Animal Rights

WhalesPETA is asking … Hamilton Nolan reports on Gawker:

PETA has filed a lawsuit charging SeaWorld with violating the 13th Amendment by enslaving killer whales. This could be interesting.

The scorn heaped upon this lawsuit in the court of public opinion will be roughly equal to the scorn once heaped upon the ideas of abolition and female suffrage. Somebody please have Jay Leno read some Peter Singer before he starts to discuss this news.

Kudos to San Francisco for its decision to crack down on an industry based on animal misery. The San Francisco Chronicle reports: San Francisco’s ever-active Animal Control and Welfare Commission has renewed…

Reports Agence France-Presse via the Raw Story:

JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday.

According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs.

Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises.

One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously.

Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer’s spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.

Animals Australia and RSPCA Australia have launched a public campaign against the torture cattle endure during live export. The campaign asks the Live Export organization to reconsider the trade of living animals because of the cruel way they are treated before being slaughtered.

Note, they are not necessarily advocating vegetarianism or the elimination of slaughterhouses (although there are many benefits to reducing industrialized slaughterhouses including cutting down on pollution, increase agricultural land and reduction of animal cruelty), but they argue the unfair treatment of live animals being exported to other countries.

Warning: The video below include graphic material that may be difficult to watch.

MNN reports:

This time last year, producers of the “The Cove” were riding high after winning Best Documentary at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Fisher Stevens and Paula DuPre Pesmen, the film shed dramatic light on the thousands of dolphins slaughtered each year in the Japanese fishing town of Taiji. “It has the breathless pace of a Bourne movie, but none of the comfort of fiction. This is documentary filmmaking at its most exciting and purposeful,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers in a review.

This past weekend, residents of Taiji were able to give their own verdicts after a local activist group, called People Concerned for the Ocean, delivered a Japanese-dubbed copy of the film to each home…

Monkey see monkey do? or Human do, then train monkey so less humans have to do? Chinese news source, Peoples Daily Online (人民 网) reads: Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to…

Oh no! How was it possible to miss this news? Nature’s saddest-looking animal, the blobfish, is in danger of going extinct due to over-fishing. I would sacrifice a hundred rare white timberwolves…

Via English Russia:

One Russian farmer decided to equip his cow barn with … LED TVs.

He has got from somewhere the information that cows get more happy and productive if they watch the movies with the juicy green fields. So he got a non-stop loop of world’s recognized green Swiss Alpine fields and got the most slim LCD TVs on market in Russia and then called the team of workers to install that all.

Now they go into statistics to measure the outcomes. They compare the results from two groups of cows, one is watching TV another is deprived of this humanity most spread entertainment thing.

DEBORAH GOUGH writes in the Age: SCORES of starving and pain-ridden kangaroos have been culled after developing tooth and bone deformities from breathing and ingesting fluoride emissions. Many more are believed to…

Scientists say that dolphins as a species are significantly smarter than chimpanzees, so smart that they should be classified as “non-human persons” — making it deeply unethical to keep them in amusement parks or inadvertently kill them in fishing operations.

Until recently, dolphins were placed third among animals in intelligence (behind humans and chimps). However, new behavioral studies suggests that dolphins are smarter than previously believed. How smart? From the U.K.’s Times:

Dolphins have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future.

Dolphins can solve difficult problems, and those in the wild cooperate in ways that imply complex social structures and a high level of emotional sophistication. It has also become clear that they are “cultural” animals.

Bottlenose dolphins [can] recognize themselves in a mirror and use it to inspect various parts of their bodies, an ability that had been thought limited to humans and great apes.