Death threat follows posting of trapped wolf picture

Earth Island Journal "fair use" photo from Trapperman.com

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations

Imagine a wild animal lured to a baited foothold trap. The trap springs, catching the unsuspecting creature by the paw. Imagine–it isn’t difficult–the fear and pain; the thrashing attempts to free the firmly-clamped foot.

Now imagine people gathering to watch the terrified animal attempting to free himself. Guns–constant companions in this part of the world–are produced and shots are fired. The animal is hit but not down; a circle of pink forms in the snow, the trap’s anchor chain at its center. Pictures are taken; pictures are posted.

When the location is the Northern Rockies and the animal is a wolf, this scenario is not only feasible, it actually happens. This time it was in Idaho. Continue reading

Gelatin Awareness: Have yourself a Peepless Little Easter

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations

Easter baskets and candy bowls of yore once held some of this Baby Boomer’s fondest Easter and Halloween memories: Marshmallow Peeps. Candy corn. Jelly beans. Chocolate covered marshmallow rabbits. I continued eating these sweet treats after going vegetarian some 27 years ago. Ignorance was bliss. Then G.A. (Gelatin Awareness) struck and changed the world forever. As the then-vegetarian daughter of a now-departed candy salesman, this was no insignificant revelation. Really? Gelatin? All these years? Gaaaaaaa! Continue reading

Guns N’ Poses: Altruism gone awry

Global Post screengrab-click image

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations

It’s been hard to miss the spectacle: The Donald’s two sons and a whole passel of dead African animals. A short video of trophy still shots includes one Son of a Trump holding a knife and an elephant’s tail.  The hunt was arranged through Hunting Legends (motto: “Legends are forged in the crucible of Africa’s wild places.  The legend within answers to the call of your hunter’s spirit. Don’t just be…be the legend”). Apparently the company is feeling the sting of criticism from legitimate conservationists, given this defensive post. (Sorry, but “The Trumps hunt Africa” page is password protected.) Continue reading

Readin’, writin’, and artificial insemination

Evolve!campaigns-click image

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations

Remember a typical high school day? English: work on Hamlet essay.  Civics: meet in library. Art: finish perspective drawing. Algebra: test, chapter 7. Ag-education: artificially inseminate cow.

Wait, what?

That’s the gist of an article in a recent Missoulian (Missoula, MT): animal husbandry ain’t what it used to be. Sure, it still involves mucking around in manure, but increasingly, it also means turning to science to engineer ever more production out of animals–in this case, commandeering the reproductive systems of individual cows. Continue reading

Trapping Muskrat, the mother of humankind (no Muskrat Love here)

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations

From the Yet More Bad News for Wild Animals department: The North American Fur Auctions (NAFA) has just concluded its most successful sale with what it calls “advancing wild fur prices.”

“NAFA’s wild fur consignors are reaping the rewards from our international wild fur promotional efforts as buyers competed heavily today for most articles, pushing prices to high levels.  Continue reading

City Rejects “Art” Project’s Proposed Chicken Slaughter

Adonia David

Recently my hometown of Lawrence, KS found itself in the midst of a battle over whether five chickens should be slaughtered for an art project to take place in the city.  The project, by Amber Hansen, entitled “The Story of Chickens – A Revolution,” was to consist of a traveling chicken coop containing five heritage chickens that would be set up at various places in Lawrence.  Townspeople would interact with and care for the chickens, and at the end of the project the chickens were to be publicly slaughtered and served at a potluck the next day.

The purpose of the project was, admittedly, a good one.  Hansen wished to address the disappearance of the small farm and the disconnection most people have from the animals they eat.  She wanted to “transform the contemporary view of chickens as merely “livestock” to the beautiful and unique creatures they are, while promoting alternative and healthy processes of caring for them.”  The project hoped to allow the citizens of Lawrence to “visualize an urban landscape that is accommodating and accepting of the presence of animals.”

The project created a large amount of discussion with thoughtful people both advocating for, and opposing it (interspersed with a good number of people making snide comments).  Those who advocated for it, including some who are very concerned about animal welfare, felt that the message was necessary and that people should, indeed, connect with the meat they choose to eat.  Those opposed felt that there is no need, and no excuse, to kill living sentient beings in order to present a message.  Various comments regarding the project can be seen hereContinue reading

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