Do the animals get a say?

raffaello-creation-of-animals-detail-300x210Dexter Wharton:  “There is something that almost feels a bit hypocritical about being called a person who is striving to be Christ-like, and being the proud owner of a pet. Do I have the right to keep my little dog in captivity under the guise that I am caring for her?…. There is sufficient evidence in the Bible that shows that both Judaism and Christianity often see animals as a means to an end, and treat them accordingly. Whether the animal was being used for sacrifice or for labour or for food, or in rare instances for worship, the animal was always used to accomplish some task. Animals are more than that, though. Domesticated or wild, they have a right to coexist with us. They have the right to be protected from abuse. They have the right to be shielded from exploitation. They have the right to defend themselves and their loved ones when threatened….

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Your Wild Life

rp_Blog-about-wildlife-tv-se-007.jpgKatherine Meadowcroft: “Humans have the intelligence to learn about animal species that reside along their roadways and to be mindful, attentive drivers. Honk, flash your lights, swerve (if possible), slow down, or stop (as I should have done to have avoided hitting the squirrel). In many cases, you can avoid killing animals. Once, when I was jogging down a country road in Washington State, I came upon a mother deer killed by a reckless motorist — and beside her was her fawn, still alive, bewildered and frightened. Tearfully disturbed, I ran home to phone the local animal control department. Of course, nothing more could be done than to remove the mother deer’s carcass. It took me a while to run that route again, and each time since, I remember and honor both deer’s lives….

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Sharing Salvation Grace

peaceablekingdom-150x150Frank L. Hoffman: “Grace is unmerited favor, or receiving something that we don’t deserve, and something that we can’t earn or work for, but it’s what we do after we are saved that really counts…. If we don’t eat any animals or their bodily secretions such as eggs and milk, or wear their skins, then we are also sharing salvation grace with them, for there is really no way that they can know what we are doing, nor is there any way they could repay us. However, by this very act, for each and every person who lives a plant food vegan lifestyle, approximately 100 land and sea animals are saved from a life of human caused suffering and death every year….

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Urge Feds to Cut Funding for Cruel Experiments at UCSF

monkey-150x150PETA: “The University of California-San Francisco (UCSF)—which receives half a billion dollars a year in taxpayer funds for research—has a long history of abusing mice, monkeys, and other animals imprisoned in its laboratories and violating federal animal welfare laws and guidelines. New documents obtained by PETA reveal that these miserable conditions continue to plague the more than 1 million animals in UCSF’s laboratories…. A rhesus monkey named Peanut was subjected to multiple invasive brain surgeries and was deliberately deprived of food so that he would perform tasks while locked in a restraint chair….

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Inside the Wonderful World of Bee Cognition – Where We’re at Now

bumble_bee__yellowFelicity Muth: “In a bee’s world, much of what she learns relates to getting food from flowers. However, it won’t always be as simple as ‘blue flowers have better nectar than yellow rewards’. Instead a bee might have to learn ‘blue flowers have better nectar than yellow flowers, but only in the morning’ or ‘this particular species of blue flower which also has a specific smell has better nectar than yellow flowers, but another species of blue flower has worse nectar’. Honeybees can indeed learn more complex relationships like this. This has been shown in many different experiments using different protocols and in different contexts….

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Chimpanzees granted petition to hear ‘legal persons’ status in court

rp_Chimp-3.jpgAlan Yuhas: “For the first time in US history, a judge has granted two chimpanzees a petition – through human attorneys – to defend their rights against unlawful imprisonment, allowing a hearing on the status of “legal persons” for the primates…. Manhattan supreme court justice Barbara Jaffe granted a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two non-human plaintiffs, Hercules and Leo – chimpanzees used for medical experiments at Stony Brook University on Long Island…. The attorneys who brought the petition forward, part of the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), argued – before the judge struck the words – that under New York law, “only a ‘legal person’ may have an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus issued in his or her behalf…. The court has therefore implicitly determined that Hercules and Leo are ‘persons’.”…. Continue reading

Thinking with Animals: From Aesop to Darwin to YouTube

rp_animalmind_cover.jpgMaria Popova: “The fascinating complexities and hidden dynamics of our human dance with nonhuman metaphors is what Lorraine Daston and  Gregg Mitman explore in Thinking with Animals: New Perspectives on Anthropomorphism (public library) — a wildly stimulating anthology of essays…. At the heart of the matter seems to be a larger kind of arrogance: We tend to accept and honor otherness, be it in our fellow humans or in our fellow species, for as long as it’s convenient — as long as it doesn’t require us to reformulate our us-ness and revise our own way of being in the world. But once it does, all bets are off. This is why we’ve made such profoundly insufficient progress on enduring issues of racial justice and why we sign Facebook petitions for animal rights while buying products mired in animal testing and cruelty….

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The Shocking Truth About International Animal Welfare Standards for Fur Farms

sb10068864j-001Corine Henn: “If you thought fur was old news, think again. Each year an estimated one billion animals are bred, raised and killed on fur farms around the world for – you guessed it – their pelt. Foxes and mink are two of the most common fur-bearing animals bred on farms, with mink accounting for some 90 percent of the market. While other animals like the chinchilla, rabbit, bobcat and lynx are also victims of fur farming, foxes and mink pelts are by far the most popular….. While we like to think that the U.S. has higher standards for animal welfare, when it comes to the fur industry, our own standards and regulations fall shockingly flat….

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Canadian government announced this year’s quota for its annual seal hunt

seal-huntNick Visser: “The Canadian government in early March announced this year’s quota for its annual, and highly controversial, seal hunt. The allocation for 2015? 468,000 harp, hooded and grey seals. In an effort to minimize inhumane treatment, the Canadian government mandates that seals can only be killed using a high-powered rifle or shotgun, a club or a hunting tool called a hakapik. Yet with the hunt in full swing, last week Humane Society International released shocking footage of baby seals being shot, clubbed and dragged aboard hunting vessels — footage that, the group alleges, shows the hunt is anything but humane….

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Judge Orders Stony Brook University to Defend Its Custody of 2 Chimps

rp_89424290-chimpanzee-madrid-cage_custom-7f7bf8794a5177ea84cca709e775c69afb447b35.jpgJesse McKinley: “A judge in Manhattan has ordered a hearing that will touch upon the continuing debate over whether caged chimpanzees can be considered “legal persons,” in the eyes of the law, and thus sue, with human help, for their freedom. At issue in this case — one of several percolating through the courts in New York and elsewhere — is the fate of Hercules and Leo, chimpanzees who their legal representatives say are “unlawfully detained” at a university on Long Island….

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