Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »


It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals

Another big week: Ellen DeGeneres had Wayne Pacelle on her show to talk about the ag-gag fight, while we waged a full court press urging Tennessee’s governor to veto the ag-gag bill now on his desk that would essentially ban whistleblowing exposés of animal cruelty. You can see the new TV ad HSUS is running, along with significant other efforts we’re putting into the state, leading to coverage noting that “never has Gov. Bill Haslam received so much communication on a single issue.”

Nearly every major newspaper in Tennessee is urging Gov. Haslam to veto the bill. The Tennessean decried it as “despicable and unconstitutional.” The Daily News Journal called the bill “ridiculous, immature and idiotic.” The News-Sentinel also put it bluntly, ridiculing the legislation as a “mendacious and despicable measure.”

The ACLU is now getting more involved in the ag-gag battle, including in Tennessee. Meanwhile, in Indiana, the state’s ag-gag bill advanced further in the legislative process, leading the Indianapolis Star to editorialize against the bill, calling it “extremely misguided.”

Here’s a new interview of mine on the ag-gag issue and other farm animal protection topics.

Finally, legislation to ban barren battery cages for laying hens and require battery cage egg cartons to be labeled as “eggs from caged hens” wasre-introduced in the Congress this week, enjoying support from a wide array of animal protection groups and the egg industry’s trade association, though still opposed by nearly every national meat and dairy trade group.

P.S. Video of the week: And the lion shall lay down with the lamb …

P.P.S. New resources of the week: A new HSUS Earth Day-themed Meatless Monday infographic, and a new site by some friends of mine you may be interested in checking out!


Your weekly paranoia   »

Just in case anyone was feeling complacent, the ACLU is here to remind us that our civil liberties are still (even increasingly) under attack. It’s old news that intelligence and security agencies gather assloads of information about people from the internet, and these agencies are usually interested in racial and religious minorities, political activists (cough cough *green scare* cough), and immigrants; now, the ACLU has helpfully put together a new web resource, the Spy Files, to help keep us up worrying at night.

Terrifying and angering it may be to read, this is important information to have, particularly since, according to the ACLU, 1) it’s not just intelligence and security agencies that are monitoring your info; and 2) they’re not only targeting criminals. This new kind of surveillance is increasingly directed at the general public, and that could mean hard times for both animal rights activists, and vegans and vegetarians generally, whose information could be sifted from the vast pool.

In a political and legal climate where animal rights activists are being thrown in front of grand juries for such dangerous activities as chanting, leafleting, chalking on public sidewalks in front of animal researchers’ homes, and using the internet to conduct research on the activities of the protested company (as was the case with the AETA 4), we all need to be keeping an eye on our rights. Take charge, vegans! Know your rights!

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