Editorial: The renewed potential of online petitions

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2010:

ANIMAL PEOPLE has never circulated a petition, online or
otherwise. Yet one of our frequent functions in recent years is
helping to inform and inspire online petition drives–and,
sometimes, to point out that a petition may do more harm than good.
The popularity of petitions as a protest tactic perhaps began
with the success of English nobility in obliging King John to assent
to the Magna Carta at Runnymede in June 1215. The Declaration of
Independence, addressed by American colonists to King George III,
reinforced the lesson on July 4, 1776. Subsequent petitioners have
often lost sight of the two elements that made these petitions
memorably effective. The first was that in either case the signers
were influential constituents of the king whom they sought to
persuade. The second was that their actions had consequence. When
John Hancock stepped forward to become first to sign the Declaration
of Independence, his action had moral force because he put more than
just his name on the line. This is what inspired others to add their
signatures to his and then tax themselves heavily to back their words
with the effort to introduce a new regime.

Read more

Editorial feature: “Zero grazing” vs. the Five Freedoms

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2010:
(published October 5, 2010)
Few animal advocates doubt these days
that the use and misuse of more than 47 billion
farmed animals worldwide is the most urgent and
critical issue before us. Whether one favors
ushering humanity toward vegetarianism or
veganism, or only more nuanced efforts to reduce
and mitigate animal suffering in husbandry and
slaughter, animal agriculture involves many
times more animals and more misery than all other
human activities combined.
Indeed, from a third to half of all the
birds in the world are factory-farmed chickens.
Farmed mammals far outnumber all companion
animals and probably all wildlife larger than a
dog. Even the highest estimates of the numbers
of animals used in laboratories per year appear
to be lower than the volume of animals
slaughtered for human consumption on most days of
the week.

Read more

Editorial: How expanding animal agriculture swamped Pakistan

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2010:

Is the world close to reaching finite ecological limits on
the production capacity of animal agriculture?
Flooding inundating more than a fifth of Pakistan in recent
weeks may demonstrate that the limits have already been exceeded,
doing catastrophic harm to more than 20 million displaced people and
30 million livestock, plus untold millions of dogs, cats, and
Critics of industrial agriculture and diets centered on
animal products have been predicting such an impending crisis for
more than 40 years. Among the most influential were Paul Ehrlich in
The Population Bomb (1968), Frances Moore Lappe in Diet for A Small
Planet (1971), and E.F. Schumacher in Small Is Beautiful (1973).
Their insights and dire prophecies helped to build the environmental
movement–but, focused on the collision course of human population
growth and food security, Ehrlich, Moore Lappe, and Schumacher each
hugely underestimated the human capacities for invention,
adaptation, and denial.

Read more

Editorial: Sick & injured animals hide. Shelters need to be seen.

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2010:
Two members of the ANIMAL PEOPLE team had recent occasion to
deliver an injured rabbit to a world-renowned wildlife rescue center.
The drive should have taken less than an hour, including a 20-minute
ferry boat crossing. Unfortunately, no one at ANIMAL PEOPLE had
ever been there before. There was neither a map nor a physical
address on the center’s web site. Instructions received from center
staff before beginning the journey proved to be incomplete.
Directions downloaded from Google maps proved to be wrong. Also,
the center is located on a dead-end street whose name we were given,
but there are two dead-end streets of the same name within about half
a mile of each other, probably once connected but no longer.
Altogether, finding the wildlife rescue center took four
hours, eight telephone calls, and half a tank of gasoline. Along
the way, the ANIMAL PEOPLE expedition met another carload of people
with another injured animal who also could not find the center. Each
call to the center brought a different set of directions.

Read more

Editorial: Rethinking adoption screening in the computer age

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2010:

ANIMAL PEOPLE first examined shelter dog and cat adoption
procedures in depth in our April 1993 edition. Innovations we helped
to introduce have increased the pet acquisition “market share” for
adopted animals from about 15% then to more than 25% now. Older
animals and animals with disabilities, then rarely even offered for
adoption, are now among those who usually find adoptive homes.
Unfortunately, many prospective pet adopters still find the
adoption application process unnecessarily intrusive and invasive,
much as they did in 1993.
In business the customer is always right, and in
facilitating adoptions, competing with breeders and stores that sell
animals from puppy and kitten mills, shelters and rescues must
realize that they are participants in an increasingly competitive

