By Jessica Phelan, GlobalPost
Finally, some good news: around 30 dolphins were safely returned to sea after washing ashore on a Brazilian beach.
The mammals were saved by the quick thinking of beachgoers at Arraial do Cabo, in Rio de Janeiro state.
According to Gerd Traue, who caught the incident on camera, the dolphins appeared at 8:00 AM on March 5.
His video (below) shows the pod dragged closer and closer to shore, seemingly by a strong current, until the animals lie stranded on the beach itself. Thrashing their bodies and making high-pitched squeals, they become stuck in the wet sand and are unable to swim back out to sea.
People approach, at first unsure of what to do, but soon cooperating to drag the dolphins back into the water by their tails. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Jeff Mackey is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) works to promote animal rights and mitigate cruelty toward animals.
By Jeff Mackey - Special to CNN
The announcement by fast-food giant McDonald's that it will require its U.S. pork suppliers to eliminate the use of gestation crates - 2-foot-wide cages designed to virtually immobilize pigs for the entirety of their pregnancies - is but one recent sign of the growing worldwide recognition that farmed animals are not mere machines for food production but living, feeling beings with concerns worthy of our consideration.
Because McDonald's is a leading restaurant chain, its decision to buy only from producers that don't use gestation crates is notable, but the company is in some ways behind the curve on this issue. The European Union (EU) has already banned the use of the crates, as have several U.S. states, and other notable companies, including Hormel, Smithfield Foods, and Maple Leaf Farms (the largest pork producer in Canada), had already begun the process of phasing them out.
Editor's Note: Rick Berman is the Executive Director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies and consumers to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices. This article is written in response to the op-ed Can animals be slaves? published on GPS last week.
By Rick Berman - Special to CNN
When People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced that it was suing SeaWorld under the 13th Amendment of the Constitution for “enslaving” killer whales, the reaction was predictable: Derision. After all, it’s PETA - the same people who claim giving a kid a hamburger is child abuse. It’s just another media stunt, right?
In fact, we should be quite concerned about animal rights activism in the courts.
A longtime goal of the animal rights movement is to gain “standing” in court for animals. Under current law, animals are considered property. If you don’t feed your dog for a week, he can’t sue you - though, fortunately, you can be charged with animal cruelty. That’s because animals’ welfare is protected under law, even if animals don’t have the right to sue. FULL POST
By Jennifer O'Connor – Special to CNN
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the condition of slavery. But it does not refer to a "person" or any particular class of victims.
So, can animals be slaves?
In a precedent-setting case, PETA, three marine-mammal experts and two former orca (killer whale) trainers are suing SeaWorld on behalf of five orcas who were taken from their home by force, locked up, put to work and never allowed to leave - the very definition of slavery.
Corky, Kasatka and Ulises went from exploring the vast seas with their families to a sterile tank barely larger than their own bodies at SeaWorld San Diego. Tilikum and Katina float listlessly between performances at SeaWorld Orlando. Now all five orcas will get their day in court. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Ethics of What We Eat, and The Life You Can Save. For more from Singer, visit Project Syndicate's website, or check it out on Facebook and Twitter.
By Peter Singer
Forty years ago, I stood with a few other students in a busy Oxford street handing out leaflets protesting the use of battery cages to hold hens. Most of those who took the leaflets did not know that their eggs came from hens kept in cages so small that even one bird – the cages normally housed four – would be unable to fully stretch and flap her wings. The hens could never walk around freely, or lay eggs in a nest.
Many people applauded our youthful idealism, but told us that we had no hope of ever changing a major industry. They were wrong. FULL POST
Editor's Note: The following article comes from Worldcrunch, an innovative, new global news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. This article was originally published in Die Welt.
By Elke Bodderas, Worldcrunch
BERLIN – Maxi is seven years old. If he were a person, not a cat, he would be a young-looking guy in his mid-40s. Thomas, a student in Hanover, adopted Maxi from an animal shelter, and loves Maxi so much that he found the money for a kidney transplant when his four-pawed pal would otherwise have died. The whole thing cost Thomas 15,000 euros [about $20,000], including the flight to the United States, where the operation took place.
