BOOKS: Vegan is love: Having a heart and taking action

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2012:

Vegan is love:
Having a heart and taking action
Written & illustrated by Ruby Roth
North Atlantic Books (c/o Random House
(1745 Broadway,  New York,  NY 10019),  2011.
40 pages,  hardcover.  $16.95.

Vegan is Love delves into animal mistreatment at zoos, circuses,  marine parks and aquariums–all common destinations for schools and families.  “You do not have to be an expert to know that animals do not want to balance on balls or jump through hoops of fire,”  says  author Ruby Roth.  Roth explains that Orca whales live in the wild and asks how can we learn “from prisoners in a pool?” Read more

BOOKS: Above All, Be Kind

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  December 2003:

Above All,  Be Kind:
Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
by Zoe Weil
New Society Publishers (P.O. Box 189,  Gabriola Island,
B.C. V0R 1X0,  Canada),  2003.  272 pages,  paperback.  $17.95.

On page 127 of Above All,  Be Kind,
veteran humane educator Zoe Weil advises parents
to teach their children the CRITIC approach to
analytical thinking developed by Professor Wayne
Bartz.  “CRITIC,”  Weil explains,  “stands for
Claim?  Role of the claimant?  Information
backing the claim? Test?  Independent testing?
Cause proposed?”
Weil shows how CRITIC might be applied in
evaluating ads for a diet product.

Read more

BOOKS: Sonya Fitzpatrick, The Pet Psychic

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2003:

Sonya Fitzpatrick, The Pet Psychic:
What the animals tell me by Sonya Fitzpatrick
Berkley Pub Group (c/o Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson St.,
New York, NY 10014), 2003. 272 pages, hardcover. $21.95.

The Pet Psychic is just too dumb to finish.
In childhood, Sonya Fitzpatrick claims, she had a hearing
impairment that made her relate better to animals and made her more
aware of her psychic/telepathic powers. Then one holiday her father
cooked her pet geese. Fitzpatrick became so traumatized that she
turned off her communication with animals, and didn’t start again
until she was an adult.

Read more

Unusual histories are almost the norm among exotic animal keepers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2002:

DALLAS–Enthusiasts of exotic and dangerous animals are
almost by definition unusual people–and that poses one of the
perennial complications of the sanctuary dilemma.
Many and perhaps most sanctuarians became involved with
dangerous and exotic animals through breeding, trafficking,
exhibiting, and/or performing with them. They may obtain nonprofit
status, and may actually do a significant amount of animal rescuing
between continuing previous activities under the name of a sanctuary,
yet even then may contribute more to the proliferation of dangerous
and exotic wildlife in private hands than to containing it.

Read more

BOOKS: Voices From The Garden

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2002:

Voices From the Garden: Stories of Becoming A Vegetarian
edited by Sharon & Daniel Towns
Lantern Books (1 Union Square West, #201, New York, NY 10003),
October 2001. 176 pages, paperback. $15.00.

Are you curious about other folks “going veggie” stories?
The first-person accounts in Voices From the Garden come for the most
part from ordinary people who have in common doing one thing that
mainstream America might consider extraordinary: they eat a vegan or
vegetarian diet. They range in age from teenagers to veterans of
sixty years without meat. They recount what it is like to challenge
the status quo-past and present. Among them are also a handful of
well-known people, including the former cattle rancher and
vegetarian advocate Howard Lyman, PETA co-founder Ingrid Newkirk,
and Richard Schwartz, author of Judaism and Vegetarianism.

Read more

Animal Liberation author Peter Singer stirs the pot with essay on bestiality

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

AUGUSTA, Maine.; PITTSBURGH, Pa.; PRINCETON, N.J.; SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–Philosopher Peter Singer, always provocative, did it again on March 12 with an essay for the online magazine <www.nerve.com> entitled “Heavy Petting.” Asking why people think what they think and take the positions they do on human/animal sexual relations, Singer at e-mail speed sparked perhaps as much quick uproar as he did when the first reviews of his 1974 book Animal Liberation appeared.

Then too, Singer was accused of trying to upset the natural order.Now chairing the Princeton Univer-sity Center for Human Values, Singer cofounded the Australian advocacy group Animal Liberation, and succeeded Henry Spira, who died in September 1998, as president of Animal Rights International. Singer’s main career, however, is making people think about many of the hottest topics in public discourse: euthanasia, for example, and whether or not society should try to save newborns with birth defects so severe that they seem to have little chance of enjoying their existence. Though Singer himself is Jewish, and most of his family died in the Nazi holocaust, he is frequently picketed as an alleged advocate of eugenics and worse.

Though he gives generously to anti-hunger projects, especially Oxfam, he is often accused of being anti-human.
Comparably paradoxical denunciations of “Heavy Petting” flew thick and fast. “Once an Ivy League professor is known to be a proponent of infanticide, perhaps nothing he says or writes should raise eyebrows,” began Kathryn Jean Lopez, the associate editor of National Review.

Her real target, however, appeared to be Princeton president Harold Shapiro, chair of the National Bioethics Advisory
Commission ever since it was formed eight years ago by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. “The commission’s charter expires in October, and its very existence should be reconsidered,” Lopez wrote.

