BOOKS: Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, & Wear Cows

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2010:

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, & Wear Cows:
An introduction to carnism
by Melanie Joy, Ph.D.
Conari Press (65 Parker Street, Suite 7,
Newburyport, MA 01950), 2010. 204 pages,
hardcover. $19.95.

Melanie Joy opens Why We Love Dogs, Eat
Pigs, & Wear Cows by describing guests sitting
around a dinner table. The host smiles as she
dishes out a savory stew. Oh, by the way, did
I tell you it’s made from five pounds of golden
retriever? Do the guests vomit? Storm out in
protest? Or slap their napkins across the cook’s
In a second scenario the savory stew is
made from marinated beef tips in a red wine
sauce, served over a bed of steaming white rice.
Most people dig in and perhaps ask for seconds.
Why do humans eat beef, chicken, lamb,
pork and seafood without blinking, yet in much
of the world are repulsed and outraged by the
idea of dining on dog?

Read more

Animal welfare is Chinese tradition, says prof

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2010:


CHENGDU–Legislating on behalf of animals is not a break with
Chinese culture and tradition, but rather a rediscovery of ancient
Chinese values, Central Institute of Socialism professor Mang Ping
recently told an ActAsia forum on promoting animal welfare
“In Chinese history there is a long tradition of protecting
animals, but we forget about the past. We have the same sympathy
and mercy as the West towards animals,” Mang Ping declared,
according to notes taken by Animals Asia Foundation founder Jill

Read more

Animal Cruelty & Dehumanization in Human Rights Violations

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2009:
Animal Cruelty & Dehumanization in Human Rights Violations by Wolf Clifton
Almost annually people who care about animals are shocked by
accounts of how the U.S. military prepares combat medics to work in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
Petty Officer Third Class Dustin E. Kirby, for example,
described his training to C.J. Chivers of The New York Times in
November 2006, almost a year after Kirby himself was severely
wounded on Christmas Day 2005.
“The idea is to work with live tissue,” Kirby explained.

Read more

Fur sales at 20-year low & falling

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2009:
fur industry flacks are banging the drums to
proclaim that fur sales are making a comeback,
but the media echo is distinctly muted. More
designers were trying to sell fur in mid-2009 at
the London, Milan, New York, and Paris Fashion
Week shows, 164 in all, up from 156 in 2008,
but more sellers scarcely means more buyers.
Whatever publicity boost fur might have
gotten from the participation of eight more
designers was upstaged when French first lady
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and U.S. first lady Michelle
Obama both let the world know that fur is not in
their wardrobes.

Read more

No more treating sentient lives as trash

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2009:

Horse racing evolved as “The Sport of Kings,” since kings
were among the first people who could afford to breed and race highly
valued animals kept by others mostly for work.
Animal fighting, regardless of any terms applied to the
human participants, by contrast evolved as “The Sport of Trash.”
The plastic garbage bags full of “sexed” male chickens
awaiting live maceration at any hatchery serving the egg industry
illustrate why. Cockfighting, bullfighting, and dogfighting each
originated through the quest to find profitable uses for lives that
would otherwise be snuffed out and discarded: birds who would never
lay eggs, cattle who would never give milk, and barge-born mongrel
pups who might combine big-dog stamina with small-dog feistiness,
but would grow up to be too small to pull carts, too big to hunt rats.
Gambling money and the evolution of paying audiences for
animal fighting eventually separated the lineage of most gamecocks,
fighting bulls, and fighting dogs from their barnyard and waterfront
ancestors, but not entirely. The public participatory forms of
bullfighting practiced in India as jallikattu and dhirio, for
example, and the Brazilian version called farra du boi, are little
changed from ancient origins.
Surplus bull calves in early agrarian societies might be
castrated and trained to draw plows and carts, but relatively few
were needed for work. Bull calves might also be raised as steers,
for beef; but until the advent of mechanized grain production, few
people could afford to keep and fatten cattle just to be eaten.
Yet many tried. Around the world, agrarian societies
typically tried to feed most of their young and healthy animals
through the winter, then culled them at midwinter solstice and
spring equinox festivals. The killing was sometimes ritualized as
sacrifice, sometimes as sport and entertainment, and often as all

