Saturday, December 10


Say what you will (and I have) about PETA and some of their hamhanded, and frankly misguided, campaigns - but there's one organization that makes them look not only angelic but completely on the ball. That's Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which not only infiltrated the organization with professional spies, but has shown such contempt for the courts in the lawsuit PETA subsequently filed that Ringling head Kenneth Feld has now been publicly chewed out by the judge for withholding crucial information in the case.

"A judge issued sanctions against the owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for filing late and incomplete documents in a lawsuit that claims that the owner had established a spy operation against animal-rights groups.

Based on the portions of the 30-page document revealed during Thursday's hearing, it appears to spell out the company's plan for dealing with circus protests by animal-rights groups. The plan calls for efforts to discredit PETA and other animal-rights groups and to seek ways to undermine PETA's status as a nonprofit organization.

Circuit Judge David Stitt said Feld should have turned over the documents long ago. He ordered Feld to turn over an unredacted copy of the documents by Monday and to turn over any other documents related to the company's Animal Issues Department."

Thursday, December 8


Of course factory farms are a nightmare for animals, but remember how many human lives are also adversely affected by the animal exploitation (not to mention ecosystems, of course).

A lawyer for the neighbors group Centerville Cares, called Maple Leaf Dairy "the environmental equivalent of a neighborhood crack house." These aren't tree-hugging granola-cruncers who are complaining, they're the people who have to live with the crap (literally) from this runaway industry.

Wednesday, December 7


Allison Geiger of ClubVeg forwarded this to me, and it was the first I'd heard of the phenomenon. But it seems seminal vegan podcaster Erik Marcus is a high-profile victim of a new practice of hijacking RSS feeds by seeding them in different directories with a go-between URL. The users don't notice the difference but the hijacker can, once the listener base is built up, extort the podcaster on the threat of closing down all the bogus subscriptions. Check it out, and if you have an RSS feed, make sure it's correctly represented in all the major directories.

Tuesday, December 6


I don't have the stomach or the heart to do the round-up of hunting accidents that inevitably heralds the opening of the season, but let this one stand in for the barbarity of this entire enterprise:

    The father of a 10-year-old killed in a hunting accident said the boy was shot as the two descended a hill and the elder man slipped. The shotgun he was carrying went off, striking the boy in the back.

    The father, Raymond F. Libby Jr., asked his son, Raymond F. Libby III, if he was hit, and his answer "yes" would be the last word the father would hear him say.
While I grieve for the father, the boy's death is not just an outrageous travesty but an allegory for the practice of modern-day hunting: The son's life is outweighed by the importance of loyalty to archaic macho tradition - a tradition of killing, which, not surprisingly, often backfires on the killer in more ways than one. It is absolutely pathetic that this still goes on in a supposedly civilized America.