This category contains 35 posts

Return of the Links Digest

After a long absence, the links roundup is back from the grave.  What can I say?  Life’s been too busy, but now, fortified with six eight shots of espresso [‘I could see colors that weren’t in the visible spectrum…’], I give you a summary of animal law and animal rights related links from the last few weeks.

Chalk another death up to animal rights insanity and to the ongoing failure of the West to take counsel on practical matters from the Scripture.

Another Fortnight, Another Links Digest

  • In shocking news, it’s not just animal welfare offences that the government plan to fix by raising maximum sentences: It’s assaults on police.  Experts disagree.  The same logic, of course, probably applies to animal welfare.
  • More coverage of the Swiss referendum on legal rights for animals:

The “No to the Useless Animal Lawyers’ Initiative” (yes, that’s actually the name of group) said, “Animal rights advocates are useless to animals. They can’t prevent animal abuse because they only get involved after it has been perpetrated.”

Is that how they feel about police officers? Child welfare and social services?

Links Roundup: ‘Quick, let’s do some research!’ Edition

Rainbow Warrior, bombedLet’s just start with something that isn’t totally about animal rights.  Some of you might remember me linking to GreenIsTheNewRed articles about non-violent activists being labelled terrorists.  Well, things are at a bit of the 180 now.  An English member of the European Parliament, Godfrey Bloom, has congratulated the French spies who bombed the Rainbow Warrior in the Waitemata Harbour. John Key PM refused to comment.

And we expect the government to gettoughon animal welfare?  John, I’m appalled.

  • Meanwhile, as Bloom celebrates the sinking of a Greenpeace vessel and Key dithers, Japanese whalers have again rammed a Sea Shepherd vessel in the Southern Ocean.
  • Oh, and whaling isn’t the only animal-based ‘research’ that doesn’t really…work.
  • For example, Iran has launched ‘a rodent, turtles and worms to 500 kilometres above the Earth‘.  Apparently, this will either help Iran launch astronauts into space, or…launch ballistic missiles.  I’m not entirely sure how orbital animals could be weaponised…
  • But we need ‘research’, or else we wouldn’t have worked out all the great things we can do to meat before it hits the supermarket.
  • Gary Francione has posted numerous excellent pieces recently.  He has: Continue reading

Links for January 2010

Enviropig by Nathan Meltz

'Enviropig' by Nathan Meltz

  • Sociological images interviewed artist Nathan Meltz about his pieces on industrial farming.
  • No Right Turn accuses MAF of looking the other way on animal cruelty, noting that less than 0.5% of the complaints they receive lead to convictions.  They suggest that MAF should take or a proactive role, and that if they don’t, the people responsible should be sacked.  The trouble is, the problem is not just with MAF’s tiny animal welfare unit.  The problem is also with the Ministry, tasked at once with protecting animal exploitation and animal welfare, and unwilling to invest a reasonable amount of funding in animal welfare.  The problem is with the successive governments that have created and tolerated this situation.  The problem is with the police not being trained in their powers under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.  The problem, I suggest, is ultimately that most of our society doesn’t take animal welfare at all seriously. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Your Local Cafe: Cater to Vegans

I’m fed up.  I’m normally very positive when it comes to food, and coffee.  My diet is the (vegan) opposite of James’ porridge-and-apricots hike: Varied, spicy, and (too often) pricey fare.   On the weekend, I often relax by visiting a cafe with a friend or a novel.  When I need to plan my time in a busy patch, an espresso and my diary is the go.

And I think that it is easy to make, and to buy, varied and enjoyable vegan food in Auckland (and in Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch, if not elsewhere in New Zealand).  There are a lot of vegan options in cafes and restaurants.  Sure, it’s not New York and it’s not Melbourne (If anyone reading this wants to open a Lord of the Fries franchise in Auckland: I and my friends will keep you in business.  Not joking.), but it’s not bad.

Cafes, however?  I’m going to be honest.  Most of the time, they don’t capitalise on the vegan market well enough.  That’s not good for veganism, not good for vegans, and not good for cafe owners. Continue reading

Right Wing Vegans?

