Letter on The reality of trapping

A suggestion for recreational trappers to help people understand their sport: have interactive activities this Saturday at the Wild N.H. event in Concord.

Set up a demo area (fallen log, etc.) where kids can suggest where to put a trap and bait. Say for a fox or coyote. Then let a dog loose near the trap and see if the setup works. If the dog steps on the trap, its screams of pain and fear would bring people running – instant audience.

The trappers could then show the kids how to bludgeon the dog to death without damaging its coat. Or, at this family event, show how today’s traps allow the release of a trapped animal with little injury. Let the dog go, and point out: no broken bones, no blood, just a slight limp. No need to mention the dog’s broken teeth from its frantic biting at the trap.

No one should cause this much pain to animals as recreation. Some trapping is necessary – usually targeted at individuals. And set for a quick kill, not for hours in a trap. Manage predator populations? Not unless you measure population size and increase trapping when numbers are high, decrease it when low.

Note: What I describe above is not going to happen at Wild N.H. Day. There will be many fun and interesting exhibits. Come and bring the kids. But know that the table of beautiful furs set up by the trappers rests on a dark, cruel reality.


Easter ham denied to International Space Station

Photo: Zenobillis, pamela_d_mcadams (iStock)

Despite humanity’s compulsion to probe ever-deeper into outer space, progress remains slow. After all, to even send an individual into orbit requires millions of dollars, years of training, and countless experiments to ensure their safety. That’s all willing that everything goes according to plan once the launch countdown hits zero. And once there, those who do have the rare privilege of living among the stars are left to balance their research obligations with retaining a sense of humanity.

And dear reader, The Takeout would now like to ask in that same spirit: Is a humanity bereft of holiday ham still human at all?

As Easter Sunday draws near, an Associated Press article about the launch of food and test/repair equipment for the International Space Station includes details about the more than 800 pre-packaged meals sent to the six current residents of the International Space Station, aboard the Cygnus capsule:

NASA also packed more than 800 meals for the six station residents. Their holiday choices include pork chops with gravy, smoked turkey, potatoes au gratin, lemon meringue pudding and apricot cobbler.

Great! NASA’s really playing the hits with this spread. But let’s keep the focus where it matters: the ham. What’s an Easter without ham? Do the geniuses aboard the ISS also get shipments of O’Doul’s for St. Patrick’s Day?

Good people of Earth. Those six intrepid explorers are up there now. Along with the food, we also sent them 40 rats (for a vaccination experiment) and “free-flying robots.” Technology has evolved far enough that we as a species are capable of sending rats and what we assume are three copies of EVE from Wall-E to the ISS. And still, no ham.

To deny these brave individuals their ham is to spit upon the spirit of discovery and collaboration in which the ISS was assembled. You may quote The Takeout on this.

“It’s a miracle!”: Bees living on Notre-Dame cathedral roof survive blaze


Notre-Dame cathedralImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionCathedral beekeeper Nicolas Geant says the bees would have got “drunk” on smoke from the fire

Notre-Dame’s smallest residents have survived the devastating fire which destroyed most of the cathedral’s roof and toppled its famous spire.

Some 200,000 bees living in hives on the roof were initially thought to have perished in the blaze.

However Nicolas Géant, the cathedral’s beekeeper, has confirmed that the bees are alive and buzzing.

Mr Géant has looked after the cathedral’s three beehives since 2013, when they were installed.

That was part of an initiative to boost bee numbers across Paris.

The hives sit on top of the sacristy by Notre-Dame’s south side, around 30m (98 ft) below the main roof. As a result, Mr Géant says they remained untouched by the flames.

European bees – unlike other species – stay by their hive after sensing danger, gorging on honey and working to protect their queen.

High temperatures would have posed the biggest risk, but Mr Géant explained that any smoke would have simply intoxicated them.

“Instead of killing them, the carbon dioxide makes them drunk, puts them to sleep,” he told AP.

Beekeepers commonly use smoke to sedate the insects and gain access to their hive.

“I was incredibly sad about Notre-Dame because it’s such a beautiful building,” Mr Géant said in an interview with CNN.

“But to hear there is life when it comes to the bees, that’s just wonderful.”

“Thank goodness the flames didn’t touch them,” he added. “It’s a miracle!”


Letter on CT Bobcat Hunting

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Dear Editor,

The key word in your April 19th article, “Rabid bobcat attacks golfer, horse” was “Rabid.”

Bobcats don’t go around attacking humans (or horses) unless there’s something seriously wrong with them, as there clearly was in this case. Normally, a bobcat eats rodents, rabbits or birds, but even an adult deer would be far beyond their capabilities.

