Posted on February 23, 2012 by Other Nations
Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations
Ah, the Northern Rockies. Soaring mountains. Rushing streams. Beargrass and aspens. Mountain bluebirds. Deep forests, wide open prairies, abundant native wildlife. What’s not to love?
Well, it depends on whom you ask.
“I want them to open their (expletive) eyes,” said Toby Bridges, founder of Lobo Watch (Sportsmen against wolves–united we stand!). Bridges wants Missoula County to follow Ravalli County’s lead in drafting a wolf “management” policy.
“If enough counties cry (expletive) on this, at least you’re going to get their (expletive) attention. I’m going to keep throwing gallons of gasoline on this fire and it’s going to get hot.” Read more: Missoulian Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, hunting, wolves | 6 Comments »
Posted on February 18, 2012 by Other Nations
Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations
The human population in Montana hit the one million mark early in January. Of the 50 states, the Treasure State ranks 44th in population, fourth in area. There’s a lot of “there” out there under the Big Sky, and elbow room enough at roughly seven humans per square mile. We like it that way.
But the folks in rural Shelby, Montana (pop. 3500+) will have a million new squealing neighbors to cozy-up to if Gov. Brian Schweitzer prevails in talks with Chinese capitalist investors. Sure, a $150 million hog processing plant will bring jobs, but given what is well documented about factory farms, it will also bring tons of unwanted baggage in water pollution, air pollution, surface contamination, a host of human ailments including asthma, headaches, skin and eye irritation, and worse–much worse. Just ask the residents in south central Michigan, who now issue “stench alerts” thanks to the numerous CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operation) operating near Hudson, MI. Continue reading
Filed under: AETA, animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, blogging, diet, environmental ethics, factory farms | 7 Comments »
Posted on February 12, 2012 by David
If you needed to torture puppies in order to enjoy the taste of chocolate, would doing so be wrong? Wouldn’t doing so be obviously wrong? Most who would say ‘yes’ regularly purchase and consume factory-farmed meat, seeing no problem with the latter, and yet, the two may not be morally distinguishable. According to at least one philosopher, they are not. In a highly provocative and creative paper, Alastair Norcross makes the case that purchasing and eating factory-farmed meat is morally comparable to torturing puppies for gustatory pleasure, and meat-eaters who realize this ought to become vegetarians (or at least give up factory farmed-meat). It’s an argument worth thinking about. (Other arguments for vegetarianism can be found here and here).
Norcross begins his paper with the story of Fred, who is on trial for animal abuse (see the lecture version here). The police discovered that in Fred’s basement, 26 puppies had each been confined in small wire cages. For 26 weeks, Fred would perform a series of mutilations on them, without anesthesia, and then brutally end their lives. His defense? He is a lover of chocolate, and torturing puppies was the only way for him to enjoy it. Continue reading
Filed under: animal ethics, animal rights | Tagged: Alastair Norcross, animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, factory farms, farmed animals, industrial farming, veganism, vegetarianism | 30 Comments »
Posted on February 5, 2012 by David
There is no question that, in the ordinary sense of the word, a great many non-human animals are slaves, forced to exist in extremely deleterious conditions to fulfill the wishes of their human masters. Most are untroubled by this fact—slavery over animals has been widely accepted in society for a very long time. Last October, in an effort to reverse this norm, PETA made a radical (some say outrageous) move. They filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld on behalf of five orcas, creatures who have been forced to live in highly confined, unnatural environments, to their detriment, all for the purpose of performing cheap tricks. Their decades-long captivity, according to PETA, violates the constitutional prohibition against slavery (aka the Thirteenth Amendment).
While it may be common sense that the orcas are slaves, from a legal standpoint, PETA is asserting a very radical claim. Is it too radical? PETA is essentially contending that the oracas are full legal persons entitled to constitutional rights. For the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), an organization dedicated to changing the legal status of non-human animals from “things” to “persons,” the move is too soon; the lawsuit “is dangerously premature” and “will damage future animal rights law cases” if it is decided on the merits. NhRP has been allowed to appear as an amicus curiae in the case, and is seeking to have it decided on non-constitutional grounds, rather than on the merits of the Thirteenth Amendment claim. The question then is why: why is failure on the merits so bad or counterproductive from the viewpoint of animal rights advocacy? Although PETA is unlikely to prevail, how could it hurt to try? Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law | Tagged: 13th Amendment, animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, PETA, SeaWorld, slavery, Steven Wise | 20 Comments »
Posted on February 3, 2012 by David
In a Mother Jones post, Tom Philpott has aptly summarized the issues raised by a new Humane Society of the United States investigation and video report on the conditions in which pigs are propagated by two big Oklahoma pork suppliers:
The remarkable thing…is how banal it is. No illegal acts like “downer” animals being forced down the kill line with fork lifts, or getting their brains bashed in with a pickax. What we have here is the everyday reality of pigs’ lives on a factory farm, without regulations flouted or spectacular violence committed. It is abuse routinized and regimented, honed into a profitable business model. [Read the rest.]
The Humane Society findings focus on the practice of keeping pregnant sows for months in cages barely bigger than the animal. The group’s Web site notes that laws banning gestation crates have been passed in eight states – Ohio,Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon – with bills pending in Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut,Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey and New York.
The group credits many retailers — including Burger King, Wendy’s,Subway and Safeway – for moving away from producers that use gestation crates.
6:33 p.m. | Updated below | The Oklahoma Pork Council told the state’s KTOK radio station: Continue reading
Filed under: animal cruelty, animal law, diet, factory farms | Tagged: animal abuse, animal ethics, animal suffering, animal welfare, downer animals, factory farming, farmed animals, gestation crates, industrial agriculture, pig-farming | 11 Comments »
Posted on February 1, 2012 by Other Nations
Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations
Pity Marmota monax–celebrated one day of the year in a fun but meaningless ritual for the amusement of the human species, persecuted the rest of the year as a pest, perhaps served up as a menu item at the Roadkill Grill.
Some interesting facts you might not have known about groundhogs (also known as woodchucks), who are members of the squirrel family: they are true hibernators, often constructing a separate winter burrow below the frost line for a consistent, above-freezing temperature; they hibernate three to six months, depending on their location; when hibernating, groundhogs coil themselves into tight balls with head resting on abdomen and hind legs and tail wrapped over the top of the head. They are excellent swimmers and tree climbers. When frightened, the hairs on their tail stand up. As far as we know, they do not chuck any quantity of wood, rendering the famous question moot. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal experimentation, animal rights, hunting | 9 Comments »