Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

Paul Shapiro is back for his weekly dose of all the animal news that’s fit to print! Take it away, Paul!

Seriously, not a joke: Here’s a pork industry column this week on why they’re opposing HSUS’s effort to make it a felony in North Dakota to set dogs, cats, and horses on fire. (It’s currently a felony in 48 other states.)

You already know that the factory farming industry vigorously attacks HSUS daily. But today there’s an important new exposé by Bloomberg on one of the industry’s top PR hit men, who often leads the attack against HSUS. Check it out.

I doubt he’s pleased with the piece, and I also doubt that he’s pleased with the fact that Carnival Cruises is the latest major pork buyer to announce it will eliminate gestation crate pork from its supply chain.

Finally. I also doubt he was too pleased to read the recent LA Times story on how demand for meat is declining globally. Or the big AP story yesterday on how meat-free Thanksgivings are gaining in popularity…

Video of the week:  I’m usually against animal fighting, but this may be okay…


“ The problem with foie gras is that it’s not important. It’s the tyranny of a small minority of passionate people victimizing an even smaller minority of passionate people. „

The California foie gras ban finally takes effect (after eight years of fruitless searching for a “humane alternative” to gavage) in less than a week! Dana Goodyear wrote a brief post for the New Yorker about a protest of one of those creepy last chance foie gras dinners chefs are putting on here, this one in Los Angeles; the quote is from Mark Peel of Campanile and it is rich.

Did you know that foie gras protesters are actually victimizing people who eat foie gras? Victimizing! Is there anything more ridiculous than a defensive omnivore? Yes: an omnivore getting defensive about a nonsensical, disgusting luxury food.

But don’t worry, California foie gras-lovers; chefs can still serve your precious food, as long as they don’t sell it, which Bloomberg reports some chefs are totally planning to do. Or they might charge a preparation fee to customers who bring in their own foie gras! FREEDOM!


Newsflash: Horse-drawn carriages are abusive and tacky  »

There’s been a lot of debate recently in New York City about horse-drawn carriages, since one poor horse, Charlie, collapsed and died in the middle of the street. Now that the results of the necropsy are in, concerns are as high as ever: “The gross necropsy report indicates that Charlie was not a healthy horse and was likely suffering from pain due to pronounced chronic ulceration of the stomach and a fractured tooth,” reports the ASPCA. So this wasn’t just a freak accident—this horse was ill, despite Bloomberg’s insistance that the horses are “well taken care of.”

This is a tragedy but it seems to have brought the absurdity of the horse-drawn carriage industry to light. Horses should not be living in New York City, trotting alongside cars day and night. That’s nuts. That’s not the only issue, however. The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages outlines the many reasons this industry sucks. Like where do these horses sleep at night? Surprise: it’s not Dream Valley. It’s a stuffy, fire-trap of a warehouse.

The attention Charlie has been getting has also brought attention to Intro 86, an initiative that would replace horse carriages with eco-friendly, vintage-replica cars like the model below:

Now I think that is a great idea! And the current carriage drivers would get first dibs on the jobs driving the pretty cars. Come on, this car is so much cuter than a horse-drawn carriage! And it still has all the nostalgia. 

Not everyone supports Intro 86. If you feel like reading something ridiculous and infuriating on the matter, look no further than Treehugger. Jaymi Heimbuch wrote the most absurd piece on the subject for them, saying one dead horse shouldn’t end the industry. Heartwarming. While she claims she’s “always on the side of horses” she also draws the genius conclusion that “it’d be a real bummer if city kids couldn’t see animals like horses while walking in the park.” Yeah, poor city kids. They wouldn’t get to witness horse abuse as a normal part of culture! I don’t even want to think about what that might do to their developing minds. I have what I feel is an even more genius conclusion, though: How about we send a message of compassion to city kids! I know, I’m out of control. 

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