Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Monday, May 31, 2010

Malaysian Official Says God Made Animals for Testing

This is pretty vile in my opinion.

From the AP....
A Malaysian government official defended an Indian company's plans to build an animal testing medicine lab in his state, saying Monday that God created monkeys and rats for experiments to benefit humans.

The plans by India's Vivo BioTech Ltd. to set up a biotechnology center in southern Malacca state has come under fire by activists because it will conduct tests on dogs and primates to make medicines. The activists say Malaysia has no regulations on animal research, which could lead to test subjects being abused.

But Malacca Chief Minister Mohamad Ali Rustam said the lab had received state approval, and animal testing was necessary to make drugs. The project is still in the planning phase.

"God created animals for the benefits of human beings. That's why he created rats and monkeys ... We cannot test on human beings," he told The Associated Press. "This is the way it has to be. God created monkeys, and some have to be tested."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dissatisfaction with Oil Spill Cleanup Increases

People are apparently getting more pissed at both Obama AND BP.

This situation totally sucks. I just think the minute that rig blew up, the result was inevitable. I think that the magnitude of this disaster is not a question of cleanup, but of prevention in the first place. We can get mad at BP and Obama, but the problem is that this was a disaster waiting to happen. If not BP, then it would have been someone else.

And whose fault is that? Ours. For not paying attention and allowing oil companies to get away with "voluntary compliance."

PETA Protests Pregnant Orcas at SeaWorld

PETA protesters were in front of SeaWorld-Orlando where two orcas are now pregnant. The father in both cases is the same orca that killed its trainer a few months ago.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another Bird Species Goes Extinct

This time, it's the Alaotra grebe from Madagascar, according to the 2010 IUCN Red List update for birds, by BirdLife International.

The report has bad news for bird species all around, identifying 12.5 percent as being endangered.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Greenpeace Activists Threatened with Terrorism Charges

It's bullshit and there is no way this can stand, but the fact that it's even been threatened is ridiculous. These people are protesters, not terrorists. This is just a tool to silence criticism of large corporations.

From the New York Times' Green Blog....
Charges have been filed against seven members of Greenpeace who boarded an offshore drilling support ship in a Louisiana port and painted anti-drilling slogans in crude oil on the vessel’s side on Monday afternoon...

The activists were charged with unauthorized entry of “critical infrastructure” and of an inhabited dwelling, according to the Lafourche Parish sheriff’s department. Both counts carry a maximum penalty of six years in prison...

A spokeswoman for the Lafourche Parish sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Lesley Hill Peters, suggested that the protesters could also face terrorism-related charges. The New Orleans Joint Terrorism Task Force “is looking into the matter,” she said.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Birds Suffering from Oil Spill

Pelicans unable to fly due to being coated with oil. It's the Exxon Valdez all over again.
Several pelicans were coated in oil on Barataria Bay off Louisiana, their usually brown and white feathers now jet black. Pelican eggs were glazed with rust-colored gunk, and new hatchlings and nests were also coated with crude.

It is unclear if the area can even be cleaned, or if the birds can be saved. It is also unknown how much of the Gulf Coast will end up looking the same way because of a well that has spewed untold millions of gallons of oil since an offshore rig exploded more than a month ago.

Gross Monkey Experiment

Now this is pretty gross. I understand it's for HIV prevention, but still...testing a vaginal gel on monkeys. Disturbing.
The gel was applied vaginally to three pigtailed macaques twice a week for seven weeks. Thirty minutes after each gel application, the animals were exposed to SHIV, for a total of 14 "challenges." A fourth animal received a placebo gel in the same manner. Two of the three macaques receiving the active gel remained uninfected after seven weeks of being exposed to SHIV. The third macaque became infected after seven challenges, while the macaque that received a placebo gel became infected after the third exposure.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Humane Society's National Conference Announced

I recently received this email announcement. The conference is to be held from July 23-26 in Washington, DC.

Someday, I hope to attend one of these conferences. It looks like they have some great workshops with people like Gene Bauer from Farm Sanctuary and Nicole Pollata from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Bad Press for BP

In this article, they admit they underestimated the scope of the oil slick.

This article talks about how BP skipped some testing of cement linings hours before the explosion occured. These cement linings were basically the well's seal. How did this decision contribute to the disaster?

Oil Spill Visuals Finally Arriving

Yep, the spill is reaching land and you can go here for a slide show of the impacts.

