18 August 2005

Location of Readers

If you want to see where the readers of this blog live, click on "Location of Readers" to the left of this post. If you want to see just the continental U.S. or just Europe, for example, click on the appropriate link. If you roll your mouse cursor over a dot, you'll see the exact location of that visitor. If you left-click your mouse while over a dot, you'll see details of the visitor. I wish Mylan Engel would keep his promise to start posting on this blog. He would reach far more people through this blog than he does through his academic writings, which are read by only a handful of philosophers, most of whom are already concerned about animals. Therefore, if he really cares about animals, as he says he does, he will post. I know you're reading this, Mylan, because I saw a visitor from De Kalb, Illinois.

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

I was heartbroken reading "The Lamb on the Runway" (Thursday Styles, Aug. 11), about astrakhan, a fur previously known as Persian lamb that is a trend for fall.

Just when I thought that the buying public was showing compassion by going "faux," I hear that fetal lambs are being killed for their fur. How many animals must be tortured and killed for so-called beauty?

There is nothing beautiful about a human wearing the fur of another animal. I have seen footage of precious animals screaming in agony as they are caught in steel-claw leg traps or killed in various other torturous methods for "fashion."

As smart as mankind proposes to be, why can't anyone invent a fashion that is soft and luxurious without viciously killing animals?

Oh wait! Isn't that what faux is?

Donna Dixon
Woodbridge, Va., Aug. 11, 2005

14 August 2005

Animal Writings

Here is a new blog.

A Critique of PETA

A reader sent a link to this essay by Tim Wise. I renew my claim—which I have made many times in this blog—that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) does more harm than good to animals. Why anyone would support it is beyond me.

11 August 2005

Animal Sexual Abuse

Here is a web page devoted to the prevention of animal sexual abuse.

10 August 2005

J[ohn] D[avid] Mabbott (1898-1988) on Legislating Morality

[I]t is unlikely that anyone in England refrains from bear-baiting or from torture in fear of the police. Even the education of children is probably now accepted as the ‘natural’ thing, and is not due nearly so much as in 1880 to the Attendance Officer. (In many areas he has been abolished.) A custom dies and a new one takes its place. One of the strongest points in favour of much of the legislation protecting animals is just this—that an enormous amount of the cruelty involved is the result of unconscious acquiescence due to simple ignorance or lack of imagination and continuing mainly through convention and fashion. When bear-baiting was abolished other entertainments took its place. The controls of the training of performing animals, of the trapping of animals for fur, of the making of foie gras, if enforced by law would cause only slight changes in what is at its best mainly caprice, the fashions of amusement or clothing or food. Animals which could be trained only by fear or trapped only with prolonged suffering would disappear from the circus and the fur market and in a year or two be forgotten altogether.

(J. D. Mabbott, The State and the Citizen: An Introduction to Political Philosophy, 2d ed. [London: Hutchinson University Library, 1967 (1st ed. 1948)], 67)

09 August 2005

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

The cloning innovation achieved by a team of South Korean scientists heralded in your Aug. 5 editorial "The Duplicate Dog" should be cause for concern, not celebration.

Genetic duplicates may turn out far different than their forebears. More to the point, with millions of healthy and adoptable cats and dogs being killed each year for lack of suitable homes, it is a little frivolous to be cloning pets.

Behind the cloned pets are far grander schemes to clone animals for use in agriculture and research. Before such projects become the norm, we should all pause and think carefully about where it is all leading—for animals and for humanity.

Congress and regulatory bodies must step in and provide some ethical precepts before the brave new world of animal cloning yields a commercial industry of its own.

Wayne Pacelle
Pres. and Chief Exec., Humane Society of the United States
Washington, Aug. 8, 2005

06 August 2005

Cattle Congestion

There are many reasons to abstain from meat. Here is one of them.

01 August 2005

Canine Suicide?

Can dogs commit suicide? See here.

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Verlyn Klinkenborg misjudged the motive for our popular "PETA Kills Animals" Times Square billboard ("The Story Behind a New York Billboard and the Interests It Serves," Editorial Observer, July 24). We simply thought it was time more Americans saw People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as we do: a group of well-practiced hypocrites who relish throwing stones from their well-financed glass house.

It is certainly hypocritical for PETA to kill 80 percent of the animals that come through its doors, including many adoptable puppies and kittens. PETA raised $29 million last year alone, money that its donors believe is being spent caring for flesh-and-blood creatures instead of staging tawdry spectacles that highlight the supposed evils of not being a strict vegetarian.

Traditional animal shelters near PETA's Norfolk headquarters euthanize unwanted animals as well, but at a rate only one-third what PETA has quietly pursued under the public's radar. PETA's stated goal is "total animal liberation," and Americans deserve to know that this apparently includes "liberating" vulnerable, healthy pets from life itself.

Richard Berman
Executive Director
Center for Consumer Freedom
Washington, July 25, 2005