Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Friday, October 31, 2008

Kudos to Coke for World Wildlife Fund Partnership

Coca-Cola has extended it's partnership with the WWF to reduce carbon emissions and save water. So drink Coke! That kind of corporate responsibility should be rewarded.

Light Posting Due to Halloween

Posting has been a little light. We'll post more on the weekend (and before then if we have time).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Proposition 2 Poll

I've been trying to find polling data on Proposition 2, but this is all I could find. It's from September 30, from the Humane Society.

As the quarterly campaign finance period closed today, the YES! on Prop 2 campaign reports a tidal wave of voter and donor support from Californians backing the effort to stop the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals on industrial factory farms. In contrast, the donations raised by the No on Prop 2 campaign have come from a handful of corporate factory farming interests—most from out of state and many which are embroiled in a national price-fixing scandal.

The results of a new statewide poll by KSFN-Fresno/SurveyUSA shows overwhelming support from voters, with Prop 2 commanding a 62-point lead: 72-10 (18 undecided).

The writer is Jennifer Fearing, the CHIEF ECONOMIST for the Humane Society.

Chief economist? That's so cool!

Need an Animal Law Talking Guy?

In Washington State, Adam Karp is your man.

But, he also has a list of referrals for lawyers in other states that do this kind of thing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quote of the Week

People always tell me that it's useless to be a vegetarian. But, if I can save a single cow during my entire life, I'll be happy.

--Bruna Angotti, student

Monday, October 27, 2008

ALF's Campaign Against Fast Food in Mexico

Every time I go to Bite Back Magazine, I'm struck by how many times ALF activists in Mexico have targeted fast food outlets. I suppose they are easy to get at. Here is just a brief summary:

Oct. 24 - They left some sort of awful smelling liquid at a KFC
Oct. 21 - Arson at a Burger King
Oct. 16 - Fake bomb left at McDonalds
Oct. 15 - Spilled paint at KFC

They have hit other types of targets, but it seems like the number of attacks on fast food restaurants has gone up in the month of October.

Profile of Karen Dawn

Here is a profile of vegan author and creator of DawnWatch.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to Confront Cruelty

I came across this 2005 book from the Society & Animals Journal titled Confronting Cruelty Moral Orthodoxy and the Challenge of the Animal Rights Movement.

Sounds interesting.

Why and how do people campaign on behalf of a species that is not their own? Responses to this question provide important insights into the much misunderstood animal rights movement and the people in it who challenge the moral orthodoxy that underpins our attitudes towards nonhuman animals. The norm of moderate concern for animals - that animals matter albeit less than humans - permits the (ab)use of animals in vivisection, factory farming, bloodsports and other contexts where animals suffer.

Readership: This book will be of interest to anyone who wishes to understand the animal rights movement in England, the United States and Australia. It would also be useful to students of sociology and politics in general, and social movements
in particular

Animal Law Podcasts

Here's a link to some podcasts from the Animal Legal and Historical Center. The topics they have so far:

* Pet Sales Gone Bad
* Does My State Have a Leash Law?
* Can I Put My Pet in My Will?
* Lost and Found Pets
* The police shot my dog after it escaped. Do I have any recourse?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Vet Who Did Not Vet

OK, it doesn't have a lot to do with "critters" per se, other then the fact that it deals with That One that approves of killing wolves and polar bears. And it's really really funny. And hey, the title also uses the word vet in TWO different ways that don't mean veterinarian.

Helping Feral Cats in Your Neighborhood

Cory Williams, of the famed "Mean Kitty" YouTube videos (which are really funny), has a good how-to video about doing a trap, spay/neuter, and release of feral cats in your neighborhood. The video was done on behalf of the Stray Cat Alliance.

