Animals Australia Unleashed – click image
The Chinese lunar new year arrived recently, and regardless of whether you’re in the sheep or the goat camp, for the purpose of this post I wish you a Happy Year of the Sheep! Of course, there’s nothing happy about live export, perhaps only the worst fate to befall any given sheep on Planet Earth. Shame on Australia!
But wait a minute, Yanks–let’s don’t get too smug. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Farm Animals are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) only when used in biomedical research, testing, teaching and exhibition. Farm animals used for food and fiber or for food and fiber research are not regulated under the AWA” (source). This puts a sheep between a rock and a hard place–protected by welfare standards in biomedical research labs, but not in factory farms. Hmmm. Which hell would you choose?!? Continue reading
Posted in Animal exploitation, Animal research, Animal rights, Diet, Environment, Factory farming, Hunting, Montana, Wildlife
Tagged bighorn sheep, live export, sanctuary, sheep, wool
They’re eating me out of house and home! Idioms, as you know, are shorthand codes for more complex ideas. As I read Lisa Kemmerer’s latest offering, “Eating Earth: Environmental Ethics & Dietary Choice,” I kept returning to that idiomatic gluttonous guest or the self-centered roommate who mindlessly consumes such a vast quantity of our household resources that we’re headed for ruin.
Now consider what happens when that gluttonous dweller is Homo sapiens and the “house and home” is our planet. That’s the premise in “Eating Earth,” a readable, thoroughly-referenced book “written both for environmentalists and animal activists, explor(ing) vital common ground between these two social justice movements–dietary choice” (from the book’s jacket). Continue reading
Posted in Animal exploitation, Animal rights, Diet, Environment, Factory farming, Fish, Global warming, Hunting, predators, vegan/vegetarian, Wildlife
You’re busy, I know. You’re busy working and playing and doing a million crazy, diverse things that Americans do in our big, crazy, diverse country. That’s just who we are, and that’s what makes us awesome.
But right now, I’m going to cherry-pick a few things we share. We’re nuts about wildlife–amiright?!? In 2011, a whopping 71.8 million of us–that was 30% of the U.S. adult population–identified as dedicated wildlife watchers in a once-every-five-years national Census survey. We spent a bundle–$54.9 billion–on wildlife watching that year.
According to the same report, 12.3 million of us visited parks and other natural areas to view wildlife (pg. 36). And in 2012, a National Parks Conservation Association poll found that “95 percent of voters see protecting and supporting the National Parks as an appropriate role for the federal government.” In one survey question, protecting natural habitats, plants and wildlife was ranked the top value of six possibilities. Continue reading
Posted in Animal exploitation, Animal rights, Endangered species, Environment, Hunting, Montana, Wild bison, Wildlife
Tagged bison slaughter, brucellosis, Buffalo Field Campaign, Yellowstone
Photo: LA Progressive; click image
ex-ploi-ta-tion (noun): the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
Animal exploitation comes in many shapes and sizes and often involves soul-crushing cruelty–think factory farming, circus slavery, vivisection. But is exploitation always cruel? What constitutes cruelty, anyhow? And who defines it? If you’re the animal, these questions are meaningless: When you’re suffering–whether physically, emotionally, or both–you simply want it to stop. If you’re the animal rights activist, your definition of what’s exploitive and cruel is holistic and vastly broader than that of the person who “owns” animals–ponies, for example–and benefits financially from their work in the pony ride ring. Though they might be well cared-for, is their forced labor unfair? Is it cruel? Is it OK because they’re valued and loved? Just like the tethered ponies, this argument goes ’round and ’round. Continue reading
LionAid photo; click image
Tuesday, 1/27/15 at 11:59pm EST: LAST DAY TO COMMENT! Link to comment is below.
From the Have Your Cake & Eat It Too Department: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced that it intends to list the African lion as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) … while continuing to allow the importation of lion trophies by American trophy hunters under a permit system.
Who’s hailing this decision as a victory?
Safari Club International applauded the proposal as a win for hunters and a loss for conservation groups that sought the endangered designation that would have prohibited the importation of trophies, a big lure for hunters.
“This conclusion is a blow to the anti-hunting rhetoric put forward by organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and International Fund for Animal Welfare,” the group said. ~The Washington Post
Click for Leaping Bunny
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~The Lorax
The students were looking forward to my visit, the teacher revealed before their arrival in the classroom. They’d been studying the use of animals in cosmetics testing and education when she initially contacted me to ask about a guest speaker.
As a former teacher myself–and one who’s spent some time with 8th graders–I had judiciously inquired about the use of graphic images. The shocking side of animal testing for cosmetic use and vivisection can be too upsetting and graphic for this student group, she told me, mentioning their empathic natures. Continue reading
US Fish & Wildlife Service photo
“Grizzly bear euthanized due to history of conflicts.” “Montana wildlife officials euthanize problem grizzly bear.” “Old grizzly euthanized, tried to get into building.” “Intrusive grizzly euthanized.” “28-year-old grizzly euthanized.”
Those Montana headlines greeted us a few days ago. This must have been one dangerous bear. Intrusive. A “problem bear.” An habitual offender. Continue reading
“I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness…I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization… what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World.”
~Henry David Thoreau, from the essay, “Walking” (1862)
We’re in the midst of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, signed into law by Pres. Lyndon Johnson on Sept. 3, 1964–102 years after Thoreau delivered his famous dictum. It took Howard Zahniser, the bill’s primary author, eight years (after introduction in 1956), 65 rewrites, and 18 public hearings to get the job done with overwhelming bi-partisan support (those were the days!). Today, 109,511,038 acres of congressionally-designated wilderness compose the 758 units of the National Wilderness Preservation System managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Continue reading
Posted in Animal exploitation, Animal rights, Environment, Hunting, Montana, predators, Trapping, Wildlife, Wolves
Tagged Henry David Thoreau, wilderness, Wilderness Act
Predatory jackrabbit. Click image – witness lagomorphs’ vicious nature.
Jim Harper photo – en-wikipedia
The Environmental Assessment has been issued; comment deadline is Oct. 16, 2014. Details at end of post.
Q: What do coyotes, skunks, weasels, jackrabbits, raccoons, starlings, and grey wolves in Idaho have in common?
A: An arsenal of bullets heading their way.
Why? All are designated as predators by Idaho Fish and Game. And unless we–you and I–send a clear message to federal land managers about the value of these animals on our taxpayer-supported public lands, they will be in the crosshairs on 3,100,000 acres (Challis, Salmon, and Upper Snake Field Offices of the Idaho Falls BLM District) during another competitive killing derby slated for early January 2015. It’s sponsored by predator hate group Idaho for Wildlife, and follows their first, controversial derby held last winter–that one limited to coyotes and wolves. This time, they’re seeking a 5-year federal special recreation permit for their expanded death-fest. Continue reading
“It’s farming. It is just a different type of farming.” So said Larry Schultz in a bid to move his bobcat fur farm from North Dakota–away from the hustle and bustle of booming Bakken shale oil production–to Fergus County, Montana.
The term “fur farm” makes stomachs churn with apprehension—if not horror–depending on how much one already knows. These shadowy enterprises don’t throw their doors open to public scrutiny, so what we know of them comes from undercover investigative reports and video. But calling it “farming” can’t legitimize an ethically-bereft industry that turns sentient, nonhuman animals into jacket trim. Continue reading