Saturday, June 21, 2008

In the News - Week of June 14, 2008

Pit Bulls Survivors of Vick Fighting Ring Continue to Amaze
Stereotypes of fighting pit bulls are being dismantled by the dogs liberated from the Vick fighting ring. On the video from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary tells a compelling story of the healing that is taking place. Karen Dawn from Dawnwatch sent a story that aired on NPR today. Scott Simon interviewed Mathina McClay, a dog trainer working with Leo, one of the Vick pit bulls. Leo is now a cancer therapy dog. Use this link to listen to the story: NPR story about Leo the Cancer Therapy Dog. I hope the journey of the Vick dogs convinces shelters to rethink the policies they have for pit bull adoptions. Far too many shelters and rescue groups make erroneous assumptions about pit bulls, condemning dogs to death based on bad information. Breed alone will not determine whether a dog is dangerous and with pit bulls, I believe humans pose a far greater danger to the dogs than the dogs do to people.

Clint Eastwood Makes My Day - He's a Vegan
FARM's great weekly newsletter Meatout Mondays highlights the LA Times article Clint Eastwood Targets the Legacy of Dirty Harry. Eastwood, "A vegan, he was distressed to hear Hillary Rodham Clinton boast recently about bagging a bird. "I was thinking: 'The poor duck, what the hell did she do that for?' I don't go for hunting. I just don't like killing creatures. Unless they're trying to kill me. Then that would be fine."

I knew I always liked Eastwood. Note to presidential candidates, killing innocent beings to prove your worthiness to the NRA is disgusting.

Ringling Brothers Finally Must Answer for Mistreating Elephants
Eight years ago a lawsuit was filed against Ringling Brothers Circus for mistreating elephants, an endangered species. Ringling Brothers successfully delayed the suit through legal maneuvering. Finally, the court is moving the case forward and Ringling Brothers will face a jury in October.

A Las Vegas television station aired a story about Ringling Brothers mistreatment of elephants earlier this week. I hope that people stop and think before attending a circus. I've attended circuses, in fact sat in the front row for a Ringling Brothers show at Joe Louis Arena. I was awed by the beauty of the elephants as they marched within touching distance. Magnificent creatures, so intelligent and knowing. But I wasn't all that intelligent and certainly didn't know the truth about circuses when I bought those tickets for myself and my nieces. As much as we enjoy seeing elephants, tigers, lions, seals and other animals we must be cognizant of where the animals should be, in their environment, not ours. Wild animals are not meant to entertain humans and certainly should never suffer for entertainment. Hopefully the Ringling Brothers jury will see the light and end the madness.

Vegan Pro Athletes Featured on ESPN
Last night an elderly friend tried to bring me over to her team - the carnivore team. I declined and tried my best arguments about my lifestyle choice - veganism. Even tried my please leave me alone argument - it goes like this, Would you drink human milk? No, then why in the world do you think it's ok to drink milk from another species? Sadly I got the old, because that's what God wants answer. Since I did not want to go on a theological rant, i.e., God told the Jews do not drink milk, when did he/she change his/her mind, I let the whole thing drop. She is still convinced that vegans are unhealthy protein deprived freaks.

ESPN provides some ammunition in Who Says You Have to Eat Meat to Be a Successful Athlete.
NFL football player Tony Gonzalez is featured. He became a vegan after health scares caused him to reevaluate his choices. Other vegan athletes include baseball star Prince Fielder, track star Carl Lewis, football great Desmond Howard, martial arts fighter Mac Danzig, Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek and ultra marathoner Scott Jurek. The article is informative and provides a glimpse into the choices people make when they take time to contemplate why we eat the things we do. So the next time someone tells you that a vegan diet is unhealthy because there is no animal protein start rattling off names of these exceptional athletes.

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