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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Humane Party’s Staff Coordinator, Brandy Walt, continues in their role for a second term, January 1-March 31, 2018. This announcement also lists some of the notable changes that were made during their first term, October 1-December 31, 2017.
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.
In Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice editor Lisa Kemmerer brings together essays by 14 women who work as animal advocates. Carol J. Adams contributed the foreword to the book, addressing the importance of bringing together these women’s stories as a way for the reader to discover their own stories of awareness and engagement. In the field of biology, “sister species” refers to pairs of species in which each is the other’s closest relative.
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 present article marks the third installment of the “Mythology and Fantasy Literature for Activists” series. The story of A Christmas Carol has been presented, re-made, copied, and imitated in so many forms that it and its progeny serve as perennial landmarks of the modern Christmas tradition. The essential event and theme Dickens permanently installed into this tradition—personal transformation and redemption as a result of new insight—has many features to which vegans can relate, and revisiting this story can serve to prompt reflections on and new insights regarding one’s life choices for modern activists just as it has for several generations of other readers and viewers over the last 150 years.