standards of quality and ethics.

Moreover, this shift towards fur-free fashion aligns with the changing preferences of consumers who are increasingly conscious of the environmental and ethical implications of their purchasing decisions. As more individuals become aware of the inherent cruelty involved in fur production, they actively seek out brands that offer compassionate alternatives.

With Pajar Canada’s decision to eliminate fur from its product line, consumers can now make more informed choices when selecting their winter wear. By opting for Pajar Canada’s fur-free options, they can enjoy the same level of warmth and comfort without compromising their values.

In conclusion, Pajar Canada’s recent announcement to go fur-free is a significant step forward in the fashion industry’s journey towards sustainability and ethical practices. This decision not only reflects the power of consumer advocacy but also highlights Pajar Canada’s commitment to animal welfare and the evolving demands of conscious consumers. By embracing fur-free alternatives, Pajar Canada sets an example for other brands to follow, ultimately reshaping the fashion industry into a more compassionate and sustainable space.

Pajar: The Boots Cleveland Deserves – Mar-Lou ShoesFashion is an ever-evolving industry, constantly influenced by changing trends and societal values. In recent years, one notable shift in the fashion world has been the increasing number of luxury brands choosing to ban the use of fur in their collections. Prominent names such as Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Prada, and Versace have all taken a stand against the use of fur in their products. This move has not only sparked a debate within the industry but has also sent a powerful message about the changing attitudes towards animal welfare and sustainability.

Armani: Setting the Trend

Armani was one of the first luxury brands to make a bold statement by banning fur in 2016. The company’s decision was motivated by a desire to align with modern values and to promote a more sustainable and ethical approach to fashion. This move was widely applauded and set the stage for other brands to follow suit.

Burberry: Leading the Way

Another influential brand, Burberry, joined the fur-free movement in 2018. The British fashion house, known for its iconic trench coats and distinctive check patterns, made a commitment to eliminate fur from its collections. This decision was part of Burberry’s broader strategy to become a more environmentally conscious brand.

Chanel: Embracing Change

Chanel, a brand synonymous with timeless elegance, announced its fur ban in 2018. The French fashion house recognized the evolving attitudes of its customers and the growing concern for animal welfare. By eliminating fur, Chanel aimed to align its values with those of its discerning clientele.

Gucci: A Sustainable Future

Gucci, a brand known for its bold and innovative designs, banned fur in 2017. The Italian luxury fashion house made this decision as part of its commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. Gucci’s move was seen as a significant step towards a more compassionate and responsible fashion industry.

Macy’s: A Retail Giant Takes a Stand

Macy’s, one of the largest department store chains in the United States, announced its fur-free policy in 2020. With its wide reach and influence, Macy’s decision sent shockwaves through the industry. By taking a stand against fur, Macy’s demonstrated its commitment to meeting the changing demands of its customers and supporting ethical fashion practices.

Michael Kors: A Change of Heart

Michael Kors, a brand known for its luxury accessories and ready-to-wear collections, banned fur in 2018. The decision came after years of pressure from animal rights activists, who called for the fashion industry to abandon the use of fur. Michael Kors’ move was seen as a significant victory for animal welfare advocates, further fueling the momentum of the fur-free movement.

Prada: A Step Towards Sustainability

Prada, an iconic Italian fashion brand, committed to going fur-free in 2020. The decision was driven by a desire to align with the company’s sustainability goals and to meet the expectations of its socially conscious customers. Prada’s fur ban marked a turning point in the industry, highlighting the growing importance of ethical and sustainable practices.

Versace: A Bold Statement

Versace, renowned for its bold and glamorous designs, announced its fur ban in 2018. The Italian fashion house made a strong statement by eliminating fur from its collections, reflecting the changing attitudes towards animal rights and the increasing demand for cruelty-free fashion. Versace’s decision further solidified the fur-free movement’s influence in the luxury fashion world.

The fur-free movement is gaining momentum, with more and more fashion brands recognizing the need for change. By banning fur, these luxury brands are not only taking a stand against animal cruelty but also setting an example for the entire industry. As consumer awareness continues to grow, it is likely that we will see more fashion brands embrace ethical and sustainable practices, making the fur-free movement an integral part of the fashion industry’s future.

