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

Editorial: No-kill sheltering & the quest for the holy grail

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2009:


PetSmart Charities, as the November/December 2009 edition of
ANIMAL PEOPLE goes to press, is celebrating four million adoptions
achieved through the Luv-A-Pet adoption centers located in each
PetSmart store, the first of which opened in February 1992.
“That’s four million lives saved, thanks to the
collaborative efforts of PetSmart Charities, more than 2,500 local
animal welfare groups and shelters across the U.S., and PetSmart,
Inc.,” said PetSmart Charities communication manager Kim Noetzel.
PetSmart Charities is also expecting to grant $10.3 million
to “local animal welfare agencies, shelters, and rescue groups to
support their pet adoption efforts” this year, Noetzel
mentioned–an increase of $1.3 million from 2008, when PetSmart
Charities was already granting more money to small animal charities
than any other grant-giving institution.
Few other funders have increased their aid to animal
charities at all in the past two years. Many foundations have cut
their grantmaking. Some have ceased operation.
Yet Friends of the Plymouth Pound, on Cape Cod, called a
boycott of PetSmart because, after 10 years, the PetSmart store in
Hyannis chose to work with a different adoption partner. Friends of
the Plymouth Pound had placed 49 cats through the Hyannis store in
2009. Other adoption partners had placed 821 cats through the
PetSmart store in Plymouth.

Read more

Further thoughts about service dogs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2009:

Further thoughts about service dogs
Commentary by Merritt Clifton

In November 1993, when the use of service dogs other than to
guide the blind was still quite new to most of the public, ANIMAL
PEOPLE devoted a cover feature to the legal and philosophical issues
involved, including the perspectives of leading figures in the
animal rights movement as to whether training dogs for human service
constitutes exploitation. We followed up several times, until the
precedents recognizing the use of hearing dogs, seizure alert dogs,
and various other now common uses of service dogs appeared to be
clearly established, and ethical objections to the use of service
dogs were no longer commonly voiced.

Read more

What to call cats, & why their name matters

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2009:
What to call cats, & why their name matters
Commentary by Merritt Clifton

In the beginning of the mass media era was just the word
“cat.” Cats were on the land and over the land, but cat-related
controversies were as seldom seen as cats themselves, in an urban
ecology then dominated by ubiquitous street dogs. From the debut of
rotary-printed newspapers in the mid-19th century, cats by any name
were not a visible problem for more than 60 years. The sum of
reportage and editorial attention to cats in the entire 19th century
was slight: just 192 items published in U.S. newspapers mentioned
“stray cats,” according to, which makes
accessible the newspaper holdings of the Library of Congress. “Alley
cats” were mentioned 32 times. The term “feral cat” was not used at

Read more

The 1st Church of Animal Rights tried to launch the movement in 1921

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2009:


What if the animal rights movement had launched out of the
older humane movement 55 years earlier, before factory farming
methods were invented, before laboratory use of animals expanded
into big business, before wildlife management was funded by hunting
license fees, before the humane movement came to be dominated by an
“animal welfare” rather than “animal rights” philosophy?
This is no mere fantasy. It could have happened, impelled
by the brief confluence of Diana Belais and Royal Dixon, flamboyant
and charismatic personalities whose talents and background,
differently mixed, paralleled those of the late Cleveland Amory,
who founded the Fund for Animals in 1968, and Ingrid Newkirk, who
cofounded People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in 1981.

Read more

[Editorial] Time to stop declawing, ear-cropping, & tail-docking

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2009:


Declawing cats and ear-cropping and tail-docking dogs have in
common that they are frequently performed surgical mutilations,
lucrative for veterinarians who are willing to do them, which convey
no benefit whatever to the animals.
The exception is when cats and dogs fall into the hands of
humans who may mistreat them further if the animals fail to conform
to the humans’ sense of aesthetics.
Then, in theory, the cat whose paws have been cut at the
bone equivalent to the first knuckle of the human hand will be less
likely to be dumped at a shelter for scratching furniture. The dog
whose ears are disfigured and whose tail no longer visibly wags a
greeting will somehow become a more desirable pet.

Read more

Editorial: Keeping shelters open when money & time are tight

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2009:

The good economic news from the nonprofit
information-tracking web site Guidestar is that only 52% of U.S.
charities reported declining donations during the winter of
2008-2009. This was no worse than the rate of decline during the
preceding summer.
Animal charities appear to have enjoyed less severe declines
than those serving other sectors, but since animal charities raise
only about 1% of total contributions to charity in the U.S., even
moderate losses hurt.
Economic analysts now predict that we may have reached a
turnaround. Yet even in the most hopeful scenario, fall and winter
budgets must be planned conservatively. If more money arrives than
is expected, more can be done, but meanwhile it is prudent to avoid
becoming over-extended. If we are not yet coming out of the
recession of the past two years, the recent stresses on animal
shelters will only get worse.

Read more

Editorial: Has Michael Vick truly hit the road to redemption?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2009:

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback and
convicted dogfighter Michael Vick on May 20,
2009 completed 19 months at the Leavenworth
Federal Penitentiary.
Released through a side gate, Vick is
not in Kansas any more. Eluding the media
spotlight, Vick followed the Yellow Brick
Road–or some other seemingly improbable
path–into an alliance with the Humane Society of
the United States that has stretched the
imaginations of many animal defenders and much of
the public almost as much as the alliance of
Dorothy, her mixed breed dog Toto, the Cowardly
Lion, the Tin Woodman, and the Scarecrow, who
exposed the Wizard of Oz in 1900.

Read more

Editorial: Learning from the Glendale Creek beaver disaster

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2009:


ANIMAL PEOPLE is headquartered at the top of a steep hill
rising above Glendale Creek. Formed from 5,000 to 9,000 years ago by
runoff from a melting glacier, Glendale Creek cut a deep ravine
through which it flows for about three miles before draining into
Puget Sound at the 10-house village of Glendale.
Glendale a century ago was the chief link between South
Whidbey Island and the mainland. Steam-powered ferries stopped
there. The first car dealership on the island perched precariously
beside Glendale Creek. A narrow gauge railway, built in 1900, ran
from the water’s edge at low tide into the interior of the island.
Eventually about 10 miles long, it hauled huge cedar logs down to
the Sound, where they were floated off of flat cars and tied into
rafts to be tugged to Seattle.
The logging predictably created soil erosion. Loss of
topsoil led to loss of ground covering vegetation and flash floods,
but the loggers, the farmers who followed them to work the land,
and the hunters and fishers who came from the mainland for holidays
of recreational mayhem were all preoccupied with killing most of the
wildlife who survived the tree-cutting.

Read more

1 3 4 5 6 7 24