Stephanie is currently a student in Animals and the Law at the University of Auckland, Faculty of Law, and a guest contributor to the Solution.  Students from this class will be contributing blogs to the Solution periodically over
the next month.

Grocery MarketThere is a stereotype of the vegetarian-going-vegan animal rights enthusiast of being a left wing voter.  Even my closest right-wing friends and family members joke about me being a ‘socialist’. I cannot convince them that I actually agree with them politically. A barbeque interrogation about why I am not tucking into a juicy steak seems to inevitably lead to questions concerning my political views, much to my friends’ bewilderment when they hear the unexpected: I’m right-wing, but don’t eat meat.

Yes.  I fall on the right of the political spectrum, and in general, I believe in the free market.  It promotes efficiency, hard work, innovation, and self-reliance.  Excellent. Continue reading

Being Vegetarian and Believing in Social Justice

Max is a member of SoLVe and a law student at the University of Auckland.  He is heavily involved in debating, and is one of the Auckland University Law Review editors in chief for 2010.

Vegetarians and vegans are often also politically outspoken, socially active, and environmentally conscious.  Of course, not all vegetarians and vegans are like this, and not all of those committed to social justice choose not to eat meat or animal products.  But there is surely a connection between the two strands of thought: the cliché that vegetarians and vegans are ‘leftie greenies’ has a kernel of truth.  It is worth asking why this is, and exploring how the connection influences our beliefs and behaviour.  Understanding the relationship between vegetarian/vegan lifestyles and social justice impulses helps to shed light on both camps of thinking, and may also encourage further crossover and cross-fertilisation between these camps.

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Midsummer Links Roundup

Happy new year all, and welcome to the first links roundup for 2010.  Aside from the unfortunate ramming and sinking of the Sea Shepherd speedboat the Ady Gil (formerly the Earthrace 2000) last week (which, according to whaling industry spokesman Glen Inwood did not happen), not much has happened on the animal rights front in these first two weeks of 2010.

  • Care of Animal Blawg, check out these elephant ‘training’ photographs.

    Elephant 'Training'

    Elephant 'Training'

  • RedAlert wonders whether the ‘food’ that ‘we’ eat is safe.  And by ‘food’ they mean ‘chickens’.  And by safe, they mean ‘yeah, probably not so safe‘.
  • Erik Marcus of Vegan.com claims that welfare reforms shrink the animal industries.  The Solution is not persuaded. Continue reading

Vegan tramping

‘Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,’ says John Muir, ‘places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.’

The beauty of the outdoors does indeed bring much sustenance, but one cannot live on beauty – or bread – alone.  In fact, one requires a balanced, calorie-rich diet if one hopes to venture out into the wilderness.  For most people this presents its challenges, but I will argue that eating vegan in the outdoors is a cinch.  As a case study, I will discuss my culinary selections from my recent 14-day, 200-kilometre circuit of Stewart Island.  I had to carry all of the food and gear I would need for 14 days, and so space and weight were at a premium.

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Eating Well During the Holidays!

Ah, holiday time is here, and for most of us, that means a time to feast.   I’ve been feasting even a bit more than usual, as this year’s holiday has also matched up with my 40th birthday – which means it’s been celebrations a-plenty.  At these times – in fact, at all times – good food is essential.  Thankfully, over the past few years, making good vegan food has gotten easier than ever, primarily because of one woman: Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Who is this person?   Well, let’s look at what I’ve been feasting on lately, and it will come into focus.  For my birthday, it was delectable chocolate mocha and also rum and raisin(!) cupcakes.  Both earned rave reviews, but the kudos belonged to Moskowitz, whose amazing book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World was the inspiration.   Of course man cannot live by cupcake alone, so we also had Lemondrop and Chocolate Mint Icebox (with real pieces of mint tucked in) cookies.   Again, these were off-the-chart delicious, and everyone – vegan and non-vegan alike – dug in.  These beauties came from Moskowitz’ latest book, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

Continue reading