Oct. – Nov. 2015


“…living by voices we shall never hear” (see our slideshow)


  • Blog update: “Save a hog, eat a teacher: Challenging animal agriculture”
  • Captivity kills: Elephants and zoos don’t mix
  • Captivity kills, part 2: Dolphins in Las Vegas
  • Monkeys on Mars (it’s still a bad idea)
  • Are animal rights protesters gaining ground?
  • Two items from previous newsletter updated
  • Quick links: Just stuff FYI, without all the blather
  • The tail end: WAG IT!

BLOG UPDATE: “Save a hog, eat a teacher: Challenging animal agriculture”What happens when you criticize animal ag in your local paper? I’ll tell you…but it ain’t necessarily pretty. A local high school bond (it passed) included nearly $600,000 for a “full meat-processing center.” Given all we know about animal ag (resource consumption, climate change, pollution, animal exploitation, violence) and meat consumption (chronic disease), silence wasn’t an option for this taxpayer, animal activist, and former teacher. Find it here

african_elephantCAPTIVITY KILLS: British elephants die while U.S. looks to import 18 for zoo incarceration –  The Chester Zoo in the U.K. (south of Liverpool) breeds elephants–and loses them. “The loss of three-year-old Hari Hi Way and two-year-old Bala Hi Way takes the toll of fatalities among young elephants at Chester Zoo to five in six years” (article). While zoo officials dispute that captivity kills, this opinion piece in National Geographic maintains that there’s no ethical way to keep elephants in captivity.

Here at home, 75 “scientists, conservationists and animal welfare advocates wrote a letter opposing the federal approval of import permits that would send 18 elephants from the South African country of Swaziland to zoos in Wichita, Dallas and Omaha” (article). Read the letter for yourself–and if so moved, add your voice to theirs.
COMMENT OPPORTUNITY: Public comments made to the US Fish & Wildlife Svc., the agency authorizing the importation, are due by midnight, 11/23/15. Click here.

dolphin01CAPTIVITY KILLS, part 2: Dolphin dies in Las Vegas – What are dolphins doing in Lost Wages? Gambling with their lives, apparently. A young (12 years old; they live 40-45 years) bottlenose dolphin died at the Mirage recently–and, like the zoo elephants above, this was just the latest of many dolphin deaths in captivity. Take a look inside the lives of captive dolphins…here.

MONKEYS ON MARS is SSDP (same speciesism, different planet): On November 3rd, the world observed the 58th anniversary (1957) of a dog launched into orbit and her subsequent death from overheating. Laika (image) was the stray Russian street dog chosen to be sacrificed on a one-way shot into orbit for the Soviet space program. Read Time’s interesting piece on the event, and how media from different countries covered it–some with jokes, some with compassion. The Russians, responding to criticism, offered the standard speciesist response: “This has been done not for the sake of cruelty but for the benefit of humanity.” 

So…here we go again. Russian scientists are now training rhesus monkeys (prized for their intelligence) for a mission to Mars in 2017 (Smithsonian.com). According to Wikipedia, many monkeys and apes have gone before: “The first ever primate astronaut was Albert, a rhesus monkey, who on June 11, 1948, rode to over 63 km (39 mi) on a V2 rocket (for the U.S.). Albert died of suffocation during the flight.” Where speciesism is concerned, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

imagesARE ANIMAL RIGHTS PROTESTERS GAINING GROUND? This Canadian columnist seems to think so, in a piece about the Toronto woman charged with “mischief” after giving water to slaughter-bound pigs in a transport carrier on a hot summer day. View video of the incident here; visit Toronto Pig Save here: website, Facebook. Compassion is not a crime! Additionally, the respected Christian Science Monitor addressed this issue in a Nov. 6, 2015 piece, “Amid SeaWorld struggle, signs of a more ‘pro-animal’ future: SeaWorld profits fall short of expectations as circuses, zoos, and grocery stores face public pressure to curb unfair treatment of animals.”

TWO ITEMS UPDATED: The previous Other Nations newsletter (find it here) contained an item from France about an indigent Roma man whose puppy was stolen by animal rights activists. Both a video of the fracas and an ensuing petition to return the puppy went viral; a subsequent report, with scant details, indicates the puppy was reunited with the man. Read French? Visit Cause Animale Nord’s Facebook page.

The other item is about the release of an Evangelical statement and video on animal welfare (links in previous newsletter). Since that time, the “Every Living Thing” campaign has surveyed 1000 Protestant pastors on their beliefs about animal welfare and how they do–or don’t–address the topic with their congregations. A report on that study is here.

quicklynxQUICK LINKS: Just stuff FYI, without all the blather!

  • “These 29 vegan Thanksgiving recipes are an herbivore’s holiday dream come true,” here. Here’s why this matters.
  • U.S. Congressman plans to introduce bill phasing out killer whale shows & prohibiting the breeding of captive orcas. 
  • The psychology & thrill of trophy hunting: Is it criminal?” It can “justifiably be called murder,” says Marc Bekoff.
  • Deaf Empowerment for Animal Freedom (DEAF) uses American Sign Language to fight for animal rights, here
  • Prestigious Cleveland Clinic ousts McDonald’s from hospital cafeteria–says food causes chronic disease. Here. Buh-bye, clown.
  • Impromptu visit to dairy farm reveals sadness and loss inherent in dairy products–yes, even grass-fed and organic– here. An exhaustive list compares plant-based milks here
  • Casualties of the vanishing West: How monied interests are forcefully evicting wild horses” – …formerly protected wild mares are being auctioned for slaughter. Salon (10/31/15).
  • From the Other Nations Facebook page: “Through their eyes” – a birds-eye view of a chick’s entry into the world of industrial farming. Under 3 minuntes; worth a look. Here. Also, Emirates Airline paints a message on a jet: United for wildlife! How do you keep your pork chops from drying out?!? Answer is here. Watch as a suffering sea turtle has a plastic straw extracted from his/her nose by turtle researchers…here.

tailendwagitThe tail end: WAG IT!

  • A long-abused and blind New Mexico dog finds his fur-ever home – here.
  • Pig intelligence: It’s not very *puzzling* at all! Here.
  • The neediest cat in the world (is yours needier?), here.
  • How to have turkey for Thanksgiving – here.
  • Things you should never say to large, obligate carnivores: “Eat your veggies.” “Don’t play with your food.” Here.
  • From the Other Nations Facebook page: Kudos to these Florida officers for a well-executed rescue operation! Here.