National Cattlemen’s Beef Association — A Climate Change Hero…?

Painting by Sue Coe

David Cassuto

Guess what?  Apparently, human contributions to climate change is still iffy science and even if it weren’t, the beef industry sequesters rather than releases carbon and should be rewarded for its zealous fight against climate change.  So says the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).  According to the NCBA, agriculture was responsible for less than 6% of total U.S. GHG emissions while land use, land use change, and forestry activities resulted in a net carbon soil sequestration of approximately 17.4% of total U.S. CO2 emissions, or 14.9% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, “Agriculture actually provides a significant net benefit to the climate change equation,” said Tamara Theis, chief environmental counsel for the NCBA. “Rather than being subject to overly-burdensome regulations, agriculture should be rewarded for the carbon reductions we provide.”

Note the deft rhetorical move: land use, land use change and forestry do not necessarily have anything to do with agriculture.  Nevertheless, Big Ag is taking credit for it while also underselling its role in emissions.  Such claims would be laughable if they weren’t so pernicious.  Well, actually, they’re still laughable.  But they’re also dangerous.  The NCBA has just filed suit in the DC Circuit challenging EPA’s right to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  Now, you may be saying — isn’t this what Massachusetts vs. EPA was all about?  How can the NCBA challenge a Supreme Court ruling?   Continue reading

Elephant “Training” Photos

David Cassuto

Paucity of posts this week, for which I apologize.  More soon.  In the meantime, if anybody was thinking that the allegations of the plaintiffs in the Ringling Brothers case were exaggerated, take a gander at these elephant “training” pics.  They are not from Ringling Brothers but they do reflect standard training practices.

AALS Animal Law Section Third Annual Panel

David Cassuto

A few years ago, after many years in the wilderness, the animal law community successfully created a section within the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).  This year will be our third and we once again have a great panel lined up for the AALS annual meeting.  The skinny follows:    Continue reading

Sentient Brussel Sprouts and Other Convenient Tropes

David Cassuto

Natalie Angier writes in today’s NYT about how plants are sophisticated organisms and therefore any kind of dietary regime causes pain.  Jasmin Singer rips Angier a new one here.

UPDATE: Check out this rebuttal  as well.

Animal Law and Lab Animals — Fearing a Paper Tiger

David Cassuto

P. Michael Conn, Director of Research Advocacy at Oregon Health and Sciences University and the the Oregon National Primate Research Center is concerned that the proliferation of animal law courses taught at U.S. law schools (111 schools at last count) poses a threat to animal research.  This claim is interesting on a number of levels.

First and lamentably, the law currently poses almost no threat at all to animal research.  To the extent that laboratory animals have any protection at all (and most don’t — mice and rats, the most popular lab animals, are exempt from the paltry protections of the Animal Welfare Act), virtually no one has standing to enforce those protections.  So Mr. Conn’s concern seems unfounded.   Continue reading

100K

We’ve surpassed 100,000 hits.

No small thing, that.

Thank you for taking the time to read and write and care.

–David

Some Externalized Havoc from Industrial Agriculture

David Cassuto

Following up on Jessica’s prairie dog post of a little while back, here’s an excellent piece on the havoc industrial agriculture wreaks on wild animals (in addition to farmed animals) and the non-animal environment.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,348 other followers