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.

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Guest column: A close look at the “bully movement”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2008:
Guest column

A close look at the “bully movement”
by Phyllis M. Daugherty, director, Animal Issues Movement
The November/December 2007 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial “Adding
consideration to compassionate acts” was heartwrenching in its
truth. It is so hard for kind, caring humans to ignore or forget
the eyes of a hungry or suffering animal. But our need to “save” the
animal must be tempered with realistic consideration for the animal,
rather than be done to boost our own egos. This is especially true
when our personal resources or future access will be limited. Thanks
for your diplomatic handling of a sensitive topic.

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Editorial feature: Adding consideration to compassionate acts

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2007:

Expressing either compassion or moral consideration toward
animals probably started just as a matter of feeding and befriending
a dog, and eventually bringing the dog into the family.
The first Neanderthal who tossed scraps to a dog just beyond
the circle of firelight, 60,000 to 100,000 years ago, probably had
no notion of extending a philosophical concept of personhood to other
dogs, other animals, the Cro Magnons who were just beginning to
push into Neanderthal territory, or even to rival Neanderthal bands.
There was just this one dog, who was hungry, who had perhaps
traveled with the family for some time, and might have helped the
family to avoid or fend off predators–and this night, the family
had extra food. This one dog, or her puppies, might have attracted
either compassion or moral consideration in response to the dog’s
contributions to the family, and probably was the beneficiary of
both, mingled with recognition that having dogs around could be
helpful in cave bear country.
Much closer to our own time, the Yellow Dog of Crypt Cave,
Nevada, lived and died about 6,360 years ago. The hunter/gatherers
who buried the yellow dog with flowers, in a woven mat, lived much
like the Neanderthals. Early in life the yellow dog suffered a
badly fractured leg. Though useless for working or hunting, the
dog was fed for years afterward, and was eventually buried as a
family member, among centuries of ceremonially buried human remains
and the less well preserved remains of other dogs, who also appear
to have been cherished companions.

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How adaptive species became “invasive”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2007:
How adaptive species became “invasive”
Commentary by Merritt Clifton

“Exotic species,” “alien species,” and “invasive species”
are semi-synonymous terms which to most people may seem
insignificantly different.
Each is a metaphor for species not indigenous to their
habitat: non-native species, to introduce yet another term, less
rich in connotation.
Yet obscure as the distinctions among “exotic,” “alien,”
and “invasive” species may be, the terms are different enough to
have inspired environmental advocacy groups and government agencies
to spend millions of dollars in recent years to bring first “alien”
and then “invasive” into vogue.
Behind the linguistic politics is the belief that terminology
tends to shape attitudes. Thus, at about the same time that the
Natural Resources Defense Council began banging the drums about
“invasive” species, In Defense of Animals began to push use of the
term “guardian” rather than “owner” to describe a person who keeps a

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Editorial feature: Why animal charities need to learn to pass the hat

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2007:


Among the outcomes of sending ANIMAL
PEOPLE to nearly 11,000 animal protection
organizations worldwide, as often as we can
afford the postage, is that we receive constant
inquiries from people who hope we can help fund
proposed projects, or provide introductions to
others who might, or at least publicize a
proposed project in hopes of attracting funders,
even though more than 80% of our readers are
themselves trying to raise funds for their own
worthwhile pro-animal projects.
Probably every reader of ANIMAL PEOPLE
has at least one brilliant idea about things that
could and should be done to help animals, if
only the money was available.
Some of the ideas we hear about are
impractical, ill-conceived, or have already
been tried in other times and places with
disappointing results. Yet many other ideas
presented to us are eminently practical, and
could succeed with adequate investment. The only
obstacle is that the necessary funding is not
easily or immediately available. Someone needs
to go out and raise the funds, by persuading
donors to put their contributions into this
particular project, rather than any of the
myriad others that the typical donor will hear
about between now and the next time the person
has money to give.

