Breeding Ignorance

David Cassuto

Wherever you go, there it is.  Or something like that.  Settling into Rio means (for me, anyway) drinking my bodyweight in tropical juices and running on the beach.  It also means working really hard on my Portuguese, which involves spending a lot of time with the dictionary and the newspaper.  Of course, some articles are easier to understand than others because the context is so familiar.

For example, when I see a picture of a muzzled dog and a headline that says `Projeto de lei quer punir dono de´pit bull que fizer vítimas,´ my dictionary becomes less necessary.  The proposed law labels 17 breeds of dog as dangerous, aiming particularly at pit bulls who are barred from reproducing (it may be my [lack of] language skills but the ban doesn´t seem to aim at breeders but rather at the dogs themselves).  And the law would require that Continue reading

Habeas for Chimps

David Cassuto

I will soon be blogging from Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, to be precise).  More about that soon.  While in Rio, here‘s a case I’ll be following:

Jimmy is a 26 year old chimpanzee who has spent several years alone in a cage, where he’s on exhibit at a zoo in Niterói, Brazil, just outside of Rio de Janeiro.  Just last week, animal protection groups filed a motion to have Jimmy released on grounds of Habeas Corpus, arguing that he is being denied his rights to freedom of movement and to a decent life, in Rio’s Criminal Court.  Continue reading