WTF HSUS?

You could say that I am more than a bit peeved at the HSUS these days. Their shameless promotion of meat-eating—especially their sponsoring the hedonistic “Hoofin’ It” event—has me downright pissed off. 

I have to wonder if they can even see above the bullshit they’ve sunk into this time. 

For years I was an ardent supporter of their policies—until they went out of their way to join Whole Foods in perpetuating the myth of “humane” meat. Instead of sticking to their guns and helping to usher in an era of evolution that takes us beyond animal agriculture, they’re bent on reviving the “Old McDonald’s Farm” fantasy.

I live next door to Old McDonald, and I’ve seen how he treats his farm animals. It isn’t pretty.

One of the flesh food purveyors featured in the “Hoofin’ It” event (the ranch that raises bison) waxes poetic about their “product” as though it were a hand-crafted ale or fine wine: “Our bulls are…finished with a natural diet of whole corn, sunflower pellets…” and “are harvested and processed at the prime age of 24-30 months, weighing approximately 1,100 pounds.” 

 

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Prime age for whom? Certainly not for the Bison! Bison don’t even reach maturity until 3 years of age and can live well over 30 years in the wild when allowed to. The bison whose flesh they’re selling are still babies. In the wild, male bison remain with their mothers for at least 3 years before joining in with groups of other bulls. It’s like eating a lamb who is never allowed to grow up to be a sheep. And who the fuck eats a lamb anyway, HSUS? 

The big question is, how does one “humanely” kill (“harvest” or “process”) a 1000 pound, gregarious, empathetic herd animal who relates enough to others to make a habit of mourning over their dead? “Processing” day must be a real sad, morbid, not to mention horrifying day for those waiting in line for their turn to get slaughtered. 

This whole alternative “humane” meat issue reminds me of the popular new micro-brewery that cropped up in the small town of Twisp, WA, where I used to live. Their menu featured grass-fed, organic beef from a local rancher who turned out to be none other than wolf-hater/poacher Bill White. White, along with his son, was responsible for baiting and killing off most of Washington State’s first wolves, the Lookout Pack. (Yes, they’re the same folks who got caught trying to send a bloody wolf hide through the mail to Canada.) 

Is the HSUS being led down the garden path by other (possibly wolf-hater/poacher) ranchers who are eager to sell a higher-priced product to a new generation of starry-eyed foodies who think the sentient animals they’re eating were happy to know they were “sustainably” harvested? 

It was partly because of the wisdom of a few friends working for the HSUS on wildlife issues that my wife and I went vegan 16 years ago. Those friends are still as dedicated to the animal rights cause as ever, but somehow the HSUS as a group must have lost its nerve, its soul and now, its ever-loving mind.

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How the Current Mass Extinction of Animals Threatens Humans

We seem indifferent to the mass extinction we’re causing, yet we lose a part of ourselves when another animal dies out.

Simon Worrall

for National Geographic http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140820-extinction-crows-penguins-dinosaurs-asteroid-sydney-booktalk/

Published August 20, 2014

More species are becoming extinct today than at any time since dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the Earth by an asteroid 65 million years ago. Yet this bio-Armageddon, caused mainly by humans, is greeted by most of us with a yawn and a shrug. One fewer bat species? I’ve got my mortgage to pay! Another frog extinct? There are plenty more!

A photo of the cover of Thom Van Doreen's book, "Flight Ways—Life And Loss At The Edge of Extinction"

In his new book Australian anthropologist Thom Van Dooren tries to break through this wall of indifference by showing us how we’re connected to the living world, and how, when a species becomes extinct, we don’t just lose another number on a list. We lose part of ourselves.

Here he talks about grieving crows and urban penguins—and how vultures in India provide a free garbage-disposal service.

Your book is part of a new field of enquiry known as extinction studies. Can you give us a quick 101?

It’s an attempt to think about what role the humanities, and to some extent the social sciences, might play in engaging with the contemporary extinction crisis. In other words, how ethics, historical, and ethnographic perspectives can flesh out our notion of what extinction is and the way that different communities are differently bound up in extinction or potential solutions via conservation.

We live in a time of mass extinctions. How bad is it?

I think that it’s pretty widely accepted now that we’re living through the sixth massive extinction. The fifth one was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs vanished. Today we’re losing biodiversity at a similar rate. And this is, of course, an anthropogenic mass extinction. The primary cause is human communities.