Companies that continue to sell fur are complicit in this cruelty and environmental destruction. The only way to help eliminate the suffering of animals exploited by the fur trade is to refuse to sell it, which is why hundreds of major designers and retailers—including ArmaniBurberryChanelGucciMacy’sMichael KorsPrada, and Versace (now Pajar)—have already banned fur.

Please send e-mails to the following:

Then fill out the form by clicking here to urge other companies still profiting from this abuse to end all fur sales immediately.


Breaking News: Santa Claus is NOT Real! The Impact of Using Reindeer in Holiday Events

Therefore, Reindeer, also known as Caribou, travel upward of 1,000 miles during migration except when Humans Take Them From It to Strap them to Santa’s sleigh to use at Christmas parades, displays, other holiday events, or movies.

Reindeer / Caribou, are fascinating creatures that undertake incredible journeys during their annual migration in the wild. However, when they are harnessed to Santa’s sleigh or used in Christmas parades, displays, and other holiday events or movies, they are deprived of their natural behaviors and social interactions within their herds.

Reindeer are herd animals that travel vast distances of over 1,000 miles during their annual migration. This migratory behavior allows them to find food, escape predators, and maintain social bonds with other members of their herd. Unfortunately, when they are used for entertainment purposes, their natural instincts and needs are disregarded.

One of the primary concerns with using reindeer in holiday events is the restriction of their movement. In nature, reindeer have the freedom to roam across vast landscapes, foraging for food and adapting to changing environmental conditions. However, when they are confined to small spaces or harnessed to Santa’s sleigh, their ability to exercise and explore their surroundings is severely limited. This lack of movement can lead to physical and psychological distress for the animals.

Additionally, the social dynamics of reindeer herds are disrupted when they are used for entertainment purposes. In the wild, reindeer live in tight-knit groups, relying on each other for protection and support. By separating them from their herd and placing them in artificial settings, we deprive them of the social interactions they rely on for their well-being. This isolation can lead to increased stress and anxiety for the animals.

Furthermore, the use of reindeer in Christmas parades, displays, and movies can contribute to the perception of these animals as mere props or objects of amusement. This portrayal diminishes their inherent value as living beings and perpetuates a culture of exploitation. It is important to recognize that animals, including reindeer, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, rather than being used solely for human entertainment.

Fortunately, there are alternative ways to celebrate the holiday season without exploiting reindeer. Many communities have embraced the use of realistic replicas or animatronic models, which can provide a visually appealing experience without compromising the welfare of live animals. These alternatives allow us to enjoy the festive spirit while still respecting the natural needs and behaviors of reindeer.

The use of reindeer in holiday events may seem harmless and festive, but it comes at a cost to the well-being of these magnificent creatures. By confining them and disrupting their natural behaviors and social interactions, we deny them the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives. It is crucial that we reconsider the use of live reindeer in favor of more ethical alternatives that prioritize the welfare of these animals. Let us celebrate the holiday season in a way that respects and appreciates the beauty of nature, including the remarkable reindeer.

Reindeer are truly fascinating creatures with unique adaptations that allow them to survive in harsh environments. During the summer months, their pads become soft and spongy, which is nature’s way of helping them traverse soft, muddy ground. However, in the winter, their pads are designed to shrink and toughen up, revealing a sharp rim on their hooves. This allows them to crack through ice and snow with precision and ease.

However, it’s important to recognize that when reindeer are forced to perform on solid, unyielding surfaces like concrete, it can be dangerous for them. The risk of slipping and injuring themselves increases, especially when they’re pulling heavy sleighs. It’s also essential to remember that animals are sentient beings who feel pain and experience emotions and should not be treated like inanimate objects.

We must acknowledge that speciesism, which is a human-centric worldview that disregards the interests and well-being of animals, is not acceptable. Hence, it is critical that we treat and care for reindeer with the respect they deserve as individual beings that have the right to live free from any kind of exploitation.

