Confucian Virtue Ethics vs. Animal Rights & the Predation Problem

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July-August 13:

Confucian Virtue Ethics vs. Animal Rights & the Predation Problem by Wolf Clifton

Steve Cooke, author of the Thrifty Philosopher blog, in a recent installment entitled Animal Rights & The Predation Problem demonstrated the fallacy of attempting to devise a perfectly coherent, all-encompassing ethical philosophy perhaps especially as regards a topic as diverse as the range of human relationships with animals, across the spectrum of species. Read more

BOOKS | The Peaceable Forest: India’s Tale of Kindness to Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2012:
The Peaceable Forest:  India’s Tale of Kindness to Animals by Kosa Ely, illustrated by Anna Johansson Insight Editions (POB 3088,  San Rafael,  CA  94912),  2012. [Order c/o <http://peaceableforest.com/>.] 32 pages,  hardcover,  illustrated.  $16.99.
Kosa Ely has in The Peaceable Forest:  India’s Tale of Kindness to Animals recast into a story for very young children the parable of how the wandering sage Narada transformed the sadistic hunter Mrigari into an animal-loving vegetarian.  Significant in Hare Krishna teachings as a demonstration that sinners can achieve personal redemption,  this simplified version of the parable might help vegetarian parents to explain why their families do not eat meat. Read more

Buddhism & the meat question

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2012: (Actually published on November 1,  2012.)

by Wolf Clifton

A recent activist letter-writing campaign protested against a chicken teriyaki dinner hosted by a west coast Buddhist temple.  As a Buddhist and a vegetarian,  I was appalled at the notion of a Buddhist establishment condoning and actively supporting the slaughter of chickens.  Even more appalling was learning that this event was by no means an anomaly.  Dozens of Buddhist temples have recently hosted chicken teriyaki dinners–especially on the west coast,  but all over the U.S. and Canada. Read more

EDITORIAL: Seeking an end to animal sacrifice

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  June 2012:

Editorial feature: Seeking an end to animal sacrifice

Among all the many uses and abuses of animals which persist for a cultural pretext, animal sacrifice is perhaps the most widely practiced,  in a variety of different forms and contexts,  and the most difficult to address in an effective manner,  leading to fewer animals being killed–or ideally,  none.

The difficulty of stopping animal sacrifice occurs in part because the perspective of people who practice animal sacrifice tends to be almost incomprehensible to those who oppose it.  Opponents are sometimes many generations and often oceans away from any ancestors who ever sacrificed animals.  Killing animals to be eaten at traditional holidays remains as ubiquitous as the slaughter of turkeys at the U.S. Thanksgiving.  Yet,  from the perspective of people who believe in a just and merciful god, which includes about 85% of humanity according to recent global surveys of religious belief,  the theology of practitioners of overt animal sacrifice might seem to many to be blasphemous.

What sort of god would demand that animals be killed?  Even the priests of the Spanish Inquisition,  who accompanied the conquistadors to the New World and “converted” Native Americans to Catholicism through genocidal use of sword and flame,  theorized that animal and human sacrifices were so self-evidently evil that the gods of the practitioners of such sacrifices must be diabolical.

From a secular perspective,  animal sacrifice is relatively easily recognized as a set of rituals which permit the practitioners to kill and eat animals without guilt–whereas,  in other societies,  killing and eating animals is rationalized by arguments which draw exaggerated distinctions between the sentience of animals and humans.    Read more

Dutch ritual slaughter ban referred for study

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2012:

DEN HAAG, The Netherlands— A proposed ban on slaughtering
animals without pre-stunning that cleared the Dutch House of
Representatives 116-30 in June 2011 was on December 20,  2011 amended
in the Senate into a pledge that undersecretary for agriculture Henk
Bleker’s office will draft standards to ensure that halal and kosher
slaughter,  practiced by Muslims and Jews,  are done in a manner that
minimizes animal suffering.  Pre-stunning has traditionally been
interpreted by most Judaic and Islamic religious  authorities–though
some differ–as a violation of the requirements of Mosaic and Islamic
religious law that animals be conscious when their throats are
swiftly cut with a sharp blade.

Proposed by the Party for the Animals,  which holds two seats
in the House and one in the Senate,  and is a part of the coalition
government,  the ban on slaughter without pre-stunning gained
momentum after being endorsed by the far right Party for Freedom,
whose focal issue is discouraging Islamic immigration.  About one
million of the Dutch population of 16 million are immigrants from
Islamic nations.

Dutch bill to ban slaughter without pre-stunning clears lower house

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2011:

DEN HAAG–A bill to require that all animals who are
slaughtered for human consumption must be stunned before they are
killed was on June 28, 2011 approved 116-30 by the lower house of
the Dutch Parliament and passed to the Dutch senate.
The senate is not expected to act upon the bill before fall.
The bill in effect bans traditional kosher and halal slaughter.
Though some Judaic and Islamic religious authorities conditionally
allow pre-stunning, most hold that pre-stunning is a violation of
the requirements of Mosaic and Islamic religious law that animals be
conscious when their throats are swiftly cut with a sharp blade.

Read more

Dutch to get 500 “animal cops” — may ban kosher & halal slaughter

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2011:
DEN HAAG, The Netherlands– The politics of assembling the
present Dutch coalition government are expected to put 100 new
“animal cops” on the beat in the Netherlands by the end of 2011, and
to eventually increase the Dutch animal police force to 500 officers.
Dutch coalition politics could also lead to the passage of a
proposed ban on slaughter without pre-stunning, which within the
European Union is done by electroshock for cattle and by carbon
dioxide gassing for pigs and poultry. The proposed Dutch law would
prohibit kosher and halal slaughter, practiced by Jews and Muslims.
Pre-stunning has traditionally been interpreted by most Judaic and
Islamic religious authorities– though some differ–as a violation
of the requirements of Mosaic and Islamic religious law that animals
be conscious when their throats are swiftly cut with a sharp blade.

Read more

Haj & Eid abuses exposed again

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2010:

 

Live transport, crude amateur slaughter
at the November 16, 2010 celebration of the Eid
“Feast of Sacrifice,” slaughter in front of
children, poor animal welfare leading to the
spread of disease–including the often deadly
tick-borne Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever–and
misuse of the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca as a cover
for wildlife trafficking all came to light in
2010 post-Haj reportage. The most encouraging
sign of change may have been simply that much of
the critical reportage was done by leading media
in Islamic nations.

Read more

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