But what we’re trying to do in extinction studies is to think about scale in different ways. How the loss of a species is not just the loss of some abstract collection of organisms that we can add to a list but contributes to an unraveling of cultural and social relationships that ripples out into the world in different ways.

You say that despite this, there is very little public outcry. Are people just too overwhelmed by the enormity of the crisis? Or what?

I think there are lots of answers to that question. For some people it probably is overwhelming. People have “mourning fatigue.” But I think for most people it’s just a genuine lack of awareness about the rates of biodiversity loss that we’re experiencing.

There’s an even more important answer to the question, though, which is that we haven’t found ways to really understand why it is that extinction matters. We can talk about numbers and the loss of a white rhino or a kakapo. But we haven’t developed the kind of story that we need to explain why it is that it matters—what is precious and unique about each of those species.

You have a wonderful phrase, “telling lively stories about extinction.” What does that mean?

I was trying to get at two things. One is to tell stories that make a committed stand for the living world. The other is to tell stories that are themselves lively, that will draw people in and arouse a sense of curiosity and accountability for disappearing ways of life, so they might contribute to making a difference. Stories are one way we make sense of the world and decide what it is that matters and what it is we will invest our time and energy in trying to hold on to and take care of.

Flight Ways differs from many other books in that it’s less interested in the phenomenon itself than in our moral and emotional responses to the crisis.

I have a background in philosophy and anthropology. So I’m more interested in how we understand and live with extinction. I started out wanting to write a book about extinction in general. But what I found doing fieldwork with scientists and communities bound up with the disappearing birds I describe is that each extinction event is totally different. There isn’t a single extinction tragedy. Each case is a unique kind of unraveling, a unique set of losses and consequences that need to be fleshed out and come to terms with.

Tell us about “urban penguins.”

One of the last colonies on mainland Australia, only about 60 or 65 breeding pairs, live in what is the biggest harbor in Australia, Sydney, my hometown. Some of them even nest under the ferry wharf, which many people don’t know as they catch the ferry in and out of the mainland. They’re beautiful little birds, about one foot [30 centimeters] tall, and they’ve been coming here as long as there have been historical records. Thanks to the dedication and work of conservationists and volunteer penguin wardens, who make sure the birds aren’t harassed at night or attacked by dogs and foxes, they’ve managed to hang on.

So that’s a hopeful story?

Yes, I think in many ways it is a hopeful story. For the most part we’ve been talking about extinctions that are caused by people. But in this case living in proximity with humans seems to be working.

One of your bugbears is what you call human exceptionalism. What is that?

This is a concept used by philosophers to describe an attitude where humans are set apart from the rest of the natural world. A little bit special, and so not like the other animal species.

The Lords of Creation?

Exactly. Rather than thinking of ourselves as an animal, we have a long history, in the West at least, of thinking of ourselves as either the sole bearers of an immortal soul or a creature that is set apart by its rationality and its ability to manipulate and control the world.

There are a whole lot of consequences that flow on from that kind of an orientation to the world. And some of them are very damaging for our species and for the wider environment. By diagnosing and analyzing human exceptionalism, we can try to fit humans back into the “community of life,” as the philosopher Val Plumwood called it.

Extinctions affect us in complex ways. Tell us about the Gyps vulture of India.

That’s a particularly interesting case, which drove home to me how extinction matters differently to different communities. The Parsi community in Mumbai have traditionally exposed their dead to vultures in “towers of silence,” as they’re called in English. Now the vultures are disappearing. Estimates suggest that 97 to 99 percent of the birds have gone in the last few decades. So the Parsi community is left in a very difficult position of trying to figure out how to appropriately and respectfully take care of their own dead in a world without vultures.

Vultures are great at garbage disposal, aren’t they?

[Laughs.] They certainly are! It’s estimated that they clean up five to ten million camel, cow, and buffalo carcasses a year in India. And that is obviously a free service. [Laughs.]

They’ve also played an important role in containing disease of various kinds and controlling the number of predators that feed on those carcasses and spread other diseases, like rats or dogs. The worry now is that the decline in vultures may lead to rises in the numbers of scavengers and in the incidence of diseases like rabies and anthrax in India.

You wrap the idea of the importance of mourning the loss of a species into a chapter about the Hawaiian crow. Do crows really grieve?

