Ursa Freedom Project: from Crush Cages to Freedom

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2009

Contacts: Jeanette McDermott ~ jeanette_mcdermott@hotmail.com
Camila Aguilar ~ pixlcam@copper.net

Ursa Freedom Project: from Crush Cages to Freedom

An online community joins hands and hearts to liberate 9,000 to 14,000 bears fromcrush cages and end the practice of draining their bile to make commercial products.The Ursa Freedom Project gathers all who affirm the right to liberty and deplore thetorture of any living being.
Moon Bears and six other species of bear are poached from the wild and bred incaptivity for the sole purpose of draining their bile for commercial products. Locked intiny crush cages on bile farms in China and Vietnam, the bears are unable to move inthese wretched conditions. Bear farmers often knock out the bears’ teeth, rip their clawsout and cut off their paws to prevent being hurt by the bears when they approach thecages to milk them for their bile. The bears live in this abject torture daily – until theydie. Freeing the bears is no small task. It will take the belief and coming together of agreat many to liberate farmed bears and dismantle the bile farm industry.

Ursa Freedom Project begins on March 20 (Vernal Equinox). Worldwide, people willgather for a variety of events from the Equinox to Summer Solstice to engage in doingwhat they love. All the while, they will be in action to stop bear bile farming. Many ideasfor community involvement are contributed by members at the Ursa Freedom Project .The campaign includes two money bombs where small individual contributions combineinto a large sum during the specified 24-hour time period.

“The most famous money bomb was dropped into the Ron Paul campaign in the U.S.on December 16, 2007, which raised $6.03 million in just 24 hours. Nickels and dimesamounted to millions of dollars. We want to set a new world record for money bombswith the Ursa Freedom Project,” said Jeanette McDermott, campaign co-creator anddirector.

After writing an article about bear farming for her social network, “ecopaparazzi”,Jeanette was haunted by stories and images of the tortured bears. She spoke with herfriend, Camila Aguilar, about waking up from a nightmare unable to move or breathe.Together they spontaneously combusted the vision of a worldwide campaign. To raiseawareness around the long ignored industrial abuses of the Asiatic Black Bear, alsocalled the Moon Bear, Camila offered her activist experiences, graphic and writing skills.Launching the action network, Jeanette brings her enormous energy and networkingand media gifts to attract people to join this visionary cause.
Money raised through the Ursa Freedom Project benefits Animals Asia Foundation, anon-profit organization with bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam for medical care,rehabilitation and room and board for the rescued bears. As bears are freed from bilefarms Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) sees to it that bear farmers are compensated fortheir loss of income. AAF gives farmers enough money and encouragement to start amore progressive job, while giving the bears they have farmed a new lease on life.
The Ursa Freedom Project inspires engagement through fun, education, art andcommunity involvement. Community events currently planned are Benefit for the Bearsconcerts in London, Australia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and in Argentina,online and offline art sales and auctions, money bomb drops, fashion shows as well asmany events planned by individuals. “Through local activities and a positive spirit, we aim to awaken global awareness forthe plight of the bile bears. Our commitment is to move the hearts of the Chinese peoplefor the sake of humane treatment of an endangered species. We believe a globalresponse to this endeavor can bring about the necessary change,” said Camila Aguilar,co-creator of Ursa Freedom Project.

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