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Editorial feature: How to eradicate canine rabies in 10 years or less

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2007:

“Rabies could be gone in a decade,” BBC
News headlined worldwide on September 8, 2007.
“Rabies could be wiped out across the world,”
the BBC report continued, “if sufficient
vaccinations are carried out on domestic dogs,
according to experts.”
BBC News went on to quote staff of the
Royal Dick Veterinary School at Edinburgh
University in Scotland, who were among the
cofounders of the Alliance for Rabies Control and
promoters of the first World Rabies Day, held on
September 7, 2007.
None of the Alliance for Rabies Control
spokespersons appear to have actually set any
sort of timetable for possibly eradicating
rabies, but no matter. Experts have recognized
for decades that rabies is wholly eradicable from
all species except bats through targeted mass
immunization–and the chief obstacle to
eradicating bat rabies is that no one has
developed an aerosolized vaccine that could be
sprayed into otherwise inaccessible caves and
tree trunks. Inventing such a vaccine is
considered difficult but possible.

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Editorial feature: Moral leadership, big groups, & the meat issue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2007:

Exemplifying moral leadership consists of
departing from typical conduct to demonstrate
standards of behavior which may never be fully
met by most people, yet will be respected,
appreciated, and emulated to whatever degree
others find comfortable and practical.
This is risky business. To lead, one
must step beyond the norms, taking the chance of
ostracism that comes with being different.
Trying to be “better” than most people
incorporates the risk of being perceived as
“worse,” especially if the would-be moral
exemplar is asking others to take the same risk.
Hardly anyone chooses to be considered a
“deviate,” a word which literally means only
varying from routine patterns of conduct, but
connotes perverted menace.
But mostly the behavior and qualities of
moral leadership are not consciously chosen in
the first place, and are not exhibited as the
outcome of an intellectual process.
Despite the labors of moral
philosophers–and editorialists–the study of
behavioral evolution strongly suggests that the
components of “morality” evolved out of the
intuitive gestures and responses associated with
social cooperation. Humans did not invent
codified moral behavior to make ourselves
different from each other; rather, the effort
was to make behavior more standardized, more
predictable, more conducive to social harmony.
“Thou Shalt Not Kill,” “Thou Shalt Not
Steal,” and “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,”
for instance, all seem to have unwritten
antecedents in the social norms of many species
much older than humanity.

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Editorial feature: The lessons zoos teach, & how to teach them better

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2007:

Trying to talk to animal advocates about good zoos, when
most have seen only bad zoos, is much like the proverbial effort to
introduce six blind men to an elephant. Merely describing a good
zoo, and especially describing how bad zoos can become good zoos,
tends to strike most as describing a series of contradictions in
terms. Each grasps a different part, and none have any idea how to
reconcile the tusks, tail, ears, legs, belly, and trunk.
Unfortunately, the same is also true of trying to describe
to zoo planners what makes a good zoo, from an animal welfare
perspective. Many zoos include some excellent quarters for species
whose needs are well understood by the management, alongside
horribly botched exhibits based on gross misunderstandings. An
expansive concrete floor polished to resemble ice, for example, is
anything but homelike to a polar bear–but the bear may thrive in a
habitat which in no way resembles the Arctic, if the habitat
includes mental stimulation of equivalent intensity of interest to
the bear as the challenge of finding seals beneath ice.

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Defending Animal Birth Control after a fatal dog attack

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2007:
Defending Animal Birth Control after a fatal dog attack
by Poornima Harish

None of us are as smart as all of us. This was illustrated
in how the animal welfare organizations of Bangalore handled a recent
fatal dog attack.
Bangalore electrocuted street dogs until 1999, killing about
200 dogs per day, yet still suffered nearly 40 human rabies deaths
per year, plus dog population growth commensurate with the rising
human population.
Finally, in keeping with the Indian national policy adopted in
December 1997, the city opted to stop the killing and instead
support an Animal Birth Control program.
Beginning in October 2000, Banga-lore was divided into three
zones for ABC, to be handled by the Animal Rights Fund, Compassion
Unlimited Plus Action, and the Bangalore SPCA. At about the same
time the Krupa 24-Hour Helpline for Animals was commissioned to
counsel people about animal welfare and the ABC program.

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