Diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago
, and given only months to live, Sam Simon is still alive and still racing to spend the fortune he made as co-creator of The Simpsons on causes he loves, whether he is rescuing grizzly bears (and chinchillas and elephants) or funding vegan food banks. Sam Simon and philanthropy previously on Metafilter
Farm Confessional: I Raise Livestock and I Think It May Be Wrong
- "[Bob] Comis talked to Modern Farmer about the self-doubt he feels while raising animals for slaughter and his desire to see humanity evolve into a species that does not kill to eat." [more inside]
Photographer Linda Kuo
's work focuses on "animals and their encounters with human civilizations". Displaced
shows exotic animals being cared for at the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine in NYC, while Hit and Run
shows the aftermath of wild animals' encounters with vehicles upstate. (warning: Dead Animals).
"...For China’s animal welfare advocates, the victory signaled the growing clout of a movement that is frequently derided as bourgeois, frivolous or worse. Its most vociferous opponents paint animal advocates as foreign-financed traitors who would do away with such hallowed Chinese traditions as dog meat hot pot, ivory carving and dried deer penis, consumed to increase virility."
- Folk Remedy Extracted From Captive Bears Stirs Furor in China
(SL NYTIMES) [more inside]
In the Middle Ages, animals that did bad things were tried in court. Maybe that’s not as crazy as it sounds.
"In the fall of 1457, villagers in Savigny, France witnessed a sow and six piglets attack and kill a 5-year-old boy. Today, the animals would be summarily killed. But errant 15th-century French pigs went to court. And it wasn’t for a show trial—this was the real deal, equipped with a judge, two prosecutors, eight witnesses, and a defense attorney for the accused swine. Witness testimony proved beyond reasonable doubt that the sow had killed the child. The piglets’ role, however, was ambiguous. Although splattered with blood, they were never seen directly attacking the boy. The judge sentenced the sow to be hanged by her hind feet from a “gallows tree.” The piglets, by contrast, were exonerated."
Two oxen are slated for slaughter at Green Mountain College (VT).
The Oxen, named Bill and Lou, have worked for 11 years on the rural campus. Now Lou is injured and, consistent with college policy, both are scheduled for slaughter to provide hamburger for the student dining hall. This has provoked much discussion, including editorials
from many sources. Many of the students, even vegetarians, support the decision.
earlier this week on a UK government funded experiment in which kittens had their eyes stitched shut in an examination of how the brain reacts to sensory deprivation. In a related poll
, nearly 11,000 Mirror readers were nearly split in their support for the experiment.
The University of Cardiff has vigorously defended
the experiment, saying the study will lead medical researchers to an "improved understanding of the brain to treat older children or adults, whose amblyopia
has been missed or not treated adequately in time."
Meet the contraption that wants to replace Central Park horses
and Ban HDC
are two groups pushing for the change; the many unfortunate incidents
involving carriage horses over the years (including one just today
) have inspired a bill that would end the practice
, and also a documentary
about the treatment of the horses.
Sue Coe, one of the most committed activist artists in America, has during her thirty-five-year career charted an idiosyncratic course through an environment that is at best ambivalent toward art with overt socio-political content.
Buried in the last paragraph of an article about the new .xxx porn domain
is PETA's intention to "launch peta.xxx as a pornography site that draws attention to the plight of animals
". Reactions have not been positive
The search is on for Yvonne the Cow,
who has been on the loose in the Bavarian woods, mocking her captors, since May. Attempts to capture her have included employing a behavioural scientist, Yvonne's "best friend" Waltraud, a calf named Waldi and an unnamed bull. [more inside]
Animals, new sexy movie stars on the farm.
(slyt) European fur breeders' association releases a youtube campaign. Oh dear. More of the same here
The Cornucopia Institute's Organic Egg Scorecard
ranks egg producers on a scale from 1 to 5 eggs,
using criteria like outdoor access, indoor space per bird, ownership structure, beak trimming and other factors
[pdf]. The scorecard is part of the Institute's new report, Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture
. The executive summary
[pdf] provides some political context.
"Whole Foods, Walmart, A&P, Costco, Meijer, Safeway, and Trader Joe's store-brand eggs all received the lowest possible rating in Cornucopia's study.
Get This Rat a Lawyer!
A recent target of right wing anger
has been Obama administration "czars"
, a term used to denote appointed presidential advisers not subject to Senate approval. Opponents of "czars" were recently emboldened by the resignation of Anthony "Van" Jones
, who served from March 16 to September 5, 2009 as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. An additional target of the hunt for Obama's czars is Cass Sunstein, a constitutional-law professor at Harvard University, who was confirmed Thursday
as the director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. [more inside]
This week Slate
featured a five part series by Daniel Engber
on the treatment of live animal subjects in biomedical labs and the birth of the animal rights movement.