Yes, I think there’s very good evidence to suggest that crows and a number of other mammals grieve for their dead, and we don’t quite know how to make sense of that. In part this is bound up in those issues of human exceptionalism—the notion that grieving is something that only humans do. But it’s clear from observations of different species around the world that crows do mourn for other crows. They notice their deaths, and those deaths impact on them. So the chapter is a provocation to us to pay attention to all of the extinctions that are going on around us, to take up the challenge of learning from them in a way that, I hope, leads us to live differently in the world.

The Hawaiian crow is another good news story, isn’t it?

That’s right, thanks to really dedicated work by the Hawaiian state government, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the San Diego Zoo. They’ve been looking after these birds and breeding them in captivity for decades, and they now have over a hundred birds.

But what they need is somewhere for them to be released. They need good forest, and there’s not a lot of good forest left in Hawaii. Introduced species, like pigs and goats, have largely destroyed the understory of a lot of Hawaiian forest. There are plans to fence some of these areas and remove the ungulates, so that the forest might be restored. It’s a work in progress. But something a lot of people are dedicating a lot of time and energy towards achieving.

Your book is also a clarion call to action. You write, “We are called to account for nothing less than the entirety of life on the planet.” What can a regular Joe like me do?

That’s a tough question, which I struggle with all of the time. It’s one of the reasons that I write and tell stories. I love to do it. It’s also something that I find challenging, and I think might contribute in some way. So all that I can suggest to others is that they find ways of contributing, which they feel similarly passionate about and which might contribute, even in some small way. I don’t think change comes from singular, world-changing events. I think it’s built slowly, piece by piece, by people who are passionate about the world.

Read other interesting stories in National Geographic’s Book Talk series.


RELATED

Species Extinction Happening 1,000 Times Faster Because of Humans?
The Sixth Extinction: A Conversation with Elizabeth Kolbert
Mass Extinctions: What Causes Animal Die-Offs?

WDFW adopts new tactics to stop wolves

copyrighted Hayden wolf walking
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

http://wdfw.wa.gov/  

August 20, 2014
Contact: Craig Bartlett, (360) 902-2259
WDFW adopts new tactics to stop wolves
from preying on flock of sheep
OLYMPIA – A rancher and state wildlife officials working to herd a flock of 1,800 sheep away from the site of recent wolf attacks in southern Stevens County today received authorization to shoot wolves that approach the flock.
Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), today authorized livestock owner Dave Dashiell, of Hunters, and agency field staff to use limited lethal measures and preventative steps to avoid additional attacks on the flock.
Since Aug. 14, WDFW has confirmed that wolves killed 16 sheep in four separate incidents on leased forest land near Hunters, a small community about 48 miles northwest of Spokane. The latest attack occurred the night of Aug. 18.
Nine other sheep found prior to Aug. 14 had decomposed to the point where the cause of death could not be determined.
Signals from a radio collar attached to a male wolf in the Huckleberry Pack show the animal was at the site, likely with other pack members, when the attacks occurred, said Nate Pamplin, WDFW wildlife program director.
Necropsies of the carcasses confirmed the sheep were killed by wolves, he said.
“The rancher has four large guard dogs and camps alongside his flock at night,” Pamplin said. “Yet, the attacks have continued, even after the department sent four members of our wildlife-conflict staff and an experienced range-rider to help guard the sheep and begin moving them out of the area.”
To further protect his sheep, the livestock owner has removed the carcasses of dead animals where possible to do so and kept his flock on the move around the grazing areas, Pamplin said.
“Dave Dashiell has worked closely with WDFW field staff to find solutions to this situation,” Pamplin said. “We really appreciate his efforts and his cooperation in working toward a shared goal.”
To support those efforts, Anderson directed WDFW wildlife staff to:
  • Help the livestock owner find an alternative grazing area away from the Huckleberry Pack.
  • Capture and collar additional wolves in the pack to provide additional information on their movements.
  • Be prepared to shoot wolves in the vicinity of the livestock owner’s sheep. Neither WDFW staff, nor the livestock owner, who was also authorized to shoot wolves in the vicinity, will actively hunt the wolves or attempt to draw them into range.
“Observing a wolf in the wild is a fairly rare thing,” Pamplin said. “Given the escalating pattern of attacks on this flock of sheep, it’s safe to assume in this situation that any wolves in the vicinity of that flock pose a direct risk to those animals.”
In 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the federal list of endangered species in the eastern third of the state, but the species is still protected under Washington state law. The state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and state laws set the parameters for responding to wolf predation on livestock.
“Our preferred option is to help the livestock owner move the sheep to another area, but finding a place to graze 1,800 animals presents a challenge,” Pamplin said. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to avoid further conflict.”
The Huckleberry Pack, confirmed as the state’s seventh wolf pack in June 2012, is known to have at least six members and perhaps as many as a dozen. There is no documented evidence that the pack, named after nearby Huckleberry Mountain, has preyed on livestock until now.

