August 2013


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


  • Blog update: When wildfire invades the ‘hood
  • War is hell–for ALL species
  • “Crabs have feelings too” (so why are we killing them?)
  • Speak up for wild bison–Sept. 13 comment deadline
  • Quick links: Not a lot of blather…just FYI
  • The tail end: Wag it!

Lolo Creek Complex fire 2013BLOG UPDATE: Our August newsletter is arriving in September thanks to the couple of weeks lost in preparing for the threat of wildfire, in evacuation itself, and then a drawn-out reassembling of the household (still not complete) after the Lolo Creek Complex fire (pictured at left) was contained. “When wildfire comes calling, all priorities shift. Animal rights work slides into oblivion while concern for individual animals–in this case, our own companion animals–sets sirens to shrieking in my head.” “In wildfire’s path: Animal homes, human homes” explores the impact of fire on those of us who choose to live in the sticks…and those who must. It’s at our blog.

WAR IS HELL–for all species: War is a hellish, heinous business. When will our exalted species figure this out? Nowhere else in the Animal Kingdom do we find such coldly calculated, malicious action on so grand a scale against members of one’s own species. The recent deadly gas attack on Syrian citizens is only the latest underscoring of our species’ failure to exercise compassion and justice in the face of differences.

The Daily News reports on the nameless, uncounted, and largely forgotten victims of the gas attack: animals. Piles of dead animals. Click here for story and photo credit.  

A Norwegian crab fisherman has been banned from putting live crabs on display for tourists because “It is not natural for a crab to be exposed to strong light, heat and noise outside water. … Crabs have feelings too, and like other animals they have the right to be treated properly.” This wisdom comes from the country’s food standards regulatory agency, according to Responded the crab exploiter: “They have no proof of this. These are just guesses. Therefore, I can’t accept this.”

Just guesses? Crabs are sentient–of course they have feelings. That’s why it really isn’t nice to kill and eat them (which goes for all sentient beings), let alone steam and boil them alive! We wrote about this abundant proof over two years ago in an Other Nations blog post, “Steamed and boiled alive: Sentience won’t save crabs.” Here’s an excerpt: …let me warn you, this is where things get extremely bizarre–as in, boiling crabs alive, on camera, to prove that they’re sentient.

After that post appeared, the video showing the crab’s futile and heart-wrenching attempts to escape the boiling pot was removed from Crustastun’s (a “compassionate” stunning device) website…but I found a substitute that’s actually rather gruesome–though the boiling pot doesn’t make a reappearance. Check out the updated blog post.

A one-minute YouTube video from GeoBeats News reports on the Norwegian dispute; it starts with captive, performing dolphins and this clueless voiceover: Whether it’s Sea World or your local zoo, people seem to love watching animals. And most of the time, the animals don’t seem to mind being the star attraction as long as they’re properly cared for and comfortable.  *sigh* Your local zoo?  SeaWorld? Really? Now there’s a world of hurt.

Got a few minutes to go to bat for wild bison in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem? Park boundaries were drawn without animal habitats in mind, and cut wild bison off from their lower-elevation, traditional migratory lands in Montana. They need this land for winter habitat and spring birthing, but Montana’s livestock industry doesn’t like wild bison roaming around outside the park–not even on America’s public lands! Hazing, injury, and slaughter ensue. There’s lots of background info on this convoluted issue; if you don’t have time to wade through it, try this, or just look around at the website of the grassroots Buffalo Field Campaign. Got time for more? Check out this new, easily-digested book (not a huge tome) whose purchase supports BFC.

Now the state of Montana is willing to exercise greater “tolerance” for bison, but still, the alternatives offered in their Environmental Assessment (EA) just don’t go far enough at ensuring year-round habitat for all bison. To get a feel for the issue that needs your comment, check out this page and the sample letter from BFC. But signing a pre-written letter isn’t terribly effective; if you don’t have time to read and rewrite, simply ask (in your own words) Montana to re-analyze the issue and, in a supplemental EA, include an alternative that allows for maintaining a year-round, free-roaming wild bison population in Montana for bison families–not just bulls. Email your comment by 9/13; find the address here.

QUICK LINKS: Not a lot of blather

***Vegan on a mission: Factory farm crusader sets record on Pacific Crest Trail, here
***The low-down on duck & goose down
(ouch) … here
***Curious about the abolitionist approach to animal rights?
Find “Six Principles” here. It’s a quick read that’ll help you examine your own beliefs by comparison and contrast. 
***Running with the bulls in the U.S.:
article & video clip here; The Great Bull Run website; animal activists in MN speak out; MN event for 2014 is cancelled.
***”Do animals typically think like autistic savants?” Marc Bekoff examines Temple Grandin’s claims to have greater insight into animal mentality…here. And if you find that intriguing, here’s another, earlier of his essays on the topic.

THE TAIL END: WAG IT! (Grab a kleenex for tears of joy x 3! )

***Libby, the inspirational story of a neglected cat. Anyone who has rescued a hurting animal will recognize this transformation.
***Blind dog living in a trash pile gets the most beautiful rescue…here
***Dairy cows in Germany get a reprieve from the slaughterhouse–their joy needs no translation…unless it’s to say, “Kick the dairy habit and drink cruelty-free almond milk!” Here, or below.