The American Diet of Meat

David Cassuto

With a hat tip to Scu and a huzzah to the NY Times, this graphic speaks for itself:

Law, Food, & Vegas

David Cassuto (also up in GreenLaw)

Alas, blogging has paid a heavy price for what has been and continues to be a very busy semester.  But it’s been busy in a good way.  To wit, I am recently returned from both Las Vegas and Rio.  I’ll discuss Rio in my next post but first, to Vegas.

A few weeks ago I attended the Conference of the Association of Law, Culture & Humanities held at UNLV.  This very fine interdisciplinary conference had three panels organized by UNLV’s Professor  Bret Birdsong on Law & Food.  The panel discussions ranged from GMOs to marketing and were uniformly excellent.  My talk (I was on one of the panels) grew out of some of my previous work.  It explored the unique normative challenges raised by the human/animal dynamic and how those challenges manifest in animal law and, consequently, in food law as well.  I argued that many of the failings of animal law (and environmental law) can be explained by the fact that it does not arise from the traditional relationships from which laws are created.  Continue reading

The Agribusiness Lobby Wins Again

Jacqueline McMahon

Well, there go the rights of farmed animals and whistleblowers in Iowa.  On March 17, 2011, the Republican-dominated Iowa House of Representative voted 65-27 to approve a bill criminalizing secretly recording factory farm practices.  Under the bill, House File 589 § 9, drolly named “Animal Facility Interference,” any person who produces, possesses or distributes an audio or visual recording of an animal facility without the consent of the owner is guilty of either a class D felony or aggravated misdemeanor.  The bill still has to pass through the Democrat-controlled Senate before officially becoming Iowa law, but with similar proposals popping up in other states including Florida, the idea of prohibiting these exposé recordings is picking up steam. Continue reading

Wolves have their day in court…again

First, anyone who aspires to be a judge should take a gander at this.

Here’s the latest on the complex legal maneuvers surrounding the wolf issue in the northern Rockies. A small cadre of “anti-wolf protesters” showed up outside the courthouse in Missoula, MT yesterday–to view the rest of their signs, click here.

Fashion, fishin’, & factory farming: Fowl play in the news

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations

Today it was corndogs. Two days ago it was feathers.  More often than not, something I read in the local morning paper gets my goat. It’s not that I go looking for the dark side, mind you. Whether an article deals with fun, food, or fashion, if the news-maker relies on animal exploitation, I see the backstory no matter how deftly it goes unmentioned. It’s probably like that for you, too. Animal rights folks tend to see the big picture–the one that includes the suffering and the slaughter. Sigh.

First, the corndogs. The headline advises me to “Celebrate corndogs, hoops on national day.” Turns out that National Corndog Day is “the first Saturday in March after the NCAA men’s basketball tournament kicks off.” Factory farming giant Foster Farms is a sponsor (“Foster Farms Corn Dogs are fun-tastic anytime!“). Continue reading

Going Dutch – National Debate on Factory Farming

Laurens Peters

As is the case in many countries, Holland’s factory farming business has always been largely hidden from the ordinary consumer’s view. This is no small feat in a country that slaughters half a billion farm animals per year. Holland is as densely populated as New Jersey, less than twice its size. Over the past five years however, the number of factory farms (loosely defined as >12,500 pigs, >185,000 egg laying chicken, > 300 milk cows per farm according to Dutch animal welfare organization WakkerDier) has almost tripled, sparking local resistance and debate.   Continue reading

Minding the GAP Program

 

 

William Sheehan

In a market awash with vague and misguiding advertising regarding the treatment of animals raised for slaughter, Whole Foods’ proposed GAP Program is a breath of fresh air. Whole Foods announced that it will rate food items that use animal products on a 5-step scale, established by the Global Animal Partnership, indicating the specific conditions which the animals were subjected to. The scale serves dual purposes: it provides consumers with the information which they require to make informed decisions that satisfy their ethical concerns and it also allows companies to sell their products at a premium that accurately reflects the treatment which they provide for their animals. Continue reading

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