A new year, a new decade, a fresh start -- at least in concept. Wouldn't that be great? I'm wishing for it, meaning that all the ills and evils mentioned here since last May might stop or at least finally show some sign of diminishing. Will people grow more aware of non-human animals as living beings with needs and feelings and rights? Will they pause in their relentless (and so often thoughtless) cruelty?
Wanting to get rid of reminders of animal abuse, I'm now throwing away stories I clipped from publications or jotted to myself to remember for post possibilities here. Either they'll stop -- or they'll happen again, and I'll simply clip the stories again to write about in 2010.
* Out with the story about the Lipizzaner stallions, who are taught over 6-8 years (!) to dance in a "choreographed equestrian ballet set to classical music. " Oddly enough, Gary Lashinsky, the story's spokesperson for this idiocy said, "the stallions live to entertain." Oh? Or did he mean they live because they submit to training, a la circus animals?
* Get rid of a story about humans learning to slaughter the animals they'll then eat. The extensive coverage last October 25 in the NYTimes was surprising in its detail, sickening in its content. By learning to slaughter and butcher, these carnivores say they "can honor their pigs and eat them, too." Did anyone consult the pig?
* Then comes the issue of farm animals and antibiotics. "The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 70% of the antibiotics used in this country are fed to farm animals," a July 24 editorial reported. This is done routinely as a feed supplement, to increase growth and lessen the chance of infection in crowded industrial farms. Needless to say, the farm lobby objects to any curb on the practice because it would make it much harder to "crowd thousands of animals together in confined, inhumane and unhealthy quarters."
* And finally, for now, the use of animals in laboratory experiments continues on a grand scale, despite proof that other, animal-free methods of testing drugs and techniques would work far better, and that what may be true for animals is not necessarily true for humans. (It must take a "special" kind of scientist to confront these facts about his/her work . . . and continue with animal experimentation.)
We can only hope this year will be a better one for animals.