NY Times Profile of Wayne Pacelle

The NY Times has a long bio on Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Suit Against Circus Owners Goes to Trial

Finally, a cruelty suit against Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is coming to trial.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture investigator determined the use of the bull hook “precipitated in the physical harm and ultimate death” of Benjamin, said Tracy Silverman, general counsel for the Animal Welfare Institute....The suit, also filed by The Fund for Animals, of Maryland; the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of Washington; The Animal Protection Institute of Sacramento; and Tom Rider, a former Ringling Bros. employee, claims the defendants inhumanely and illegally mistreat their Asian elephants and have done so for decades.

On Monday, Federal Court Judge Emmet Sullivan will begin hearing testimony in the case. The anticipated three-week, non-jury trial takes place in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

According to the complaint, the defendants routinely beat elephants, violating the 1973 Endangered Species Act by hitting them with bull hooks. It also contends they forcibly remove baby elephants from their mothers with ropes and chains before they are weaned.

Ebay Bans Ivory Sales


EBay has announced a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory products on its auction websites from next year.

An eBay spokesman said the move was the best way to help African and Asian elephants. The endangered animals are often hunted for their ivory tusks.

The ban comes as a conservation group prepares to release a report critical of the auction site.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare will say more than 4,000 ivory products have been listed on eBay

Sick Prank with Dead Bear Cub

This is not just stupid, but sick.

And don't forget that a bear cub was shot, not by the kids, but by some other monster.

Authorities said Tuesday that a student prank, not a political statement, was the motivation for dumping a dead bear cub draped in Barack Obama signs on a North Carolina campus earlier this week.

They found a bear cub that had been shot in the head, grabbed it, took political signs "at random" to cover the bleeding, then decided to leave it at the base of a statue on campus.

No political motivation either, huh?

I am so proud of being human.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Activist Releases 1500 Mink in Oregon

According to Bite Back Magazine, an activist released 1500 mink from a farm in Astoria.
In the early morning hours of October 17th, a lone activist
infiltrated the fur farm at 92659 Simonsen Road in Astoria Oregon.
About 1,500 mink were released from their cages with at least 200
of these being breeding stock. The fact that there is no fence
around this farm should help ease their escape.
This action is being claimed for the vegan straight edge
community. not as a self-congratulatory ego boost, but in the vain
hope that it might spur others into action. It has become apparent
that the combined tactics of record collecting, sing-alongs, and
militant posturing have failed to stop those who abuse innocent
life. once we accept this then we can stop squandering our
potential and choose a more effective plan of action.
I would like to close by offering a piece of advice to the
owners of this farm, to the owners of the other farms in the
Astoria, OR area (it was simply by luck of the draw that your farms
weren't chosen), and to ALL fur farmers:
find a new profession. fur farmers are a dying breed. get out
before you are forced out.

'your laws will have no meaning past the setting of the sun.'

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Palin Bad For Polar Bears

An ad from Defenders of Wildlife. Yet another reason to make sure this moron never gets to be one 72 year old heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Hamsters Celebrate 70 Years in the US

Interesting article. Prior to the 1930s, hamsters were pretty much in the wild. Prior to the 1970s, virtually all were descended from one breeding pair.

Now, one million hamsters are kept as pets, an increase of 41 percent since 2001. (This includes the two sitting on the shelf in our house!)

Sadly, though, some 200,000 hamsters were used for research in the United States in 2000, third behind rats and mice.

Tainted Milk Poisons Dogs Raised for Fur

Only from China could you get TWO atrocities in one.

Not only did tainted milk kill 1,500 raccoon dogs (they really look like raccoons), but these dogs were being raised for their FUR!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Torn about Guide Dogs

I am very torn about guide dogs. I know that they provide an important service, but what kinds of protection do they have?

I've heard of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation which supposedly doesn't allow the blind person to actually own the dog. This way, they can protect the dog and, in cases of abuse, take it back without any legal hassle. (I couldn't find confirmation on the site, but read about them in Healthy Pet magazine.)

I don't know how many guide dog groups do this though. It seems like the best approach to me though.

