The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'animal rights'
The latest cottage industry in Switzerland is guinea pig rental. Switzerland has very strict animal welfare laws, under which it is an offence to keep animals described as social species, which include guinea pigs, without companions. Which means that law-abiding Swiss guinea-pig owners were faced with a legal dilemma once one of their pets passed away:
Without her rent-a-guinea pig service, the owner would have to purchase a new, probably younger guinea pig as a companion to the ageing survivor, whose eventual death would force the purchase of yet another guinea pig, locking the owner into an endless cycle of guinea pig purchases in order to adhere to Swiss law -- even though he or she may only ever have wanted one guinea pig in the first place.
She takes 50 Swiss francs (€41) for a castrated male and 60 francs for a female, "as a deposit," Küng explains. In effect, she sells the animals but pays back half the purchase price when they are returned. The job of the leased rodents is to cheer up companions in their twilight years.
Conceptual electronic musician Matthew Herbert's most recent project is titled One Pig. In it, he followed a pig, from its birth to its death and butchery, recording the sounds of its life. (Well, mostly; the death part was somewhat hampered by him not having been able to find a slaughterhouse willing to let him record the pig being slaughtered.) The recorded sounds would be turned into an album of electronic music, hopefully to make the listener reflect on the relationship between us and the animals we farm and eat. However, this was not a good enough justification for the animal-rights fundamentalists at PETA, who issued a fatwa, condemning Herbert and his project:
No one with any true talent or creativity hurts animals to attract attention … Pigs are inquisitive, highly intelligent, sentient animals who become frightened when they are sent to slaughterhouses, where they kick and scream and try to escape the knife. They are far more worthy of respect than Matthew Herbert or anyone else who thinks cruelty is entertainment.Herbert's response to the condemnation is here; it reads as thoughtful and measured when contrasted to PETA's Talibanic zeal.
I eat meat. as I get older, I feel less proud of that fact. however, since I do eat meat, I think that I have a responsibility to understand the implications of that decision. as much as I didn't relish the prospect of witnessing the death of a pig I had seen being born and raised, I felt it an important reality to face. it seems utterly absurd to me that PETA's knee jerk reaction is to chastise me in public about the integrity of that process of enquiry without even bothering to ask me about the motivation or history of the project. in an otherwise distant and anonymous food chain, this one pig's life has been clearly and respectfully acknowledged.
I thought art and music was, in part, supposed to endorse the idea of challenge. isn't part of its core purpose to struggle in public with the compromises and frictions of its time? the implication of this statement is that PETA would rather artists and musicians stood quietly to one side whilst such a poisonous and corrupt system cheerfully multiplied, unseen, unchallenged, unheard.
A code of practice published by the British government reminds owners of dogs and cats to ensure that their pets are not only fed properly but provided with adequate entertainment and mental stimulation. Rumours that the government will distribute laser pointers to all cat owners to assist in this could not be confirmed.
Costa Rican artist Guillermo Habacus Vargas caused an uproar after announcing an art exhibition in which a dog was starved to death. The world was informed that a stray dog named Natividad was chained in an exhibition space, with a pot of food on the other side, out of reach, and kept there until it starved to death. As you can undoubtedly imagine, there was mass outrage worldwide, with galleries dealing with Vargas/Habacus receiving death threats and a petition against him collecting two million signatures. Then it emerged that the whole thing was a hoax: the dog was "starved" only for three hours at a time, and during the rest of the time was fed by the artist.
It has now emerged, however, that artist Guillermo Habacuc Vargas intended the work to be a stunt to show how a starving dog suddenly becomes the centre of attention when it is in a gallery, but not when it is on the street. The work was intended to expose people for what they really are - "hypocritical sheep". He said that in order for the work to be valid, he and the gallery had to give the impression that the dog was genuinely starving to death and that it died.