This message has been sent to the Gray Wolf Pack Updates and Information mailing list.
Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/

Stop the Blood Sport of Bear Hunting

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Those who respect wildlife get tired of seeing smiling “hunters” posing with a weapon in one hand and holding up the head of a majestic bear with the other. In death, the bear shows more dignity than its cowardly killer.

Lynn Rogers, Ph.D., the leading black bear biologist in North America, concluded that black bears are extremely timid and pose little risk to anyone. Attacks by a black bear are so rare as to be almost nonexistent. A person is about 180 times more likely to be killed by a bee than a black bear and 160,000 times more likely to die in a traffic accident.

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife agency propagates game species for its hunter constituents. It runs a blood “sport” killing business under the fraudulent cover of “conservation.”

Killing a black bear is a cowardly act. It’s killing for nothing more than sick kicks and “trophy” bragging rights.

Most bears are already starting hibernation and are defenseless. “Hunters” are even allowed to use bait.

Killing a black bear mom leaves her cubs to die of starvation. Don’t worry, the agency encourages “hunters” to shoot cubs, too. It’s an obscene and senseless act, and a reflection of the worst of human nature. If bears could shoot back, there wouldn’t be a hunter in the woods.

Please politely ask Gov. Chris Christie to cancel the bear hunt that begins Dec. 8. Email constituent.relations@gov.state.nj.us; write Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625; call (609) 292-6000; or fax (609) 292-5212.

SILVIE POMICTER

Voice Of The Animals

President/Humane Educator

Chinchilla, Pa.

http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/opinion/readers/2014/08/19/letter-stop-blood-sport-bear-hunting/14316969/

 

Gaza’s zoo animals caught in crossfire of Israel-Hamas conflict

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/18/world/meast/gaza-zoo-destroyed/index.html?hpt=hp_bn2

By Frederik Pleitgen, CNN
updated 8:34 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014

Jabalya, Gaza (CNN) — The sights at the Gaza zoo couldn’t be sadder.

In a tiny cage, a baboon sits, picking seeds off the floor, desperately eating whatever he can find. Next to the baboon, the carcass of his mate and five offspring lay in the pen, decomposing in the August heat.

“Eight to 10 monkeys were killed,” says Abu Sameer, the zoo’s chief veterinarian. “Also a peacock, a gazelle, a lion, and a fox.”

The carcasses of dead animals, mostly monkeys, lay scattered across the scorched grass between the pens. In one of the cages, a dead peacock lays in front of two hungry lions. In another, a crocodile lounges in the hot sun; there is almost no water in the enclosure, which also holds a pelican and a duck.

The zoo, part of the Al-Bisan recreational park in Jabalya, northern Gaza, was hit multiple times during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas militants.

A baboon looks at the carcass of a family member at a zoo in Gaza, on Thursday, August 14. The zoo was almost completely destroyed during the Israel-Hamas conflict.A baboon looks at the carcass of a family member at a zoo in Gaza, on Thursday, August 14. The zoo was almost completely destroyed during the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The body of a killed baboon lays decomposed in a cage. An Israeli military spokesman told CNN that there is an investigation under way into allegations that the zoo, located in the in Al-Bisan Park in Jabalayah, had been hit by airstrikes. The body of a killed baboon lays decomposed in a cage. An Israeli military spokesman told CNN that there is an investigation under way into allegations that the zoo, located in the in Al-Bisan Park in Jabalayah, had been hit by airstrikes.
The surviving baboon spends his time next to the carcasses of his mate and offspring. He picks seeds off the ground for food as the zoo's staff say they have almost no funding to buy anything to eat for the animals. The surviving baboon spends his time next to the carcasses of his mate and offspring. He picks seeds off the ground for food as the zoo’s staff say they have almost no funding to buy anything to eat for the animals.
A lion and lioness look on from inside their cage. CNN understands from Israeli sources that the military believes there may have been a number of Hamas rocket launchers in the area of the zoo. A lion and lioness look on from inside their cage. CNN understands from Israeli sources that the military believes there may have been a number of Hamas rocket launchers in the area of the zoo.
Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, says the park is a civilian area, but a CNN crew did see several charred and mangled metal cases that looked like destroyed rocket batteries. Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, says the park is a civilian area, but a CNN crew did see several charred and mangled metal cases that looked like destroyed rocket batteries.
Zookeeper Farid al-Hissi feeds chickens to the lions. Zookeeper Farid al-Hissi feeds chickens to the lions.
The remains of the administration building at the zoo, which along with Al-Bisan Park was built in 2008. The remains of the administration building at the zoo, which along with Al-Bisan Park was built in 2008.
The CNN crew found a duck, a pelican and a crocodile sharing a cage at the zoo.