Where Are All the Cats?

Last summer, Alley Cat Allies conducted an analysis of Illinois Department of Agriculture reports collected from the 247 animal pounds and shelters licensed by the state that handled cats in 2006.

Things don't look too good.

More than 60,000 cats were killed in Illinois animal pounds and shelters in 2006. That’s 5,000 cats killed every month, and 160 each day.

On top of that, these same facilities couldn’t account for over 17,000 cats. No one knows what happened to them.

Illinois is one of the few states with laws already requiring pounds and shelters to report the fate of animals in their custody. In the same year that 60,000 cats were killed and 17,000 went missing, the Illinois Department of Agriculture didn’t review the reports. It didn’t even total up those numbers.

And it didn’t penalize or investigate a single facility for failing to account for so many fatalities.

They point out that Illinois is just one state of many others where there is no accountability for where these animals go.

Alley Cat Allies is awesome and we have supported them for years (although not as much as I would like.)

Check out their action center and sign up for e-alerts.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Consolidation of Egg Industry

Don't think banks are the only ones gobbling each other up nowadays. So are egg corporations.

Thanks to an email from Farmed Animal Net for this information. These are not farming families, folks, but corporations as powerful and ruthless as anything on Wall Street.

The U.S. egg industry continues to consolidate. Some 200 companies have an average flock size of one million hens in a single location, with the top 60 companies producing 85% of all eggs. At the International Egg Commission’s annual meeting, held last month in China, it was noted that animal welfare activists in the U.S. and Canada are actively opposing battery cages. Proposed amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code have egg companies there worried. The U.S. egg industry is planning a strategic conference after the presidential election to plan for the future. In Mexico, many farms are being run as they were 3 or 4 decades ago, although there are some more modern large facilities. The country, which has the world’s highest per capita egg consumption (at nearly one a day), imports 50% of its grain from the U.S. and is not a major egg exporter. The Mexican egg industry is challenged by sanitary problems, and while it recognizes animal welfare issues they are said to not currently be a concern of Mexican consumers.

Medical BS?

I'm struck by how two friends of mine used to be vegetarians before I met them and then switched to meat because their doctors said they "needed" the meat. Does anyone "need" meat? Or do they just need the protein?

I think this is ideological BS on the part of their doctors.

Vote Yes on Prop 2

Proposition 2 will end some of the more horrendous practices of factory farming in California.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bush Administration Lists Beluga Whale as Endangered, Palin Opposes Move

Sarah Palin, who I am sure reads the latest science journals when she isn't perusing the latest issue of the Economist, doesn't believe beluga whales are declining. Fortunately, even the Bush Administration thinks they are. Or maybe there isn't enough money in killing off the rest. Either way, I'm glad that even the people that work for the worst president ever recognize that there is a problem.

And, this is one more reason to make sure this trailer park fruitcake doesn't get into the White House.

Activists in Canada Found Not Guilty of Getting to Close to Seal Slaughter

That's good news.
A judge has found five animal-rights activists not guilty of getting too close to seal hunters during the 2006 hunt off Canada's east coast.

The five were charged with coming within 10 metres of seal hunters on March 26, 2006 while filming the annual slaughter in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, not far from Cape Breton.

They are representatives of Humane Society International and Humane Society of the United States.

Atheists or Believers?

I'm an atheist. I have no problem using the term. I used to be Catholic though and still have a great deal of loyalty to the Church. Probably because it is so much a part of my culture.

This site occasionally criticizes believers for their treatment of animals, but I wonder if atheists are all that better. Atheist podcasts I listen to still seem to value humans over animals, just for different reasons. They use science as the basis for superiority which justifies experimentation and other abuses. Humans and animals are not the same, but it's not a matter of soul, but of superior intellect.

Isn't this basically the same thing as believers who base their judgment on their "God?" It's the same end result.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Petside's Pet 'Net Adoption Event

Petside is having a Pet adoption event. You can check it out here with a list of participating sites.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Frog Leg Pizza?