Read more

“Doggie in the window” singer hopes to sing the swan song for puppy mills

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2008:
WASHINGTON D.C.– “At the time,” in 1952, “‘Doggie in the
Window’ seemed like a sweet and harmless message,” recalls singer
Patti Page. Selling more than a million copies in five months, the
song became Page’s fourth recording to top the charts in five
years–and became the unofficial anthem of the pet industry.
Opening with the question “How much is that doggie in the
window? I do hope that doggie is for sale,” the song helped to
popularize the concept of purchasing commercially bred puppies from
pet stores, at a time when the overwhelming majority of pet dogs in
the U.S. were mongrels and about 30% of the U.S. dog population were
street dogs, as in much of the developing world today.
Page recorded “Doggie in the Window” for a children’s album,
early in the “Baby Boom” that doubled the U.S. human population and
brought a trebling of the pet population within a generation of the
end of World War II. By the time the “Baby Boom” children began
raising families and acquiring pets of their own, the U.S. street
dog population had been eradicated by the combination of improved
sanitation, more vehicular traffic, and more aggressive animal
control. Nearly half the dogs in the U.S. were now purebreds, and
U.S. animal shelters were killing seven times as many dogs as in 1952.

Read more

Editorial feature: National image & the quality of compassion

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2008:


Having never won a fight in his life, despite picking many
in his youth, the longtime ANIMAL PEOPLE office cat Alfred the Great
died in 2006 after convincing generations of younger cats that his
scars from many early thrashings were evidence that he was not a cat
to trifle with. Alfred occupied a royal pillow for years after
learning a lesson about image and character from an old female cat
named Gidget, nicknamed “Devil of the Boss Cats.”
A rather small tabby, Gidget one evening turned on a coyote
believed to have eaten nine other cats, and sent the coyote racing
up a mountainside for dear life with her practiced shrieks and Aikido
rolls. The coyote never came back.
Alfred followed Gidget, practicing her growl and swagger.
But Alfred also studied the social nuances exhibited by the
Buddha-like Voltaire, his predecessor as as the ANIMAL PEOPLE top
cat, who tended to let younger tomcats beat each other up without
involving himself in pointless confrontation. Cultivating political
wisdom, Alfred reigned into frail old age, then peacefully
abdicated when he knew he could no longer present a convincing bluff.
Image and character, as almost every animal instinctively
knows, are often not the same thing–but image reflects character
often enough that rivals and predators tend to avoid risking
mistakes. The essence of successful display, whether to attract a
mate or to repel a threat, is convincing others that the brightness
of feathers, size of mane, length of horns, or jauntiness of a
strut is authentically indicative of whatever is underneath.
Image tends to be created by the combination of whatever is
deliberately offered to view with what cannot be hidden. Thus much
of image is a matter of presenting a potential defect or
vulnerability as an attribute and asset. Alfred could not hide his
scars, but he could tell hugely exaggerated war stories about them
with his cocky demeanor. Gidget could not hide being small, but her
growl hinted at the ferocity of a puma. Voltaire moved in a regal
manner ensuring that he was seen as the king of cats, not just a fat

Read more

Editorial feature: What is the future of Islamic animal sacrifice?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2008:
Editorial feature

What is the future of Islamic animal sacrifice?

At each of the past two Eids, the Feast
of Sacrifice that culminates the Haj or Islamic
season of pilgrimage to Mecca, ANIMAL PEOPLE
publisher Kim Bartlett and son Wolf Clifton were
in cities where many Muslim people practice
animal sacrifice in honor of the occasion:
Mumbai, India and Luxor, Egypt.
Also in Egypt for the 2007 Eid was Animal
People, Inc. alternate board member Kristin
Stilt, an Islamic legal historian on the faculty
of Northwestern University law school in
Evanston, Illinois. Stilt had been in Jordan
the two days prior to the Eid, helping with an
Animals Australia investigation of the livestock
trade, but had returned to Cairo by the time the
Eid began. It was not her first Eid in the
Middle East.

Read more

What did the Prophet Mohammed really say about dogs?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2008:

What did the Prophet Mohammed really say about dogs?

Commentary by Merritt Clifton
CAIRO–Will the status of dogs rise in the Islamic world as
improved sanitation eliminates street dog habitat, the threat of
rabies recedes, and rising affluence enables more people to keep
Or, is prejudice against dogs so thoroughly built into
Muslim culture that the Middle East will remain the part of the
inhabited world with the fewest pet dogs per capita, despite having
the longest recorded history of keeping dogs?
Cairo, Damascus, Istanbul, Karachi, Tehran, Kuwait, and
Dubai all appear to have reached approximately the socio-demographic
transition point at which dog-keeping began exponential growth in the
U.S. and more recently China, and began more restrained growth in
western Europe.

Read more

1 2 3 4 5 6 16