The CNN crew found a duck, a pelican and a crocodile sharing a cage at the zoo.

Pleitgen gives a pelican some water. The zoo's staff cannot afford to buy fish to feed it. Pleitgen gives a pelican some water. The zoo’s staff cannot afford to buy fish to feed it.
A monkey sits in its cage, mostly living on leaves and a little dirty water. A monkey sits in its cage, mostly living on leaves and a little dirty water.
The ground is littered with dead animals. The ground is littered with dead animals.
The wild cats at the zoo appear very thirsty and weak. Like many of the other animals, they had not been fed in days. The wild cats at the zoo appear very thirsty and weak. Like many of the other animals, they had not been fed in days.
A gazelle wanders in its cage. Its hooves have grown far too long since it is not being cared for. A gazelle wanders in its cage. Its hooves have grown far too long since it is not being cared for.
One ostrich was killed. The others remain in their pen in need of food to be provided to them by the staff. One ostrich was killed. The others remain in their pen in need of food to be provided to them by the staff.
The amusement park's carousel can be seen next to the shell of a destroyed building. The amusement park’s carousel can be seen next to the shell of a destroyed building.
Much of the zoo is reduced to rubble, amid a few surviving cages and animals. Much of the zoo is reduced to rubble, amid a few surviving cages and animals.
The zoo is just one of dozens of sites in Gaza ravaged by the conflict. The zoo is just one of dozens of sites in Gaza ravaged by the conflict.
A large crater in the park -- a result of the fighting. A large crater in the park — a result of the fighting.
Entry tickets to the park lay scattered among the rubble. Entry tickets to the park lay scattered among the rubble.
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
Animals caught in Gaza crossfire
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Gaza\'s zoo animals caught in the crossfire Gaza’s zoo animals caught in the crossfire

Many of the animals seem weak and traumatized. Staff members say that on top of the injuries some of the animals sustained during the violence, many also have not eaten in days because the zoo lacks funds to buy food, and they’re getting virtually no assistance.

“The situation is very bad,” said Sameer. “We can’t get the animals out to clean the cages. Many of them are getting sick because they are weak and it is dirty. But we don’t have any alternative places.”

The situation is most dire for the lions, according to Sameer. One was killed during the conflict and three remain in the zoo. Sameer says he does not have the funds to buy them the meat they need.

“They have not eaten for 10 to 15 days,” he said. “We could not reach them during the fighting. When it got calmer at least we could bring them some water.”

To help, at least a little, the CNN crew bought six chickens at the local market for the zoo’s staff to feed to the lions.

It was clear to see how hungry the lions were. They ran toward the edge of the cage and began roaring the moment they saw us approaching with the dead chickens. Once we handed them over, they would take turns — one lion would eat while the other kept an eye on us. When we got too close to the cage, the lions would charge and roar again, warning us to back off.

Al-Bisan Park is run by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs Gaza and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel. Built in 2008, it was supposed to be a tourist attraction for Gazans. It includes a soccer field, an amusement park with carousels, and several buildings, most of which were flattened by airstrikes during the recent conflict.

An Israeli military spokesman told CNN that there is an investigation under way into allegations the zoo had been hit by airstrikes, and said he could not go into more detail due to legal reasons.

But CNN understands from Israeli sources that the military believes there may have been a number of Hamas rocket launchers in the area of the zoo, and that the zoo might have suffered collateral damage in strikes targeting those rocket launchers. Hamas says the park is in a civilian area, but our crew did see several charred and mangled metal cases that looked like destroyed rocket batteries.

