The Other Greenhouse “Gas”: Cows & Climate Change

Jillian N. Bittner You drive to the supermarket in your “green” car, checking your back seat before you leave for your re-usable bags– yet you stand on line about to purchase the packaged beef sitting at the bottom of your cart and do not stop to think twice about the environment? – Perhaps you should. […]

Rivers, Agriculture & Climate Change

David Cassuto I’ll be a visiting professor at  Williams College this coming semester, teaching climate change law & policy as well as environmental law at the Center for Environmental Studies.  So, climate change has very much been on my mind of late.  This is not a new thing, of course.  I’ve blogged frequently about the relationship between […]

Brasilia and Now Ghent (Belgium) — Still Talking Climate Change & Agriculture

David Cassuto So here I am on a plane again – this time to Belgium on my way to the Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, which is taking place in Ghent.  I’m back in steerage this time; no business class for our hero.  I swore I would never go back but here […]

Talking Animals, Climate Change and Agriculture in Sao Paulo

David Cassuto Today, I gave a talk on industrial agriculture and climate change at the Planeta Verde Conference, the largest environmental law conference in South America and maybe the world.  Instituto O Direito Por Um Planeta Verde (Law for a Green Planet Institute) is a Brazilian NGO founded (I believe) by Antonio Benjamin, a major […]

What We Talk About When We Talk About Industrial Agriculture & Climate Change

David Cassuto Santos was interesting.  First, who knew there was a significant mountain range between Rio & Sao Paulo?  Even having flown this route many times, I was surprised by the size and extent of the range which we drove over. My talk on biofuels, industrial agriculture and climate change was well-received in an odd […]

Biofuels, Climate Change & Agriculture

David Cassuto Our hero is off to Santos, south of Sao Paulo, to participate in a congress on biofuels.  I will speak about the tangled relationship between biofuels, climate change and factory-farming.  I’m interested to see the reactions.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association — A Climate Change Hero…?

David Cassuto Guess what?  Apparently, human contributions to climate change is still iffy science and even if it weren’t, the beef industry sequesters rather than releases carbon and should be rewarded for its zealous fight against climate change.  So says the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).  According to the NCBA, agriculture was responsible for less […]

Meat, Copenhagen and Climate Change

David Cassuto Concerned citizens the world over have gathered in Copenhagen to hammer out a plan to arrest climate change and prevent a planetary apocalypse.  Many have written much about the talks (check out, for example, Andy Revkin’s blog) but at least as interesting is what’s being neither talked about in Copenhagen nor much covered […]

More on the Meat/Climate Change Nexus

The link between livestock agriculture (particularly but not exclusively industrial agriculture) and climate change is getting some serious discussion, albeit not by those who actually pass laws about such things.  I’ve blogged about the issue here and am finishing up an essay for the Animals & Society Institute on CAFOs and climate change. Legal Planet […]

On Dumb Animals and Climate Change

Today, Krugman uses the metaphor of boiled frogs to bring home the reality of collective inaction on climate change.  He is referencing the widely held belief that if you put a frog in cold water and then heat the water, the frog won’t know that it’s being cooked (until it’s too late).  The comparison is […]

Agriculture, Climate Change and the UNFCC

The International Federation of Agricultural Producers has produced a declaration addressing the role of agriculture in both causing and potentially mitigating climate change.  The document bears reading in its entirety both for what it says and for what it does not.  It advocates creating a framework for carbon sequestration and for increased access to and […]

Polar Bears, Secretary Salazar and Climate Change

Polar bears cannot catch a break.  The Bush Administration reluctantly declared the bear a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) a year or so ago.  The threat arose because of shrinking habitat caused by polar ice melting.  That ice melt is, of course, a result of climate change. Once a species is classified […]

Diet & Climate Change

This post over at Prettier than Napoleon (cool name for a blog, no?) about the carbon footprint of various dietary regimes bears noting.  Commendably, it cites the high carbon footprint of meat-based diets.  It then claims, however, that since the carbon footprint of eating chicken is lower than that of eating beef, the data put […]

McDonald’s is for (Animal) Lovers

Samantha A. Mumola It is no secret that the United States meat and dairy industries are harmful to animals, our health, and our planet.  Whether it is to slim down, become healthier, save animals’ lives, or reduce toxic waste, more people are adopting vegan and vegetarian diets every year.  No proof exists that humans must consume […]

Cool Job Opening! Policy Director, Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program

David Cassuto From the email: Policy Director – Job Description Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program Overview The Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Program is inviting applications for a Policy Director to develop and oversee a broad range of federal, state, and local policy projects to improve the treatment of animals by the […]

Animal Law Fellowship!

