Posted on November 26, 2013 by David
Overpopulation of humans, what does this mean?
Generally, people are using resources more rapidly than they can be regenerated. According to the Animal Welfare Institute the affects of overconsumption of resources by humans is currently having adverse effects across the world. Aside from the obvious consequences overpopulation creates for humans, there is a very real and dangerous affect for animals.
What is the affect of overpopulation on animals?
There is no simple answer to this question. The demand created by humans exceeds the available resources, causing these resources to be depleted at a rate that rejuvenation cannot keep up with. An example of this can be seen through the increased demand for food due to overpopulation. For many people, this involves the consumption of meats. This causes an increase in food production, such as grains, that is then used to feed livestock, that is then consumed by humans. In order to meet the demand for these grains and livestock, more land is taken away from wildlife. Therefore, not only are more animals being consumed due to the population growth, more of their habitat is also taken away. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal rights | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, Animal Welfare Institute, environmental advocacy, environmental ethics, environmentalism, overpopulation | 7 Comments »
Posted on November 26, 2013 by David
A recent edition of the ScienceTimes, a section of the NY Times includes several noteworthy animal articles. Elephants Get the Point of Pointing, by Carl Zimmer writes about a new research lead by Dr. Byrne’s suggesting elephants understand human pointing, a rare gift in the animal kingdom. Dr. Byrne’s states, “Even our closest relatives, like chimpanzees, don’t seem to get the point of pointing.” Researchers have done tests, such as putting food in one of two identical containers and then silently point at the one with food. Primates and most other animals studied fail the test, some have done well, such as domesticated mammals, especially dogs. These results have prompted researchers to speculate that during domestication animals evolve to become keenly aware of humans. Dr. Byrne’s began to wonder if elephants would pass the pointing test, so last year one of his students went to Zimbabwe, and for 2 months tested 11 elephants. The study found that 67.5% of the time elephants could follow the pointing. Dr. Byrne’s would also like to study the pointing test on whales and dolphins but thinks “they make elephants look easy to work with.”
Think Elephant International, a not-for-profit organization that str
ives to promote elephant conservation through scientific research and educational programming announced a study on April 17, 2013 co-authored by 12-14 year old students from East Side Middle School in NYC, revealing elephants were not able to recognize visual cues provided by humans, although they were more responsive to voice commends. The study is a three-year endeavor to create a comprehensive middle school curriculum that brings elephant into classrooms as a way to educate young people about conservation by getting them directly involved in work with endangered species. This research tested elephant pointing to find food hidden in one of two buckets, and the elephants failed this Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, IUCN | Tagged: animal advocacy, conservation, elephants, endangered species, environmentalism, meerkat, moose | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 5, 2013 by David
The Mekong River is the 12th largest river is the world and runs through China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. This river, as many others in the world, is as important for those countries as it is for the animal life depending on it.
Here we have a good example of that.
According to The Economist, the construction of the first dam in lower Mekong is “in full swing” in Laos. The objective of this huge construction is to provide 1,300 megawatts to Thailand, which will cost $ 3.5 billion. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, environmental ethics | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal welfare, environmental advocacy, environmentalism, hydropower, Mekong River | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 11, 2012 by Seth
From the tone of the NY Times article, John Bartmann doesn’t sound like a bad man. Though some readers might demonize him because he is involved in animal farming, this isn’t the CEO of a major industrial producer, and it would be inaccurate to lump him in under the same heading. I expect Mr. Bartmann knows a thing or two about sheep husbandry, and likely has his own grievances with the CAFO industry. Still, his plight is indicative of the complicated issues surrounding modern farming, and is not free from critique. The decline of the modern rancher, especially in the drought of 2012, highlights many of the problems with food in the United States, through both animal and environmental perspectives. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, animal welfare, climate change, environmental ethics, environmental law, factory farms | Tagged: 2012 drought, animal ethics, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, cafo, climate change, Colorado, concentrated animal feeding operations, environmental ethics, environmental law, environmentalism, factory farms, farmed animals, food, global warming, industrial farming, lamb, New Zealand sheep, sheep, US food market, western agriculture | 6 Comments »
Posted on December 6, 2012 by Seth
You may have your own opinions about the World Trade Organization (WTO), whether positive or negative. Regardless, the WTO wields influence over imports and exports worldwide. As we have discussed at length on this blawg, animals are commodities, and thus the policies of the WTO are important when considering animal rights.
Over the last several months the WTO has taken issue with dolphin-safe tuna. To summarize what is a long and involved debate, since 1990 the United States has provided labels specifying whether dolphins were killed (though “harmed” isn’t covered) through the harvesting of tuna to be sold in the U.S. market under the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (originally the labels really meant that purse seine nets, the type that often harm dolphins, weren’t used). Mexico, via a complaint to the WTO, claimed that these dolphin safety measures unfairly impeded Mexico’s tuna trade. The WTO agreed, and ruled that the dolphin-safe labels are “unnecessarily restrictive on trade.” This ruling comes out of one of the core principles of the WTO’s policy of non-discrimination. Under the doctrine of “the most favoured nation” all WTO countries must extend to each other the same trade advantages as the most prefered trading nation would receive. National equality also states that foreign traders must be treated the same way as domestic traders. When you consider the long history of violence and discrimination associated with international trade, including the United States’s own origins, this is sound policy. Yet as always, the devil is in the application.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, environmental law, fishing, marine animals | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, dolphin free, dolphin protection consumer information act, dolphins, environmental advocacy, environmental ethics, environmental law, environmentalism, fishermen, fishing, international dolphin conservation program, international law, international trade, marine animals, marine law, Mexico, tuna, United States of America, World Trade Organization | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 11, 2012 by David
With apologies for the late notice, if you’re in Westchester this evening, please join us:
Filed under: animal ethics, animal law | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal ethics, animal law, Carnivores, environmental ethics, environmental law, environmentalism, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 18, 2012 by spencelo
In our culture, the moral divide between humans and animals is sharp in numerous areas, but perhaps most consciously so in one: the sport of hunting. Since the activity involves consciously deciding to kill another sentient, sensitive being, the issue of inflicting suffering and death cannot be avoided, at least for the hunter. At some point every hunter will inevitably confront unsettling questions: Is my having a good time an adequate moral reason to deliberately end an animal’s life? Should I be concerned about my prey’s suffering, as well as the resulting loss for his or her family? These reflective questions, and many others, will now be asked by New York youths (ages 14-15) this Columbus Day weekend during a special deer hunt planned just for them. Armed with either a firearm or crossbow, junior hunters will be permitted to “take 1 deer…during the youth deer hunt”—no doubt in the hope that the experience will enrich their lives. A hunting enthusiast once observed after a youth hunt, “I’ve never seen a [9-year old] kid happier…We were all the better for it.” Read more
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, hunting | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, art of killing, environmentalism, Families Afield, hunting, James McWilliams, Monte Burke, Seamus McGraw, youth hunting | 57 Comments »