Funny how Governor Bobby Jindal is one of those Republicans who wants less government, but then holds out his hands for federal government help on the cleanup.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gulf Oil a Looming Threat to Marine Life

So far, we're not seeing the large-scale impact of this oil spill on marine life. But there are concerns out there. It may not be immediate, like oil-coated birds, but slower and more subtle, like the effect on oxygen levels in the sea. This is a complex ecosystem we're dealing with.

From NPR...
Especially troubling to scientists are the effects the oil and dispersants could be having on dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Scientists fear the oil will make it difficult for marine animals to obtain the oxygen they need to survive. Scientists have already observed some dying fish.

Asian Demand for Ivory Pushing Elephants to Extinction

Be warned. Very upsetting article.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Suit Filed Against the Minerals Management Service

Good!

From Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine...
The Southern Environmental Law Center and Defenders of Wildlife filed suit challenging the Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) complicity in the Gulf oil disaster and continued lax oversight of oil drilling operations, including its failure to require a thorough examination of spill risks from exploratory drilling operations like the Deepwater.

Komen and KFC: A Match Made in Hell

I am not a fan of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Aside from their support of animal research, I have enountered them in my line of work and find them corporate, condescending, and self-righteous. However, I can hardly believe that they would actually partner with KFC (KFC!!!) for cancer research.

It's not just a question of animal rights. Chickens that are used for KFC products are horribly treated. But, really, even if I ate meat, I wouldn't touch KFC. That stuff is horrible! It's fast food and it is unhealthy. Why would you partner with an organization with such a bad reputation? The more fattening food you eat, the more money goes to cancer research. Bad diet in return for some money. And KFC gets to benefit from your good work? They get to make more money by showing themselves to be "caring?"

Here's a good op-ed in the Huffington Post from John Robbins. It's called Greed, Cancer and Pink KFC Buckets.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Animal Studies as Predictive Models are Fallible

Here's a good post stating why these studies are not good predictors for human/drug interactions. It wonders why there are so few debunkers out there.

Victoria's Secret Stops Selling Exotic Animal Skins

Victoria's Secret was selling what? I didn't know they were doing this in the first place! And I just bought something from them last month for the first time.

Anyway, I'm wondering if the decision could have been influenced by PETA's investigation of how reptiles are being skinned alive for these sales. This PETA post doesn't claim the credit though.

Lots of Birds Being Killed in Ireland and the UK

It's just weird how many birds are being killed in England, Scotland and Ireland.
May 2010. A horrific total of 6 eagles, 10 buzzards, 3 red kites, a Peregrine falcon and a sparrowhawk have all been poisoned in recent weeks across Ireland, England and Scotland. And these are just the ones that we know about and have been discovered.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Australian Youth Least Passionate About Ending Whaling

This finding was one of the survey results announced by the World Society for the Protection of Animals.

That sucks. Young people are the future of conservation. And they are going to be stuck with a lot of shit that we're leaving for them.

Newfoundland Seal Hunt Extended

Earlier this week, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea extended the end date of the annual seal hunt from May 15 to May 31. This is because of the poor "harvest" due to bad ice conditions.

Poor, poor seal hunters. I'm sorry, but I don't care who makes money off this barbaric practice. It's cruel. If people in indigenous communities can only make money off this, then perhaps Canada should invest in some education and economic development programs to bring these communities into a more sustainable and kinder 21st century economy. I would think they deserve better too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quote of the Week

It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist.

--Mark Twain

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest is New Favorite!

I really like this place.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sign ALDF Petition to Help Kentucky's Homeless Animals

Sounds like it's hell for these animals in Kentucky shelters. The State used to provide oversight, but in 2004, they abrogated responsibility to the counties. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, things are not going well.

Please sign the petition to help them.

Dead Marine Animals Showing Up Along Gulf Coast

But so far, it looks like the oil spill is not to blame. But why did 60 dead endangered turtles wash up over three weeks? And what about the dead dolphin? Seems odd, although officials with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said that fish they've tested have not been killed by oil, but a lack of oxygen in the water. They also say low oxygen levels are common this time of year due to changes in temperature.

Still, though, 60 sea turtles over 3 weeks? Seems like an awful lot...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Canada Fears Oil Spills in its Own Waters

They should fear oil spills because, I'm sorry, Canada is not the best in terms of environmental safeguards, laws or requirements.