David Cassuto From the email…  Do yourself a favor: apply for this.     Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellowship 2017-2018     Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program is inviting applications for Fellowships in Farmed Animal Law & Policy for the 2017–2018 academic year.   The Fellowships provide opportunities for outstanding scholars […]

Scarface: In the end, the end was a bullet

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations A bullet stopped Scarface. The famously recognizable grizzly bear with a fan base in Yellowstone was a 25-year-old elder in declining health. Given that fewer than five percent of male bears born in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem survive to age 25, he’d already beaten monumental odds. That is, until he met up with a hunter’s bullet last […]

Wolverines: Quest to protect magnificent mustelids continues

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations News flash: Climate change imperils wolverines and Feds must act! That’s the recent headline from ABC news, reporting on court proceedings in Missoula, Montana. On Monday, April 4th, “U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ordered wildlife officials to act as quickly as possible to protect the species as it becomes vulnerable […]

Channel your inner wolverine!

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations Happy Wolverine Birthday! According to the Wolverine Foundation, February 14th is the day designated to symbolically mark the birth of wolverine kits. They come into the world under five inches long, weighing 3.5-5.11 ounces, and covered in white fur. They sometimes hang with one or the other parent for up to […]

Bear 399: Delisting the grizzly you know

Kathleen Stachowski     Other Nations We humans don’t relate well to nonhuman animals at the population level–so goes the theory. But give us the particulars about a specific individual–tell us his or her story–and we get it: this is someone who has an interest in living. Someone with places to go…kids to raise…food to procure. […]

Wildlife Welfare: Adopting a New Ethic Everyone Can Agree Upon

Michelle D. Land Why animal protection organizations and environmentalists don’t collaborate more meaningfully is a long-standing question without a satisfactory answer. Typically, the explanation for a lack of sustained cooperation between the two is that animal protectionists are concerned about individual animals, while environmentalists care only about populations or healthy ecosystems. This “mission loyalty” is […]

Call for Papers: The Ethics of Eating Animals

David Cassuto This call for papers comes from my new homies at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics: The Ethics of Eating Animals 24-27 July 2016 at St Stephen’s House, Oxford The Summer School is being organised by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in partnership with the French animal society, One Voice.  Papers are […]

Cecil the Lion: Will U.S. Laws Hold Trophy Killer Accountable

All around the world, people are outraged by the trophy killing of Cecil the lion, and not simply because he suffered needlessly for days, or because lions are charismatic animals, or even because a rich white American killed a much-loved member of a national park halfway around the world in the African nation of Zimbabwe. […]

Half of Earth’s Animal Population Gone in Just Forty Years

Carmen Parra The Living Planet Index (LPI) from the World Wildlife Fund reported that between 1970 to 2010 there has been a 52% decline in vertebrae species populations on Earth. The study considered 10,380 populations of 3,038 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The most dramatic decline, 83%, was seen in Latin America. […]

A tar sands skirmish for human & animal rights

Kathleen Stachowski    Other Nations Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell But I won’t back down. ~Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Nothing says gates of hell like Alberta, Canada’s tar sands, often referred to as the most environmentally-destructive industrial project on […]

The ESA at 40

Ellen Zhang “What a country chooses to save is what a country says about itself,” Mollie Beattie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director 1993-1996. Forty years ago this month, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  When signing the ESA into law on December 28, 1973, President Nixon stated, “Nothing is more priceless and more […]

Animals of Interest

Nancy Rogowski 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 […]