Yuck. Animal rights campaigners in the UK aren't too happy with the Eco restaurant chain's new frog leg pizza. I suspect this dish won't be on the menu very long.

Here is a link to their website.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Upside Down Dogs

I don't know what to say about his site. Don't worry, the dogs are just fine.

More Regulation Needed for Factory Farm Waste

The US General Accountability Office (GAO) is not happy with the EPA.They've issued a report that throws a negative light on the EPA trying to ELIMINATE EVEN MORE REGULATION of factory farms.

Deregulation is EVERYWHERE.

Some huge livestock farms produce more raw waste than cities as large as Philadelphia or Houston. But federal regulators are failing to control pollution from the gigantic operations or assess health risks from the enormous quantities of manure they produce, according to congressional investigators.

The Government Accountability Office report on the raw waste is to be released Wednesday to a House committee hearing on federal oversight of factory farms.

The conclusions fueled concerns about a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule change that would eliminate one of the few federal oversight mechanisms over air and water pollution from big farms.

The rule would eliminate a requirement that farms report to federal, state and local officials when air emissions of hazardous substances like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide exceed certain levels.

Quote of the Week

We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.

~ Albert Schweitzer

Monday, October 13, 2008

An Animal Friendly Yard

One thing I really like about our yard is that it is so animal friendly. We have at least 4 different bird feeders which draw in a large number of birds and squirrels. In addition, our neighbor's cats are also frequent visitors (OK, sometimes we sneak food to them). This, coupled with the tearing out of the lawn and replacing it with shrubs gives it sort of a wild feel. We also like to keep a small footprint as far as where we can sit out there.

It's just nice when we live in such stressful times to go out and see all the little critters (and the cats are too fat and happy to bother the birds or the squirrels).

National Security or Whale Protection? Supreme Court Says Whales Lose

Not surprising.

On the one hand, there is “the potential for harm to marine mammals,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said Wednesday at a Supreme Court argument over the Navy’s use of sonar in training exercises off the coast of Southern California.

On the other, the chief justice continued, there is “the potential that a North Korean diesel electric submarine will get within range of Pearl Harbor undetected” if Navy personnel are not properly trained in the use of sonar.

“Now, I think that’s a pretty clear balance,” Chief Justice Roberts said.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Did Sarah Palin Allow Wolf Cubs to be Slaughtered?

That is the allegation in this Defenders to Wildlife video. If true, that's another reason not to vote for this backwoods goofball hick.

Penelope Cruz Draws Fire For Bullfighting Movie

Penelope Cruz is being sharply criticized for a movie she recently starred in about bullfighting.. The movie in question is about a bullfighter from the 1940's, also stars Adrien Brody (who doesn't seem to be getting as much criticism).
She was the left-wing film actress who was distrusted by Spain's Fascist rulers.

Now the passionate and tragic affair between the matador and his unconventional lover has been made into a film starring Adrien Brody and Penelope Cruz - to the fury of Spain's growing lobby of anti-bullfighting campaigners, who say the glamour of Hollywood stars glorifies a cruel sport.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Putin an Animal Lover?

Vladimir Putin, former President and current Prime Minister of Russia, just got a tiger cub for his birthday. He'll be donating it to a zoo or a wildlife preserve. No word on who gave it to him and I can't imagine where it came from (torn from its mother?), but an interesting part of the article is this insight into Vladimir Putin.

As president and now prime minister, Putin is known for his tough talk and macho image. But children and animals seem to bring out a softer side.

His dog, a Labrador retriever named Koni, is often with him, even during meetings with world leaders. He told journalists that Koni has not met the tiger cub.

In August, Putin had occasion to pet a full-grown female Ussuri tiger after shooting her with a tranquilizer gun. He was visiting a wildlife preserve in Russia's Far East and shot the 5-year-old tiger as part of a program to track the rare cats, also known as the Siberian, Amur or Manchurian tiger.