They've had oil spills before, but nowhere near the scale of the one in the Gulf of Mexico. The industry is not as developed, but it's heading in that direction. It would therefore benefit the Canadians to prepare. As long as they allow offshore oil drilling, a massive spill is a definite possibility.

Tortoise Smuggling on the Rise

I admit I stole the title of this post straight from the article.

Animal Release in Asia

Here's an interesting perspective on the practice of some religious groups' (such as Buddhist monks') practice of purchasing birds from pet stores and then releasing them. This writer contends that the birds are not suited to the wild and actually end up starving or being eaten by cats. Also, the practice of purchase and release creates a market for the capture of these birds in the first place.

The compassionate act is therefore not so compassionate after all, despite the intentions.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Portugal Pursued by EU for Poor Environmental Policies

Oh, it's no surprise that the Portuguese are allowing rampant development for tourism. But I'm glad the EU is calling them on it.

From the Portugal News...
The European Commission said on Wednesday it is pursuing legal action against Portugal for breaching nature protection legislation. The Commission said it is sending Portugal a final warning over an inadequate impact assessment for a tourist resort development in the south of the country which falls under the Natura 2000 programme.

...The case concerns the Montinho da Ribeira resort at Algoceira in the Alentejo region. The resort falls within a site protected by the Habitats Directive and in the vicinity of a Special Area of Conservation for wild birds (Costa Sudoeste sites).

The resort includes 322 villas, 40 apartments and a hotel. It also foresees two golf courses, road infrastructure, a water treatment station and a waste water treatment plant. Four other resorts are also planned nearby.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Key AETA Supporter Suspended Over Animal Welfare

Michelle Basso was a researcher at the University of Wisconsin who worked with primates. She testified in favor of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Now, she's been suspended from working with animals...

From Current.com
She was recently suspended from working with animals, a “rare move prompted by what officials called a ‘clear pattern’ of problems with animal welfare.” According to the Wisconsin State Journal:

University administrators say researcher Michele Basso has had a bumpy history, citing a lack of respect for veterinarians, incomplete record-keeping and instances where monkeys developed brain injuries…

It is unusual for the university to suspend a main researcher’s work with animals, and officials say they only do so when they perceive that the risks to animals outweigh the benefits to science and medicine…

In other words, university officials came to the same conclusion as the “terrorists,” that the results of Basso’s experiments were not worth the cruelty.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

PETA Issues Anti-Seal Hunt Video

They're hoping to use it to discourage tourism to Canada and hit the country economically.

Fight Continues to Release Lucy the Elephant

Here's an update on the battle to release the Lucy the Elephant to a sanctuary. She is the lone elephant at the Edmonton Zoo in Alberta, Canada.

More Disturbing Information on BP Emerges

Here's a good article in the Seattle Times about BP corporate misbehavior.

I had no idea. You really have to hand it to their PR people.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oil to Hit US Shore Either this Sunday or Monday

That's when the full impact of the oil spill on wildlife will be seen. Right now, there are still no confirmed deaths due to the spill, but rescue groups are gearing up for the worst. The animals threatened most by the spill are bluefin tuna, sea turtles, brown pelicans, shrimp and sharks.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mary Landrieu is Stupid

This Louisiana Senator is just a slave to these oil interests and I'm sick of her.

She's calling for MORE frigging oil drilling in spite of the catastrophe in the Gulf.

I'd like to shove her face in a vat of oil and not bring her up for a long, long time.

Gulf Coast Wildlife Threatened by Oil Spill

Here's a slideshow of the most imperiled animals.

Ezra Klein Discusses Meals Without Meat

I know some people won't read this piece simply because Ezra Klein is not vegan or even vegetarian, but I think he makes some excellent points. A lot of the meat-based meals in restaurants are due to chefs schooled in the French tradition. And, as one chef put it, cooks use meat to "express themselves."

Well, I think this article makes some good points. It's not about cooking "vegetarian," but cooking food you like that doesn't have meat. Other cultures don't have such a problem because meatless dishes are simply more prevalent.

Anyway, I appreciated his views.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dead Sea Turtles Near Oil Spill Site

According to this article, "at least 25 sea turtles have washed up dead on Mississippi beaches over the past few days, according to multiple media reports. So far, there is no evidence that the oil spill killed the turtles, but tests are ongoing."

The web page also has a video.