As Vegetarian Giants Rapidly Disappear from Earth, ‘Empty Landscape’ Threatens

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http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/05/04/vegetarian-giants-rapidly-disappear-earth-empty-landscape-threatens

New study finds large herbivores under severe threat

The world’s plant-eating giants—including hippopotamuses, elephants, rhinoceros, and gorillas—are being rapidly wiped from the Earth, warns a new scientific study, and if habitat loss and human hunting continue unabated, these iconic species will be replaced with an “empty landscape.”

The study—Collapse of the World’s Largest Herbivores—was published Friday in the journal Science Advances by a global team of wildlife ecologists headed by William Ripple, professor at Oregon State University.

According to the research, 60 percent of the largest herbivores on the planet already face the immediate threat of extinction.

Focusing on 74 species of plant-eating giants, the researchers came to the conclusion that “large herbivores (and many smaller ones) will continue to disappear from numerous regions with enormous ecological, social, and economic costs. We have progressed well beyond the empty forest to early views of the ’empty landscape’ in desert, grassland, savanna, and forest ecosystems across much of planet Earth.”

Ripple said in a press statement, “I expected that habitat change would be the main factor causing the endangerment of large herbivores. But surprisingly, the results show that the two main factors in herbivore declines are hunting by humans and habitat change. They are twin threats.”

According to the study, mitigating climate change is essential to protecting plant-eating giants and all species on Earth: “By 2050, climate change has the potential to leave many of Earth’s species destined for extinction.”

The research warns that further loss of large herbivores will have a ripple effect throughout ecosystems, including: “reduction in food for large carnivores such as lions and tigers; diminished seed dispersal for plants; more frequent and intense wildfires; slower cycling of nutrients from vegetation to the soil; changes in habitat for smaller animals including fish, birds and amphibians.”

The study follows previous research which shows that large carnivores are also being wiped out at a rapid rate.

PETA Protesting Use of Real Animals in CBS’ ‘Zoo’

Originally posted on Variety:

“PETA hopes ‘Zoo’ will be one of this summer’s first cancellations,” the animal rights organization said.

The advocacy group is protesting the use of live animals in CBS’ new drama “Zoo.” The show, which premieres Tuesday, is based on James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge’s novel of the same title, and follows a global outbreak of animal attacks on humans.

“By producing a show that exploits wild animals, including lions, CBS has proved that it’s out of sync with public opinion at a time when people are shunning SeaWorld’s captive orca sideshows, states and counties are passing laws banning wild animal acts and private ownership, and Ringling Bros. is taking elephants off the road,” Brittany Peet, PETA’s foundation deputy director of captive animal law enforcement, said in a statement.

Star James Wolk told reporters at a Los Angeles press junket for the show in May that precautions were taken to ensure the actors…

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A sad day for bears in Florida

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Update on petition by Valerie Howell
Miami, FL

Some sad news to report. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to reopen a trophy hunt on the Florida black bear. These bears continue to face serious threats to their survival, and I’m ashamed of my state’s elected officials who care more about appeasing lobbyists for the hunting industry than sticking to basic values of kindness and compassion.

Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States said:
“By sanctioning a trophy hunt on bears in lieu of effective solutions on human-bear conflicts, the FWC has ignored sound science, responsible wildlife management and the majority of Floridians who oppose a hunt on this highly vulnerable and rare sub-species of bear, found nowhere else in the world outside its range. We will continue to oppose this hunt, not only because it is unjustified, but also because it is likely that cruel and inhumane practices like hounding and baiting will be added in the near future.”

I thank the 100,000 of you who signed my petition and all those who spoke out on the ground in Florida — it’s truly more support than I ever expected. Despite this campaign not resulting in a win, I am moved knowing how much momentum we have to continue the movement for animal welfare.

Here is an article with more details of the vote: http://whtc.com/news/articles/2015/jun/24/black-bears-in-the-cross-hairs-of-florida-wildlife-agency/

Cannonball! Bruiser the Grizzly bear seriously knows how to have fun

Originally posted on Metro:

It turns out that 400-pound Grizzly bears love jumping into swimming pools – that is if young Bruiser’s behaviour can be counted as evidence.

Bruiser can be seen repeatedly climbing the step ladder and then jumping into the outdoor pool before playing with a floating surfboard.

[metro-link url=”http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/08/baby-koala-bear-hugs-mum-during-life-saving-surgery-5235681/” title=”Baby koala bear hugs mum during life-saving surgery”]

This friendly four-year-old bear is an animal ambassador for the charity Single Vision which cares for exotic animals while educating the public about conservation issues.

In addition to his love of swimming, Bruiser also apparently has a taste for tearing up cardboard boxes – as we all do.

[metro-link url=”http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/05/bear-catches-a-piece-of-bread-one-handed-like-an-absolute-champ-5231500/” title=”Bear catches a piece of bread one-handed like an absolute champ”]

I believe I can fly (Picture: YouTube) I believe I can fly (Picture: YouTube)

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Twenty-first Century Swastikas

Exposing the Big Game:

Whether confederate flags, swastikas, or anti-wolf and sea lion stickers, hate-speech propaganda has no place in the world today

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

For over half a century the Nazi swastika—that all too familiar symbol of hate—has been relegated to the dark corners of extremism, never to be openly displayed on a flag or uniform again. The Nazi credo was perhaps as confusing as it was complex, but generally, it was the definitive case of one group vilifying and scapegoating another.

