In 2019, a 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln was officially inaugurated as the first mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont. And then she pooped. As Town Manager Joe Gunter explained at the time, "Originally we did it as a fundraiser to replace the playground behind the school, but it really turned into a small civic lesson for the children. 'Come out and vote. Get involved in the town.'"
But that election only guaranteed a one-year term, and Lincoln only narrowly defeated Sammy, a K-9 cop. And now Sammy's taking another shot at the top seat in town. If elected, Sammy has promised to release her tax returns and recuse herself from all police business that might come before the town to avoid any conflicts of interest, according to her representative, Police Chief Bill Humphries. Humphries has also tried to soothe the concerns of Fair Haven's feline population, which has a long history of hostile relations with canine police officers.
In response to Sammy's campaign, Lincoln has released a budget proposal that includes $0 spending on grain, $0 spending on hay, and a promise that there will be no tax increases to fund the playground that formed the foundation of her historic run for the town's inaugural mayorship.
Fair Haven will hold the contentious election at their Town Meeting on March 3, 2020. And while I don't want to be partisan, I think it's only fair to point out that one candidate is literally a cop, and the other one is literally the GOAT, so I think we all know who deserves to be in charge. Read the rest
Foie Gras, a fatty dish created by force-feeding ducks and geese through tubes, will soon no longer be served in the thousand-or-so NYC restaurants that have it on their menus. Chefs are saying "what next, veal?" fearing other ostentatiously cruel delicacies (as opposed to the mundanely cruel ones) will be next.
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Foie gras has long been a point of debate.
In 2012, California's foie gras ban went into effect, only to have the ban overturned in 2015. Then, in 2017, the ban was upheld by a circuit court judge -- a decision that was backed by the Supreme Court in January of 2019. Chicago's history with the ban is almost equally as tumultuous. The Chicago City Council passed the ban in 2006, only to lift it two years later. What makes foie gras so contentious is the method of preparation. Foie gras is made of fattened duck or goose liver, and it has long been considered a French delicacy -- so much that the country has protected it as part of France's cultural heritage. But the product is made by force-feeding ducks, an practice that many people, like councilwoman Rivera, have found troubling
PETA installed an old-fashioned protest billboard adjacent to the Ohio Renaissance Festival that opened this weekend in Waynesville. The animal rights activists consider the classic Renaissance faire fare of an oversized turkey leg to be distasteful, to say the least. From WLWT5:
The billboard -- placed near the fairgrounds and showing a turkey's face -- reads "Ye Can Live Without Yon Turkey Leg. I Cannot. Go Vegan Forthwith!"
Officials with PETA said they're urging festival-goers to switch from a turkey leg to a falafel, hummus or corn on the cob...
"PETA erects billboard protesting turkey legs at Ohio Renaissance Fest" (WLWT5, thanks Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest
For more than 100 years, the animals on the Barnum's Animal Crackers' packaging were depicted in a circus cage. Now, thanks to a request from PETA, that has all changed.
The animal rights organization asked Mondelez, Nabisco's parent company, to remove the bars in a letter sent in 2016, according to AP:
“Given the egregious cruelty inherent in circuses that use animals and the public’s swelling opposition to the exploitation of animals used for entertainment, we urge Nabisco to update its packaging in order to show animals who are free to roam in their natural habitats,” PETA said in its letter.
Mondelez agreed and started working on a redesign. In the meantime, the crackers’ namesake circus — Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey — folded for good. The 146-year-old circus, which had removed elephants from its shows in 2016 because of pressure from PETA and others, closed down in May 2017 due to slow ticket sales.
The redesign of the boxes, now on U.S. store shelves, retains the familiar red and yellow coloring and prominent “Barnum’s Animals” lettering. But instead of showing the animals in cages — implying that they’re traveling in boxcars for the circus — the new boxes feature a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla wandering side-by-side in a grassland. The outline of acacia trees can be seen in the distance.
The box before:
photo by Trent Musho via PETA Read the rest
In April, Moby sold a slew of his vintage synthesizers to benefit the anti-animal testing organization Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Now he's parting with 1,000 of his vinyl records with the proceeds going to the same group. The collection ranges from test pressings of his own albums to post-punk classics to 12-inches that he spun during his rave and club DJ days in the early 1990s. The sale launches Thursday on Moby's Reverb LP Shop.
“These are all the records that I bought and loved and played and carried all around the world,” Moby says. “I would rather you have them than me, because if you have them, you’ll play them, you’ll love them, and the money will go to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. So everybody wins. Well, except me, because now I don’t have any records.”
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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:
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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.
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
Check out all the great podcasts that Boing Boing has to offer! Read the rest
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. Read the rest
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
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: Read the rest
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?"
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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