Odd Animal Laws, Odd Culture

This is a guest post by Kenji Crosland, a writer for TeachStreet.  Teachstreet is a website that provides online and local classes, including classes on law and pet training classes.

In the effort to preserve a certain semblance of order certain laws (don’t steal, don’t kill) have been universal since Hammurabi, although the punishments for disobeying these laws have varied greatly. Laws concerning animal cruelty, however, are unique in that they are not necessarily “required,” to keep the peace.  For a society to establish animal cruelty laws it needs to reach a certain level of moral development.  These laws, just like the humans who created them, however, aren’t perfect, and those imperfections can give us insights into a particular culture.

These days, India and countries in Europe seem to be the most progressive, while others like China are slowly adding laws to the books.  The US is a study in contrasts: while some states are on the progressive side, there are others that are far from it.          Continue reading

A Bill to Ban Aerial Wolf Hunting

wolf huntingI’m fresh off the Long Trail.  Every year, my son and I head into the Vermont woods to be together and to be alone.  These are the best of times.

During my absence some good things happened.  For example, Judge Sotomayor got confirmed.  Plus, a few tentative steps were taken to halt the shooting of wolves from airplanes in Alaska.

Senator Feinstein and Congressman Miller (both CA Democrats) have introduced legislation to ban the shooting of wolves from the air by anyone other than state or federal wildlife employees during declared biological emergencies.

Aerial wolf killing–which Alaskans twice voted to ban only to have their wishes rejected by the State Legislature — is about as far from hunting as CAFOs are from farming.  Furthermore, despite Sarah Palin’s garblings, this issue does not implicate the 2nd Amendment and has nothing to do with Ashley Judd.  It is about using fixed wing aircraft to terrify and then butcher defenseless animals.

Proponents call this practice “predator control.”   Actually, that would make a good title for this bill.  Never have there been predators more in need of control.  Let us wish this bill godspeed as it runs the legislative gauntlet.

More here and here.

–David Cassuto