Today, a similar type of blind hatred rules in areas where exploitive or extractive animal industries are considered a way of life. One can hardly drive a mile in parts of rural America without seeing emblems of extremism in the form of hateful bumper stickers touting selfish anti-wolf slogans like, “Smoke a Pack a Day” or, in areas where wolves are still extinct, “Did the coyotes get your deer?” Another popular hate-symbol adorning the back of all too many rural pickup trucks is simply a silhouette of a wolfNT wolf bumpr stickr inside a red…

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Top 10 Retorts to Hunter Fallacies

Exposing the Big Game:

10) Hunting is”sustainable.”
In today’s world of 7 billion people? Never mind, that’s a joke if I’ve ever heard one.
Do we really want to encourage 7 billion humans to go out and kill wildlife for food as if wild animal flesh is an unlimited resource?

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

Hunters’ arguments and rationalizations for their sport are so repetitive and predictable that, to save valuable time and precious mental energy, it might help to have your responses printed out ahead of time like flash cards, and kept at the ready in your back pocket. Here, then, are the Top 10 Retorts to Hunter Fallacies you’re most likely to hear the next time you debate a sportsman. (I would apologize to David Letterman, but this isn’t meant to be a joke.)

10)Hunting is”sustainable.”                                              
In today’s world of 7 billion people? Never mind, that’s a joke if I’ve ever heard one.
Do we really want to encourage 7 billion humans to go out and kill wildlife for food as if wild animal flesh is an unlimited resource? The only way hunting could be sustainable for humans these days is if we drastically reduced our population…and killed off all the natural predators. Overhunting has…

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Environment: New fuel standards for heavy trucks would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

Trucking industry cautiously supportive of new rules

sdfg There are a lot of trucks on the road these days, and they emit a lot of greenhouse gases. Proposed new federal rules could cut those emissions by 1 billion metric tons and amount to huge fuel savings for the trucking industry. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — The Obama administration says its proposed new fuel efficiency standards for trucks will cut CO2 emissions by 1 billion metric tons — about equal to the greenhouse gas emissions from all domestic energy use in the U.S.

The new rules would cut fuel costs by  about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels, more than a year’s worth of imports from OPEC.

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Why SC’s Animal Cruelty Laws Rank 45th

Exposing the Big Game:

“We have people that are avid hunters and fishermen and they believe that anything to do with animal concerns, animal abuse, is going to take away, infringe on their rights, take away their guns, not let them hunt and that kind of thing. So anytime you bring something up about animals you’re hitting a brick wall,”

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

http://www.wltx.com/story/news/2015/05/18/why-scs-animal-cruelty-laws-rank-45th/27550493/

Columbia, SC (WLTX) South Carolina’s laws against animal cruelty rank 45th in the nation, according to the Humane Society of the United States, and state lawmakers who’ve tried to toughen those laws say there’s one main reason for that.

“We have people that are avid hunters and fishermen and they believe that anything to do with animal concerns, animal abuse, is going to take away, infringe on their rights, take away their guns, not let them hunt and that kind of thing. So anytime you bring something up about animals you’re hitting a brick wall,” says Rep. Deborah Long, R-Indian Land, who sponsored a bill two years ago to create an animal abuse registry, similar to the sex offender registry. Now, someone can be convicted of animal abuse in one county and, even if a judge prohibits them from having any more animals, if they move…

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‘Vegan pinup’ strips to bring attention to cruel treatment of sheep in wool industry

Originally posted on Montreal Gazette:

“Vegan pinup” Audrey Ivory stripped in a burlesque show on Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal, Thursday.

Ivory is trying to bring attention to the cruel treatment of sheep in the wool industry.

PETA is trying to encourage people to go wool free and wear synthetic wool sweaters.

"Vegan pinup" Audrey Ivory stripped in a burlesque show on Ste Catherine street in downtown Montreal, Thursday June 18, 2015. PETA is trying to encourage people to go wool free. “Vegan pinup” Audrey Ivory stripped in a burlesque show on Ste-Catherine street in downtown Montreal, Thursday June 18, 2015. PETA is trying to encourage people to go wool free.

"Vegan pinup" Audrey Ivory stripped in a burlesque show on Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal, Thursday June 18, 2015. PETA is trying to encourage people to go wool free. “Vegan pinup” Audrey Ivory stripped in a burlesque show on Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal, Thursday June 18, 2015. PETA is trying to encourage people to go wool free.

"Vegan pinup" Audrey Ivory stripped in a burlesque show on Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal, Thursday June 18, 2015. PETA is trying to encourage people to go wool free. “Vegan pinup” Audrey Ivory stripped in a burlesque show on Ste-Catherine St. in downtown Montreal, Thursday June 18, 2015. PETA is trying to encourage people to go wool free.

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Why The French Ecology Minister Just Said We Should Stop Eating Nutella

Originally posted on TIME:

French ecology minister Ségolène Royal called on consumers to stop eating Nutella this week because the cultivation of palm oil, a key ingredient, contributes to deforestation.

“We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming,” she told French television network Canal+, according to Agence France-Presse. “We should stop eating Nutella, for example, because it’s made with palm oil.”

Producing palm oil requires turning tropical forest land into plantations. Research shows that these plantations harm biodiversity and increase carbon emissions. In Malaysia, for instance, research has shown that the creation of these plantation has led to a 12% decrease in biodiversity.

Ferrero, the manufacturer of Nutella, said it is playing a leading role in “the sustainable transformation of the palm oil sector.”

“Our target is to ensure our consumer that the palm oil we use in our products achieves our…

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