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Posts Tagged ‘peta’

Animal-rights activists want cub killed

Posted by Richard on March 21, 2007

Back in 1994 at the Denver Zoo, a polar bear named Ulu gave birth to twins and promptly rejected them. The cubs were rescued by a zookeeper, put in incubators, and fed with eyedroppers. Klondike and SnowNamed Klondike and Snow, they were the first polar bears successfully hand-raised by humans. People around here went nuts over the adorable little critters, which were a marketer's dream. They gained national attention (including a PBS special), were celebrated in a video and a book, and made the zoo a boat-load of money. When the bears approached adulthood, due to space constraints (and perhaps loss of cuddliness), they were sent to Sea World, a move that caused great consternation locally, complete with petitions and protests.

I remember all the hype, adoration, and frenzy over Klondike and Snow. I don't remember anyone calling for them to be put to death. Not even animal-rights activists. 

Times have changed. Animal-rights activists today would rather see a polar bear die than be raised by humans. In Germany, some say Berlin zookeepers are violating animal-welfare laws by not killing little Knut:

Everyone loves Knut. The three-month-old polar bear born in one of Berlin's zoos has become a star in the German capital and has won hearts the world over. Indeed, the exact date of his first public appearance — likely to be made later this week — is the subject of almost as much anticipation as the details of Britney Spears Alcoholics Anonymous love affair. It's impossible not to love the little guy, right?

Well, not quite. Animal rights activists, as SPIEGEL reported Monday, aren't so enthralled with the polar bear baby. They are concerned that Knut, who is being raised by human hand after his mother rejected him, is in danger of losing touch with the bear necessities. Some would like to see him dead.

"Raising him by hand is not appropriate to the species but rather a blatant violation of animal welfare laws," animal rights activist Frank Albrecht told the mass circulation newspaper Bild, whose front page headline Monday read "Will Sweet Knut Be Killed by Injection?"

Berlin Zoo is allowing Knut to be raised in such a way that the bear will have a behavioral disorder for the rest of his life, Albrecht believes. "In actual fact, the zoo needs to kill the bear cub," he adds.

He's not alone. Wolfram Graf-Rudolf, director of the Aachen Zoo, told the newspaper, "I don't consider it appropriate for the species that the little polar bear is being raised on a bottle." The animal will be fixated on his keeper and not be a "real" polar bear, he says. However he feels it is now too late to put Knut out of his supposed misery. "The mistake has been made. One should have had the courage to put him to sleep much earlier."

Kill Knut because he's not a "real" polar bear? This is the PETA view of animals. Such people argue that animals have "rights" that forbid us from eating them, wearing them, riding them, putting them in zoos or circuses, having them as pets, or benefitting from them in any way whatsoever. Then they turn around and declare an animal worthless and unfit to live because dependence on humans has ruined its animal "purity" and "humanized" it. It's not love of animals that drives such people, it's hatred of humans.

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Caring about cattle

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2007

As the third sizable snowstorm in just over two weeks slams into eastern Colorado (Denver’s expecting about 7" today), it looks like a cattle catastrophe has been averted in southeastern Colorado, where the New Year’s Eve eve storm dumped up to 48" of snow, with 10-15′ drifts. For the past week, ranchers and volunteers, with help from National Guard planes and helicopters, struggled mightily to get feed and water to the stranded cattle. Officials initially predicted tens of thousands might die, but so far the toll is much lower than feared:

About 3,500 cattle are believed dead, a relatively small fraction of the 300,000 cattle snowbound in six southeastern Colorado counties, according to estimates by experts at the state Department of Agriculture.

In regional feedlots, another 1,000 cattle deaths were confirmed by veterinarian Bill Bennett, homeland security director for the state Agriculture Department.

The toll may rise due to this latest storm, but because of the wind, not heavy snow. Here’s a fascinating fact I bet you didn’t know:

Bennett expressed less concern about snow accumulation with this storm than the anticipated driving winds that may cause cows to suffocate. …

"If it’s blowing when it snows, cattle start inhaling so much snow that it gets in their lungs and they literally drown," explained state veterinarian John Maulsby.

Meanwhile, a couple of Denver radio jocks contacted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about helping to save the cattle, antelope, and elk facing a grim, cold death in that area. PETA basically said, "Who cares? They’re going to die anyway." The Center for Consumer Freedom is all over the story, and has links to the audio:

The dustup started when KRFX morning hosts Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax (yes, that’s his real name) called PETA to ask if the group would help feed and rescue the snowbound herds. PETA spokeswoman Reannon Peterson took the call, and bluntly replied: "You’re going to save them, and then in six months they’re going to be killed and end up on someone’s plate. So I don’t know that it’s really the most noble cause." [click to listen].

Peterson also put the blame on ranchers, criticizing them for "leaving [the cattle] outside" in bad weather. Mind you, this is the same group that rails against "imprisoning" animals in pens or barns.

Peterson added that wild animals caught in the blizzard’s wake — the same animals PETA routinely criticizes hunters for bagging — also weren’t worth spending PETA’s money to save. "It’s an act of God," she said. "There’s really nothing to be done" [click to listen].

She’s right, of course — animals dying in storms and being eaten by predators are part of nature and the "cycle of life." The irony is that this is PETA, a group that works tirelessly to promote the Bambi / Peaceable Kingdom fantasy about animals, that mourns every animal eaten by a human, and that sheds tears over the dashed dreams and lost liberties of lobsters.

I suspect that many PETA members are secretly glad to see cattle die in a way that prevents humans from benefitting from their deaths. Like the environmentalists who’d rather see a forest consumed by fire (contributing to particulate pollution, greenhouse gases, and global warming) than cut by loggers, the animal rights crowd is largely motivated by antipathy toward humans (at its root, their own self-loathing). They’ve long reminded me of Macauley’s observation about the motivation of Puritans: "The Puritan hated bearbaiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators."

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