OTHER NATIONS VOICES
“…living by voices we shall never hear” (see our slideshow)
IN THIS ISSUE:
- BLOG: “Cecil and Obie: Owning animals, dead or alive”
- Campaign launched to ban fur farming across Europe
- When do activists hurt their own cause?
- Trophy hunting the great bear
- Mice & rats: Stand up and count off!
- Evangelicals release animal welfare statement: “Every Living Thing”
- QUICK LINKS: just stuff FYI & without all the blather
- The tail end: WAG IT!
BLOG UPDATE: “Cecil and Obie: Owning animals, dead or alive” – Cecil the lion is dead–slain by a small and hollow man. Obie the tiger cub mascot lives on–in captive purgatories stretching back 45 years, one for each of 45 Obies. His adoring supporters love the mascot—not the unique tiger cub plugged into the role annually. What do Cecil and Obie have in common? How are state laws helping or hurting captive wild animals? Read more here.
WILL EUROPE BAN FUR FARMING? – Here’s an ambitious and worthy goal: Let’s ban fur farming across the European Union! The European Campaign for Animal Rights (ECAR, website) recently launched just such a campaign, calling on members of the European Parliament to give special attention to the plight of mink. Said the campaign director, “The practice of fur farming is cruel. Mink are essentially wild animals. They have not been selectively bred for any other characteristic than their fur. Mink are by nature unsuited to life in captivity, especially in the dirty and cramped cages used on fur farms” (source). She went on to cite the European Commission’s own Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare 2001 report–which also supported that view–and added that “(t)he EU has a duty to lead the way and ban this cruelty to animals across Europe.” Six thousand fur farms operate in the EU, which accounts for 63% of global mink production and 70% of fox production (source: petition at Change.org).
Montanans will recall that it’s been a year since a proposed Fergus County bobcat fur farm–subsequently licensed by the state–raised hackles in the activist community here. If you missed it and wish to get caught up on the sick details, read “Fur farms: Whom would Jesus skin?” at the Other Nations blog. This piece provides links that will educate, infuriate, and horrify…but knowledge is power.
WHEN DO ANIMAL ACTIVISTS HURT THEIR OWN CAUSE? Recently, French animal rights activists confiscated a puppy from a homeless man on the street in Paris; the obviously heavy-handed action was caught on video by a passerby and posted online. It prompted a tidal wave of criticism aimed at the group, which countered that the man was not homeless, but a Roma (formerly called gypsies) who was misusing the dog to beg for money. Later, the group made public in a Facebook post the news that they had named the dog “Vegan,” at which–I must admit–I grimaced. Is this the best way to promote the compassion and justice of veganism? If the puppy actually was in an abusive situation, could a different approach have been employed–say, could they have offered to purchase the dog from the man? At best, the incident serves as a good reminder to activists to always evaluate the action, the audience, and what we hope to accomplish.
TROPHY HUNTING THE GREAT BEAR – It’s the British Columbia government vs. First Nations. It’s trophy hunters vs. grizzly bears. The Coastal First Nations banned griz trophy hunting in 2012, but the provincial government continues to issue permits. Now the First Nations are vowing to “do whatever it takes” to stop the killing. “It’s wrong on so many levels. Ethically, it’s not supported, but I know in my culture as well it’s not supported,” said one chief. According to this Vancouver Sun article, the vast majority of British Columbians are against trophy hunting. And who wouldn’t be, after viewing the horror in a gone-viral hunting video? If you’ve visited the Other Nations website or Facebook page recently, you might have already seen the video that has sparked tremendous outrage. View an edited version in a newscast here–or the entire video (be forewarned–very disturbing) here. Petition signers can apply themselves here and here. Stop the Grizzly Killing is on Facebook.
Currently in the U.S., grizzlies are listed as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act, but bear managers are considering delisting populations in the Northern Continental Divide (Montana) and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems. Get ready to rumble!
MICE & RATS: STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! As noted in newsletters past, mice and rats (and fish) used in laboratory research and testing are not covered under the Animal Welfare Act. Not only are they not covered–they’re not even counted, even though they make up the vast majority of animals used. But now a Congressman from Florida, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D), wants to change that with the construction of “a centralized database on the number of animals used and held at federally-funded institutions.” In his request for a feasibility study, he said he was writing to “inquire about improving transparency in animal research at taxpayer-funded laboratories and the effectiveness of programs aimed at minimizing animals use” (source). Want to thank the congressman at his Facebook page? Rats and mice are sentient beings who show empathy, yet they’re bred by the millions only so their lives can be squandered with impunity and without accounting in labs: Rat empathy (video; video); mouse empathy (article about a truly hideous experiment). And here’s an offering from ethologist/biologist Marc Bekoff: “Rats vs. mice in research: Were we ‘more humane’ years ago? Why do researchers ignore what science has told us about animal sentience?”
EVANGELICALS RELEASE STATEMENT & VIDEO ON ANIMAL WELFARE – Evangelicals are set to release a major statement on animal welfare. “Every Living Thing: An Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals” “declares all animals are deserving of compassion, and challenges the faithful to work for their protection and preservation” (source: HuffPost). Will this mean the end of factory farming and the advent of a New Vegan World Order? Call me skeptical (several times you’ll read that God “gave animals into our hand and for food”), but check it out for yourself: declaration here; video here; Facebook page here. I’ve long believed that recruiting people of faith to animal activism is vital–that’s why you’ll find a long list of varied faith resources at the Other Nations ‘vegan & ethical living’ page. Scroll down until you find it here.
- “11,000 ear tags” is a haunting photo representing the number of animals killed in one day…in one slaughterhouse.
- “The hidden war on wildlife: Killing contests in North America” – Animal rights activists will find a few inconsistencies here (e.g., the sharp divide between wildlife and “livestock”), but this Project Coyote video is worth your time.
- “Boxing orangutans a throwback as Thailand embraces animal rights” – Bikini tops and mini-skirts. Alcohol. Boxing gloves. At a zoo. See Business Insider.
- Selfies with rattlers – Our species’ antics never cease to amaze. What, me worry? Respect animals instead of turning them into props? *pshaw* Here & here.
- Exotic animal “pet” ownership – Five states–no laws at all; 14 require permits/licenses; 12 ban some animals but allow others; 19 ban ownership. Find out where your state stands…here. Exotics should not be bred or sold as pets. Link.
- “Judge rules against Georgia aquarium in its quest for beluga whales.” SeaWorld had been in line to get several of them “through a breeding loan.” Here.
- “Puppy parties: The latest in prime-time support of puppy mills” – here. Don’t miss the fawning “Today” show segment.
- “Advice from a vegan cardiologist” – the doctor’s own LDL (bad cholesterol) was at 170 when he took personal action. New York Times “Well” blog.
- Lek, the elephant whisperer of Chiang Mai (Thailand) – “I trust to stay under elephant…more than I walk on the street.” Click.
- Surf’s up! Photographer unwittingly captures a seal riding a humpback whale during a feeding frenzy in Australia. Click.
- Don’t be sheepish about it–dance like no one is watching! – here.
- From the Other Nations Facebook page: Proof that species doesn’t have to divide us–watch as a little duck shares food with her fish friends.
- A tiny being is rescued from a cistern and given sanctuary. Click.