The zoo staff says its main task for now is saving the lives of the animals.

“The first step has to be providing food,” says vet Abu Sameer. “Then we must rebuild the place and make it suitable for them to live in again.”

But with more than 2,000 people killed and many homes destroyed in the recent fighting, most people in Gaza and the international community have more pressing problems than the plight of zoo animals.

In the meantime, the lions, crocodiles, monkeys and birds who survived the hostilities at the zoo now face the danger of succumbing to hunger and disease in the aftermath of this man-made war.lion_53b98b222b9a3.preview-300

 

Whale of a Fight Over Bringing Belugas to U.S.

http://www.11alive.com/story/news/2014/08/20/beluga-whale/14325783/

ATLANTA, Ga. — The Georgia Aquarium wants to bring 18 Beluga Whales to the US.

The Aquarium was denied their request to bring the whales here more than two years ago, but Wednesday, they will appeal that decision.

When they first asked to bring the mammals here, it started a firestorm of controversy from animal rights advocates.

The whales were collected at a research facility in Russia in 2006, 2010, and 2011.

There has been strong opposition to bringing the Belugas to the US from environmentalists who think the whales should stay put… But the aquarium argues it would do more good to have them here, where they say they can teach people to care about wildlife and serve as ambassadors.

This is a very long running fight between the two groups.

All the way back in June of 2012, the Aquarium submitted the application to bring the whales to the US.

A year later, in November, NOAA denied their application, which at the time, was unexpected.

The Georgia Aquarium filed their appeal, in October of 2013

The court will hold a hearing on Wednesday about documents the Georgia Aquarium wants uncovered.

According to the Aquarium, NOAA seemed likely to approve their request and then changed course.

The Aquarium is asking for all documents related to the decision not to allow the whales to come to the US.

There will likely not be a ruling Wednesday.

“Get To Hoofin It”: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

“Get To Hoofin It”: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States

www.gettohoofinit.com/home/tickets

By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns

Probably everyone reading this knows the feeling of going to the computer each day, clicking on email, and experiencing that knot of dread as the messages unfold with their sad and terrible stories about animals, the horrible and endlessly ingenious ways and reasons that our species has for making animals suffer and die, which includes stripping them of their dignity.

If it’s bad enough knowing what the institutions and entities that we expect to hurt animals are doing to them, there is added despair involved in knowing what is being done to animals by organizations calling themselves “humane,” “anticruelty” and the like. It is monstrous seeing our language of care and respect degraded into completely opposite meanings. A perfect example is this:

Get to Hoofin it: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

“We support farmers and ranchers who give proper care to their animals, and act in accordance with the basic ethic of compassion to sentient creatures.”
– The Humane Society of the United States

Most people know enough by now about the realities of animal farming, regardless of scale or label, to envision at least some of the details of what farmers and ranchers actually do to animals, versus verbalizations about “proper care” and “basic ethic of compassion.”

What these abstractions express and perpetuate in this context is alienation from actual animals. What they demonstrate is lack of respect for animals, indeed mockery of the very idea of “respecting” them. No one who truly respects animals, respects their dignity, feels with and for them, and wishes them joy in life supports “farming” them, because animal farming is about degrading animals meanly to the level of their genitals and their genes, mutilating their body parts, destroying their family life, controlling every aspect of their lives including culling (killing) them as one pleases when they are deemed not “productive” enough to keep feeding, and ultimately murdering them.

How can anyone claiming to respect animals promote a view of them as “dinner”?

Will a call to “Respect Your Dinner” advance your empathy and respect for animals as they lie slaughtered on your plate in barbecue sauce? Maybe the code word here is “basic.” Basic ethic of compassion = lowest possible level. In any case, compassion has nothing to do with the business and consumption of animal products. Its purpose is to gain customers and subvert consciences, to the extent that a conscience exists toward animals made into meals and blessed over in this condition even by their, uh, advocates. Like “humane,” the word compassion in this context is a mockery of both the animals and the meaning of words, including the word advocacy. It is the final gut punch to those we’re supposed to be advocating for.

Click on each animal photograph in this link for more information:
www.gettohoofinit.com

For more commentary, see pattrice jones here:
blog.bravebirds.org

Peaceful Prairie here:
www.peacefulprairie.org

James McWilliams here:
www.all-creatures.org

Hen being slaughtered Basic ethic of compassion in action.

