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 November 10, 2015 by David
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 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 »
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 »