At a glance, Shapiro’s advisory role on biotech would seem to have little to do with Singer’s views on psychology, sociology, and animal welfare. However, while Shapiro ponders the issues raised by transferring genes across species barriers, Singer dared question whether interspecies biological activity associated with genetic transference is inherently more “unnatural” than inserting a glow-in-the-dark gene from a jellyfish into a rhesus macacque, as
was done in January 2001 by Oregon Health Science University staff working at the Oregon Regional Primate Center.

Lopez seemed to be offended by Singer explaining that “a human male who has sex with hens ultimately kills the hen,” yet asking if that is “worse than what egg producers do to their hens all the time.” Lopez did not, however, attempt to form an answer on either side of the question.

Other rips at Singer and “Heavy Petting” were distributed by New Republic contributing editor and George Mason University Law School teacher Peter Berko-witz; syndicated columnist Debra J. Saunders; and Rutgers University animal rights law professor Gary Francione, whose perspective is generally as far left as Lopez is to the right.

Fumed Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral, “When FoA questioned Singer’s views, he replied, ‘If sexual contact between a human and an animal was not contrary to the desires of either, gave pleasure to both, and caused no harm, present or future, to either, would it be bad? If so, why?’ Obviously, the animal rights movement needs to distance itself from Singer.” Standing close to a lightning rod could be deadly–but Feral did not try to answer the question Singer asked, either.

Tennessee Network for Animals director Don Elroy, who has pursued passage of an anti-bestiality law in a state which now has none, disregarded the conditions built into Singer’s question of Feral; equated all bestiality with imposing the human will upon an animal, although the example Singer gave in his essay of a dog rubbing himself against a human leg would not seem to fit that definition; and concluded that, “While Singer may be thought of as the ‘father of the animal rights movement,’ the views he has expressed are farther from what the movement stands for than most of
the attacks from detractors.”

Singer was prominently defended within the animal rights movement only by PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. “Heavy Petting,” said Newkirk, is “daring, honest, and does not do what some people read into it, which is condone any violent acts involving an animal, sexual or otherwise.” Singer’s bottom line: “We are animals…great apes. This does not make sex across the species barrier normal, or natural, but it does imply that it ceases to be an offense to our status and
dignity as human beings.”

Current court cases

But Singer wrote with three bizarre criminal cases involving suspected use of animals for sexual gratification in the headlines:

* A San Francisco grand jury on March 27 indicted attorneys Robert Noel, 59, and Marjorie Knoller, 45, who are husband and wife, for involuntary manslaughter and failure to control an animal. Knoller was also indicted for second degee murder. Noel and Knoller were charged in connection with how they allegedly trained two Presa Canario dogs, whom they were keeping for prison lifers Dale Bretches, 44, and Paul Schneider, 38. Bretches and Schneider are
reputed leaders of the white supremacist Aryan Nations gang. On January 26 the dogs broke away from Knoller and killed Diane Whipple, 33. Three days after the attack, Noel and Knoller legally adopted Schneider–who reportedly had a collection of “X-rated” photos of Knoller in his cell. The warrant authorizing the search sought, among other things, “any materials or correspondence describing sexual acts by Noel or Knoller that involve dogs.” Whether any were
found, however, and what bearing they may have on the case, has not been disclosed.

* The indictments came the same day that Phillip Buble, 44, of Parkman, Maine, testified to the Maine legislature’s criminal justice committee in opposition to a bill to create a felony penalty for bestiality. Buble stated that he and his dog, Lady Buble, “live together as a married couple, in the eyes of God.” Phillip Buble’s father, Frank Buble, 71, was on February 27 sentenced to nine months in jail for beating Phillip Buble with a crowbar on September 13, 1999. Frank Buble told police that he was trying to kill his son because he was sick of the son’s behavior. Phillip Buble told the legislative committee that the dog saved him from the attack.
* In Butler County, Pennsylvania, Tammy L. Felbaum, 42, born Tommy Wyda, has been held since February 25 on multiple counts of cruelty to animals allegedly involving both violence and neglect. She was also charged with homicide on March 13. Her sixth husband, James John Felbaum, 40, was on February 25 found dead from a castration that Tammy Felbaum says J.J. Felbaum did himself. Tammy Felbaum is believed to have castrated herself in 1980 in order to force her doctor to consent to her having a surgical change of gender. A previous husband, Tim Charles Barner, 51, is missing and may also have been castrated by Felbaum, police said. Both J.J. Felbaum and Tammy Felbaum had prior arrests for drug-related offenses.

ANIMAL PEOPLE has received documentation since 1992 of only 22 bestiality cases within the U.S., involving 20 perpetrators, who allegedly committed acts with 17 horses, 10 dogs, five cats, four cows, three sheep, and a pig. This makes bestiality the rarest of all animal-related offenses. The most common is mass neglect, with cases on file involving more than 1,000 perpetrators and more than 50,000 animal victims. One nation, South Africa, records more than 80% of all known bestiality cases, with 284 convictions in 1997-2000 alone.