Fighting to Stop Namibia’s Seal Slaughter

Meet the ‘Extreme Conservationists’ Fighting to Stop Namibia’s Seal
Slaughter In the new Pivot series ‘The Operatives,’ Pete Bethune and his
commando team pursue environmental criminals around the world.
 
August 15, 2014 By Todd Woody
 
When veteran conservationist Pete Bethune steps off the elevator at
TakePart’s Los Angeles headquarters dressed in camouflage, a military-style
rucksack slung across his back, he looks likes he’s ready to parachute into
some remote locale to do battle with poachers and other environmental
evildoers.
 
Which he is.
 
The 49-year-old tattooed New Zealander leads a team of conservationist
commandos in The Operatives, a new television series that premieres Sunday
on Pivot, the television network owned by Participant Media, TakePart’s
parent company.
 
Bethune gained fame in 2010 when he commanded the Ady Gill, a high-tech
trimaran that was part of a Sea Shepherd fleet trying to stop Japanese
whaling ships in the Southern Ocean. A Japanese boat rammed the Ady Gill,
and when Bethune boarded the whaler he was arrested. Taken to Japan, Bethune
was jailed for five months before being released and deported.
 
Now he’s back with a team that travels the world to confront eco-villains
poaching protected wildlife, fishing in marine sanctuaries, and illegally
mining for gold in rainforests home to endangered animals such as the
jaguar.
 
“We got environmental criminals pillaging the world as we speak, and we’re
going to take them on,” says Bethune.
 
He calls it “extreme conservation.”
 
The first episode of The Operatives takes the team to the West African
country of Namibia, where local men club to death more than 80,000 baby Cape
fur seals each year.
 
The Namibian government claims the seal cull is needed to protect fish
stocks. But environmentalists argue there’s another motive: The pelts of the
dead seal pups are exported to make clothing.
 
In 2006, for instance, Namibia set the cull quota at 85,000 seals, according
to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
 
“This high harvest level has been retained despite several years with very
high mortality levels for pups along with many thousands of adult deaths in
Namibia,” the IUCN states in a report.
 
Namibia and Canada are the only countries that permit the clubbing to death
of baby seals.
 
Environmentalists estimate that the fur trade brings at most $500,000 to
Namibia. Tourism, on the other hand, is worth $681 million annually,
according to the government. Among the attractions that lure tourists:
the country’s wildlife, including fur seals.
To Kill or Not to Kill? New Hope in the Fight to Save Baby Seals
 
While the IUCN says that there have been reports that fur seals have had
some impact on fishing, it noted that many seals also die after being
entangled in fishing lines or are illegally shot by fishermen.
 
In the first The Operatives episode, Bethune and his team travel overland
from South Africa to Namibia. They take an inflatable boat down the coast
under cover of darkness and then swim to shore through shark-infested
waters. Why the subterfuge? The cull they want to document is taking place
on the site of a diamond mine, and the operatives must sneak onto the beach
and avoid capture to film the carnage.
 
We won’t reveal any spoilers, but it’s extreme viewing. Check out the
preview below
 
Video at link:
 
http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/08/15/extreme-conservationists-fight-st
op-seal-slaughter-namibia

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Killing wildlife should be understood as an addiction

Exposing the Big Game:

“The world is biophysically finite, yet hunters are recruiting more young people and women into trapping, hounding, torturing and killing our wildlife. The general public, taught to be disengaged and powerless, is purposefully disconnected from the death culture silencing our woods and waterways.

Originally posted on Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife:

53ee7241f10b5.preview-300The most important thing to develop in young people from grade school to their mid-20’s is empathy.” — James Catterall, UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development

If professor James Catterall is correct — that empathy is the most important value to teach— why are we allowing the Department of Natural Resources, a state agency, into our middle and high schools and trade schools to teach young people recreational torture and killing of innocent wildlife?

The DNR, funded on killing licenses, staffed by killing proponents, allied with its hunter/trapper/hounder clientele, wants its power base expanded and secured against the majority of us. They know the best way to do that is their legislated 12-member recruitment team going after kids. Addict them early and keep them long.

On a hunting website, a hunter recalls. “I was 13 years old when I started hunting with my dad. I still remember my first…

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