February 2013


“…living by voices we shall never hear.”


  • Blog: Dogfighting in Montana; Bacon roses for your Valentine
  • When I say “Butterball,” you say. . . “cruelty conviction”!
  • ALDF: Top Ten Animal Defenders 
  • Iditarod: Oh my achin’ dogs!
  • Murmuration: A bird ballet
  • Cheese puts the squeeze on dairy cows
  • “Babe” actor Cromwell arrested in U. Wisconsin protest
  • Bad ideas: bounty on sea otters; poisoned-mouse airdrop 
  • The tail end: Wag it! (Join the ManaTEE PARTY)

“Spectating at dogfights: Still legal thanks to…rodeo?” In a new round of the Shame Game, Montana wins (loses?) again thanks to the work of morally-challenged legislators in Helena. Find out why the Treasure State still ranks dead last in state dogfighting laws, and what rodeo cruelty has to do with it. Find it here.

“Valentine’s Day: Nothing says “I want you (and the pig) dead” like bacon roses”   Adorable piggies…bacon…and cognitive dissonance. Oh, and Bonnie, the precious piglet mascot at Iowa’s Bacon Fest. Honestly (how many times must we say it) you can’t make this stuff up. Look here; you’ll also find great tips for Valentine’s Day next year.

BUTTERBALL ABUSERS FACE PUNISHMENT: How bad is it at Butterball? Bad. Really bad. So bad that it’s a travesty to “give thanks” over the abused body of one of these birds. But here’s the good news. Back in November and December of 2011, our heroes at Mercy for Animals went undercover to document the heinous cruelty at Butterball factory farm operations. Just last week, two more criminal cruelty convictions were handed down to Butterball employees (five were charged earlier with misdemeanor and felony cruelty). Read more at Huffington Post. Both links allow you to access some of the undercover video. Despite Butterball’s cooperation and claims about turkey well-being, there’s only one sure way to stop the cruelty: stop eating them.

ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND’S Top 10 Animal Defenders – Our other heroes at ALDF just wrapped up their National Justice for Animals Week; click here to meet those honored as America’s top ten animal defenders. To them we offer endless thanks on behalf of the other animal nations. For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Watch their inspiring music video here.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE IDITAROD SLED DOG RACE? It’s over 1000 miles long. It supposedly commemorates the urgent 1925 Anchorage to Nome diphtheria serum delivery. They say the dogs love it because dogs love to run. That pretty much covers what I thought I knew about it. But here are some additional facts: The first modern-day Iditarod was in 1973; since then, over 140 dogs have died, according to the Sled Dog Action Coalition. The original serum run was actually a relay covering 674 miles, and no dog ran more than 92 miles; today’s race is more a memorial to a musher and is not a relay patterned after the serum run.

Perhaps most telling–or damning–of all is a sponsor list as long as your arm–including everyone from Coca-Cola, Exxon, and Target to Chrysler, Ralph Lauren, and Carhartt. According to Reuters, “The race has evolved from its low-budget roots into a $2.5 million operation that doles out more than $550,000 in cash prizes annually” (article; see also Greed Fuels the Iditarod). The race starts March 2nd; visit the official race website here. For info on dog injuries, illnesses, and stress, click here. Interesting comments from both sides can be found here. One USA Today columnist has called it the “Ihurtadog.”

MURMURATION: Perhaps you’ve seen it already. Lovely it is. Story here; watch it at Vimeo (for a larger screen), here.

Occupy for Animals-click

CHEESE PUTS THE SQUEEZE ON DAIRY COWS The good news: Per capita fluid milk consumption has dropped by nearly 30% since 1970. The bad news: The per capita cheese consumption has increased by 177%. (Hmmm, what could account for that?!?) The really bad news: “While fluid milk production is pretty straightforward–every pound of milk from a cow’s udders can be sold as a pound of milk in the grocery store–cheese production requires an average of nine pounds of fluid milk for every pound of cheese. This means that cows have to work much harder to produce cheese than milk” (MFA). Check out this website: Counting Animalsa place for people who love animals and numbers. It’s where these statistics came from.  If you’re unfamiliar with the misery that is all things cows’ milk, start out at our blog (“Good grief, Charlie Brown! Dairy milk is misery milk!”) and see where it takes you. May it take you here and here!

“BABE” ACTOR JAMES CROMWELL TO REGENTS: “Research on cats is torture, criminal” – Does anyone listen when a distinguished actor disrupts a regents meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to protest hideously-invasive animal experiments? Judge for yourself (video here). For background on the UW cat research and the charges filed against Cromwell, click here.  Read UW-Madison’s statement here. Watch as animal rights superstar Jane Velez Mitchell moderates a short debate between a UW researcher and PETA personnel.

A bit more on the efficacy of animal testing: “When I read the paper, I was stunned by just how bad the mouse data are. It’s really amazing — no correlation at all. These data are so persuasive and so robust that I think funding agencies are going to take note.” Read more at “Mouse studies may lead scientists astray for sepsis, injury studies,” here. “(Y)ears and billions of dollars have been wasted following false leads,” according to researchers (New York Times). To examine the arguments against animal research, visit the National Anti-Vivisection Society (link). Check out the Frequently Asked Questions under “Animals in Science” in the menu bar.

BAD IDEAS: What could possibly go wrong?
Who doesn’t love sea otters? I’ll tell you who: An Alaska lawmaker who’s proposing a $100 bounty on each legally-killed sea otter. Why? Because sea otters, um, eat other sea creatures. Oh, and guess what, they eat the same sea creatures–shellfish–that the fishing industry is pursuing (read: over-“harvesting”). So what to do? Kill the otters, of course! Not that this lousy bill will go anywhere–states can’t enforce laws or regulations relating to marine mammals, protected by the federal Marine Mammal Act. Said one disgruntled fisherman: “I mean, crab have rights. Clams have rights. Where do sea otters come out being so holy?” Yeah, and those rights that clams and crabs have? The “right” to be “harvested” by humans and served–to humans–with drawn butter. 

And a truly messed-up idea about to be implemented:  Kill baby mice, attach streamers. Coat mice with acetaminophen and drop from planes into the forests of Guam. Streamers will catch on branches where invasive brown tree snakes reside; said snakes are highly susceptible to acetaminophen. You can see where this is going…or maybe not. Nothing could go wrong…right? Full story is here.

The tail end: Wag it!
It’s all manatee, all the time in this month’s Tail End. It started when my friend in Florida (Provokedby the way we use animals) mentioned that the Florida Tea Party had gone after manatees. Seems they (the TP) were honked off because of boating restrictions meant to protect the threatened marine mammals. Yeah, one of the TP leaders even said that 
protecting animals like manatees is wrong because, “We cannot elevate nature above people. That’s against the Bible and the Bill of Rights” (source). That prompted another friend (Creature Quotes: Advancing toward freedom for all species) to send a link to a video of a kayaker getting some friendly ribbing from a manatee. Visit the Save the Manatee Club to learn more about these awesome members of the other nations and for cool manatee stuff.
Ever seen a manatee sneeze?
One-two-three, one-two-three…it’s the Manatee Waltz!
I’m still working on the ManaTEE PARTY platform…the patriots ain’t gonna like it.

Thanks for reading.