The distinct population group of orcas who spend their summers in Puget Sound are to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announced last week. California farmers had petitioned to delist the orcas because of the water restrictions to protect Sacramento River salmon, eaten by the orcas. NOAA spent a year reviewing the petition and finally rejected it, saying the Puget Sound orcas — who have their own food source, customs and language and do not interbreed with others — were most definitely a threatened subgroup.
About 80 orcas in three pods spend most of the year in the area, down from over 100 in the 1990s. They are enormously popular with tourists, and already suffer from shipping, pollution, noise and declining food.
And now also from the lawyers who plan to continue their fight to strip them of protection.
This month the Washington State Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to set aside seven protected areas for the hitherto-unprotected Giant Pacific Octopus: Redondo Beach in Des Moines; Three Tree Point in Burien; Seacrest Park Coves 1, 2, and 3 (in West Seattle); an area adjacent to the Les Davis Fishing Pier in Tacoma; the Alki Beach Junk Yard in West Seattle; the Days Island Wall in Tacoma; and Deception Pass north of Oak Harbor. The new rules will take effect this fall.
This was set in motion when two so-called ‘sport fishermen’ caught such an octopus in West Seattle last October and dragged it on land, still alive, where they proceeded to beat it in front of onlookers and finally threw it in their truck.
If you were one of the people outraged by this, and who made your outrage known, then this is your doing — good for you. The fact that the protection is not 100% doubtlessly has to do with the fact that the ‘sport fishermen’ weighed in on the decision.
India has become the first country on earth to officially recognize that dolphins are “non-human persons”. As you know, the country’s Ministry of Environment and Forests banned dolphin captivity earlier this year, calling it “morally unacceptable” due to their high intelligence and sensitivity.
“They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations..” — Henry Beston
It is pompously called the California Academy of Tauromaquia. You can see it online here: http://www.bullfightschool.com/
. Calling bullfighting a “misunderstood science”, the poorly-written description claims the bullfighting school offers adventure and “entry to an exciting lifestyle.” Blood is so conspicuously absent even in the few photographs of bulls already wounded by banderillas that photoshopping must have taken place. While it is unlikely that this school will train any world-class toreador, you never know what creeps who go there in the first place are going to do in their spare time, and bullfighting must not be glorified in ANY way, or gain a foothold in this country. We have enough to fight already.
So if it makes you feel better, you can leave comments on their website at email@example.com, but more importantly, drop the following decision-making San Diego city officials a line:
Mayor Bob Filner City Administration Building 202 C St., 11th Floor San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 236-6330 Fax: (619) 236-7228BobFilner@sandiego.gov
CEO San Diego Tourism Authority San Diego Tourism Authority 750 B Street, Suite 1500 San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 236-1212
President San Diego Chamber of Commerce
Tell these people it is a blemish on the city to have a school that glorifies animal abuse, and that you will most definitely not be vacationing there. Remember, paper letters are great, calls are great, emails are good. All three are wonderful. And bullfighting has to be one of the very bloodiest of a world full of bloody “sports”.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but it is a first: the New York Senate has passed a bill requiring convicted animal abusers, like convicted sex offenders, to register with the appropriate criminal justice department. In addition, those convicted of torture have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and are banned from ever owning a pet again. I am glad it is clear to at least one state that animal torture isn’t a merely a momentary lapse in the judgement of otherwise good people — like giving someone the finger in traffic after a bad day at work.
Now, the names and addresses of convicted animal abuses in New York will be made readily accessible to the public — meaning, just for example, that shelters can check the registry before finalizing to an adoption. This bill is on its way to the NY Assembly, where it will be sponsored by Jim Tedisco, the same man behind NY’s original 1997 ‘Buster’s Law” making animal abuse a felony. (I could tell you about Buster but I won’t.)
Considering that it is no easy feat to be convicted of animal abuse to begin with, and that there is a high rate of recidivism (partly because it’s so EASY), let’s hope NY’s registry is just the beginning. Michigan and California are also considering animal abuser registries, but an attempt to pass a similar law earlier this year in Maryland failed, largely due to the efforts of the PIJAC (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Committee), which claimed that keeping animals out of the hands of psychos would make life too hard for pet retailers.
Israel, once the third-largest producer of the cruel delicacy known as foie gras, is now to ban all trade and sales.
This month a preliminary hearing of the new legislation passed the Knesset by a wide margin (59-10). Dov Lipman, the conservative rabbi and new member of parliament who sponsored it, said, “I am proud to be a member in a Knesset that chose to place values before interests and fleeting pleasures. As a public official I have many responsibilities, one of them being to care for the rights of animals that depend entirely on us and can’t care for themselves. I believe that this law will contribute not only to animals but also to Israel’s global image. The time has come to get this soul-corrupting food out of Israel.”
Just letting you know, in case there was anyone left who still thought the WWF was in it for the animals. It has long been a haven for big game hunters, trappers, hunters, fur farmers, commercial fishing operations, and other animal abusers. It supports both the commercial slaughter and the ‘recreational’ killing of wildlife. In their own words: “We support the hunting and consumption of wild animals provided the harvesting does not threaten the long-term survival of wildlife populations. The WWF has never opposed a sustainable seal hunt in northern or eastern Canada.”
In fact, the WWF has endorsed the worst massacre of marine mammals on the planet: the Canadian government now subsidizes the largest seal slaughter since the 1800s, with a quota of 350,000 a year for three years. There is nothing “sustainable” about this and the government has not produced one peer-reviewed scientific study to justify such numbers. Yet, the World Wildlife Fund endorses it.
So quietly cancel your membership and pretend you knew all along. But when you do, be sure to let the WWF****** know EXACTLY why (or tell them why you never WILL have a membership):
For questions or concerns related to membership or donations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions or concerns related to WWF’s conservation programs, please email email@example.com
You can also reach them by mail, phone or fax:
245 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 410 Toronto, ON
M4P 3J1 Canada
In the Toronto area: (416) 489-8800
Fax: (416) 489-8055
Coming close on the heels of a similar ban in the European Union and Israel, the drug controller general of India has just announced that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will not be permitted in India. This is largely due to a relentless PETA campaign. Although more and more companies are banning cruel tests on animals in favor of more modern, reliable tests, millions of animals are still subjected to painful tests in which all kinds of UNNECESSARY substances are dripped into their eyes, smeared on their abraded skin, forced down their throats and sprayed in their faces. KEEP UP THE PRESSURE on our government to pass a similar ban*. In the meantime, remember that no corporations care about your OPINION if your MONEY doesn’t follow suit. Please support only cruelty-free companies — easy if you use PETA’s new, updated global Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide.
Order a free copy.
*Tell your children and grandchildren to keep up the pressure too. That’s how hopeful I am.