In wildfire’s path: Animal homes, human homes

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations When wildfire comes calling, all priorities shift. Animal rights work slides into oblivion while concern for individual animals–in this case, our own companion animals–sets sirens to shrieking in my head. Can I sneak the two cat carriers out of the attic undetected? Will I be able to catch Larkspur, our frightened, half-feral […]

A Response to Jeff and Joe Regarding Our Primary Right

by Carter Dillard Sincere thanks to Jeff and Joe for their biting critique of the idea of a primary human right that guarantees humans access to wilderness and complete biodiversity. This response, which is geared for the audience of the blog generally, will divide their critique into eight points and respond to each (taking their […]

Hey Chicago–animal suffering lies behind that scenic splendor

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations Dear Chicago: We need to talk. You can trust me–I’m practically a native daughter. Heck, from my hometown in Indiana, we can look across Lake Michigan and see your skyline (well, on a clear day). I’m a Cubs fan… ’nuff said! But I’ve lived in Montana for going on 14 years now, and if […]

The wolverine: one gnarly dude…who needs our help

Kathleen Stachowski  Other Nations Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the stinkiest, snarliest, gnarliest, wildest of them all? Why, Gulo gulo–the amazing wolverine–of course! And the gnarly little being needs our help within the next few days (5/6/13 deadline). Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll probably never see a wolverine in your lifetime, at least not outside of a […]

A Response to the Primary Right

Jeff Pierce In his post on the Primary Right, Carter Dillard equates the right to be let alone with the right to be alone, as in, utterly and completely alone.  Up Carter’s sleeve hides an unspoken premise resembling something like this: the influence of other human beings, however minor, spoils my inalienable right to be ruggedly […]

Scientists See Cruelty in Killing Method Used in Japan’s Dolphin Roundup

ANDREW C. REVKIN (x-post from Dot Earth) In a new peer-reviewed study, scientists assess the killing method employed by the dolphin hunters of Taiji, Japan, by watching video recorded surreptitiously in 2011 by a German dolphin-protection group, AtlanticBlue. The still image at right is from the video, which can be seen here (but be forewarned; this is not […]

Spectating at dogfights: Still legal thanks to…rodeo?

Kathleen Stachowski      Other Nations Can you think of one animal species with whom you’d willingly trade places? Me neither. It’s a bum rap to be a nonhuman animal in a speciesist world, and here in Montana, brutality toward animals is a way of life. Just ask the bobcat thrashing in a trap, the calf […]

Sheep (and ranchers) Find No Home on the Range

Seth Victor 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. […]

Why our modern lifestyle spells disaster

Seth Victor Do you love your meat? Well, love it or hate it, it may well cause the collapse of our global society. In the latest report confirming the strain factory farming and overconsumption of animal products causes our environment, The Guardian reports that mass food shortages are predicted within the next 40 years if […]

8.7 million and counting….

Gillian Lyons A recent New York Times article, published in late August, discussed a new study, which estimated the number of species living on the Earth to be approximately 8.7 million, give or take 1.3 million.  To me, this number seemed astronomical (though I sometimes feel that there are 8.7 million different species of bugs […]

U.S. Senate passes wolf delisting rider

Wolf advocates accuse Sen. Tester (D-MT) of politically intervening in a scientific decision From this morning’s local paper: “Our provision does not undermine the Endangered Species Act,” said Montana Sen. Jon Tester, who led the effort to delist the wolf in Congress. “It recognizes the ESA as a success.”… “Wolves in Washington, Oregon and Utah […]

Mass Animal Deaths: Nature, Nurture, Conspiracy, or Apocalyspe?

Rosana Escobar Brown The Red-winged Blackbird deaths on New Year’s Eve 2011 sparked an international debate over trends in mass animal deaths around the globe.  That night, 5,000 birds plummeted to their demise over the Beebe, Arkansas, with low-flying and fireworks cited as the cause.  One report assumed the birds just began “colliding with things” […]

EPA Releases Emissions Data on CAFOS — Interpretation to Follow

David Cassuto Here’s an interesting development: EPA has released data from a national study of emissions from CAFOS  that raise pigs, broiler chickens, cattle, and turkeys.  Of course, we don’t know how interesting it is because the agency has not yet interpreted the data.  If you’re of a number-crunching bent, you can see it all […]