A majority of the UK's members of parliament somehow know that non-human animals are incapable feeling pain or experiencing emotions. I guess that means when you see an animal suffering, it's just faking it.
From the UK's Independent:
MPs have voted to reject the inclusion of animal sentience – the admission that animals feel emotion and pain – into the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The move has been criticised by animal rights activists, who say the vote undermines environment secretary Michael Gove’s pledge to prioritise animal rights during Brexit.
The majority of animal welfare legislation comes from the EU. The UK Government is tasked with adopting EU laws directly after March 2019 but has dismissed animal sentience.
Image: Screenshot from Independent video Read the rest
In 2015, animal rights activist James Aspey of Australia took a vow of silence for an entire year as a publicity stunt to "raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence." After not speaking for 365 days, James went on the Australian morning show Sunrise to share with viewers why he sacrificed his voice for critters.
Here's his story:
At 17 I was diagnosed with leukaemia and told I had 6 weeks to live. I beat the cancer after 3 years of chemotherapy and during that time I began partying and abusing drugs. Lots of drugs. I became a passionate personal trainer so I could help others with their health. After 7 years while working on a cruise ship, partying way too much and developing an eating disorder, I met a wise Indian man who told me eating animals is bad karma.
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I went vegetarian for a 7 day experiment and felt surprisingly great. I researched into the health benefits and realised I'd been missing out! Cutting animal products from your diet is incredibly healthy and reduces our chances of developing so many illnesses and diseases. The food also happens to be delicious!
Upon more research I discovered the shocking and violent truth of what is being done to animals for food, clothing, entertainment and medical testing. It led me to the question, "If we don't need to kill and eat animals to be healthy, what are we doing this for?" The best justifications I could find were incredibly weak and still to this day I haven't heard a good excuse.
The inedible green leaves left behind during pineapple harvesting contain fibers that can be transformed into goods traditionally made from leather, including shoes, bags, and other leather accessories. Pinatex has details. Read the rest
Animal-rights group SHARK thought they'd launch their drone on public property in July to get some footage of Harris Feeding Company, a massive and apparently pungent cattle feedlot near Coalinga, California. Each day, local cops got called out every time they tried to film. Read the rest
Today we travel to a future without pets. What would it take for us to give up our fuzzy, slithery, fishy friends? Should our pets get more rights? And if we didn’t have dogs or cats, would we domesticate something else to take their place?
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In this episode we also run through a couple of possible ways we might wind up in a pet-free world. Which, to me, sound really sad. Thankfully (spoiler alert) it’s probably never going to happen.
Illustration by Matt Lubchansky
▹▹ Full show notes
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Anita Krajnc, of Toronto, was charged with criminal mischief when she gave drinking water to pigs being transported to a slaughterhouse on a hot day.
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Unfortunately, PETA is not able to turn noted cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home in Bath, Ohio into a vegan restaurant. The plan was to call the restaurant "Eat for Life: Home Cooking" but zoning laws stood in their way.
"It was also suggested that we consider converting it into a vegan bed and breakfast, but we're not optimistic that many people would want to make the trip to spend a night in the house.," PETA Media Director Moira Colley said.
Of course, the whole idea could easily have just been a PETA publicity stunt. In any case, the home is still up for sale. (WKYC, thanks Gil Kaufman!) Read the rest
A still from the video shot undercover at an Idaho dairy by animal rights group Mercy For Animals. Under a proposed law, filming scenes like this would become a crime.
In Idaho, the dairy industry has successfully lobbied lawmakers to propose a new law that would make it a crime for animal rights advocates or journalists to lie about their backgrounds to applications at dairy farms, for the purpose of documenting criminal activity or animal abuse.
Striking back at this proposed legislation that would curb free speech, Los Angeles-based nonprofit Mercy for Animals today released video of a dairy worker sexually abusing a cow at Dry Creek Dairy (owned by Bettencourt Dairies) in Idaho. Read the rest
"Kristjan Loftsson, CEO of the the company Hvalur hf." Photo: News of Iceland.
Icelandic news outlets are reporting that an Icelandic whaling company, Hvalur hf, "caught its first fin whale yesterday evening," after sailing out yesterday with two boats, both due back in port today.
Fin whales are the second-largest whale, and are classified as an Endangered species.
From News of Iceland:
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For PBS NewsHour, Miles O'Brien reports on whether there are ever instances in which the scientific value of research should offset the moral cost of working with chimpanzees. The US government has moved to limit some of the research it funds with chimps in recent months. Medical experiments on chimps can be invasive: one animal may endure dozens of injections, blood samples and liver biopsies in her lifetime. But some scientists argue that this is the only way to advance medicine. MP3 and transcript here, along with video.
PHOTO: Miles O'Brien. "If they could talk, what would these residents of Chimp Haven tell us?"
Chimpanzee mother learns her infant has died
Report: Scientific research on chimpanzees "unjustified," should be ...
Astrochimp ad astra: 50th anniversary of Ham the chimpanzee's ...
Do chimps grieve?
Story Time: Jerry- The World's Most Human Chimp
Young bonobo may be expressing symptoms of autism Read the rest
"Over the weekend, I borrowed a friend’s time machine and cold-bloodedly killed a Neandertal, a Homo erectus, an Australopithecus, a dolphin, a chimp, eight sentient robots, the first extraterrestrial visitor to Earth, and my neighbor with the unreasonably loud sound system. Question: in the eyes of the law, how many murders did I just commit?"
— John Rennie on the ongoing debate about intelligence, species, and the rights of non-human persons. Read his great story at Smart Planet
. (Via Philip Yam) NOW WITH WORKING LINK! Read the rest
Photojournalist (and author) Erin Siegal has a wonderful photo-essay up on the The Reuters Photographers Blog about "Fast Friends," a group that adopts/rescues "retiring" greyhound dogs that have been used in racing in Tijuana, Mexico. On Erin's personal blog, there are more photos that didn't fit in. What beautiful creatures. Read the rest
A recent article in China Daily pointed to charges that Hong Kong Airlines "has been accused of profiting from animal cruelty by striking a HK$850,000 deal to fly live dolphins from Japan to Vietnam."
Why were they headed to Vietnam? Because, Dolphin: it's what's for dinner.
The dolphins in question are captured at Taiji, a dolphin-hunt site in Japan made famous by Sea Shepherd's actions, and the film The Cove.
Sandy McElhaney at Examiner.com (an open publishing platform, not a newspaper as the name may suggest) wrote this interesting post about the China Daily article, and a Change.org petition followed. There are a few scattered press reports, but they don't include much direct sourcing beyond the China Daily piece so far. Hong Kong airlines has issued a weak statement that denies responsibility for any wrongdoing, profiteering or animal abuse.
For what it's worth, China Daily is not exactly a free and independent press outlet, but known for more Western-style journalism than other state-owned papers in China.
(image via Hong Kong Airlines.) Read the rest
has published the results of its yearlong investigation that rips the big top off how Ringling Bros. circus treats its elephants. "The Cruelest Show on Earth
." Read the rest