Posted on May 12, 2016 by David
Joyce Tischler, founder and general counsel, Animal Legal Defense Fund
African elephants are running out of time. Homo sapiens, a species that by most accounts is overpopulating the planet, is brutally killing elephants at the rate of 96 per day. By some estimates, African elephants will be extinct in approximately one decade. Every elephant death is disturbing and the thought of
no more wild elephants is beyond comprehension. The inane reason we are killing them is to seize their tusks—ivory, a coveted product that is valued by humans more highly than live elephants. You may already know that. So, here’s some promising news:
On April 30, 2016, Kenya burned 105 tons of ivory, along with over one ton of rhino horns and the confiscated skins of thousands of other wild animals in a strong public statement of support and respect for its native
Photo by Tim Gorski
wildlife. This burning has been captured on video by Tim Gorski, a documentary filmmaker who is currently working on the elephant issue.
It’s eerie to watch these videos and realize that each pair of tusks belonged to someone (not something) who was highly intelligent and social, and Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal ethics, endangered species, environmental law | Tagged: animal advocacy, elephants, endangered species, environmental ethics, ivory | 11 Comments »
Posted on January 22, 2016 by David
Voiceless, the fabulous Australian Animal Law NGO, has published its Animal Law Toolkit, a highly readable, very useful publication for anyone practicing or interested in animal law. Get it; read it; tell your friends.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, Uncategorized | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal law, animal welfare, Voiceless | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 16, 2015 by animalblawg
Jaime Rubio Alfaro
Since the Middle Ages, in Spain there have been many popular celebrations held to mark the Day of the Virgin, of some saint or some other patron. Some of them are very known as la Tomatina and Las Fallas which don’t include any animal mistreatment, and some of them do, as the also internationally known, San Fermines.
However, the Feast of San Fermin is included in a much broad concept of celebration called encierro (bull’s confination), which is widely celebrated all around the country in almost all the villages of Spain. While in the encierro there is not any physical harm to the bulls, later those bulls can be used in the corridas (Bullfighting event) of that village or, as some of the bravest (and most dangerous) bulls, can be used in other encierros of other villages, where the owners can be paid up to $20,000 per appearance. Nevertheless, there are many Spanish festivities that include animal abuse and are not so known to people outside of Spain. And many of them are much more harrowing to animals, such as El Toro de la Vega.
So the purpose of this post is to explain why are socially and legally permitted such festivities in Spain.
First of all, it is important to understand that many of these festivals have been held for hundreds of years, so for people that Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: animal abuse in festivals, animal advocacy, animal law, animal welfare, Spanish animal law | 5 Comments »
Posted on October 15, 2015 by David
For the past four years I have adopted a vegetarian diet, where I don’t eat the meat of any animal, and over the past few years I have begun to see many other people, from friends and family to also acquaintances that tell me that they have become vegetarians as well. In the United States the rate of people adopting a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle grows every year, showing that there is a increasing awareness to the issues that come with farming livestock. There are several reasons for why people turn to a vegetarian diet, and that may be for the health benefits associated with a vegetarian diet, or for the reasons that raising animals bring on a host of environmental issues, but I’d like to focus on the reason why I and many others choose to be a vegetarian, and that is the ethical issues of eating meat. For the people that abstain from eating meat because they do not want to promote the suffering or killing of any animal.
I understand people go even further than a vegetarian diet and adopt a vegan lifestyle where they won’t use any products derived form animals including leather, but there are those people that believe they are helping animals by simply not eating them. I don’t mean to diminish any good that comes from believing this, but I also want people to understand that the suffering of an animal only continues as it grows older on these livestock farms, either because a cow is pumping out milk for its whole life or because a chicken is popping out eggs continuously, which is just as cruel for its own reasons. Killing the animal is terrible by all means, but the continued exploitation and abuse that an animal suffers while it’s alive is just as bad, if not worse.
