Letters (Sept. 2012)

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2012:

Salmon farming isn’t sustainable or humane
I am currently having an argument with the Scottish government over a description of salmon farming as “sustainable” by First Minister Alex Salmond.  He made this claim in quotation marks in a statement in a government press release which was posted on the government web site.

The person who eventually replied to my complaint over this claimed it was the Scottish government web site which said this and not the First Minister.  When a web site starts making statements all on its own, I might start believing that salmon farming is sustainable. Read more

Three views of the flap over the proposed federal laying hen regulation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2012:

It is not surprising that the pork and beef industries are desperately trying to kill federal legislation-HR.3798/S.3239-to ban barren battery cages for egg-laying hens. What’s saddening-and disturbing-is that the Humane Farming Association is also trying to kill the bill.  Let’s be clear:  HFA has never passed a law to ban any farm animal confinement system anywhere.  HFA refused to support California’s Proposition Two in 2008, which mandated more space for various farm animals, and never endorsed either the Arizona or Florida farm animal ballot measures that set up the possibility of success in California. HFA also actively opposed legislation in California to ban the force-feeding of ducks to produce foie gras. Had HFA had its way and the bill not been enacted,  ducks in California would likely still be having pipes shoved down their throats daily. Read more


From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2012:

Watchdog Report

The CNN Special Investigations Unit on June 14, 2012 exposed how SPCA International took in $27 million last year, but spent most of it on further fundraising. I checked my ANIMAL PEOPLE Watchdog Report on Animal Charities and saw that ANIMAL PEOPLE exposed SPCA International back in 2009.

I never make a donation without checking my current ANIMAL PEOPLE Watchdog Report. I get it annually for $25.00. Just because a charity uses the word “wildlife” or SPCA in their name doesn’t mean it is legitimate or does not allow killing the very animals they purport to save. Many friends of mine have contributed to such organizations and were amazed and furious when I showed them what they really do, as revealed in the Watchdog Report.

–Marilyn Weaver, executive director League of Humane Voters-FL <www.LOHV-FL.org>

Editor’s note:

The 2012 edition of the ANIMAL PEOPLE Watchdog Report on Animal Charities will be available in late summer. Read more

LETTERS [June 2012]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  June 2012:


“Proposal for an Accord” & cost/benefit

The April 2012 edition of Animal People included an article entitled “Proposal for an Accord between Animal Advocates and the Biomedical Research Community.”  A number of responses to the proposal were published in the May 2012 edition.
Based on my experience with the science and ethics of animal research,  described in my 1998 book Human Models of Animal Psychology,  I support much of and welcome the “Proposal for an Accord.”
However,  there is one issue that I would like to examine and underscore because it has enormous implications,  and the document is arguably inconsistent in addressing it.  Most contemporary legislation and regulation of animal
research uses the language of cost/benefit.  Although at one point the “Proposal for an Accord” accepts that limited frame,  stating that “the use of animals is approved only when any harm done to the animals is greatly outweighed by the anticipated benefits of their use,”  at another it states,  “Compulsory guidelines would specify the types of experiments and levels of pain that would not be permissible regardless of potential benefit (emphasis added).” Read more

LETTERS [May 2012]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  May 2012:


Street dogs are purged in Sofia following fatality

Following an incident in which a man was attacked by stray dogs and died 10 days later, Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandakova has given order to hunt and kill all stray dogs who inhabit that district.  The media have influenced popular opinion to blame nonprofit organizations and dog-lovers.  Hostile attitudes towards stray dogs have escalated into organized mass killing of stray dogs by ordinary citizens.  Nonprofit organizations have received photos of hundreds of dogs who have been drowned,  decapitated,  or burned to death.  Dogs are disappearing all around Sofia.  Trucks have been loading stray dogs,  including dogs who have already been neutered.
Those dogs are not to be found in the Sofia municipal shelter.  Where have all those dogs gone?
The government is not enforcing compliance with the Animal Protection Act. Agriculture minister Miroslav Naydenov has announced an anti-stray-policy.  The Animal Protection Act,  adopted in 2008,  authorized a sterilization program which was to diminish the number of stray dogs to zero by 2011.  The mayor was to be fined for any noncompliance. Yet no fines have been paid by the mayor.  Nobody has taken responsibility for the situation.
Seventy-five animal welfare organizations from Bulgaria,  the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg,  Austria,  Hungary and Switzerland have called for Naydenov to resign due to “years of institutional languid attempts and lack of control” regarding the stray dog issue.  In an open letter to the prime minister,  the president,  and the ombudsman,  these organizations have asked for a nationwide trap, neuter,  and return program,  as recommended by the World Health Organization.