“Maxi stood by me when I was very sick,” Thomas told the German newspaper Bild. “He’s my alter ego. ”
A “new” cat kidney costs 15,000 euros, chemo and radiotherapy for a dog suffering from cancer cost around 18,000 euros [about $24,000]. By comparison, a new titanium hip joint – at a mere 5,000 euros [about $6,650] – is something of a bargain. And compared to that, the cost of the physiotherapy needed to round out treatment seems like peanuts. FULL POST
A decision by the Toronto Zoo to separate a pair of male penguins, dubbed the "gay penguins," has sparked an international outcry.
The African penguins, named Buddy and Pedro, formed a close bond while part of a "bachelor flock" at Pittsburgh’s National Aviary, Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail reported.
The penguins remained close when transferred to the Toronto Zoo, and displayed courtship and mating behavior towards each other. Because of this they were dubbed the "gay penguins," although zoo keepers said their relationship was not necessarily sexual.
By Jessica Phelan, GlobalPost
Among the less predictable effects of the European debt crisis is the delay of a crucial Chinese loan to France.
Paris had hoped to get hold of one of Beijing's most valuable resources: not a hefty credit facility, but two giant pandas.
The two governments had planned to finalize the deal last week, French Ecology Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told Agence France Presse.
But the panda negotiations had to take a back seat to a different type of loan, she said:
"Things were very far advanced. Unfortunately because of the Greek crisis, the sovereign debt crisis, the emergency G20 summit, there was no time for the final discussion between President Hu Jintao and President Sarkozy."
The highly endangered giant panda holds such symbolic value for China that all lending arrangements must be approved at the highest level, Kosciusko-Morizet explained.
She recently returned from a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu, southwest China, which will provide the pandas to be loaned.
A specially-built enclosure is awaiting them at Beaval Zoo in central France.
Kosciusko-Morizet is hopeful the deal will be finalized by letter in the coming weeks, global financial crises permitting.
Editor's Note: Heather Moore is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) works to promote animal rights and mitigate cruelty against animals.
By Heather Moore – Special to CNN
There are currently about 7 billion people on this planet, and experts predict that there will be at least 9 billion by 2050. Global meat consumption is projected to double by then too. The Earth simply cannot sustain so many meat-eaters.
A recent report by the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project shows that global meat production increased by 2.6 percent in 2010. Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20 percent in the past 10 years. Much of the meat is produced in industrialized countries. The average American eats twice as much meat as the average person worldwide. According to Worldwatch President Robert Engelman, the "world's supersized appetite for meat" is one of the main reasons why greenhouse-gas emissions are still increasing rapidly. FULL POST
Editor’s Note: Sarah Arkin is a freelance journalist and a graduate student at Georgetown University. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.
By Sarah Arkin - Special to CNN
“We don’t steal cattle,” said Benson, a Maasai in the south of Kenya. Instead, he explained, they merely recover them. The Maasai believe that Ngai, their God, blessed the Maasai people with cattle “herding,” and only they are allowed to do it. Of course, the government of Kenya, not to mention other pastoralist tribes throughout the country who also rely on cattle and other livestock for their way of life, don’t find this a compelling argument.
Cattle-rustling, a catch-all term which in includes the pillaging and pilfering of cattle, sheep, goats and camel is pervasive throughout Kenya, and in the Rift Valley in particular. Though pastoralists have been stealing each other’s livestock in a never-ending pattern of “revenge attacks” for centuries, the introduction of small arms, primarily AK-47s and other unreliable soviet-era weapons has increased violence and the death toll of such raids. FULL POST
An opossum that gained worldwide fame for its comedic cross-eyed looks has been put to sleep after its health deteriorated, Leipzig Zoo said Wednesday.
The female opossum, called Heidi, became a German media sensation after her picture was published in late 2010 and had more than 330,000 fans on Facebook. FULL POST