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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Obama’s HSUS Report Card

Since 2012 is both a leap year and an election year, I thought I’d join the two together today by posting on the Humane Society’s Review of President Obama and his administration on Animal Welfare Issues.

His Score? A Measly C-.

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Raccoon Realities

As someone who was born and raised in Queens, New York, it was interesting to read about how other Queens residents are reacting to the presence of raccoons in their neighborhoods. According to State Sen. Tony Avella, “his office gets up to 40 calls a year from residents complaining that raccoons are pawing through their garbage, pestering their pets and making them think twice about going out at night.”

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No Democracy in Davidson County

When I was in the fourth or fifth grade, our teacher forced everyone in the class to memorize the Gettysburg Address (1863), President Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech. Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of it, except for the iconic opening line (of course) and the conclusion, which cemented in my young mind the concept of democracy.  In other words, I understood that a democracy should always be “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

It is incredibly frustrating, then, to read about what has been going on this week in Davidson County, North Carolina. Hundreds of residents have come together on Facebook and town meetings in order to persuade government officials to stop using the gas chamber as a method of euthanasia in their local animal shelter. Unfortunately, their pleas have been completely ignored.

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Courier Lithograph Company. Ringling Bro's Marvelous Acting Pachyderms. 1899.

Last Thursday, the British Parliament voted to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.   Apparently, this is a win, not just for animal welfare groups, but for the general public as well.  As Mary Creagh, the Environment Secretary, said, “The public will be absolutely delighted that MPs from all parties have stood up to the Tory-led Government on this issue to achieve such a fantastic result.”

Interested in discerning the “public” opinion for myself, I decided to survey the demographic most likely be affected by the ban – children.  I asked three very simple questions to children living in the United Kingdom, and recorded their responses.  (I did this by posting these three questions in an online community of which I have been a member since 2006.  Other than this, I did not participate in the conversation at all.)

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Since 1992, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has revised the food pyramid twice.  Originally, the pyramid consisted of horizontal “bricks” that represented the different food groups.  Unfortunately, these groups appeared to be arranged hierarchically, so the USDA came up with a new version that they renamed “MyPyramid.” This food pyramid consisted of vertical sections that represented the different food groups.  It also depicted a human stick figure climbing a couple of stairs, which symbolized the importance of exercise.  However, this pyramid was too abstract, as it did not illustrate the food groups or the portion sizes clearly.

Then, earlier this month, Michelle Obama and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin presented the new food pyramid, which was not a pyramid at all, but rather a plate, aptly called “My Plate”.  As a plate, it definitely looks more user-friendly.  It is also more vegetarian-friendly.

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Shortly after I posted the announcement of Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle’s appearance at the Yale University Bookstore, visitor “Elizabeth” posted a comment entitled “7 Things You Didn’t Know About HSUS.”  This comment, which is a copy of a document posted by the Center for Consumer Freedom couldn’t have been more timely.  Only one day earlier, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial denouncing the Center and its President, corporate lobbyist and all-around nasty dude Rick Berman, for their misleading attacks on the Humane Society.
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Amazing Interactive Animal Abuse Map

Factory Farm Investigations Mapped :: AnimalVisuals.org :: Visual Resources For Animals.

In response to the proposed “Ag Gag laws,” Animal Visuals has created an interactive map that provides, not only the location of the factory farms that animal activists have exposed, but also the videos that have been taken.  The site is very user-friendly, so feel free to check it out.

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