In their natural habitat, they roam freely through vast and rugged mountain ranges and swim gracefully across rivers. These magnificent creatures possess broad hooves that help them paddle at an astonishing speed of up to 6 miles per hour! However, it’s unfortunate to note that when confined to events, rental facilities, or roadside zoos, they tend to experience some unfavourable outcomes. Despite being majestic creatures, they develop poor muscle structure due to lack of exercise and could also lose weight. The confinement to small spaces could also result in poor antler growth or malformed antlers – a feature that is unique among the deer species as all reindeer have antlers. It’s, therefore, important that we take note of these vital factors when it comes to the well-being of these creatures.

Reindeer, when subjected to living conditions outside of their natural tundra habitat, require regular hoof care. The inadequacy of hoof trimming by exhibitors who confine them for entertainment purposes is a significant concern. Observations reveal that the hooves of reindeer begin to curl or grow downwards in the ground due to insufficient or absent hoof trimming. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has repeatedly cited several exhibitors for their failure to provide basic preventive veterinary care. Neglecting the trimming of overgrown hooves can lead to excruciating ailments like arthritis. Consequently, it is imperative to ensure that proper and routine hoof care is provided to reindeer subjected to living conditions outside their natural habitat.

It is imperative to document the effect of human feeding on reindeer in captivity. Studies reveal that reindeer, when dependent on human feeding often suffer from malnutrition leading to a negative impact on their physical condition. Instances of underweight reindeer have been reported in rental companies, roadside zoos and holiday displays. One Illinois-based rental company was found with over 50% of their reindeer in a critically undernourished state, caused by the owner’s negligence in providing adequate nutrition to the animals. Similarly, a Washington roadside zoo was warned by the USDA for failing to provide veterinary care to an underweight reindeer who was severely undernourished, resulting in visible symptoms of sunken hips and rib exposure. At a holiday display in Missouri, another underweight reindeer lacked proper hair growth, had patchy hair and exhibited signs of skin disorders that could prove contagious to humans and other animals. These findings emphasize the need for regulatory measures to secure underweight reindeers’ welfare in captivity.

Inadequate living conditions and poor management practices may result in hair loss, respiratory discharge, and other health conditions among captive reindeer populations. A case observed in an Indiana exhibitor revealed patches of hair loss and bare skin on the animal, suggesting a potential bacterial or fungal infection. Regrettably, the facility did not seek veterinary care as they assumed the animal was shedding. Another incident in an Illinois rental facility involved a reindeer with a swollen, cloudy eye and brown discharge, which went unreported to the veterinarian. A Colorado-based reindeer supplier for holiday events was found to provide insufficient veterinary care to multiple animals exhibiting various symptoms, including limping, nasal discharge, thinness, and staggering gait. Such neglectful practices not only compromise the welfare of reindeer but also pose potential threats to public health.

The data presented indicates that a limited number of reports have been documented concerning physical neglect of reindeer. The observed practice of utilizing reindeer for Christmas festivities results in significant psychological and emotional distress, due to the separation of these animals from their natural habitat and herd. The use of reindeer solely for the purpose of human entertainment during the Christmas season represents a form of speciesism, whereby one particular species is privileged over others solely for human enjoyment. Based on the above stated, it can be concluded that the use of reindeer for Christmas events does not provide a joyous experience for the animals in question.

When they’re not being carted around to Christmas events, reindeer often live on farms or in rental facilities.

The USDA has reported that multiple reindeer rental facilities throughout the United States have violated regulations by confining these mammals to enclosures that are hazardous to both them and humans. One facility in New York was cited for inadequate sanitation practices leading to unsanitary living conditions, which could be harmful to animal health. A California rental facility had conditions that were so insanitary that an excessive number of flies were attracted to the buildup of feces, covering the eyes and jeopardizing the welfare of the reindeer. Similarly, a Tennessee supplier was cited for failure to clean reindeer shelters causing accumulation of urine and feces that posed a risk to animal health. The reindeer were also found without access to fresh drinking water.

It has been found that keeping reindeer on farms and other facilities places interns, employees and public safety at risk. An intern at an Illinois facility was recently injured when a reindeer pushed her against the fence and punctured her with its antlers. This behavior could have been avoided by allowing the animal to reside peacefully in its natural environment where they would not feel threatened.

