Posted on November 3, 2014 by David
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. Freshwater species were the most impacted with a decline of 73%. The report also found that the primary causes of the decline are habitat loss, degradation and exploitation through hunting and fishing.
It is clear that the culprits are humans. The report states that we need 1.5 Earths in order to “meet the demands humanity currently makes on nature.” In other words, humans need to reduce their overall ecological footprint, most significantly carbon emissions. The United States utilizes 13.7% of the world’s resources landing second only to China who accounts for Continue reading
Filed under: animal law, environmental law | Tagged: animal population, environmental advocacy, environmental ethics, environmental law, species population decline | 4 Comments »
Posted on September 5, 2014 by David
I am delighted to announce that The Pace Environmental Law Review has published an issue dedicated exclusively to animal law. It is the first Environmental Law Review to do so and its publication marks a tremendous step forward for both disciplines. The articles are available for download via Digital Commons. The Table of Contents is below. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, animal scholarship | Tagged: animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, environmental advocacy, environmental ethics, environmental law | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 19, 2014 by David
I was in Taiji, Japan – the dolphin hunting capital of the world – when I read Kathleen Stachowski’s wonderful Animal Blawg on the ubiquity of speciesism. Kathleen observes: “speciesism is everywhere and so thoroughly normalized that it’s invisible in plain sight”. I nodded my head when I read this, as I’ve thought it many times as I stood on the shore of Taiji’s cove helplessly watching dolphins being herded to their deaths – the cruelty is so extreme and horrifying, yet it seems to be hidden in plain sight to those inflicting it.
In Taiji, such hunts take place nearly every day for half the year, annually capturing around 2,000 small whales (dolphins, porpoises and pilot whales). As the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling does not apply to small whales – or at least, is argued not to by pro-whaling countries – small whales are sadly afforded no international legal protection. Thus, despite the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, which is enforced to a degree in relation to large whales, tens of thousands of small whales continue to be killed every year in commercial hunts in Japan, Peru and other countries.
These hunts are not only conservationally damaging, but unspeakably Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty | Tagged: Action for Angel, animal abuse, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, Australia for Dolphins, dolphin hunt, environmental ethics, Tajii, The Cove | 4 Comments »
Posted on November 26, 2013 by David
Overpopulation of humans, what does this mean?
Generally, people are using resources more rapidly than they can be regenerated. According to the Animal Welfare Institute the affects of overconsumption of resources by humans is currently having adverse effects across the world. Aside from the obvious consequences overpopulation creates for humans, there is a very real and dangerous affect for animals.
What is the affect of overpopulation on animals?
There is no simple answer to this question. The demand created by humans exceeds the available resources, causing these resources to be depleted at a rate that rejuvenation cannot keep up with. An example of this can be seen through the increased demand for food due to overpopulation. For many people, this involves the consumption of meats. This causes an increase in food production, such as grains, that is then used to feed livestock, that is then consumed by humans. In order to meet the demand for these grains and livestock, more land is taken away from wildlife. Therefore, not only are more animals being consumed due to the population growth, more of their habitat is also taken away. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal rights | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, Animal Welfare Institute, environmental advocacy, environmental ethics, environmentalism, overpopulation | 7 Comments »
Posted on November 12, 2013 by David
On October 11, California became the first state to ban lead in hunting ammunition. “Lead poses a danger to wildlife,” said California Governor Jerry Brown in a signing message. “This danger has been known for a long time.” The ban will help to protect a number of mammal and bird species, including the endangered California Condor.
The California Condor nearly went extinct in the 1980s – by 1982, their population had dwindled to twenty-two. Thanks to a successful captive breeding program, that number has increased to 424, but lead from ammunition remains a major threat to their recovery. Continue reading
Filed under: animal law, environmental law | Tagged: animal law, California Condor, endangered species, environmental ethics, environmental law, lead ammunition | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 26, 2013 by David
Once again, the Shameless Self-Promotion Desk whirs into action. This new piece, forthcoming in the South Texas Law Review, is a transcription of a lecture I gave there last spring. Here is the abstract:
What are the ethics behind factory farming? What are the ethical implications? This essay (transcribed from a lecture given at the South Texas College of Law) focuses on the environmental implications while defining those environmental implications through the lens of animal law and ethics.
Farms have become factories, and the animals raised in those factories are simply commodities. That is why we cannot have a discussion about Continue reading
Filed under: animal ethics, animal law | Tagged: animal ethics, animal law, environmental ethics, environmental law, factory farming, industrial agriculture | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 25, 2013 by cdillard2013
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 points a bit out of order), before drawing back to the theme of this blog in order to explain why the right not only survives their appraisal, but can simultaneously satisfy environmental, human, and animal interests.
1. Primary in what sense, and based on what evidence?
Jeff raises a challenge to the idea of a primary right by arguing that the term implies universal acceptance. Because, Jeff argues, many people will reject the value of being alone in the wilderness the right cannot be universal and therefore fails. First, it’s not clear to me that the Tembé would not recognize something like a right to wilderness or the nonhuman, given their historic struggle to preserve the rainforest around them. Second, as Joe notes, whether the Tembé actually recognize the right and underlying value or not does not defeat the right, any more than Hutu leaders’ failure to recognize the universal right of all peoples to be free from genocide, and the GOP’s recent refusal to recognize universal rights for the disabled that trump parental authority, prove that those rights are wrong. As discussed below, this is in part because claiming a right is like saying “you ought to do this,” which cannot be proven wrong with the response “we don’t/won’t do that” (this is simply the difference between an “ought” and an “is”). The responding party might not do the thing or want to do the thing, but perhaps they still ought to. The universality of particular rights derives not from universal acceptance, but from logical arguments that deduce the particular rights from things all humans – because of certain social and biological shared characteristics – will value, whether they admit it or not, see e.g. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Filed under: animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal scholarship, climate change, endangered species, environmental ethics, environmental law, Uncategorized | Tagged: animal rights, environmental ethics, environmental law, exit, human rights, privacy, wilderness | Leave a comment »