Some of you might know the story of Heidi Erickson,
better known to most as the Beacon Hill Cat Lady.
After being evicted from her Boston apartment upon the discovery of over 100 cats, some alive, more dead, in her home, Erickson soon took up residence in a Watertown apartment. The saga soon played itself out again. [more inside]
Chrissie Hynde: “[A] complete rock star in every sense of the word”?
Nope: “I consider myself an animal activist first and my music as more of a hobby that gives me a platform to fight for animals.” [more inside]
Animal Rights History
collects quotes and original source documents from historical figures concerned with animal welfare, animal rights and vegetarianism
throughout history, including John Locke on kids' cruelty to animals
, Voltaire on vivisecting dogs
, the author of history's first protected species list
, lots about Pythagoras
, a survey of anti-cruelty laws
Guillermo Habacuc Vargas, Bienarte, Maltratador de Animales.
Costa Rican artist Guillermo Habacuc Vargas
' exhibit El Perrito Vive
has drawn a number of criticisms from concerned animal rights activists after he allegedly starved and deprived a dog named Natividad as an installation piece. [more inside]
"Pet custody disputes
have become an increasingly common fixture in divorce cases." Related: "Animal lawyers
are careful to distinguish themselves from animal rights advocates... These lawyers are concerned primarily with getting the legal system to acknowledge that animals have an intrinsic value beyond mere property."
(1 hr 35 min Google video) is "a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals
(for pets, food
, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called 'non-human providers.'" Also in three parts
Last July, activists from the SPEAK
animal rights group were arrested
while holding a protest outside Oxford University's Encaenia ceremony
. Almost a year later, they have all walked free
after audiotapes emerged
which appear to record Thames Valley Police declaring their intent
to conspire with the university
and frame the protesters
might just tell us a lot about ourselves.
There are rehab programs
for elephants [mefi thread], and perhaps the ones for human victims can paired
. This would be a pretty big step in acknowledging the trans-species psyche.
Could this lead to a scientific revultion
? Should it lead to an ethical one
The first member
of SHAC 7
, an animal rights group convicted
for their organizational role in a campaign against animal research
at Huntingdon Life Sciences
(previously discussed here
), began his three-year prison sentence today. Meanwhile, Horowitz and Malkin are still at large
The Little Bird Flies Away
animation short by Veronica Ibarra. also, the Cooking Set
, famous animal rights activist
, is following the example of Pamela Anderson
and Paris Hilton
, jumping onto the bandwagon of using his celebrity
status to influence politics the world over. On tonight's agenda: Seal clubbing for fun.
Jesus Morrissey has cancelled his tour of Canada
, in order to detract from national economy and punish Canada for its evil seal-hunting ways
, comparing them to Nazis along the way.
, however, still takes in the sights of Turkey
, where even human rights
are known to take the back foot. Furthermore, Turkey is a somewhat infamous site for animal rights abuses
, and only passed its first law on the matter in 2001, under pressure from Gillian Anderson
or animal rights activists? Our anti-terrorism laws are getting a bit out of hand.
Canada's seal hunt
started yesterday and though I wondered if the numbers on the Protect Seals
site were accurate, this somewhat gory and disturbing slideshow
at Yahoo/AP news seems to support the high numbers of slaughter. There doesn't seem to be much you can do to stop seal clubbing in 2005, just boycotting Canadian seafood and calling congressfolks
. Shame to see up to 300k seals killed for some fur coats -- seems so last century.
Happy Easter, everybody! Nothing like a natural abomination to ring in the season!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, those are real live baby chickens dyed in various pastel colors. How do they do this thing? They inject (non-toxic) dye right into the eggs.
Who does this thing? These guys
, a hatchery in Alaska (no information about the chicks on their web page). Amusing? Horrifying? Strangely delicious-looking? You make the call.
PETA plans to hand "Your Mommy Kills Animals" flyers to kids at Nutcracker performances.
The fliers urge kids to "ask your mommy how many dead animals she killed to make her fur clothes" and include a color drawing of a woman plunging a large bloody knife into the belly of a rabbit.
Wannabe Vegetarians Or Hypocritical Carnivores?
Do you enjoy eating meat but hate the way it reaches your table? (More inside.