Read more

Editorial: How to introduce neuter/return & make it work

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2010:


Even before publication of our first edition, in September
1992, ANIMAL PEOPLE advocated and demonstrated the use of
neuter/return in place of catch-and-kill animal control. Our very
first project proved the efficacy of neuter/return plus vaccination
to keep raccoon rabies from spreading among feral cats at eight sites
in Connecticut.
Witnessing, documenting, and reporting about the success of
neuter/return in controlling dog and cat populations worldwide often
provides a sense of accomplishment. Yet a frequent source of
frustration comes from seeing the failure of poorly planned, ineptly
executed, and negligently maintained neuter/return projects.

Read more

Editorial: Humane education lessons from the Haiti disaster

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2010:

Inquiries to ANIMAL PEOPLE about how to help the animals of
Haiti began even before the dust had settled from the collapse of the
Haitian presidential palace and parliament buildings. At this
writing at least 170,000 people are known to have been killed by the
January 12, 2010 Haitian earthquake, with the toll still rising as
more bodies are found beneath the rubble in Port au Prince, the
Haitian capital city, and in surrounding suburbs.
As after the Indian Ocean tsunami of late December 2004,
Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005, the Sichuan earthquake of May
2008, and other disasters of recent years, animal charities rushed
out emergency alerts and dispatched rescue teams in the direction of
Haiti without waiting to get particulars as to what might be needed
or how best to get it there.

Read more

The importance of humane education

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2010:

The importance of humane education by Wu Tianyu

Among the few nations which have almost every type of
ecosystem, from tropical rainforest to desert to steppe, China has
great natural bioversity, including such species unique to China as
giant pandas, 19 varieties of pheasant, three golden monkeys,
Przewalski’s Horse, Przewalski’s gazelle, wild yaks, and Tibetan
China also breeds 1 billion pigs, 10 billion chickens, and
200 million cattle each year-more than any other nation.
In addition, China breeds more wildlife in captivity than
any other nation.
Even by the lowest recent estimates, Chinese people also
keep more pets than any other nation: two to seven times more pet
dogs, and more pet cats than dogs.
Yet our wildlife, our farm animals, and even our pets are
often badly treated. Lacking animal welfare legislation, China is in
this sense behind more than 110 other nations. Animals suffer from
low status in China because the national education system does
nothing to promote animal welfare.
When we understand the relationship between humans and
animals, it is clear that treating animals with compassion is
essential to fostering human virtue.
The more civilized a society, the wider is its scope of
care. The moral shortcomings of a nation cannot be overcome through
economic development and scientific advances. This requires
enlightenment and education. Therefore, it is essential to integrate
humane education into the Chinese educational system. China has more
students than any other nation. This means that China has huge
potential to promote humane values through education, from
kindergarten to university. When humane education is a part of most
people’s education, most people will recognize the importance of
treating animals in an ethical manner, and will support legislation
prohibiting cruelty.

Wu Tianyu founded Animal Rescue Beijing in 1987, and
established the China University Union for the Protection of Animals
in 2009. CUUPA, now including 110 chapters at 110 universities in
six provinces, advocates the integration of humane education into
the Chinese curriculum, and promotes the passage of animal welfare
legislation in China.

Editorial feature: 21st century began with 10 years of hard-won gains

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2010:
Most ANIMAL PEOPLE readers are probably buried lately in a
blizzard of appeals reviewing the deeds of animal charities during
the past year and decade. Recipients will be cheered by recaps of
“victories,” no matter how transient. Some may notice, though,
that “defeats” are seldom mentioned.
Comprehensive assessments of progress tend to be fewer–and
can be discouraging, in view of frequent contradictory indicators.
But the animal cause does not advance primarily through obvious
“victories,” or fail through the unmentioned defeats, which most
often result when legislation is proposed before sufficient
groundwork is done to pass it, or when resources are inadequate to
achieve an ambitious goal.
Fundraisers and campaigners like to evoke imagery suggesting
that at some point a cause will “triumph,” perhaps after someone
blows the right horn to bring all obstacles tumbling down. This is a
tried-and-true appeal format, but reality is that if any “war”
metaphor is appropriate to advancing the cause of animals, it is
that of trench warfare.

Read more

1 2 3 4 5 6 24