News of Note

i Mar 21st by

Iowa House OKs ban on secretly filmed farm videos
The Iowa House approved a bill Thursday to prevent animal rights activists from getting hired on farms just so they can secretly record what they believe is the mistreatment of livestock….The Republican-led House approved the measure 65-27. It must pass the Democratic-controlled Senate and be signed by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad to become law.

Sen. Jim Norman scales back bill that inadvertently criminalized farm photography
One of the first bills Jim Norman proposed as a state senator targets animal-rights activists who sneak onto farms to capture footage of agricultural practices they consider cruel.  The New York Times called it “croparazzi,” and news of the bill gained Internet buzz. But Monday, a heavily amended version of SB 1246 unanimously passed the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others
It’s time to take a look at the line between “pet” and “animal.” When the ASPCA sends an agent to the home of a Brooklyn family to arrest one of its members for allegedly killing a hamster, something is wrong.  That “something” is this: we protect “companion animals” like hamsters while largely ignoring what amounts to the torture of chickens and cows and pigs.

Tsunami Killed Thousands Of Seabirds At Midway
Thousands of seabirds were killed when the tsunami generated by last week’s massive earthquake off Japan flooded Midway, a remote atoll northwest of the main Hawaiian islands, a federal wildlife official said Tuesday.

Animal welfare groups working around the clock to help Japan’s hardest hit areas care for pets
While rescue workers continue to search for and assist human survivors a week after Japan’s devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami, animal welfare groups are working around the clock to find food, shelter and medicine for the country’s animals.

Polar bear Knut dies: Animal rights group Peta blames Berlin Zoo
An animal rights group has blamed Berlin Zoo for the death of its star polar bear Knut, who collapsed and died in front of a crowd of 660 visitors.  Peta attacked what it said was “intensive” breeding of polar bears in zoos and claimed putting him in an enclosure with three females led to “enormous stress”.

Insects as Food? Trying to Change ‘Ick’ to ‘Yum’
Johan Van Dongen sells insects…The efforts of Mr. Van Dongen and Sligro, a chain of 25 membership-only warehouse stores throughout the Netherlands, are part of a drive to convince the Dutch that crickets, worms and caterpillars are healthier sources of protein, and are less taxing on the environment, than steaks and pork chops.

Are high-protein diets bad for your colon
The high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets many people turn to for weight loss might have potentially harmful long-term effects on the colon, a small study hints.

Older Elephant Matriarchs Keep the Lions at Bay
With age comes wisdom, an old adage goes.  Now researchers report that there is truth to this among African elephants. Groups of elephants led by older matriarchs are more adept at locating and fending off predatory male lions.  Matriarchs remain group leaders until they die, seemingly never losing their cognitive abilities, Dr. McComb said. Most live well into their 60s, and suffer no hearing loss, the key ability required to identify lion roars.

Animal-Rights Group Won’t Buy Vick Compound, For Now
The animal-rights group that was looking to transform NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s former dogfighting compound into a sanctuary for poorly treated pooches didn’t raise enough cash to buy the property.  According to the Associated Press, the Pennsylvania-based Dogs Deserve Better by Sunday had only raised $130,000 of the $600,000 it needed to purchase the former headquarters of Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels, located in Virginia.

Uncontrolled disease in dogs threatens wildlife, humans in remote B.C. areas
Diseases, some of which can be lethal, are being passed between dogs, wolves and people in remote B.C communities where there is a dearth of veterinary care, a new study has found.

Tweety Was Right: Cats Are a Bird’s No. 1 Enemy
While public attention has focused on wind turbines as a menace to birds, a new study shows that a far greater threat may be posed by a more familiar antagonist: the pet house cat.

Eating Vegan: Why I Love Being Vegan
Every once in a while an anti-vegan article makes the rounds, bashing veganism as an unhealthy, unyielding, and unethical lifestyle choice. After running across one today, I felt like it was time to look at what’s great about being vegan.

What Does a Vegan World Actually Look Like?
Meat eating versus veganism is always going to be a controversial topic—as witnessed by the row that erupted after my post on why vegans are welcome to call me a murderer. Yet it’s an important subject. What we eat as individuals has a huge impact on the planet. So what happens when those individual choices are pushed on a larger scale?