It is important to note that wild animals such as reindeer should be kept in their natural environment as they can easily become frightened and may exhibit unpredictable behavior when forced to live outside their habitat. In recent events, reindeer were being used as props for photo opportunities and public encounters in various states such as Colorado and Utah. Unfortunately, some incidents have occurred, including one case where a reindeer escaped from a handler in Colorado. She ran through the city streets and had to swim through a reservoir before being captured by the authorities the following night. The USDA cited the exhibitor, as this situation has caused the animal significant stress and an increased risk of injury or even loss of life. In Utah, two reindeer jumped from a trailer while they were in transit and were hit by vehicles. One of them died instantly, while the other one succumbed to severe injuries less than a week later. The USDA gave an official warning to the exhibitor for failing to ensure the safety of the animals that were under their responsibility.

Overall, the holiday season is a special time that calls for us to embrace empathy and compassion towards others. It is an opportunity to spread kindness and goodwill to those around us, especially to animals who may be sensitive to certain stimuli. As such, it is important that we prioritize the well-being of all living creatures, including reindeer who may find it overwhelming to be transported to crowded and possibly frightening events during this festive season.

Rather than subjecting these majestic animals to unnecessary stress and discomfort, let us ensure that we show them the same love and care that we would extend to our loved ones. We can choose to celebrate the season through alternative means such as decorating our homes, creating homemade gifts, or participating in virtual get-togethers. By doing so, we not only protect and preserve the dignity of animals but also promote the true spirit of Christmas which centres around empathy, kindness, and respect for all life.

Click here to read more and to help stop this form of wildlife abuse.


Not that I condone Horse Racing of Any Kind, This Idiot Now Faces Felony Charges for Setting the Fire at Tioga Downs This Week!

Police: Arson at Tioga Downs kills an unknown number of racehors - WENY NewsIn a recent development, Kirk Martin, the district attorney for Tioga County, New York, has responded to our outreach and provided assurance that the man responsible for the devastating barn fire at Tioga Downs harness racing track will face severe consequences for his actions. The incident resulted in the tragic death of over two dozen horses, causing immense distress and outrage.

The alleged perpetrator will now be charged with multiple felony offenses, including animal cruelty, arson, assault, criminal mischief, and burglary. This decision reflects the seriousness of the crime committed and the need for justice to be served.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been actively involved in advocating for the rights and welfare of animals. We reached out to Kirk Martin’s office, urging him to take appropriate action against the individual responsible for this heinous act. We are grateful that our concerns have been heard, and we commend the district attorney for his swift response in pursuing felony charges.

The intentional act of setting fire to the barn resulted in the agonizing death of numerous horses. These sentient beings, who were once vibrant and full of life, were trapped in a terrifying inferno, with no means of escape. Their suffering and the loss experienced by their owners, trainers, and the entire racing community cannot be overstated.

By charging the perpetrator with felony offenses, the district attorney is sending a strong message that such acts of cruelty will not be tolerated in Tioga County or anywhere else. The severity of the charges reflects the gravity of the crime and the value placed on the lives of these innocent animals.

Animal cruelty is not just a crime against animals; it is a crime against our collective humanity. The deliberate harm inflicted upon defenseless creatures is morally reprehensible and demands swift and decisive action. The charges brought forth against the accused individual demonstrate the commitment of the justice system to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

PETA acknowledges the efforts of law enforcement agencies, firefighters, and other emergency responders who worked tirelessly to extinguish the fire and mitigate its devastating impact. Their bravery and dedication in the face of such a tragic event are commendable.

While the criminal charges are an important step towards justice, PETA believes that the legal system should also consider the implementation of stricter penalties for acts of animal cruelty. By doing so, we can further deter potential offenders and ensure that those who commit such heinous acts face appropriate consequences.

It is crucial that society recognizes the inherent value of all animals and takes a stand against any form of cruelty or abuse. As we mourn the loss of these horses and extend our deepest sympathies to their owners and caretakers, we must also strive to create a world where such acts of violence against animals are unthinkable.

