June-July 2011

OTHER NATION VOICES
…living by voices we shall never hear.

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • Horse slaughter: What would Jesus do?
  • When’s the last time YOU were compared to Hitler?
  • “Goth kitten” perp’s conviction upheld
  • Britain gets it right: Bans circus animals
  • Have you supported a CAFO today?
  • Awesome Australian kid cages self in protest
  • Animal activist’s summer reading list
  • Leave you smiling, times two

Horse slaughter: What would Jesus do?
Proponents of horse slaughter have reared their heads again and are braying loudly. Why? Senate Bill 1176, The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, has been introduced into the 112th Congress with bipartisan support. This bill will “…amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes.” Apparently there’s much to dislike here if you’re in the horse industry and rely on institutional exploitation to keep your concerns humming along. Then again, if you possess a heart and a sense of justice, there’s much to abhor about horse slaughter (graphic). Continue reading at our blog.

Hitler loved animals…Hitler was a vegetarian…and your point is…?  The same pro-horse slaughter/Christian horse rescue group has ‘revealed’ what’s behind the animal rights agenda in an opinion piece replete with fallacies, conspiracy overtones, and downright foolishness. The Humane Society of the U.S. is a big bogeyman, apparently, and, well, read it for yourself if so inclined. If not inclined, and especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan who cares about animals, you should at least read this:

“Hitler was a vegetarian. And Hitler held animals in very high regard. He even assembled a team of trainers who tried to teach dogs to talk. Killed millions of human beings, but is reported to have revered animals. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.”

The question (or at least, one question) is, what is “just a coincidence”? That vegetarians/vegans who care about animal suffering are Adolf’s bff? Isn’t that the implication? That they are no better than history’s greatest tyrant? It’s awfully easy to shoot this sorry (and entirely juvenile) comparison full of holes.

“Hitler as vegetarian”: You can find claims that he was; you can also find claims from a chef who served him that he loved his stuffed squab (pigeon). You can find claims that he became vegetarian later in life because of gastric problems, not for moral reasons.  (Even tyrants get tummy aches.)

You’ve probably already had your own insights about the killing of millions of humans and the killing of billions of animals each year in factory farms and slaughter houses (or “harvesting houses” as this author calls them). If you haven’t already, check out Eternal Treblinka, see what you think.

How would you respond to this pathetic insinuation? Let’s not forget that Christians in history perpetrated everything from the Crusades to the Inquisition to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, and Atilla the Hun rode a horse.

Coincidence? No–even less. Meaningless.

Goth kitten case: conviction upheld: The perpetrator’s defense was the vagueness of the cruelty law–it didn’t spell out that she couldn’t pierce the kitten’s ears and neck with large needles, install hardware, and band the tail to cause it to fall off. (Then sell the kitten online as a Goth accessory.) You can’t make up stuff like this.

On-again, off-again ban sticks; animals banned from circuses in Britain! Check out the fiery speech by the Parliamentarian who was first bribed (then threatened) to withdraw the ban.

Have you supported a CAFO today? Processed lunchmeat. Hotdog. Chicken nuggets. Fast food burger or meat taco. All are the products of CAFOs–concentrated animal feeding operations.  Watch a well-produced, 3-minute video trailer for a book entitled CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories.

Protest in a cage: Remember the Florida middle school girl who refused to dissect a frog and was taunted by her teacher (reported in our Feb. newsletter)? Here’s another great kid–this one an Australian–who has something to say about puppy mills, and found an inspired way to do it. Says she: “If I, as a young person, can do something then why can’t adults step up and put a stop to this cruel practice?” Why, indeed.

In Montana, ranchers and ag people made sure a modest puppy mill regulation bill never got out of the House Ag Committee. (Regulate puppies today and tomorrow you’ll want humane standards for livestock!) An overly-broad definition of agriculture–one that includes puppy mills–is one way to keep exploitation under wraps, as noted by the New York Times in this editorial about bills to outlaw undercover investigations in factory farms. The “ag gag” bills mentioned in the editorial–including an additional one in New York–have been defeated.

Animal Activist’s Summer Reading List: OK, it’s not a list, it’s just two books. It’s summer, fer cryin’ out loud. But if you’re new to thinking about animal rights, you can’t go wrong with something from Marc Bekoff. He’s a super readable ethologist (ethology = scientific study of animal behavior, particularly in natural habitats) who makes a great case for animals’ emotional and moral lives.

Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully. This isn’t an animal rights book by any means (it comes down more on the side of our compassion as stewards for the lesser and the weak), but page after page I was blown away by the brilliant writing and vivid descriptions. Scully is a staunch conservative–speechwriter to Geo. W. Bush and Sarah Palin. But reading this book doesn’t mean you have to agree with him, although you’ll find that you do now and again…or again and again. Here’s a recent review and an interview from 2002.

Leave you smiling times two: This one’s been around a few years, but if you haven’t seen it, you’ll be on the edge of your seat watching these elephants come together to save one of their babies in danger of drowning. The power of the other nations! And, cats and dogs…there’s a lesson here.