As your article rightly pointed out, “bobcats are shy secretive animals” and any conflicts “can often be remedied by preventative measures, such as fencing for [small] livestock.”

Aside from the unfortunate golfer, folks in Connecticut are lucky to ever see a bobcat. There’s certainly no reason to change their status and start hunting or trapping them.

Jim Robertson 

President, Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

Rabid bobcat attacks golfer, horse in CT


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Game and Fish Commission considering rule to restrict predator hunting contests

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

  • Updated 
Arizona Game and Fish

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is proposing to adopt a rule that would prohibit using any lethal method of take during a hunting contest for predatory and fur-bearing animals, as defined under Arizona Revised Statutes 17-101.

In a public meeting on March 15, the commission unanimously approved a Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (also posted at www.azgfd.gov/rulemaking).

The notice was published in the Arizona Administrative Register on April 12, opening a 30-day comment period for the public to provide feedback. All public comments received from April 12 to May 12 will become part of the official record for this proposed rulemaking. There are two ways to submit comments:

U.S. mail — Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn.: Rules Section, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.

All public comments will be evaluated before a…

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Extinction Rebellion: Met Police asks for 200 extra officers

The Extinction Chronicles

police officersImage copyrightAFP
Image captionAbout 200 extra officers from other police forces are being sent to London

The Met Police has requested about 200 extra officers from neighbouring forces to help deal with the Extinction Rebellion protests in central London.

Oxford Circus was reopened to traffic on Saturday afternoon after officers cleared demonstrators. Protesters continue to occupy Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square.

The Met said 750 people have been arrested and 28 have been charged.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said it had caused “miserable disruption”.

“Every day we have had over 1,000 officers – and now over 1,500 officers – working to police these protests,” she said.

“It’s had an impact not just on the police but also on the public.”

Pedestrians and vehicles cross the junction after police cleared climate change activists blocking the road at Oxford CircusImage copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionPedestrians and vehicles cross the Oxford Circus junction after police cleared protesters
Oxford CircusImage…

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Qdoba’s Impossible Meat tacos and bowls are 100% meatless

All 730 Qdoba locations will offer Impossible Meat’s plant-based beef alternative.

Do you like the idea of a plant-based Impossible Burger, except you’re not a fan of burgers? Your best bet might be Qdoba. The Mexican food chain announced this weekthat its trial of Impossible Meat at a few of its Michigan locations was a major success, and it will expand to its 730 locations nationwide by the end of May.

It’s been an incredible month for Impossible Foods and its competitors in the plant-based meat industry.

Impossible Foods, which makes the Impossible Burger and other plant-based meat products, announced just two weeks ago it was partnering with Burger King to offer plant-based Whoppers. Early reviews — and sales — look good. Burger King joined White Castle, which sells Impossible Foods sliders, and Carl’s Jr., which sells burgers from Impossible Foods’ competitor Beyond Meat. Last week, Mexican food chain Del Taco announced it would sell Beyond Meat, too.

Now, Qdoba has joined them. The plant-based meat alternative is featured in two entrees — the Impossible Bowl and the Impossible Taco — or you can order it in anything else in place of beef.

The rise of plant-based foods is actually a big deal

There’s a lot wrong with our food system — from animal cruelty to antibiotic resistanceto its contributions to climate change. But people really like meat, and efforts to curb these problems by convincing people to switch away from meat haven’t worked well. There are about as many vegans and vegetarians as there were 20 years ago.

That’s where plant-based meat alternatives can step in. Products like veggie burgers, fake chicken, and soy and almond milk are growing in popularity and market share — and even better, they’re getting tastier and harder to distinguish from animal meat.

Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown told my colleague Sigal Samuel that 93 percent of consumers who buy Beyond Meat also buy animal meat — and he’s fine with that. It’s a sign these products, far from being a just-for-vegans eccentricity, are going mainstream.

With the surge of consumer and restaurant interest in plant-based foods has come a surge in investment from titans of the meat industry. Last fall, Perdue Farms announced it was looking into its own plant-based products. Tyson Foods announced in February it was launching a plant-based product line. Since 2016, Tyson has also made investments in plant-based and lab-grown meat research and operations, putting money into the cell-based meat startups Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies Ltd. and in the plant-based meat startup Beyond Meat.

It’ll probably be a long time before these alternatives can replicate the experience of a steak — though engineers are hard at work on it. In the meantime, they’re finding their niche with burgers and ground beef. Restaurants and consumers, going by the recent surge of interest, are increasingly getting on board.

Colorado Wildlife Officers Kill First Bear Of 2019

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Wildlife officials in Colorado have killed a bear near Meeker after previously relocating it from Steamboat Springs. The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers killed the bear Monday after it disturbed a farmer’s beehive.