PETA will continue to monitor the progress of this case and advocate for justice for the horses who lost their lives in this tragic incident. We hope that the legal proceedings will serve as a reminder that animal cruelty will not be tolerated and that those who engage in such acts will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Our thoughts remain with the horses who lost their lives and with all those affected by this heartbreaking event. May their memory serve as a catalyst for change and inspire a society that values and protects the lives of all animals.


Sustainable Action Now is ‘Worthy of Attention’ in South Jersey Magazine List of Nonprofit Stars for 2023

Worthy of Attention
South Jersey is blessed with a variety of impactful organizations, including the 22 that make up our list of Nonprofit Stars for 2023.
Original Article by Matt Cosentino

In a diverse region like South Jersey filled with warm-hearted people from all kinds of backgrounds, it makes perfect sense that the area would be home to a wide range of nonprofits that are willing to help with just about any challenge imaginable. Every year, South Jersey Biz likes to highlight the efforts and the noble causes of a select group of organizations, and this year’s honorees assist with everything from financial education and economic development to animal protection, preservation of the environment, support of cancer patients and pro bono legal representation. We are proud to recognize their inspirational teams and to present our Nonprofit Stars for 2023.

Alice Paul Institute
One of the most vocal and influential leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, Alice Paul played a key role in helping secure women the right to vote through the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919. This nonprofit, founded in 1984 to commemorate the centennial of her birth the following year, honors the Mount Laurel native’s legacy and continues her life’s work of fighting for gender equality and justice, both under the law and in everyday practice. Consisting of both paid staff and volunteers, the Alice Paul Institute seeks to educate and empower girls and young women; bring recognition to the achievements of women of all ages; preserve Paulsdale, the childhood home of Alice Paul; and advocate for important initiatives like the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Center for Family Services
This provider of social services has a rich history of responding to community needs and adapting to meet current demands across the state. With a dedicated team of compassionate employees, its goal is to help every person reach their full potential through a wide range of individual and family programs. Service areas include addiction and recovery, safe housing, counseling and behavioral health, workforce development, support following traumatic events, early childhood learning programs, and more. CEO Richard Stagliano has been leading Center for Family Services since 2000, and on his watch, it has grown to a staff of over 1,500 and become one of the largest human services organizations in New Jersey.

Comfort Kits for Chemo Care
This nonprofit is proof that it’s never too early to start making a difference in the community. Cherry Hill residents Isabelle Berger and Anjali Soni were just in their early teens when they were inspired to support young cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in isolation during the pandemic. They sprung into action, raising funds and putting together activity kits to donate to kids being treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Friends since sixth grade and currently juniors at Cherry Hill East, Berger and Soni eventually formed the nonprofit to continue their efforts, and have partnered with local businesses to raise money while also accepting donations on their website,

This unique organization was started in 2011 by founder and CEO Rusty McCarty to assist other nonprofits, schools, government agencies, businesses of all sizes and outreach programs in developing and implementing impactful educational experiences. Since that time, it has collaborated with a wide variety of partners in furthering their missions and inspiring learners through educational apps, workshop series, curriculum development and enhanced training processes. CustomED also offers customized event coordination, providing services such as agenda design, venue selection and onsite management for everything from an afternoon seminar to a weeklong summit.

Financial Wellness Institute
Since its founding in 2003, Financial Wellness Institute (FWI) has aimed to bolster the economic stability of individuals and families in the Delaware Valley through empowerment and education. Its team, led by current president and CEO Wanda Hardy, meets clients of all ages wherever they may be on their financial journey, providing judgment-free guidance with respect and empathy for their situation. FWI’s programs include financial coaching, assistance with the home-buying process, support in small business development and career counseling. The end goal is to help people make sound financial decisions and build wealth for the future.

Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue
When Darlene Supnick and Lisa Draharod learned about the inhumane practice of horse slaughtering in foreign plants and the number of horses from New Jersey and elsewhere in the United States that were being brutally killed for their meat, they knew they could not sit by and do nothing. They were inspired to start Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue in 2012 to save horses from slaughter auctions and negligent situations, providing any necessary medical care and placing the animals in forever homes. Located in Medford, it is the only horse rescue in Burlington County, is staffed entirely by volunteers and is 100% donation based. The nonprofit has rescued hundreds of horses and advocated for legislative action to better protect animals in danger.

