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EPA rejects review of WA shark cull

There has been much uninformed criticism of the WA cull. Similar culling practices already occur in NSW and Queensland. But the EPA also gets it wrong. The EPA boss says that public opinion is irrelevant to issues of environmental protection a statement that is entirely false. In fact the way most environmental protection measures are [...]

Don’t buy civet coffee

This YouTube shows why. It isn’t fashionable or smart to use coffee beans that have been passed through the arse end of a civet. It promotes cruelty to the animals.

So too is eating civet – in China they are considered a delicacy that strengthens sex organs. Ancient Chinese medicine or ancient baloney?

Mother nature [...]

Islam & animal liberation

I am interested in connections between religion and animal ethics. The Bible is ambiguous on the issue – at times lording humans over non-humans (we are, after all, the “Sons” of God!) and at times showing compassion. St Francis (one of the great figures of Catholicism who does inspire me) prayed to the birds! I [...]

Killing animals: The case of hunting

I recently joined a group of hunters pursuing Sambar deer in central Victoria – the mountainous area not far from Walhalla. As one who teaches classes on animal rights I do have strong views on the subject but wanted to see myself what goes on. To be clear I did not hunt myself – I [...]

Octopi

What animals should be assigned moral status? Some (like Peter Singer) draw the lines at crustaceans and shrimp? What about octopuses (octopi?) These creatures have remarkable intelligences including the ability to change their colour to suit their environment. They also have remarkable straightforward reasoning power in anthropocentric terms.

I liked this piece in the NY [...]

Protecting animals from torture as a form of terrorism

I was interested to read in the NYT that in a dozen US states it is now (i) Illegal for unauthorised whistle-blowers to make videos of workers harming farm animals and (ii) that any such videos must be turned into the authorities and not screened. The grounds seem to be that this form of whistle-blowing [...]

Inghams & animal cruelty

Inghams Enterprises is one of the largest chicken and the largest turkey supplier in Australia. It was a private company but was recently sold to TPG for $880 million. Its former owner Bob Ingham is worth over $1b. The sale will undoubtedly make its new owner a lot of money – but unless things change [...]

Animal ethics

I am doing some work on environmental and specifically animal ethics. Comments appreciated on this first draft on the animal ethics topic. (1408)

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Animal welfare again

I am pleased that the issue of animal cruelty has been raised in relation to the ritual killing of sheep and other animals for Jewish and Muslim consumers. It is important that humans extend their scope of welfare concerns to both all forms of human life and to non-human life as well. This is not [...]

Animal rights

Throughout my life I have been a somewhat hypocritical carnivore. I eat meat (and invest in agricultural businesses) but fundamentally dislike the notion of killing animals for food. The best way I can live with this hypocrisy is to seek to promote humane treatment of the animals that as a human I do eat. I [...]

Yao Ming on ‘finning’

I was delighted to see an advertisement on CCTV Beijing where a legendary Chinese basket baller, the 7 foot 6 inch, Yao Min, rejects a plate of shark’s fin soup. In fact, as I later found out, he has been pursuing a campaign against the appalling practice of ‘finning’ (removal of a shark’s fin and [...]

Eliminating carnivores?

This provocative piece “The Meat Eaters” by Jeff McMahan in NYT has aroused much negative comment. The idea is an extension of ‘animal liberation’ and ‘vegen’ philosophy. The question: Should we arrange for the gradual extinction of all carnivores so that only herbivores remain in order to avoid animal suffering? (1902)

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Animal rights & joys of libertarian dismissal of such

This Inside-Out China blog posting pours scorn on the notion of animal rights much to the delight of Jason Soon at Catallaxy. The Chinese sometimes have an insensitive way of dealing with animals but I am not surprised that libertarians oppose criticisms of people’s rights to do with non-human life what they like. It accords [...]

Dolphin slaughter in Japan

I am not a vegetarian although I have sympathies with the animal rights movement. Animals have rights that should be protected by humans. This is a plausible ethical position. That almost all humans recognize such rights is implied by the near universal aversion civilized people feel regarding deliberate cruelty to animals. This suggests that animals [...]