Posted on October 12, 2015 by David
After reading an article by Michael Pollan about factory farming and following his journey through the meat eating process, I became extremely curious about how people could read something like that and continue to eat the same way they do. I proceeded to watch a documentary that came out last year called Cowspiracy, which explores issues related to animal agriculture. Something about the way the documentary was made, and the information presented in such an effective manner blew my mind. The documentary features many experts in the field, such as Dr. Richard Oppenlander, who has written about the various issues raised in food depletion in his book Comfortably Unaware.
Cowspiracy dives into issues of animal agriculture being the cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution without Continue reading
Filed under: animal law, climate change, environmental ethics | Tagged: animal law, climate change, Cowspiracy, environmental ethics, factory farms, sustainability | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 13, 2015 by David
A great opportunity:
Nonhuman Rights Project
Essential Qualifications and Skills
The Nonhuman Rights Project is seeking an intelligent, creative, self-motivated, and deeply committed attorney with significant civil trial and appellate experience, excellent writing and research skills, an ability to work well both independently and at a distance with others, who possesses the confidence and ability to litigate pro hac vice in multiple state jurisdictions simultaneously and is willing to develop and litigate issues that have never been litigated before at both the trial and appellate levels. A degree in science, philosophy, or history is a plus. This is not an entry-level position. This is an exceptional opportunity to join the civil rights organization that is creating the field of animal rights jurisprudence.
The position would begin January 1, 2016, but we are flexible.
Please send your application packet, combined into a single PDF, which includes each of these documents in the following order: a cover letter, resume/cv, a list of at least three professional references, and a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages) to email@example.com. Please include “Attorney Application” in the subject line of your email. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls please. Continue reading
Filed under: animal law | Tagged: animal law, animal rights, NonhumanRights Project | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 31, 2015 by David Grimm
Credit: Best Friends Animal Society
Nearly half the people who stayed behind during Hurricane Katrina stayed because of their pets. Helicopters and boats would come, but the rescuers largely refused to take cats and dogs. So many owners, unwilling to abandon a family member, refused to go — and many of them died. Others did leave their pets, convinced they would be able to retrieve them in a few days. But officials kept them out for weeks, leaving the animals to fend for themselves. Dogs waited on rooftops, cats clung to debris in toxic waters, and pets starved to death in barricaded homes. Even for a nation grappling with the human tragedy of Katrina, the plight of dogs and cats struck a nerve. The public flooded Congress with letters, and in 2006 the legislature — despite being bitterly divided over war, immigration, and seemingly every Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: animal ethics, animal law, animal personhood, Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act | 4 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 | 8 Comments »
Posted on July 13, 2015 by David
I could not be more proud of my former student and research assistant, Jessica Astrof, for leading the legal battle on this!
The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos along with 20 additional plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court New York to issue an injunction against Hasidic rabbis and synagogues in Brooklyn from participating in “Kaporos,” a highly controversial religious custom which involves the confinement, torture and barbaric slaughter of more than 50,000 chickens on public streets every year during the week preceding the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. The case also names the NYPD, NYC Department of Health and the City of New York for failing to enforce city health laws and animal cruelty laws, among others. The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos was formed in New York City in 2010 as a project of, and under the umbrella of, United Poultry Concerns, founded by Karen Davis, Ph.D. Kaporos using live chickens is also practiced in other cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Los Angeles. See 2014 Brooklyn Kaporos video here: http://bit.ly/1gsvAmw.
The 21 plaintiffs are a group of individuals and residents of the subject locations who have endured the inconvenience, nuisance, filth, stench, public health risk and emotional trauma involved in Kaporos for years. Each plaintiff is gravely concerned about the health risks in their community, the contaminants on the streets and sidewalks and the emotional trauma caused by the bloody animal violence they are forced to witness.
WHAT IS KAPOROS
Kaporos is allegedly a ritual of atonement practiced by Hasidic Jews as part of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The ritual involves practitioners grasping live chickens by their wings and swinging them above the practitioners’ heads. The purpose of this act, followed by the slaughter, is allegedly to transfer the practitioners’ sins and punishment to the birds, allegedly absolving the participants of their sins. In order to conduct the slaughter of the birds, Kaporos involves the erection of make-shift slaughterhouses on the public streets and sidewalks of the City of New York. Dead chickens, half dead chickens, chicken blood, chicken feathers, chicken urine, chicken feces, other toxins and garbage such as used latex gloves and filthy tarps consume the public streets. There is no oversight and no remedy for cleanup. Plaintiffs maintain that operating such illegal public slaughterhouses causes and creates a public nuisance, a public health risk, a public health hazard and a dangerous condition. Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: animal law, animal sacrifice, animal welfare, Kaporos | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 29, 2015 by David
The Bluefin tuna has been on the endangered list for several years. Despite that, there is nothing in place to prevent them from being hunted and eaten. There are no catch limits, so fishermen feel no need to hold back on catching obscene numbers of endangered tuna. A single Bluefin tuna can sell for nearly $2 million. Such profits are of much greater concern to the fishermen than preserving the species. As such, the population has decreased substantially from being continuously hunted while no one seems to care that they are dangerously near extinction.
Hunting the Bluefin harms not only the species, but also the rest of the ecosystem. Because the Bluefin are natural predators, they serve as a major source of population control. They have few predators themselves, so as their population decreases, there will be a natural increase in the smaller animals that the Bluefin eats. Such overpopulation of the Bluefin’s prey can cause other species to become endangered, as an increase in one part of the food chain can mean serious danger to those one step below it. You can learn more about the Bluefin tuna here.
We can only hope the fisherman who profit from the Bluefin tuna will eventually realize their mistake. Because they’ve made such a point to catch as many as they can, they have caught more than can be sustained naturally. They have even hunted baby tuna, which were unable to reproduce. By doing that, the fishermen have almost guaranteed that there will be a substantial population decrease, as the adults have been caught and the young ones with the unused ability to reproduce, have been served on plates as well. While this limit in the population will increase the boon one fish can bring, it will make fishing a more competitive field. This will mean that fishing for these tuna will no longer mean Continue reading
Filed under: animal law, endangered species, environmental law | Tagged: animal law, bluefin, environmental law, overfishing, tuna | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 25, 2015 by David
In spite of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) opposition, Japan has announced, several times, their plans to resume the “taking” of minke whales in the Antarctic for scientific research later this year. Japanese Whale Hunting Negotiator Joji Morishita declared again on June 22, that Japan plans to continue its lethal research of minke whales with or without IWC approval. Morishita was quoted as calling potential international enforcement on these issues “environmental imperialism.” The IWC, back in 1982, imposed the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Since the IWC is a voluntary international commission, nations may choose whether they will or will not abide by its rule. Japan opposed the moratorium, Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law | Tagged: animal law, environmental ethics, environmental law, scientific whaling, whaling | 1 Comment »