Friends of the Mansion at Smithville
The home of Hezekiah B. Smith, who owned a woodworking machine company and helped transform Smithville into a model industrial town in the 1800s, is part of Burlington County’s Historic Smithville Park and is listed on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The Friends of the Mansion at Smithville, a nonprofit established to preserve the mansion and restore it to the time period in which Smith lived on the property, invites the public in for guided tours from May through October to learn of its rich history and get a peek at what life was like during the Victorian era. The organization also gives Christmas tours of the decorated home in December and holds teas and other special events throughout the year.

Local Acts of Kindness Foundation
The DiPasquale family—Nancy, Henry and their son Colin—was devastated by the impact of Superstorm Sandy on their beloved Jersey Shore in 2012, and they felt they had to do something to help. Little did they know at the time that their simple act of kindness would turn into an entire movement still going strong more than a decade later. The Tractor-Trailer Challenge was their original idea, in which they gathered supplies for those affected by Sandy and asked their community to do the same, leading to a 53-foot truck being filled with much-needed items. That turned out to be the foundation for the family’s nonprofit, Local Acts of Kindness Foundation, which was officially launched on World Kindness Day, Nov. 13, 2019. The organization seeks to encourage similar charitable acts through “Kindness Challenges” and other programs, while building meaningful connections within the communities of South Jersey.

MatchDog Rescue
Founded and run by lifelong animal lovers, this nonprofit strives to save stray or abandoned dogs from high-kill shelters, offer them safety through its volunteer foster program, and ultimately place them in a forever home where they can receive the love and care they need. With education as the foundation for its mission, the MatchDog team gets to know both the adoptees and the potential adopters to arrange the best fit possible. The organization also supports a spay-and-neuter program to reduce the number of unwanted dogs.

NAWBO South Jersey
This has been a special year for the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, having been formed in February 2003 and granted chapter status by its parent organization in June of the same year. A self-proclaimed “sisterhood” among women entrepreneurs, business owners and their associates, it serves the region from Burlington to Cape May counties, as well as parts of Mercer County. NAWBO’s calendar is chock-full of a wide variety of events and programs that further its mission of promoting economic development, providing networking opportunities, building strategic alliances, changing the business culture and transforming public policy.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Outsiders often underrate The Garden State in terms of its natural beauty, but residents know better. And while many New Jerseyans might be unaware of this nonprofit and the great efforts it has made more than the past 60-plus years to preserve more than 140,000 acres of natural areas and farmland from the Highlands to Cape May, there is no doubt they have benefited from its hard work behind the scenes. Many of those protected lands have become beloved parks, and the organization has also consistently fought against overdevelopment, taking legal action when necessary. Furthermore, its team has advocated for and played important roles in the passage of dozens of landmark environmental laws.

Non Profit Development Center (NPDC) of Southern New Jersey
According to the NPDC, the South Jersey region is home to more than 10,000 nonprofits, and it’s this organization’s mission to support them, recognize their outstanding work, and help them do an even better job of impacting the lives of local residents in a meaningful way. Founded in 2006, the NPDC goes about that objective by providing various educational programs and by hosting events that bring nonprofit leaders together, connect them with potential funders and assist in the forming of new partnerships. Its annual Awards Dinner is a celebration of the area’s influential nonprofits, with winners also receiving a small stipend to enhance their offerings. The NPDC’s own work has not gone unnoticed, as it received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President Barack Obama.

The Opportunity League
What started as a charity basketball game in 2009 has evolved into a multi-faceted nonprofit that encourages and supports positive growth in individuals of all ages, families and communities throughout the Greater Burlington area. Through programs like youth sports, S.T.E.A.M. learning, speech and language therapy, youth entrepreneurship, college prep, adult learning and skills development/job placement, “The O League” provides meaningful learning opportunities to put participants on the path to success. It is quite common for those who have been part of the organization to move on and form their own nonprofits, or to return as mentors and teachers themselves.