–Miroslava Veleva
Sofia,  Bulgaria
<miroslava12@abv.bg> Read more

LETTERS re "Proposal for an Accord Between Animal Advocates and Biomedical Researchers"[May 2012]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  May 2012:

Letters re “Proposal for an Accord Between Animal Advocates and Biomedical Researchers”

HSUS president:  “We must work with our traditional adversaries.”

When I got involved with animal protection in the mid-1980s as an undergraduate college student,  the use of animals in research, testing,  and education was one of the hot topics in our cause. Peter Singer,  in his enormously influential book Animal Liberation, put that issue along with factory farming at the top of the to-do list for the new generation of animal advocates.  Readers recoiled as Singer described,  in his well- researched manifesto,  duplicative experiments,  protocols involving the use of animals with no relevance to the human health circumstance,  and animals enduring extreme pain and distress as routine and normal practices in the laboratory setting. Read more


From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:


“The Animal Rights Agenda 25 years later”

Concerning the January/February 2012 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial “The ‘Animal Rights Agenda’ 25 years later,”  how I wish I had read the original “Animal Rights Agenda” co-authored by Kim Bartlett, Marti Kheel,  and Henry Spira way back in 1987;  I would not have had to muddle through in complete ignorance all these years!  Every word you wrote I say “amen” to.
I also liked Kim’s memorial to a poor injured rat in that issue.  Oh, how sad!  One consolation was that he experienced love before he died.  I love rats,  too.  My husband and I secretly nurtured one when we were staying with my in-laws.  Valentino,  as we named him,  enjoyed the special meals we put for him in the fuse box closet.  But his blissful life ended tragically a few months later when he decided to approach me as I sat in the living room with our dog Spotty.
–Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco
New Manila,  Quezon City

Editor’s note:

Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco was among the youngest volunteers recruited by Muriel Jay,  the British missionary teacher who founded the Philippine Animal Welfare Society in 1954.  PAWS lapsed into inactivity after Jay returned to Britain,  but Hontiveros-Lichauco revived it in 1986 and led the campaign that won passage of the Philippine Animal Welfare Act in February 1998. Read more


From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2012:


The Animal Rights Agenda 25 years later

Concerning the January/February 2012 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial “The ‘Animal Rights Agenda’ 25 years later,”  I would have little to argue with in the statements quoted,  except that I shy away from the term “animal rights,”  as it has such negative connotations in the United Kingdom (at least),  and have always had at the back of my mind the philosopher  Bertrand Russell’s statement that “The logical extrapolation of animal rights is votes for oysters.”  I prefer the cause of “animal welfare,”  where humans accept that they have a responsibility to protect all the animals of the planet.

. Read more


From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2011:



I am responding to the letter by Doug Fakkema in the
September 2011 edition of Animal People concerning “euthanasia.”
Without in any way impugning Fakkema’s motives and sincerity,  he is
either in denial or is unaware of the definition of the word.  I do
not argue that the death must be “good,”  as stated by Fakkema,  but
his definition leaves out the most important aspect:  the death
should be in the interests of the individual dying.  Of necessity,
this means that the individual dying would benefit from death by
ending a situation that is causing intractable suffering.  Ideally,
the individual would be able to indicate that he or she prefers death
to continued life.  In the case of cats, dogs or other nonhuman
animals,  this may not be feasible because of our inability to
communicate with the individual.  In these situations,  it becomes
especially important that the person ending life must be clear on her
or his motives which must derive only from a sincere belief that
ending the life will end suffering that cannot be relieved otherwise.
Using a defense that one is somehow preventing future suffering does
not even warrant consideration, being patently absurd. Read more

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