Burying Factory Farms with Faint Praise?

David Cassuto

Not too long ago, I blogged about Beppe Bigazzi, the Italian tv host who advocated for stewing cats.  My working theory was that Bigazzi could not possibly have been stupid enough not to know his remarks would create a backlash.  If so, then he was being wonderfully subversive  in a manner only available to those who are full participants in the culture they critique.

I had the same thought recently when reading this  NYT piece by Adam Shriver last week (admittedly, this thought did not occur to me when reading Jennifer Church’s earlier post on Shriver’s writings).  Mr. Shriver opined that since factory farms are inevitable (because they produce the meat we eat), we should turn our attention to genetically removing the pain centers in the animals we torture.  The responses to Shriver’s piece took him to task for the bald stupidity of his argument (starting with his failure to interrogate the assumption that factory farms are necessary).  Continue reading

Blogging from Brazil

David Cassuto

I’m live-blogging from the plane on my way to Rio.  Actually, that’s not true.  There’s no in-flight internet connection so by the time you read this, the time of writing will have long passed.  Indeed, this situation reifies the ongoing and insuperable challenge faced by all writers.  Time, a crucial component of all experience marches ever onward; the writer can only try to invoke through words that which can never come again.  Or, as Jean-François Lyotard puts it, “in description, writing tries to meet the challenge of being equal to its momentary absence.”  Upshot: even though I’m not live-blogging, I just like saying “live-blogging” so that’s what I did.

In any case, I’ll be in Brazil for the next several months, teaching at the Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law in Rio (FGV Direito-Rio).  FGV is the only law school in Brazil that utilizes the Socratic method and is well on its way to developing a world class environmental law program under the direction of my former student now colleague, Romulo Sampaio.  My stay in Rio has been made possible through the good offices of the late great Senator Fulbright.  Continue reading

California Bill Proposes Animal Abuser Registry

David Cassuto

From the Hopeful Developments Desk: California State Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez has drafted a bill (with help from the ALDF) which will require people convicted of felony animal abuse to register with the state and provide a current photo, home address, place of employment and other information.  The law, if passed, will be funded by a small tax on pet food.

Florez, who also chairs the Food and Agriculture Committee, is counting on his credibility in the Ag world as well as bipartisan opposition to animal abuse to overcome the anti-tax backlash that inevitably accompanies any non-revenue neutral proposal.

We shall see.  More here and here.

Friedman and Norman on Maryland DV Protective Orders

Bridget Crawford

Joshua L. Friedman (Attorney Advisor, U.S. Social Security Administration) and Gary C. Norman (Staff Attorney, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) have published their article, “Protecting the Family Pet: The New Face of Maryland Domestic Violence Protective Orders,” 40 U. Balt. L.F. 81 (2009).  Here is the abstract:

Domestic violence is on the rise, and pets are increasingly becoming the victims of marital disputes. There is a demonstrated link between acts and offenses of domestic violence and animal abuse. Domestic abusers often do not think twice about beating or otherwise harming pets that have bonded with the other spouse in order to control, coerce, intimidate, or cause emotional harm to that spouse. Continue reading

Volunteer Opportunity:Protecting Bison from Those Who Want Them Dead

David Cassuto

The bison herd in Yellowstone Park is protected from hunters.  Until the animals leave the park — which they are sometimes wont to do (bison have no pockets in which to carry a map).  As soon as the animals step over the park boundary they become prey for hunters abetted by the livestock industry who disguise their bloodlust behind disingenuous talk of brucellosis.

I just learned of an organization called the Buffalo Field Campaign, which works to protect the bison from those who think it the height of sport to shoot large, slow-moving herbivores.  And, if you have some time you wouldn’t mind spending in one of the world’s most spectacular places, the animals could use your help as well.  A little info on one of the coolest volunteer opportunities in the history of ever: Continue reading

To Stew a Cat

David Cassuto

According to an Italian cooking show host, cat stew is a delicacy.  Beppe Bigazzi recently declared that: “Cat, soaked for three days in the running water of a stream” in Tuscany “comes out with its meat white, and I assure you — I have eaten it many times — that it is a delicacy.”  He also noted that consuming cat is no more or less bizarre than eating pigeon, rabbit or chicken.  Continue reading

State by State Breakdown of Animal Protection Laws

David Cassuto

To read about it, go here; for the breakdown, here, here, and here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,358 other followers