Once the tiger was asleep, Putin placed a collar with a GPS tracking system around her neck. Television footage showed him patting her cheek.

Dogs Greet Soldier Returning from Iraq

This one is making the rounds. Happy Friday. Happy Dogs!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

NARN Protests Fur Store in Everett, WA

Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) will be staging protests at this fur store in Everett, WA.

The company is Terry L. Fieck Furs.

Here is their idea of a fur coat. Nice and GREEN! Literally and sarcastically.

Horrible Animal Abuse at Iowa Pig Farm


Activists Again Target UCLA Over Animal Research

This time, they've slipped unfired shotgun shells into the tailpipes of some UCLA vans.
As today began (oct 6 2008) we caught up with a couple of your currently popular vanpools. In two different locales, using small wooden rods we slipped unfired shotgun shells into the mufflers by way of the tailpipes of two of your vans. We also phoned into your media relations desk to let them know about it.
On a long enough drive or a hot enough day the mufflers will be blown off.

Leave the primates out of your inept and outdated science and we will leave you out of our quest for justice."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Charlotte Is Going to Get You!

The old cat with the collapsed lung is as ornery as ever! (What is she planning now?)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Daily Visits with Pale Male

I have visited this site almost every day for at least three years. The photographer tracks the animals of Central Park, particularly the famous red-tailed hawks Pale Male and his mate Lola.

GORGEOUS photography and a very talented man. Lincoln can be histrionic at times, and is no fan of humanity, but I basically agree with his sentiments so I overlook the melodrama.

And I love Pale Male and Lola!

Farm Animals Help Alleviate Mental Illness

It's not just cats and dogs! The study was released in April 2008, but I think it is still worth noting.

A new study, published online in Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, suggests that animal assisted therapy for people with mental disorders can be effective with farm animals...

The study was carried out with 90 patients with a variety of mental disorders: schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and personality disorders. After six months of animal assisted therapy with farm animals, all patients reported significantly increased coping skills.

Brigitte Bardot Slams Palin

Former film star Brigitte Bardot called VP nominee Sarah Palin a "disgrace to women".
"I hope you lose these elections because that would be a victory for the world," Bardot wrote in an open letter to Republican John McCain's running mate in the November vote.

"By denying the responsibility of man in global warming, by advocating gun rights and making statements that are disconcertingly stupid, you are a disgrace to women and you alone represent a terrible threat, a true environmental catastrophe," wrote Bardot.

Crocodile Gets Head Stuck in Tire, Starving to Death

Efforts are underway to try to save the Australian crocodile. Note, they've been known to not eat for as long as 10 months, so hopefully they will figure something out.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sea Shepherd to be in Animal Planet

Whale Wars will air on Animal Planet in early 2009.
During Sea Shepherd’s Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign: Operation Migaloo in 2007/08, Animal Planet had a camera crew on board a campaign that saved the lives of nearly 500 whales, leaving the Japanese fleet with less then half of their quota and costing them tens of millions of dollars. This new seven-part, hour-long weekly series follows the crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel, Steve Irwin as they use non-violent direct action techniques that garner world wide media attention in an effort to shut down the illegal Japanese whaling fleet and enforce international conservation law.
I don't get animal planet, but hopefully I can find it on Pirate Bay or someplace after it airs.

Activists Continue to Target UC Animal Researchers

California recently passed a law protecting animal researchers from animal activists. In the short term at least, it's not working.
The communiqu├ęs read, in part:
We were inspired by the recent passage of the 2296 bill and the raid of an anarchist infoshop in Oakland. As the vivisectors revel in their false safety, know this. This law changes NOTHING. We are still here and we intend to act.

