The saga of Nosey the Circus Elephant is back in the limelight, with dissident voices getting louder. Despite nearly 200 animal welfare violations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently renewed Hugo Liebel's license, so the ailing animal can be exploited for human entertainment, decries People for Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA.
Marineland has launched lawsuits targeting myself, former orca trainer Christine Santos and animal care supervisor Jim Hammond. My latest round of legal bills totaled more than I will earn in this year -- $100,000. Our lawsuits are shining examples of the urgent need for the anti-SLAPP legislation that is Bill 52: Protection of Public Participation Act. It is unbearable to think that this historic piece of legislation -- as it is currently written -- will not apply to the very people who have largely inspired it. Why is the province turning its back on us and leaving us behind? Where is the procedural fairness for those of us who are already proceeding with unfair cases before the courts in Ontario?
Last night I stood in the kind of hip club space I haven't visited since my 20s, jammed with nominees for the annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards. That spirit of course imbues our own upstart site here at HuffPost Canada, which was nominated for no fewer than eight awards. You can imagine how proud I was, as the former Managing Editor of Blogs here, to see our talented writers walk away with both the Gold and Silver awards for Best Blog in the daily and weekly newspapers, and broadcasters category.
Nathan Winograd is the leader of the No Kill movement, a genuine revolution in animal welfare. Over three million healthy and adoptable pets will be killed next year in America's shelters. Not, however, if Winograd and his growing army have any say. I caught up with him a few weeks after the No Kill Advocacy Centre's annual conference in Washington D.C.
On August 4, I was honoured to receive a humanitarian award from PETA for introducing Bill S-210 to end Canada's commercial seal slaughter. No international markets remain for this trade, but politicians from all parties prop it up each year with millions in wasted tax dollars. It's time for Canadian politicians to face the fact that the commercial seal-slaughter industry is over.
The reality is that the seals being hunted are not an endangered species and are not being hunted in numbers that might cause them to become endangered. In the areas of the world where seals are hunted there are few, perhaps no, viable alternatives. There are limited economic opportunities and few other food sources.
People naturally assume that the animal rights movement is simply an extension of the human rights movement. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), however, is a political movement primarily focused on the right to determine when and how an animal should die. Those who donate to PETA are almost never aware of this.
Why is a so-called animal rights group willing to go to war over its right to kill healthy pets unnecessarily? "No Kill" -- defined as a euthanasia rate of not more than 10 per cent of a given shelter's pets -- has been achieved wherever it has been strictly implemented. Perhaps the most sickening aspect of PETA's assault on the No Kill movement is that it blocks groups from rescuing animals in high-kill shelters.
The American media and general public were recently sent into a tizzy over Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement that a 16-ounce limit would be on New York City's sugary drinks. What's next? I'll tell you what: foie gras. Starting July 1, Californians will no longer be able to enjoy the deliciously contentious food.