Calls for a ban on Halal and Kosher slaughtered meat in the UK
are being called an attack on religion
or necessary to improve the welfare of farm animals
... Where to start thinking about this? Take 1: Is there a vast right-wing
, um, wait, left-wing
, um wait, err, something-wing conspiracy against Muslims right now? Take 2: Is this a case of "colliding waves of political correctness"? Take 3: As a vegetarian (works for me, ain't gonna preach) the notion of killing animals nicer is kind of funny. Why couldn't we just survey the animals as they enter the slaughterhouse? "Slash to throat? Bolt to head? Electrocution? Thank you, drive through." Whichever way you look at the story, it just goes to show you, the world's a complicated place and you can't please anyone
MassKilling.com: Holocaust on Your Plate,
where PETA compares the holocaust to the meat industry really boils my blood. Sure they are seeking approval from the Jewish Community
to take the exhibit
on a national tour, but Jews weren’t the only ones killing in the concentration camps.
Private zoos in China.
This is one of the saddest pieces I've ever read--all the stories are terrible but especially the one on the bears. I thought the article made a good point on the focus on human right violations in China with a lack of attention on the treatment of animals. There should be some kind of organization either from outside or internally that addresses this issue.
Elephants are people, too.
A new book by Steven M. Wise
, Drawing the Line
, marshalls the latest research on animal cognition in arguing for legal rights for some animals, especially gorillas, chimps, elephants, and gray parrots
. The author's previous book, Rattling the Cage
, forcused on primates, as many researchers and animal rights activists do. After all, we share at least 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees.
Other researchers are expanding our knowledge of animal cognition in the octopus
, even dogs
. See also: Next of Kin
and When Elephants Weep
"They are hardened criminals."
Is the "domestic terrorism" of radical animal-rights and environmental groups really the same as the 9/11 attacks? Or just an excuse to crack down on liberals?
The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations.
Ah, what would the silent animals do without we oxy-moronic humans looking after their welfare. Pity they taste so good.
Some giblets to chew on: "No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, any mechanical apparatus to kill any surplus chick unless the apparatus contains rapidly rotating mechanically operated killing blades or projection...any person who slaughters by a religious method any animal which has not been stunned before bleeding shall ensure that each animal is slaughtered by the severance by rapid, uninterrupted movements of a knife, of both its carotid arteries and both its jugular veins...no person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, a water bath stunner to stun any bird unless appropriate measures are taken to ensure that the current passes efficiently, in particular that there are good electrical contacts and the shackle-to-leg contact is kept wet...no person shall bleed any bull, cow, heifer, steer, calf, sheep, goat or pig in a slaughterhouse, knacker's yard or lairage within sight of any other such animal."
Rats R Us.
"Rats are the backbone of much scientific research, but only a few off-the-shelf models are available," says the National Centre for Research Resources
. So a new "rat boutique" is being opened to provide scientists with more diverse selection.
How long before all animal rights groups go from extremist, to being classified as Terrorist groups?
Are they acting on behalf of animals, or just acting like animals? And how long before their methods and actions become downright un-American?
One of PeTA
's favourite punching bags, Ringling Bros.
, has started hitting back. Coming after a win in the recent court case
involving trainer Mark Gebel, Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Producer of Ringling Bros., issues an open letter to animal rights groups
in an attempt to appeal to them to stop attacking what he says are responsible animal care providers. In it, he alledges some of PeTA's own cruelty, as well as making the connection to the Animal Liberation Front
, which is classifed as a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI (see opening link).
PeTA isn't backing down and has just launched their latest campaign
against Ringling Bros. which cites cruelties no more recent than 1999.
I was also surprised to hear about companies finding it easier to buy off activists
by donating money, which just continues to allow them to flourish. Is it time to start ignoring the good intentions of these groups and really scrutinizing their actions? Should animal rights groups which engage in and support extremist/terrorist activities be shut down and broken up by governments? How far is too far when it comes to activism?
Stile has hit the fan.
His "Kitten - It's what's for dinner" video has finally attracted the attention of PETA, et al. Oddly enough, they seem non-plussed. Unlike much of MeFi's response
, PETA is seeking to censor and prosecute.
No! Not the ferrets! Aaaaaah!
A wee dilemma for animal rights supporters. Should the prairie dogs be moved to a new location? Or fed to endangered black-footed ferrets
(cue Psycho music)! The horror.
big mac's big voice in meat plants
"Bloodied in past scrapes with animal rights groups, McDonald's has been positioning itself in recent years as an ardent defender of farm animals... the company's headfirst plunge into slaughter policing is revolutionizing the way slaughterhouses do business, according to a wide range of industry experts and observers."
part of an ongoing washingtonpost.com series entitled "Modern Meat."