Revenge Is Not Best Served Fried

Via the AP (here), this weird story:

Authorities say a Houston-area woman who was burned up at her former common-law husband fried their pet goldfish and ate some of them.
Pasadena police say it’s a civil matter and no charges will be filed. The seven goldfish were purchased together by the couple during happier times.
Police spokesman Vance Mitchell says the man reported on Saturday that the woman took the goldfish from his apartment.
Mitchell says the two argued earlier about some jewelry the man had given her but took back. She wanted the jewelry returned.
Officers who were dispatched to the woman’s home arrived to find four fried goldfish on a plate. The woman said she already ate the other three.

If it is a crime to stomp on a goldfish, why is it not a crime to eat them?

-Bridget Crawford

Never Say Never: Bikers and Puppies, a good mix.

Gillian Lyons

bio_batsoThe other day I received an email from a family friend who had recently discovered a new National Geographic show that focuses itself around the rescue group Rescue Ink. Rescue Ink is, according to its website, “a rescue group unlike any you’ve seen before: a bunch of tattooed, motorcycle-riding tough guys who have joined together to fight animal cruelty.” My family friend wanted to know how I felt about the show- she thought it was a hilarious new idea.

New idea? I was perplexed by this statement at first- what’s so new about a Rescue Group? But as I thought about it, I realized what she meant. Any practicing vegetarian, vegan or animal welfarist will tell you that they’ve come across people who have teased them about their beliefs and practices. Why is this? Perhaps it’s because, in a lot of ways, the general public has a picture of people who place animal rights high on their list of priorities as emotional, wimpy and quite frankly- silly.

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The Horses Aren’t the Only Ones Wearing Blinders

Elizabeth Bennett

business-man-wearing_~dpr0002Strolling along Central Park South, one is overcome by the rancid smell of horse urine and manure.  Looking up, there are ornate carriages that mimic fairy tales and majestic horses who would love to go for a stroll.  To many, this is picturesque and the perfect addition to a romantic getaway in New York City.  But if you look closer… you will see that most of these horses look scared, tired, injured, and just want a break from their nine hour workdays.

There has long been public outcry against horse drawn carriages in New York City.  Numerous protests, dangerous accidents, and the death of countless horses have not been enough to convince City Hall that the time has come for these rides to end.  Horse drawn carriage rides have been banned in many cities in the United States and various countries and New York City remains behind the trend.  It seems to me that it would be common sense that these horses must be in pain and that they surely could not enjoy pulling a carriage along a busy, uneven street full of loud noises, speeding cars, and flashing lights, as this clearly goes against a horse’s nature.  However, many do not stop to think about this before boarding their magical, romantic carriage ride.  This is not to say that these people, many of them tourists, are bad people who care little for animals- many of them likely love animals and are drawn to this form of entertainment for that purpose, not thinking about how cruel the practice really is.  As with most forms of animal cruelty, the cruelty part is usually as well hidden as possible.

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CLONED BEEF, It’s what’s for dinner.

Tara Dugo

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The world was fascinated when Dolly, the first cloned animal, was introduced in 1996.  As factory farmers have always been struggling to obtain livestock that produce more meat, milk, eggs, etc., it is no surprise that the cloning of Dolly made way for the introduction of cloning to

the farming industry.  Many farmers have found that a benefit to using cloned livestock is that genetically superior animals can be bred.  These animals, such as fast growing beef cattle and cows that produce copious amount of milk would ultimately result in higher profits for the farmers.

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Massachusetts Greyhound Track Holds its Last Race

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Lindsay MacLeod

The Greyhound Protection Act (GPA) is a Massachusetts statute that will phase out commercial dog racing by 2010. It was enacted as Question 3 on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Massachusetts.  It will shut down Massachusetts two remaining race tracks, Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park and Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, by January 1, 2010. Violators would face minimum fines of $20,000 by the State Racing Commission.

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Michigan Farm Animal Welfare Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

David Cassuto

The Michigan legislature has passed a bill that would give animals used in agriculture some breathing and living space.  Among other requirements, the bill requires that:

A FARM OWNER OR OPERATOR SHALL NOT TETHER OR CONFINE ANY COVERED ANIMAL ON A FARM FOR ALL OR THE MAJORITY OF ANY DAY, IN A MANNER THAT PREVENTS  SUCH ANIMAL  FROM DOING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
(A) LYING DOWN, STANDING UP, OR FULLY EXTENDING ITS LIMBS.
(B) TURNING AROUND FREELY.

The bill also creates an “Animal Care Advisory Council” that is similar in many respects to the one proposed in Ohio’s Issue 2 (see Laura’s post for more on Issue 2).  It bears noting, however, that Issue 2 is a proposed constitutional amendment whereas the Michigan legislation, if enacted, would be a simple statute.  You can read a legislative analysis of the Michigan bill here.

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Oral Sex, Animals, and the Criminal Code

calf_aIs oral sex a crime?  Not necessarily, of course.  But absent consent, it sounds like a crime to me.

Not so if the mouth belongs to an animal, according to a Burlington County, New Jersey judge who dismissed charges against a police officer accused of putting his penis in the mouths of at least 5 calves for the purpose of gaining sexual pleasure.  The judge said it was questionable that the acts constituted animal cruelty.  Why don’t calves deserve protection from sexual predators?  It doesn’t make any sense.

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