Pinelands Preservation Alliance
Stretching across seven counties, the Pinelands consists of 800,000 acres of forest and is home to a variety of rare plant species and animals, in addition to the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, which contains some of the purest water in the country. Since 1989, this group has been committed to preserving those natural resources and protecting the Pinelands from abuses of land and water, including overdevelopment. The Pinelands Preservation Alliance also runs two unique initiatives: Pinelands Adventures, an outdoor recreation program that promotes enjoyment of the area through kayaking, hiking and history tours; and Rancocas Creek Farm, a project launched in 2020 in which fresh, chemical-free food is grown on a 72-acre sustainable farm.

Rancocas Woods Business Association
A sense of community clearly means the world to the team behind this nonprofit, which was formed in 2018 to revitalize the Rancocas Woods business district in Mount Laurel. The once-bustling shopping destination lined with historic log cabins had fallen on hard times, but with the backing of the Rancocas Woods Business Association, significant improvements have been made, including the addition of new businesses, increased foot traffic and a full schedule of entertaining, family-friendly events. What’s more, business owners and residents have been brought together to share their experiences and concerns and collaborate on overcoming any challenges that arise.

The six co-founders of Re-Youth banded together over their passion for acting as stewards of the Earth and their shared vision for passing on their support for environmental issues to others in the community. The nonprofit seeks to make a positive impact on the environment by hosting local cleanup events, from urban areas to the woods and the beaches of the Jersey Shore. It also partners with organizations like the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge on seasonal events, and encourages South Jersey residents to start their own cleanups.

Southern New Jersey Development Council (SNJDC)
With a devoted staff led by Marlene Asselta—who has served as president for more than 30 years—the SNJDC represents a broad range of business types in striving to create a better economic environment in the region. Its membership includes influential leaders in both the public and private sectors in fields such as health care, the casino/gaming industry, education, engineering and more. The SNJDC connects its members with elected officials, tracks bills in the state legislature, promotes and shares information about its organizations, hosts a robust event schedule and works hand in hand with county economic directors to push South Jersey forward.

Sustainable Action Now
This ambitious nonprofit might be based in Cherry Hill, but its reach extends all over the globe. With a dogged commitment to the preservation of the Earth and protection of all of its inhabitants, from people to animals to wildlife, the organization contributes to a long list of worthy causes. Whether pushing for gun safety laws, raising concerns about the private prison system and the death penalty, condemning trophy hunting of wild animals, or advocating for endangered species such as dolphins, whales, lions and elephants, its team is relentless in standing up for what it believes in and bringing about significant change.

Affiliated with UrbanPromise—a long-serving nonprofit in Camden that aims to give children and young adults the necessary tools to succeed academically and to develop socially and spiritually—Urban-Trekkers complements that mission with a focus on experiential learning. Each grade in its program participates in a class-specific expedition outside of their everyday lives, and the travel opportunity allows them to enjoy hands-on experiences while learning more about themselves and the world around them in addition to growing their leadership and team-building skills. These trips help to raise the children’s awareness about the environment, to gain historical perspectives and to understand the value of community service.

Volunteer UP Legal Clinic
Dealing with legal matters is difficult enough under any circumstances, but for individuals without the means to afford an attorney, the challenge becomes just about insurmountable. That’s where Volunteer UP Legal Clinic, headquartered in Camden, steps in. Primarily serving residents of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties, the nonprofit meets with clients facing issues in the areas of bankruptcy, immigration, family law, civil rights, landlord-tenant matters, wills and estates, municipal court fines and more. Once their specific needs are determined, they are connected with an appropriate South Jersey lawyer affiliated with the organization, who provides pro bono representation.

WCRE Foundation
While Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) has established itself as one of the leading brokerage and proprty management firms of its kind in the South Jersey region, giving back to the communities it serves has always been important to the company as well. To that end, the WCRE Foundation was formed in 2016 to spearhead its philanthropic efforts, and in the ensuing years the nonprofit has raised over half a million dollars to be dispersed to organizations like the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey, Bancroft, the American Cancer Society, I AM ALS, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice and the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. The WCRE Foundation hosts a number of enjoyable fundraising events throughout the year, from golf outings to annual food and toy drives.

