Thursday, December 18, 2014

What would a kinkajou do without him?

A great Christmas tale from the Daily Mail:

"Bennett volunteers with Pilots and Paws, the South Carolina-based charity that enlists small plane pilots to take animals from overcrowded shelters that have high euthanasia rates to foster homes, rescue groups and less-crowded shelters that don't kill them.

Bennett estimates that he's flown about 1,100 hours in his small, four-seat Cirrus aircraft since starting his volunteer work with the group six years ago.
"Most of the time I do puppies and kittens, but I've done snakes, rats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes, tortoises, sea turtles, falcons, pigs and a kinkajou," he said."

See the rest here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2877771/Florida-man-flies-3-000th-rescue-animal-safety.html

Nice story for the season of goodwill to all. Now if only someone could rescue those millions of turkeys.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Don't have a rotten little Christmas

At this time of year, everywhere you go there are boxes collecting items for food banks. A fine idea, but we have to be sure not to put food in there that's past its "best before" date. The food banks won't use it for their human recipients but they will pass it on to farmers for animals.

Whatever is not fit for human consumption isn't fit for other animals either. They are not garbage cans, any more than the poor are. They don't deserve stomach upsets, and if they contract certain germs they could pass them on, when they too become "food." Once in the food chain, the rotten stuff could come back to bite you.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Season of Good Will to Turkeys?

Here we go again: avian 'flu in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Thousands of birds dying or being euthanized at two (or more) farms.

What a sinister ring the phrase "for the Christmas market" has, in terms of the market for dead tortured birds. Millions of these will hold pride of place on Christmas dinner tables all over the western world on December 25th ... a bizarre feast, isn't it? A ritual centred on bird torture?

The turkeys and chickens raised in the Fraser Valley's poultry factory farms never experience a happy moment in their short lives. Not only are they squashed into tiny wire cages, held under harsh fluorescent lighting, fed rubbish, throat burning with ammonia burn and dust, but many now also suffer the 'flu as well -- before being slaughtered early. Never fear, it "won't spread to human consumers ..." say the producers. Oh that's alright then ...

But the buck stops with us. When consumers stop buying them, producers will stop selling them, and way fewer of those sensitive clever birds will suffer a horrendous life.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Google these animal experts for a wealth of stimulating writing

A listing from the blog of Steven Wise, Nonhuman Rights Project:

Lori Marino the NhRP’s former science advisor, now working for her Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy; Joyce Poole, the internationally esteemed elephant expert who is working with the NhRP right now to develop the affidavits we need for our litigation; Chris Green, my former star Harvard Law School student, now ALDF’s director of legislative affairs; Carter Dillard, ALDF’s director of litigation; Marc Bekoff, former professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, now a writer and animal activist doing more things than any one person should be able to do; David Casselman, LA Animal protection attorney extraordinaire; as well as many others who came up to me and wanted to know more about the NhRP, or already did know about us and wanted to know how they might help.

At a conference and celebration of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, the work of NHRP (in filing suit in a NY court for Tommy the imprisoned chimp as a person with rights) received a standing ovation.

Yes - let's all stand for standing for animals, in courts of law.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Good Idea!

Animalit has suggested for some time that Canada have a Royal Commission on the Status of Animals and a Minster of Animal Welfare, and finally a party -- the Green Party -- has called for a Parliamentary Committee on Animal Welfare. Sameer Muldeen, the Greens' Animal Issues says, “Voluntary codes of practice for farmed animals have failed to protect vulnerable animals ... Isn't it finally time that humane treatment of animals in transport becomes law in Canada?”


We can all write to Gerry Ritz, the Minister of Agriculture and ask that farm animal transport regulations be updated to modern values. It's not that hard to outlaw cruelty such as beating, dragging, starving and crushing pigs and cattle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Biggest international fast-food restaurant should be all organic and cage-free

Why is it that you can get a Subway sandwich with eggs in Europe and the UK knowing the eggs are free-range, but in Canada only 7% are free-range, because there's insufficient "cost efficient supply"? Why can't North America get this right? Who's trying to take too much profit?

The great day will be when Subway is all vegetarian.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What is the core of secondary school science?

Schools in British Columbia have been closed by a teachers' strike for five weeks of classroom time, and the provincial government has now said that the time won't be made up, except that teachers should concentrate only on core instruction for this year.


The question, among many others highlighted by the strike (such as how individual should "individual learning" be? and how many specialist helpers do teachers need in the classroom, to lighten the load of teaching?) is: what is core instruction? Ever more time is spent on frills and field trips, visiting talkers with their own agenda, and digital departures from simple reading and writing.


One example of extras is the involvement some schools have in the Tour de Rock bike ride for cancer fundraising, and Terry Fox Run for the same cause. One doesn't know why these are now part of the curriculum, but maybe the time spent on them would be better spent on Science classes, during which students could learn about the "bad science" (as many researchers admit it to be) produced by using animal models for human disease research. They could also explore what the funds raised in disease charities are actually going to, and why cancer hasn't been "conquered" over the 40-odd years that the Terry Fox foundation has been killing millions of lab animals. Wouldn't it be great if students at least in secondary school got to do some real research into science ethics and use of sentient animals in cruel studies?They could start by going to: http://www.neavs.org/research/limitations  (New England Antivivisection Society).