I say it may be worse because dairy cows live their entire lives facing a host of issues, such as being pumped with hormones and antibiotics, living under horrible conditions, and from the psychological abuse they endure; just so we gain something from the cows that we don’t necessarily need. While killing an animal ends its life, it at least stops the immediate pain and suffering that the animal experiences while it is alive and being exploited for what it produces. For a dairy farm to be efficient it needs to continuously produce milk from all of its cows, and like humans, cows only produce milk once they are pregnant. This typically requires that the dairy farmer constantly impregnate the cow (using artificial insemination) so that it can constantly produce milk that it would have given its new born calf, except that the calf shortly after birth is taken away from its mother, and even worse is if the calf is male it is sold and then slaughtered to produce veal. To Continue reading
Filed under: animal ethics, animal welfare, diet, factory farms | Tagged: animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, factory farms, veganism, vegetarianism | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 7, 2015 by David
Tyson-Lord J. Gray
Animal cruelty on factory farms, in zoos, and in amusement parks are all leading concerns by animal advocates and many have gone as far as to compare these industries to the human institution of slavery. Animal advocates who endorse such arguments often fight for the protection of these animals and make large donations to Friends of Animals, Mercy for Animals, and PETA supporting improvements in animal welfare. Yet, rarely does their concern extend to household pets.
However, many of these organizations are not only opposed to the inhumane treatment of animals, but to pet ownership as well. Each year approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters, and of those 2.7 million are euthanized. Consequently, animal rights activists are vehemently against the breeding of animals for domestication and prefer that individuals adopt animals from pounds and animal shelters as oppose to purchasing them from pet stores or breeders.
Animal advocates who purchase pets from these businesses therefore, are merely cherry picking forms of Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal ethics | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal ethics, animal rights, pet ownership, pets | 5 Comments »
Posted on July 30, 2015 by jennifermolidor
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. Why has Cecil reached our hearts when so many other animals are poached (and, animal advocates remind us, so many other animals suffer every day)? Why is everyone – from animal advocates to hunters to talk show hosts to the New York Times and the Guardian – so horrified by this brutal killing? The answer lies in freedom.
Cecil, a 13-year old lion, lived safe in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe under legal protection. But he was unfairly lured out of his refuge, tricked by poachers who tied a dead animal carcass to the back of a truck. Father to many cubs (who will likely now die), Cecil was an easy target while eating. Minnesota dentist and trophy-hunter Walter James Palmer then shot Cecil with an arrow. But Cecil suffered for 40 hours before he was tracked down, killed with a rifle, beheaded, and skinned. His body was left to rot in the sun.
His head—with its distinctive (and incriminating for the trophy-killer) black mane–was missing, along with the now notorious Walter Palmer (the head has now been turned over to Zimbabwean authorities).
Cecil wore a GPS tracking collar, as part of an Oxford University research project. Ironically, Oxford’s study challenges the ridiculous notion that killing animals incentivizes the public to conserve them (and conserve them for more killing, i.e. “hunting”). So it is simply beyond reason to believe Palmer didn’t notice that collar when he shot Cecil, twice, once using a crossbow scope and 40 hours later using a rifle scope, or when Palmer later skinned and decapitated the lion. Palmer is a marksman with at least 43 large game animals on his killing resume (according to the Safari Club International, who has now revoked Palmer’s membership), including a rhino, a lion previous to Cecil, a cougar, a leopard, a polar bear, and an illegally killed black bear (for which Palmer was convicted). Damage to Cecil’s collar suggests Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal law, Cecil the Lion | 9 Comments »
Posted on June 12, 2015 by Seth
Saratoga, WI is a small town in central Wisconsin. Set on the banks of the Wisconsin River, this community of a few thousand people is likely not a major destination for tourists roaming through the state, but by all appearances it seems a typical mid-western settlement from the 19th century that evolved into a small town befitting a Prairie Home Companion yarn. It is also the setting of an ongoing fight between the community and a proposed CAFO, one that has drawn intense public ire. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, climate change, factory farms, Uncategorized, veganism, vegetarianism | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal welfare, CAFOS, climate change, dairy, dairy farms, EIS, Environmental Impact Statement, factory farms, farmed animals, global warming, Golden Sands Dairy, industrial farming, Jim Wysocki, Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors, Saratoga, veganism, vegetarianism, WI, Wisconsin, Wysocki Produce Farms | 1 Comment »