Friday, March 26, 2010

West Texas. Buffalo. They Live to Die.

Two men fighting over animals, but neither one loves them. Reading this article, I was once again reminded of how vast and varied our country is. The closest I have been to a ranch is somewhere south of Redbank, New Jersey, but that's horse country. This is cattle country. At the core of the matter is that age-old ethic of being a good neighbor. I consider it an a priori fact that even the early humanoids had to get along well with their neighbors. " Ok, you stay in your cave and I'll stay in mine. " Well, things didn't go as smoothly between QB Ranch's foreman Edmund Cassillas and neighboring ranch foreman Jackie Doyle Hill of Niblo Ranch.

As you read through the article, you will notice that the animals, buffalo in this case, are considered nothing more than chattel property. Clearly, this is about commercial property and not animal welfare. In fact, The QB Ranch isn't a home for animals but a 20,000 acre slaughter pen. With a few exceptions, when one makes animals his business, he turns a cold eye to them and he begins to consider the animals as investment rather than living, sentient beings. As an animal lover and biophiliac, this mentality is totally foreign to me. I reject it completely. Wayne Kirk, the owner of the QB Ranch, lamented the loss of 51 buffalo as a " terrible injustice. " I reckon he isn't sorry for the loss of life, but the loss of profits. Read on.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Philippines. No Live Animals for Easter. Say NO.

Back in the old country, many companies give away small, live animals for Easter. It's a promotional program to attract more consumers to their products or services. It's still done these days, but local animal welfare orgs like the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) are working to stamp it out. People get a nice gift for the day, but what happens in the following weeks? That Easter gift turns into an unwanted animal, and the ugliness begins. Promotionals like these are mood-based. Like premature marriage proposals, people have regretted it. In this case, people won't pay the full price for their temporary enthusiasm. The animals will.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Jersey. Bear Hunts. Star Ledger Editorial. Trash Unfit for Bears.

Do you feel alarmed or distressed whenever you come to the realization that the dullest knives in the kitchen wear a uniform, a badge, and enforces the law on the street? It's a silly question to ask, I know. Well, some of them get their very own column in a newspaper, both print and electronic, for all to be influenced by. That's pretty dangerous stuff, and so I am seriously alarmed. When in power, one must act and think responsibly. Take the Star Ledger's editorial board, for example.

The editorial board at the Star Ledger came out with a piece on bear hunting in New Jersey---they are for it---where they made assumptions that struck me as unfounded or illogical. A link to their piece is provided below.

First of all, how did the editorial board of the Star Ledger know that bears from New York and Pennsylvania are pouring into New Jersey? We know very well that no one tracks every bear in these states and their migration from state to state is a matter of conjecture. They may be bears who cross state lines, yes, but we need to see concrete evidence that a wholesale migration into New Jersey is actually taking place. The Star Ledger's editorial board, certainly, makes it out to look that way. You don't have to be Gary Kasparov to recognize this as a scare tactic meant to alarm their readers particularly those who don't practice critical thinking. I think it is highly irresponsible for the board to employ this tactic. If it is true, let's see some incontrovertible evidence. Of course, they conveniently left out the reciprocal--- how many NJ bears actually leave the state for New York and Pennsylvania? This would be an antithetical and so they were quiet about it.

The editorial board also concluded that public education on securing trash bins is unrealistic because there will always be uncovered trash bins that will attract bears. Hello? The point of the program is to get everyone to secure all their trash bins. The board's argument, obviously, alludes to human frailty. But if we were to give up on something because presumably some humans can't get it right anyway, then why even attempt anything in our lives and in our world? Securing trash bins is one significant way in controlling bear visitations. No open trash, no bears in your property. It's a pretty good equation and something we should adopt nevertheless. As I have stated on my online comment, the imbecility of some humans should not condemn a perfectly good measure against bear intrusions. But the Star Ledger's editorial board has once again been caught in a one-sided argument. They have gone gung-ho on bear hunting, but were not ready to pledge a war against those incorrigible homeowners who still keep their trash unsecured.
Well, those homeowners can speak, argue, and subscribe or unsubscribe to newspapers. So, that option will take some courage. Bears, after all, can't defend themselves and thus become easy targets.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Saugerties, New York. Spring Clean-up. 2010.

Listen up! If you thought Spring meant warmer temps, flowers and singing birds in the morning, think again. There's work to be done, at least in the eyes of the proprietors of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS). They are looking for a few good men, and women. It's time for their Spring cleanup when they get ready to receive this year's visitors, patrons and friends. Those who answer the call can expect to paint barns, do some landscaping, perform property maintenance and other such jobs. Hey, it actually sounds like fun. So, the big day is April 10th, Saturday but be sure to register by Thursday, the 8th, by calling 845-336-8447. Their email is

Located 2 hours north of NYC in Saugerties, NY, CAS is a 100-
acre haven for farm animals rescued from cruelty and neglect. CAS also educates the public on the devastating impacts of agribusiness on people, animals, and the planet we share, and how to live a more compassionate lifestyle. Since 2001, CAS has saved nearly 2,000 desperately needy animals.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Animal Kingdom. It's Not all Kill or Be Killed.

In my generation, dogs and cats, cats and birds, cats and mice, don't mix. That was the status quo and unassailable norm. There are nations thought to be traditional enemies, and so why not animals? Well, we couldn't be at many places at virtually the same time. Our knowledge and experience were comparatively narrow. But with the development of the worldwide web, we now can. Increasingly, these assumptions are challenged as examples contradicting them relentlessly come to the surface for both our delectation and wonderment. We should start to reconsider these equations as worn out dogmas of the past. It seems that animals do make choices, just like we do.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Hunting. Accidents. Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting. CASH.

Call me bad. Call me callous. But, hunting accidents bring joy to my heart. They are God's way of handing out sweet revenge on those who kill animals for sport. And yes, retribution, in its many forms, is part of my God's core values. Accidents, therefore, is a misnomer when you factor in divine intervention. For kindred spirits, there is a website that collects information on the misfortune of the hunters, their stupidity and carelessness, their self-inflicted injuries and deaths. What else can I tell you except that it is a delightful READ!