Posted on December 29, 2014 by Other Nations
Photo: LA Progressive – click image
Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations
ex-ploi-ta-tion (noun): the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
Animal exploitation comes in many shapes and sizes and often involves soul-crushing cruelty–think factory farming, circus slavery, vivisection.
But is exploitation always cruel? What constitutes cruelty, anyhow? And who defines it? If you’re the animal, these questions are meaningless: When you’re suffering–whether physically, emotionally, or both–you simply want it to stop. If you’re the animal rights activist, your definition of what’s exploitive and cruel is holistic and vastly broader than that of the person who “owns” animals–ponies, for example–and benefits financially from their work in the pony ride ring. Though they might be well cared-for, is their forced labor unfair? Is it cruel? Is it OK because they’re valued and loved? Just like the tethered ponies, this argument goes ’round and ’round.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal rights, animal welfare | Tagged: Animal exploitation, companion animals, petting zoo, pony rides | 5 Comments »
Posted on December 18, 2014 by animalblawg
In some states, the act of entering onto another’s property and recording undercover videos revealing animal cruelty on farms is illegal. At first glance, this is understandable as everyone has an interest in their own property rights. But there’s a catch. What happens when the activities carried out on that land are not only illegal, but affect on society as a whole? Farm animals are slaughtered everyday and used for food, cosmetics, and even clothing products which enter the economy and are then provided to us for our use and consumption. The treatment of these animals before slaughter is horrifying, and yet this industry seems to be protected from revealing this information from the public.
In seven states today, ag-gag laws exist. These laws prohibit individuals from entering an animal or research facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera or other means with the intent to commit criminal activities or defame the facility or its owner.
In Animal Legal Defense Fund et. al. v. Otter et. al., the Plaintiffs challenged Idaho’s ag-gag law Continue reading
Filed under: animal cruelty, animal law | Tagged: ag-gag, animal law, animal welfare, factory farms, farmed animals, industrial agriculture | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 17, 2014 by animalblawg
The coining of a new phrase, or a neologism, is a way of commanding the transformation of new and modern language. By commanding the transformation of language, and coining new words and phrases, one can bring society up to date in a rapidly changing world. In the animal advocacy world, neologisms are frequently formed for this very reason. For example, Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, coined the term “vegan” to describe individuals who abstain from the consumption and use of animal products. Another example, Richard D. Ryder, a British psychologist, animal advocate, and author, coined the term “speciesism” in 1970 and “painism” 1985. Speciesism opposes the assignment of moral values and protections on the basis of species alone, and painism argues that all beings that are capable of feeling pain deserve rights. A last example of neologisms in the animal advocacy world comes from Gary L. Francione, an American Legal Scholar, and Distinguished Professor of Law & Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law–Newark. Francione coined the term “New Welfarist” in his 1996 Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal ethics, animal rights, animal suffering, animal welfare | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 16, 2014 by David
For some, the vision of a horse-drawn carriage is romantic, with a charm that cannot be matched.
“Horses have walked the streets of New York since the seventeenth century—Broadway was actually carved by them—and for generations they’ve been cherished mascots of tradition, reminding us that for all the ways the city changes, it never completely burns away its layered soul of New Amsterdam hustle, Revolutionary-era imperiousness, and Gilded Age gentility.”-New York Magazine
But the reality is that once we stop and think about the horses used in this industry, it’s downright cruel. Should these animals have to endure intolerable conditions purely for our entertainment?
The New York City Administrative Code has regulations Continue reading
Filed under: animal law, animal welfare | Tagged: animal cruelty, animal law, animal welfare, carriage horse ban, carriage horses | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 7, 2014 by David
Traditionally, doctors take the Hippocratic Oath as an affirmation of the ethical responsibility that they have towards their patients. According to the American Medical Association, one principle of medical ethics is that “[a] physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount.” What then are the duties of veterinarians, especially given the fact that animals are viewed as property under the law and often by society? To whom do the primary responsibilities of veterinarians lie?
Several years ago, my two pet rats became new patients at a veterinary office. As a part of their new patient paperwork, I was asked to select one of a handful of boxes describing how I viewed my pets and their possible treatment at the veterinary office. These options included: I consider my pet to be part of my family and I would do anything for them; I consider my pet to be part of my family, but I have financial constraints; I am only willing to pay so much to treat my pet; and so on (all of these options are paraphrased from the actual text on the form). I asked a staff member what purpose my selection would serve. She responded that the veterinarian would consider my response in recommending treatment options for my pet. In other words, this exemplified the fact that I, the pet owner, am the client of the veterinarian, not the pet as the patient.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one principle of veterinary medical ethics is that “[v]eterinarians Continue reading
Filed under: animal ethics | Tagged: animal ethics, animal welfare, companion animals, veterinary ethics | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 4, 2014 by David
Following Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger’s 2009 landing of a US Airways airplane into New York City’s Hudson River after striking a flock of geese, the issue of bird strikes has become a recurring topic in the media. The USDA has assigned Wildlife Service agents to capture and slaughter between 700 to 1,000 Canada geese inhabiting the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and the areas surrounding LaGuardia Airport, each year. The agents capture and gas the geese while they are in their molting phase during the summer, when they are unable to fly. The refuge, located near John K. Kennedy International Airport, covers 9,000 acres of open bay, saltmarsh, mudflats, upland fields and woods, and is self-described as one of the “most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeastern United States…”
However, the number of bird strikes nationwide between 2009 and 2012 remained relatively unchanged. It appears that killing the geese that will inevitably continue breeding is not the most effective method of preventing bird strikes. Opting for alternatives that provide long-term solutions, which also happen to be the most humane, seems to be the most effective choice.
Other countries have successfully implemented scientific methods to avoid bird strikes. For example, Continue reading
Filed under: animal cruelty, animal law | Tagged: animal law, animal welfare, eBirdRad, environmental advocacy, goose slaughter, goose-kills, Goosinator | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 3, 2014 by David
From the email:
Animal Welfare Trust is currently seeking applicants for our 2015 Student Grant Program. The grant provides up to $5000 per recipient for graduate students to work on an independent research project under faculty supervision or for an unpaid position within an established organization. Internships can be for a summer, semester, or year-long duration. Applications are due on March 1, 2015. Animal Welfare Trust believes that we can make a meaningful contribution to animal welfare by encouraging students to work on projects that facilitate positive reform for animals. Details about the grant program, the application process, and information on past recipients can be found on our website.
Our particular areas of interest are farm animal welfare, humane education and pro-vegetarian/vegan campaigns (though by no means are we limited to these areas). Please pass this announcement on to any students you think may be interested and feel free to cross post as well.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Animal Welfare Trust
141 Halstead Avenue, Suite 301
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, Uncategorized | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal law, animal rights, Animal Welfare Trust, factory farms, industrial farming, summer jobs, veganism, vegetarianism | 1 Comment »