Yes She Can Campaign
Zaniya Lewis has accomplished quite a bit in her young life, from interviewing Michelle Obama and appearing on the cover of Seventeen with the First Lady, to being chosen by the NBA to attend a service trip to South Africa. But the biggest achievement of all for the 2020 graduate of George Washington University is arguably this nonprofit she founded, which aims to empower and inspire young people to build an equitable world. Education is a primary focus of the award-winning organization, and one of its major initiatives is DISSCHOLARED, which spreads awareness about scholarship award displacement while protecting the scholarships of more than 17 million students. Yes She Can Campaign also exposes students to different career pathways, offers internship opportunities and promotes entrepreneurship.


Prisons Modeled After a Slave Plantation, Slavery is legally banned in the U.S. but the practice continues in the form of prison labor for convicted felons.

Since the abolition of slavery in the United States, many people have become more aware of the lingering presence of this institution in our society. While it is true that slavery is officially illegal, many have pointed out that the practice continues, albeit in different forms.

One such form is the use of prison labor for convicted felons. While this is technically legal, it has raised concerns among many people, who wonder whether the prisoners are being exploited in a way that parallels slavery. The argument is that these people, who are often marginalized and powerless, may be forced to work under harsh conditions, with no protections for their rights or safety.

In short, while it is clear that slavery is no longer acceptable in the modern world, it is important to remain vigilant against practices that may resemble it in form and function. Only through continued dialogue and action can we ensure that all people are protected from exploitation and abuse in any form.

The Cummins Unit, located in Lincoln County, Arkansas, is one of the largest cotton production prisons in the state. The prison is situated on over 16,000 acres of farmland, which is used to grow and harvest cotton. Inmates at Cummins Unit work in various capacities, including planting, cultivating, and harvesting the cotton. The prison has been cited for its agricultural programs and the opportunities they provide for inmates to learn new skills and gain work experience. However, some have raised concerns about the use of prison labor for commercial purposes and the potential for exploitation. Additionally, the harsh conditions of cotton fields and exposure to pesticides can be detrimental to inmates’ health. Despite these concerns, the Cummins Unit remains a significant contributor to Arkansas’s cotton industry, producing hundreds of bales of cotton each year.

Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola, has been criticized for perpetuating the legacy of “plantation slavery.” Under the guise of rehabilitation, inmates are subject to forced labor without pay for long hours in fields, ranches, and factories. This system disproportionately affects Black individuals, who make up the majority of the inmate population. Inmates are punished with solitary confinement or transferred to more dangerous facilities if they refuse to work. Many argue that this system perpetuates racial inequality as inmates are performing labor that generates profits for the state while being denied basic human rights and fair wages. Despite efforts to reform the system, including providing inmates with education and vocational training, concerns about the continuation of “plantation slavery” at Angola persist.

It is important to note that of more than 6,000 men currently imprisoned at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, three-quarters are there for life and nearly 80 percent are African American. 

Parchman Farm was a Mississippi state prison founded in 1901, modeled after a slave plantation. The prison was known for its brutal conditions and history of racism, and became a major site for civil rights protests during the 1960s. The legacy of Parchman Farm lives on in the disproportionate incarceration rates of Black Americans, a result of the systemic racism inherent in the criminal justice system. Activists and lawmakers continue to work towards criminal justice reform and ending the school-to-prison pipeline, which funnels Black and other marginalized children into the criminal justice system at disproportionately high rates. The lasting legacy of Parchman Farm serves as a stark reminder of the far-reaching impact of slavery and institutional racism in America, and the ongoing struggle for equality and justice.

Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman Farm, is a correctional facility in Mississippi that has a long history of using prisoners as a labor force for various purposes. One of these purposes was cotton picking. In the early to mid-20th century, Parchman Farm had a large cotton operation that relied extensively on prisoner labor to pick the cotton. This was a highly controversial practice, as many prisoners were essentially forced to work for free and were subject to harsh conditions and treatment. The legacy of Parchman Farm and other prison labor operations is still felt today, as many people point to them as examples of the ongoing systemic racism and injustice in the United States.