Hertfordshire police raid reality-TV show, seizing a fur coat belonging to lead singer of 1980s glam-pop group Dead Or Alive and catty transvestite, Pete Burns, after he claimed that it was made of gorilla fur; the police have warned Burns that he may face five years in prison if it is, in fact, made of gorilla fur, which is prohibited under endangered-species legislation. Hardcore animal-rights advocates PETA praise the Hertfordshire Constabulary's actions, as this is exactly the sort of thing police should be making a priority; that and prosecuting meat-eaters for murder and pet owners for false imprisonment and such. Meanwhile, blogging magistrate Bystander is not amused:
We are told, often correctly, that some of our fellow citizens are afraid to leave their homes, that drug crime is rampant, and anarchy rules our sink estates. So the 'Wildlife Officer' (what's wrong with having a few 'lowlife officers'?) sits down with museum experts to investigate the provenance of a coat. Yes, that's right, a coat. Meanwhile, in court today, I have been forced to adjourn a number of cases because the 'overstretched' police haven't provided information to the CPS in time to allow a trial to proceed.
A day after several animal-rights militants were arrested for stealing the corpse of the grandmother of a guinea-pig farmer, others have firebombed an Oxford University sports centre and attempted to assault a GlaxoSmithKline employee, and then issued a chilling communique:
It said: "We are stronger than you, we have more resolve than you and we never give up.
"If we have to destroy every bit of property you own we will, in order to stop you inflicting your profit-driven cruelties on defenceless creatures.
"You cannot stop us, we are free to attack you at will, whenever and wherever we choose."Looks like, in addition to Al-Qaeda, we now have Animal-Qaeda to worry about.
File alongside "Israeli guard pigs": Animal Liberation have found a novel way of sabotaging live sheep shipments to the Middle East: by surreptitiously feeding the sheep rendered pig meal, causing them to become inedible under Islamic law.
Mind you, eating sheep that have been fed pig meal may not be all that good for non-Muslims either, what with the possibility of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and all that. I wonder whether this could inspire PETA or someone to start tainting animal feed with BSE pathogens (or claiming to have done so) to encourage people to stop eating meat.
Art curator acquitted in goldfish blender case, because the fish in question were killed "instantly and humanely":
During the two-day trial, a zoologist and a representative of blender manufacturer Moulinex said the fish likely died within a second after the blender started. It was not known who turned the blenders on.
Interactive art vs. animal rights A Danish art gallery director is facing trial for animal cruelty after hosting an exhibit featuring goldfish swimming in a blender. The artist who created the exhibit, Marco Evaristtis, said that he wanted to make people "do battle with their conscience" when confronted with the switch. Throughout the course of the exhibition, two members of the public decided to press the switch (out of curiosity, disbelief that the blender could be live, or sheer sociopathic callousness; who knows?), killing the live goldfish. The gallery director is being sued for failing to cut off the electricity supply to the blender, which he says he didn't do as not to interfere with the artist's vision.
The London Underground has banned a poster campaign by an animal-rights charity protesting factory farming of chickens. The poster shows a picture of scantily-clad models and a pictore of battery chickens, with the caption "Thousands of big-breasted birds packed together for your pleasure". According to the Tube, the poster is "likely to offend".
A man in the US is facing 3 years in prison for dissecting his daughter's guinea pig on September 13, 2001. Benny Zavala claims that he believed that the guinea pig was a camera-equipped robot placed in his home by government agents. (via rotten.com)
They look so peaceful, don't they? A NBC investigative reporter has found out that an alarmingly high proportion of the toy cat figurines sold in the US are made from real cat fur. Various Chinese factories slaughter cats and dogs and use the fur to make those cute stuffed toys you see in shops; though sometimes this is intentionally mislabelled as rabbit fur as not to upset consumer sensitivities.
`What you're actually looking at there is what was a cat, killed in the most inhumane manner you can imagine, so that the fur could be glued to this plastic figurine. It's grotesque.'
(via Boing Boing)
Savile Row tailor causes uproar over a jacket made of hamster fur. (The Age)