September 2012

OTHER NATIONS VOICES

“…living by voices we shall never hear.”

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • The Big Lick: High-steppin’ cruelty
  • Stop the Animal Holocaust: An Israeli speaks
  • If animals could vote…
  • Two big animal wins…and an Other Nations blog redux
  • Old mules put down for museum display  
  • The tail end: Wag it! Two happy ending videos

High-steppin’ cruelty: Does it ever turn out well for animals when their name is coupled with the word industry? How far will some high-stakes competitors go to win? Who with a shred of humanity would apply caustic chemicals to a horse’s legs–then wrap them in plastic wrap to “cook” the chemicals into the flesh (greater pain being the goal)? And why would spectators cheer when tormented horses flinch in pain with every step? What kind of sick madness is this?!?  The answer is at our blog.

Source: AP/Amy Sancetta

The endless animal holocaust: Animal rights activists are sometimes wary about making the obvious comparisons between The Holocaust and the ongoing animal holocaust of factory farming. Many are sensitive to and concerned about offending those who survived or lost loved ones in one of humankind’s most despicable acts of inhumanity. Yet the similarities are impossible to miss, and to say that the comparisons ‘offend’ might be considered speciesist by still others.  

Now comes “Stop the Animal Holocaust,” written by an Israeli and appearing on the opinion page of Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Excerpt:

From my point of view, the ongoing holocaust of animals is as terrible and horrific as the Holocaust of people. Both were perpetrated on living creatures. The one group suffered and the other group continues to suffer. Then the world declined to intervene and now the world declines to intervene.

In my eyes, there is no difference between one kind of suffering and another. The only difference is that the holocaust of the animals can be stopped.  ~Haaretz: click for entire text

Said Jewish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991): “In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.” Singer’s bio is here; an exhibition of his life is here. The book Eternal Treblinka: Our treatment of animals and the Holocaust can be examined here.

The race for the White House is on…if only animals could vote! Neither major party offers anything directly for animal activists and the billions of sentient creatures with whom we share our country and earth, though the Dems give a nod to  ‘preserving habitats’ and addressing global climate change. The Green Party, however, includes the “Ethical Treatment of Animals” in its platform, under the heading Ecological Sustainability. We’d prefer to see it fall under Social Justice, but it’s hard to quibble about that when the text starts like this:

Cruelty to animals is repugnant and criminal. The mark of a humane and civilized society lies in how we treat the least protected among us. To extend rights to other sentient, living beings is our responsibility and a mark of our place among all of creation. We call for an intelligent, compassionate approach to the treatment of animals.

We reject the belief that our species is the center of creation, and that other life forms exist only for our use and enjoyment. Our species does not have the right to exploit and inflict violence on other creatures simply because we have the desire and power to do so. Our ethic upholds not only the value of biological diversity and the integrity and continuity of species, but also the value of individual lives and the interest of individual animals (full text goes on to outline policies).

Legal strides and big wins for animals: Remember attempts to legalize coyote and fox penning in Indiana? Wherein wild animals are chased to exhaustion in pens (and sometimes ripped apart) by hunting dogs while the dog “owners” get their jollies and pen operators get their cash? (See Other Nations blog entry, “Coyote and fox penning: Tell Indiana NO!) Late in August, an Indiana trial judge issued a decision in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) case against the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR).

While the decision was a win for ALDF in several ways—the IDNR tried to get the case thrown out of court, and the judge refused to do so—it marked a major victory for wild animals in Indiana. For the first time ever, an Indiana judge ruled that members of the general public had standing to sue the government for harm done to wild animals. ~ALDF blog

Remember the atrocious “Snapperfest” of Indiana shame and the worldwide outrage it provoked? Wherein grown men tormented turtles in a show of, um, courage and prowess? (See “Snapperfest -or- Hoosiers gone wild (and stupid)” at our blog). We’re here to tell you that Snapperfest bites…the dust! Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) led the charge; read their news release here. A million thanks to ALDF and their partners for their tireless work.

Old mules forced to buy the farm: The American Museum of Agriculture (Lubbock, TX) has “put down two mules for a permanent farming exhibit. …In a statement, the museum said the aging mules were no longer sound or strong enough for normal use.” Wow, normal use was all they were good for? No golden retirement years for these guys. But “a life is a life,” says an animal cruelty investigator and ranch animal sanctuary owner who’s protesting the action. Read the full story, with accompanying newscast video, here.

The tail end: WAG IT!  Two videos to make you smile. First, “Ben the bear is free!” His joy in the pool will be your joy–read his story here. Then, a baby badger gets a bath…and a rinse…and a spin cycle…and survives with a nice, clean coat. And we get yet another great reason to conserve water!