We threw stones through windows at Ralph Freeman's Vine Street home, breaking two. Frederic Theunissen's car was scratched up with a hammer. This same hammer was used to smash a large window on his home in the middle of the night. Ralph Freeman has killed cats and kittens in his laboratory at UC Berkeley with no benefit for humans for over twenty years. Frederic Theunissen is responsible for the torture of birds in his laboratory. These animals are denied movement and cut open for his insane, unscientific studies.

All the vivisectors and anyone assisting in this sadism at UC Berkeley (researchers, post-docs) shall consider themselves an appropriate target. And remember, cameras and motion lights have done nothing for Theunissen and Freeman. Justice's hammer falls again and again until it ends when the price is a helpless animals life, -----Feminists for Animal Liberation

1 in 4 Species Face Extinction Threat

This sucks.

"Our results paint a bleak picture of the global status of mammals worldwide," the team led by Jan Schipper of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Gland, Switzerland, concluded.

"We estimate that one in four species is threatened with extinction and that the population of one in two is declining," the researchers said in a report to be published Friday in the journal Science. The findings were being released Monday at the IUCN meeting in Barcelona, Spain.

Spotlighting Palin's Barbaric Wolf Killing Policies

We wrote about it here before Palin became the Republican VP nominee, now people like Andrew Sullivan are catching on to her cruel policies as governor. Bad for wolves, bad for America.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

World Animal Day in Minsk

I doubt caring for strays in Belarus is an easy task, so kudos to these people for the work they do.
City Fauna and another animal welfare charity named Ehida brought around 40 pets from their shelters to the park on Sunday in an attempt to re-home them. They also put up a tent to collect donations, such as pet food, cages, collars and other pet supplies, for stray and abandoned animals kept at the shelters. Free consultations by veterinary physicians also were available.

"Even if one or two animals find owners, we will view this as a positive result," Ms. Byalyanava said. "What is important is to make people talk about this problem."

Faith and Animal Welfare Issues

Here is a good article about trying to link religion with animal welfare. As far as Christianity, I still don't see how at least American Christianity can be coupled with helping animals. Not that I want to lump all Christians into one monolithic group. But, taken as a whole, they will vote for a gun-toting, moose hunting, tax cheating, serial liar just so long as she opposes abortion. Because that's what Jesus would want. Dontcha know that?

Your evangelical candidate:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Awesome Pig Sanctuary

Pigs Peace Sanctuary is a wonderful place. They rescue farm pigs and pot-bellied pigs,farm animals, dogs, cats, you name it. We've visited it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

How Much Animal Testing in Australia?

Australian Association for Humane Research says that Australia experiments on more animals per capita than the European Union, the UK and New Zealand. They are trying to get figures for the Northern Territory.
. . . we call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.

--Anna Sewell

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dog Town USA

Here is a good National Geographic video on the rehabilitation of dog victims of Katrina.

No Posts Today

Can't blog...digesting VP debate.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lawsuit Filed to Protect US Wolverines

Oh, what a surprise. The Department of the Interior ignored scientific conclusions regarding an endangered species. Again. And it's up to the environmental movement to stop it. Again.

Environmental groups sued the U.S. government Tuesday to protect wolverines under the Endangered Species Act, saying the Interior Department disregarded scientific conclusions that the species is in jeopardy.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied the species protection in March and said that even if wolverines disappeared from the lower 48 states, the species would survive because there are larger populations in Canada.

We have seen this over and over again with this Administration. They just don't give a f@#$. It terrifies me what a McCain-Palin administration could look like. That woman makes Bush look like a compassionate conservative.

Russians Love Fur

Apparently, it is so deeply embedded in Russian culture that everyone wants it.

“Greenpeace has absolutely no voice in Russia,” said Natalia Paslavskaya, director of 2nd Fur Salon, one of the most exclusive fur boutiques in Russia that caters to the most sophisticated clientele, usually able to afford paying $250,000 for a signature fur coat and ordering a new one every year. “I’ve got a vegan friend, but when she came to our shop, she just said, ‘I want it’,” Paslavskaya said.
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