Letters [March 2006]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2006:

Hoarding cases

In declining to hear the Jenny Jones hoarding case [as
described in “U.S. Supreme Court endorses seizure of hoarded
animals,” March 2006], the Supreme Court did not uphold the right
of humane societies and animal control agencies to seize animals from
alleged hoarders and charge convicted hoarders for their care. It
did not uphold anything. The Court simply refused to hear the case,
as it refuses to hear all but a small percentage of cases brought to
it.
–Steve Wise
Boston, Massachusetts
<WiseBoston@aol.com>

The Editor replies:

Refusing to hear a case means allowing the law, ruling, or
precedent to stand, rejecting the grounds for challenge.
That the Supreme Court refused to hear the Jones case was
noteworthy, because it was a case based on a claim of property
rights, along lines that the Supreme Court has taken seriously in
some recent environmental cases.
Fortunately for humane prosecutors, the Supreme Court did
not see fit to review the issues as they pertain to live animals.
Also discussed in the article in question was a June 2005
verdict in a comparable case by a three-judge panel from the 6th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which now stands as the most
recent direct precedent. The appellate judges unanimously upheld the
dismissal of a similar lawsuit brought by the subjects of a May 2001
animal neglect investigation led by the Shelbyville-Bedford County
Humane Society, of Shelbyville, Tennessee.

Hunters, Herders

Thank you so much for your review of my book Hunters,
Herders, & Hamburgers: The Past & Future of Human/Animal
Relationships. Your observation that I am “more interested in
stimulating thought than in clinching arguments” is right on the
money. I hope your review will encourage some of your readers to
take a look at the book. Everything I say in it may not suit them,
but I tried to ask fresh questions on a number of issues so perhaps
they will find, as you say, something stimulating.
–Richard W. Bulliet
Middle East Institute
Columbia University
420 West 118th St.
New York, NY 10027
<rwb3@columbia.edu>

 

Well put

The bottom line of your January/February 2006 editorial
“Ghosts of 9/11 & December 7 haunt animal advocacy” was well put,
not that a lot in this movement will take it to heart. I must keep
it around and make reference to it in the future.
–Steve Hindi
President
SHARK
P.O. Box 28
Geneva, IL 60134
Phone: 630-557-0176
Fax: 630-557-0178
<SHARKintl@SHARKonline.org>
<www.SHARKonline.org>

The bottom line:

“Convincing the world to treat animals with moral
consideration requires activists to keep the high ground, not from
fear of arrest, but from the likelihood that appearing to be
irrational or dangerous will obscure the message and lead to failure.”

Temple Grandin

Anyone who cares about animals can only be glad to learn of
Temple Grandin’s assessment in your January/February 2006 “Letters”
section that animals being slaughtered at killing facilities audited
by “restaurants that hold a plant to numerical standards” fall and
vocalize distress less, and more often are unconscious when their
throats are cut.
But when Grandin refers to “outright animal abuse” at “some
plants outside the audit system,” she seems unaware that all
slaughter is outright animal abuse. That current laws do not define
it as cruelty to animals is another matter: our society is based on
outright animal abuse. That is why all sentient beings need legal
rights–something no amount of animal welfare campaigning and
industry regulating can ever provide. Giving up on the animals by
saying we can “never” end raising animals for food supports the
status quo of human supremacy.
Grandin and other apologists oppose animal rights, no matter
how much they may “care.” Every animal slaughtered without slipping
or crying out should have lived much longer, in benevolent
surroundings never experienced; never should have been forced onto a
truck; and never should have been born or hatched in the first place.
–David Cantor
Executive Director
Responsible Policies
for Animals, Inc.
P.O. Box 891
Glenside, PA 19038
Phone: 215-886-RPA1
<RPA4all@aol.com>

More on Grandin

Kim Bartlett’s December 2005 review of Temple Grandin’s
Animals in Translation is a much needed critique of the author.
Temple Grandin deserves no “admiration” for designing equipment which
“allows animals being killed for meat to suffer less than they would
otherwise.”
Not one less farm animal has died because of Ms. Grandins’
modifications of the architecture
of slaughter.
I was in Auschwitz this past summer with a group of
survivors. Their German captors sent friends and families to the
“showers” in a manner intended to reduce their fear. They were given
soap, told that they were simply going to wash up after work. The
result was genocide.
Grandin is doing no more for cows than giving them the
illusion that everything is all right. Her work, intentionally or
not, provides a cover for the corporations that kill these creatures
and for people who continue to eat them.
–Wayne Johnson, Ph.D
Animal Rights Hawaii
1750 Kalakaua #2403
Honolulu, HI 96826
Phone: 808 955-2187
<waynezorro@aol.com>

The Editor replies:

The three basic means of reducing the universe of suffering,
in any sphere, are reduction, refinement, and replacement.
In the area of food production & consumption, reduction and
replacement are obviously the two approaches that achieve the most
dramatic and immediate results, but even the fast-rising popularity
of vegetarianism and veganism, and the tendency of younger
meat-eaters to eat less, have not actually reduced the numbers of
animals going to slaughter, due to human population growth.
That leaves refinement as the area in which the most can be
done to reduce the suffering of the animals who are caught up in the
system here and now. In the areas of developing refinement methods
and technology, few if any have done as much as Temple Grandin.
Even if her work saved only one minute of fear and pain for
each of the 161 million hooved animals sent to slaughter in the U.S.
last year, 30.6 years of animal suffering were prevented. If you
look at the total time that hooved animals spent in loading,
transport, holding, and slaughter, Grandin may have eased or
prevented 1,323,288 years of animal suffering.
This is an accomplishment worthy of respect and appreciation.

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