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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a split decision on Idaho’s 2012 “ag-gag” law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on January 4, 2018 that audio and visual recordings in animal agricultural facilities could not be prohibited by the state, upholding an earlier ruling that invalidated the Idaho law for violating free speech. The January 4th ruling is a partial victory for animal activists.
The report of the Humane Party’s Economic Transition Team, “Animal based Agriculture vs. Plant-based Agriculture: A Multi Product Comparison,” has been named one of the most important research articles of 2017 by Faunalytics. The 27-page report analyzes products of animals and plants from the perspectives of land use, yield, income, expenses, and profitability.
Fashion industry icon Michael Kors has joined the list of designers who will no longer use fur in their fashion lines. Kors follows on the recent announcement by the Italian industry giant Gucci that they will begin phasing out fur starting in the spring of 2018. Unfortunately, fur products are sometimes mislabeled as fur-free.
The Humane Party’s Economic Transition Team has completed its report analyzing the manure generated from animals. The purpose of the document is to understand the daily generation of animal manure due to animal agriculture and its implications. Recommended rates of manure application to farmlands are taken into account along with each state’s total land and farming-allocated land to evaluate whether the amount of manure generated per state is insufficient, sufficient, or excessive to meet the fertilization needs of each state.
There are 21 countries in which it is illegal to have your cat declawed: England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. Conspicuously missing from this list is the United States.
Knowing the devastation that factory farming causes to water, land or human health hasn’t convinced industry captains of the error of their ways. The myth of efficiency boosted factory farming for these many decades. Now the devastation it causes is coming back to haunt us. A conference in London, taking place October 5-6, will bring it all together.
This tiny beast, this guinea pig, had become golden to the researchers! He saved them a lot of time and money. He was very patient. He caused no one any grief. Ever. He required very little anesthetic and so they hardly ever gave him any. They didn’t need to! Because he only purred. And they used him, and used him, and abused him. He was their bread and butter. They didn’t put the guinea pig on a fork and poke it into their mouths, but that’s only a technicality. The suffering of the guinea pig was food to them. His flesh and body sustained them. So they ate him.
A personal story.
What started off as any other morning, was about to prove the opposite. I was awake, had my morning coffee, and was navigating through my morning routine. I couldn’t tell you the exact day of the week it was, though I know it was two weeks ago on an overcast day in September.
The Joan Jett Station was playing on Pandora, when a friend of mine appeared quickly before me and seemingly frazzled. He told me that it was screaming and that he didn’t know what to do.
Animals represent the best example of life having a real, factual value. Every time we walk by the meats section of any grocery store, we see a price tag on the body of an individual, an individual who endured a horrendous life, a life very few of us can even stand observing. The price tag in the market includes taxes, profits for the store, distributors, etc. If such a price has been inflated to add the profits of so many, what is the bottom-line value of their life?
President Trump’s executive order on “Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America” assigns a task force to identify impediments to farming in the US. One particular impediment is the animal agriculture business. The Humane Party’s Agricultural Policy Transition Team has already done the labor intensive task of crunching numbers and ultimately resolving such impediments.