Animal welfare

Animal welfare dismissed all too often

Peter Fricker, projects and communications director at the Vancouver Humane Society, provides this very thoughtful piece about some very common attitudes towards animal welfare.  Mr. Fricker points to the very common reaction a number of people have to news about animal welfare and abuse: “They say they are appalled that time and money are spent on animals when there are humans suffering around the world from famine, disease and war.”  Mr. Fricker makes the following salient argument:

Well, before we stop lavishing those appallingly generous resources on animals and end our shameful pandering to their selfish whims, perhaps we might consider some other things we could cut back on. Some statistics might help:

  • Canadians spend about $21 billion a year at beer and liquor stores.
  • Canadians spent more than $35 billion on foreign travel in 2012.
  • On average, Canadians spend $310 a month on items they want but do not need

It’s funny how famine, disease and war rarely enter our thoughts when we’re having a drink by the pool in Maui, admiring the cool sunglasses we just bought. No, those thoughts only emerge when someone dares to say we should do more for animals.”

Well said, Mr. Fricker.


Animal welfare

In memoriam: Tuxedo Stan


Although fans of Tuxedo Stan knew that his end was near, the news of his death on September 8 was very difficult to face.  The Chisholms, Tuxedo Stan’s human guardians, have received thousands of condolence messages from across the world, and Stan’s death has been reported in several local and national news media.  This beautiful cat touched the hearts of thousands of people across the world; “his” efforts to raise awareness of the lack of spay and neuter facilities in Halifax have made an impact on the provision of such services.  In honour of Tuxedo Stan, many of his fans have been making donations in his name to various animal charities.  Stan’s blood brother, Tuxedo Earl Grey, will run for premier in the upcoming Nova Scotia election; Earl Grey wants to lobby for the inclusion of cats in provincial animal protection legislation.  Some people have been critical of all the attention and public mourning expressed about Stan’s death; I’ve learned a long time ago to simply ignore the “it’s just a cat/dog” camp.  If “just a cat” can touch people to this extent and raise awareness of the plight of animals, it’s more than many real politicians can accomplish.  Mourning a sweet, departed creature is never wrong.

Go with God across the Rainbow Bridge, Tuxedo Stan.



Animal welfare

Animal welfare organizations band together to oppose bullfighting

WSPA has joined other leading animal NGOs outside the Spanish Embassy in London to oppose proposed legislation that will protect bullfighting under the status of ‘cultural heritage’.  According to this survey:

  • Seventy-six percent oppose use of public funds to support the bullfighting industry
  • Only 29 percent of the population support bullfighting (just 13 percent support it “strongly”)
  • Seventy-five percent of respondents said they hadn’t attended a bullfight in the last five years
  • Seven percent of respondents said they attended a bullfight “about once a year,” compared with 20 percent who said they visited a museum/art exhibition; 19 percent who made theatre visits; and 12 percent who attended football matches
  • Sixty-seven percent agree that children under 16 should not be allowed to attend bullfights

No argument for tradition or culture can justify the horrific and painful ordeals bulls and many horses undergo during a bullfight.

Animal welfare

Ignoring Animal Welfare Issues Can Make a Business Bankrupt

According to this post by Australian psychologist Clare Mann, “Businesses that fail to understand public sentiment on animal welfare issues will see their profits drastically diminished.” Mann has started a new magazine called The Animal Effect, whose mandate is to introduce “business and thought leaders who provide the tools, strategies and techniques to embrace ethical leadership in today’s organisations.” Mann does not provide the basis for her assessment, and since the magazine is not yet Android enabled, I can’t read the magazine, but here’s hoping that she’s right.