Officers relocated the 2-year-old cinnamon-colored black bear on April 8 after the animal got into several residential dumpsters downtown.

(credit: Kevin Dietrich)

Officers tranquilized the bear after it approached a day care center.

Steamboat resident Kevin Dietrich captured several photos of the bear.

“Such a great looking bear. Lock up the trash fellow downtown residents,” Dietrich wrote on Facebook.

(credit: Kevin Dietrich)

Steamboat area wildlife manager Kris Middledorf says this is the first bear the agency has killed in the state this year. Middledorf says days like Monday, where wildlife officials have to put down an animal, are “the worst.”

(credit: Matt Helm)

Middledorf urges residents to be vigilant about securing their trash and other wildlife attractants.

We’re altering the climate so severely that we’ll soon face apocalyptic consequences. Here are 9 last-ditch ways we could hack the planet to reverse that trend.

The Extinction Chronicles

Clouds above earth
If warming continues, subtropical stratocumulus clouds could disappear altogether.
 Aleksandar Georgiev/Getty Images
  • Geoengineering is a term that refers to technology that can alter Earth’s natural cycles to cool down the planet. It’s being increasingly discussed as a potential way to address climate change.
  • Putting mirrors in space, capturing carbon dioxide, and seeding clouds with particles are all ways of manipulating weather or the atmosphere.
  • But some scientists and politicians think geoengineering could damage the planet or lead to war.
  • Here are 11 strategies researchers have put forth to hack the planet and combat climate change.

Oceans are hotter than they’ve ever been in recorded history. Ice Sheets are melting at unprecedented rates. Sea-level rise threatenscountless species, coastal cities, and local economies.

As researchers’ warnings about the consequences of climate change get more dire, some scientists and politicians are…

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Help animals = Help the earth

Factory farming is one of the leading causes of global warming and environmental damage




We live in a pivotal moment. Billions of animals and people around the world are affected by global warming and environmental damage. If we don’t start making small changes now, the consequences will be anything but. Millions of animals already die each year in climate change-fueled hurricanes and wildfires; it’s estimated that 50% of all the world’s species could go extinct by the year 2100. The primary culprits to this widespread destruction are among the most unexpected.

Factory farming is an alarming contributor. Did you know …

… that factory farms are one of the largest sources of powerful methane emissions, which have 86 times the global warming effect of carbon dioxide? Altogether, the food we eat makes up nearly 30% of our total greenhouse gas footprint—more than all of the emissions from cars, buses and airplanes combined!

… that confined farm animals generate 500 million tons of manure annually? On most factory farms, chemical-laced feces and urine are funneled into massive waste lagoons, making them a major source of water pollution and contamination that threatens approximately 119,948 miles of rivers and streams and 450,892 acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds in the U.S.

… that animal agriculture is a leading cause of deforestation? Nearly 80% of the world’s agricultural land is used to raise livestock or to grow feed for livestock. More than two million hectares of tropical forest are cleared each year for animal agriculture—an area the size of the state of Massachusetts. In the U.S. alone, 10 billion animals are raised for dairy, meat and eggs each year.

It’s up to us to protect our planet. This Earth Day, pledge to make one (or all!) of three small changes to your lifestyle and eating habits that will have a lasting impact on the future of our environment. By committing to help animals, you’ll help our planet too—not just on Earth Day, but every day of the year.

How will you choose to change the world?

Even the smallest changes can make a big difference. 

  • Commit to reducing or replacing meat in your diet, whether by participating in Meatless Mondays eliminating meat from one meal per day. If every American ate a plant-based diet just one day a week, it would be the equivalent to cutting 500,000 cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions!

Pledge to Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Footprint

  • Take action on state and federal legislation that cracks down on factory farming and promotes a more humane food system. Mass confinement has profound effects on animal welfare, human health and the environment; several states now have laws banning extreme confinement of farm animals. (Text EARTH to 30644* to receive text message updates so you know when it’s time to act!)

Pledge to Help Us Crack Down on Factory Farming

  • Be savvy with your support and consider buying directly from more humane producers who reject the factory farm model. Not all farms are created equal! If you consume meat, eggs or dairy, take the time to understand how different farms and suppliers treat their animals and the land. Make sure you know the meaning of different labels on meat, eggs and dairy, such as “free-range,” “grass-fed” and “pasture-raised.”

Pledge to Be a Compassionate Shopper

How will you choose to change the world?

This Earth Day, commit to reducing your meat consumption, advocating for higher standards in factory farming and shopping smart to help animals and in turn, help our planet.

Take the Pledge

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