Historic Ruling for Chimps Sets Precedent for Animal Rights

On April 4, 2017, Judge Maria Alejandra Maurício of the Third Court of Guarantees of the Judiciary in the Argentinean State of Mendoza ruled that Cecília, a chimpanzee living alone in a concrete enclosure at the Mendocino Zoo in Argentina, had the right to health and happiness.

Earth Day and the Environmental Movement

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated coast-to-coast to raise awareness for the ravages taking toll on the environment. Dubbing this day “Earth Day,” its founder, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson envisioned it as a “national teach-in on the environment.” April 22 is also the anniversary of the Humane Party’s public launch in 2009,

Why Does the Annual Harp Seal Slaughter Continue?

The Canadian seal slaughter began off the coast of Newfoundland this year on March 28th. This is two weeks earlier than usually allowed, as climate change is affecting the seal population. With disappearing ice, Canadian seal hunters are worried that there will be fewer seal pups to hunt, so the Canadian government has allowed the killing of pups as young as 4 weeks this year instead of the usual 6.

Wildlife Services Is Not on the Side of Wildlife

The federal Wildlife Services program killed 2.7 million animals in 2016. In its annual “kill report,” the agency data shows that 1.6 million of the 2.7 million deaths were of native wildlife species. Wildlife Services maintains that it “manages the damages” caused by so-called invasive species, yet less than half of the animals in the report are actually considered invasive. The Center for Biological Diversity asserts that of the almost 3 million animals killed yearly, many are unintentional kills that include household pets.

The Criminalization of Animal Rights Activism

Is supporting animal rights terrorism? Is nonviolent activism terrorism? According to some interpretations of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), they are.

Fracking Our Farmlands

Reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, animal deaths, as well as industrial disasters and explosions—all the result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—are termed “fraccidents” by the group Earth Justice. “The dangers of fracking to the food supply are not something that’s been investigated very much. ” And, “For sustainable agriculture, fracking is a disaster.”

Death by Plastic

The North Pacific Gyre is an area twice the size of the state of Texas where marine debris—human-generated litter and garbage—stretches from the West Coast of North America to Japan. Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Unanimous for Rescue Animals

On February 14 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to amend the city’s health code, banning the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores unless they are obtained from animal shelters or animal rescue organizations.

University Students on a Mission to Create Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) has developed a partnership with the Good Food Institute and UCB’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET) that challenges students to develop plant-based meat alternatives in a semester-long course.

Does the educational mission of zoos justify captivity, culling, and public dissection of animals?

The issue of keeping animals in captivity was recently in the news with the announcement of the last performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus this May. While many applaud the announcement, the future of the captive animals is in question. In a related story, The New Yorker featured in its January 16, 2017 issue the shooting and public dissection of a healthy young giraffe named Marius at the Odense Zoo in Denmark last year.