United States Live Animal Trade

The Humane Party’s Economic Transition Team has completed its report on live animal trade in the United States.  The purpose of this report is to put together for the first time in one place the vast United States live animal trade industry data.  It is meant to highlight the number of animals from all species who are both exported from and imported to the United States.  The report also seeks to document the more than $3.5 billion U.S. industry that is the live animal export and import trade and to draw attention to the countries in which this trade is occurring. 

Veganizing the Great Works—the “Classics”—of Literature

While subjection to speciesism may be required by physical and political forces in the real world, no such necessity holds in imaginary worlds.  The author, editor, and publisher of a story, a play, a novel, a poem, a song, a movie script, a video game, or some other piece of literature wield plenary power over the manufactured universe in which that piece is set.  If we want readers and viewers to escape from speciesism, even just for a little while and even just in their imaginations, we can enable that escape by keeping speciesism and animal exploitation out of literature altogether.  This end can be achieved both (i) by writing new works that are, from the outset, free from anthropocentric and speciesist content and (ii) by editing existing works to meet that criterion.

Federal and State Protected Lands: Our Collective Right

What are our federal and state lands?  They are those pristine places where the deer and antelope play.  Songs of yesteryear enshrined in what are known as our National and State Parks, Forests, Refuges and Monuments.  Whether here in The United States or in any other country around the world, these areas are refuge. 

The Sentience of Plants

Are plants simply mindless automatons, going through the motions of sprouting, growing, flowering, fruiting, re-seeding and dying?  Is this a basic process, requiring no thought of temperature, soil moisture, humidity, nutrients, pollinisation and reproduction?  Does it all just occur, coincidentally or, if the processes are somehow deliberate, is it simply nature being nature? 

Animal Cruelty Inherent in Animal Dissection in Schools

About 6 million vertebrate animals are dissected every year in high schools across the United States.  This figure does not include elementary schools, middle schools, or colleges and universities.  A similar number of invertebrate animals are also dissected in schools.  Some of these animals are experimented upon while still alive.  About 170 types of animals are used, the most common being frogs, fetal pigs, and cats.

North America’s First Dolphin Sanctuary

The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland is undertaking groundbreaking changes in the way they care for the dolphin colony raised in captivity at the facility. With a mission to “advance understanding and protection of cetaceans by offering a natural environment in which the colony of dolphins in (their) care will thrive,” the aquarium is establishing the first dolphin sanctuary in North America. The colony of 8 dolphins will be moved by the year 2020 from the 35-year old Inner Harbor attraction at the Marine Mammal Pavilion.

“A Voice for the Voiceless”

Activists in the humane movement often refer to themselves as providing a voice to animals whose needs are not heard.  Similarly, for photographer and filmmaker Randy Bacon people who are homeless need to be heard and they also need to be seen.  In The Road I Call Home, an exhibition of portraits, stories, and film of the homeless community in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, Bacon provides an outlet for the people featured to be seen and to be heard in their own voices.

Personhood, Yes—But “Peoplehood,” Too

In support of the Humane Party‘s zoocracy concept and model, the present article seeks to offer a conceptual framework that may be regarded as fully including personhood but also as being more comprehensive, with respect to the goal of animal protection, than that of personhood alone, namely, that of “peoplehood.”  Personhood does not necessarily imply peoplehood, and, without recognition of this latter concept—recognition of other animals’ cultures, their relationships, their languages and communication styles, their full-fledged existence, dignity, and sovereignty as other “peoples”—animal-protection measures will tend to be severely under-inclusive in theory and under-performing in practice.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions at 400 PPM:  The New Normal

It seems like every day the normal changes.  Last year was hotter than the previous one, which was the hottest year on record.  Storms have reached greater intensity than the year before.  In some places spring comes sooner with trees budding in January and in others the snow rests until late May, only to see record temperatures in June bypassing spring altogether.  No matter where any of us lives, all of us can claim that the weather is freaky and abnormal.  But why?  Maybe greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere are the reason.

Zoocracy:  Placing Permanent Political Power—Yes, the Vote—in the Paws, Claws, and Jaws of Other Species

Zoocracy is a representative form of government in which members of all sentient species—not just homo sapiens—hold permanent political power of equal dignity.  Zoocracy is akin to democracy, in that decisions are made by vote of an enfranchised population.  But democracy pertains to an enfranchised population that is limited to humans, whereas zoocracy extends the franchise to all species.

Members of the European Parliament Vote to Ban Electric Pulse Fishing

The European Parliament voted on January 16, 2018 for a ban on the controversial fishing practice of electric pulse fishing, in which electrically charged lines are dragged just above the sea floor, stunning marine life up into trawling nets.  The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the only directly elected body to represent the European Union (EU), voted 402 to 232 in favor of the ban. 

Norway Pledges Fur Farming Ban

The newly formed coalition government of Norway, led by Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, announced on January 14, 2018 a pledge to end all fur farming in Norway, with the phase-out complete by 2024/2025.  Norway is the 14th European nation to phase out fur farming.  Belgium, Germany, and Luxembourg are also considering legislation to ban fur farming.  The United Kingdom was the first to institute a ban in 2000, followed by Austria in 2004.

Soybean’s Potential

Could the soybean be the best possible food for us?  It may very well be.  A pound of boiled soybeans delivers 82.67g of protein, 463 mg of calcium and over 23 mg of iron, along with many other essential vitamins and minerals.  It may also be the most efficient source of protein that can be produced for us to consume anywhere in the world. 

The Hazards of Rising Rates of Meat Consumption

According to the socially conscious Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) investor initiative, global meat consumption increased five-fold between 1992 and 2016.  This rise has worldwide implications for human health as well as the environment. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the average American consumer will eat a record-breaking 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry in 2018.