After a series of positives from the Pope, he slips up on pet guardianship

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Pope Francis has been, for the most part, a positive force over the course of his term. But he slipped up in a major way with his recent comments in comparing couples having kids with couples who decide to limit their families to pets.

Time quoted the Pope as saying the following, in reference to couples deciding against having kids and instead having pets:

Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.

The human population of the planet is exploding exponentially. While there is nothing wrong with having kids, there certainly is nothing wrong with deciding to not have kids. And what about the couples who try but are not able to have children? Suggesting either category of couples will end up bitter and lonely is just wrongheaded.

And certainly, the Pope should learn a bit more about how rewarding it is to adopt homeless pets. Saving lives and experiencing the love of the rescued pet is on the other end of the scale from bitterness and loneliness.

I don’t think the Pope thought this one through. Who am I to question the Pope? Well …. just someone who understands the love we can receive from animals – and children.

The Time piece wraps up with this:

In other words, all the effort you spend caring for your furry friends would be of better use if Fido or Fifi were children.

That’s a pretty short-sighted look at the subject, isn’t it. Does it have to be either or? I know there are a ton of families with kids AND rescued pets. And they have enough love to give to all of them.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Puppy mill deniers keep getting it wrong

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Read most any article about proposed anti-puppy mill legislation and underneath you will most likely find comments from those opposed to improved protections for animals.

Or the letters to the editor section will feature this sort of drivel or you can find it on some organization’s website.

Of late, those fighting against better regulations are crying foul over two bills in the North Carolina General Assembly. The crying has pushed a few state senators to block HB930. So NC Governor Pat McCrory is trying to push through anther plan, as part of his proposed budget (SB842), to transfer enforcement of such laws from the Department of Agriculture to the law enforcement arm of the state.

It makes sense, but we also need the better regulations so that law enforcement officials state wide will have the tools they need to combat puppy mills and all forms of animal cruelty.

(I will post more details on these sections of SB842 very soon.)

Some individuals are claiming North Carolina doesn’t have a puppy mill problem. This is just insane. With the state’s lack of regulations, puppy mill operations are hiding in the shadows and they know the odds of being uncovered are slim.

And the propaganda is flying, suggesting people’s right to have pets is being attacked and the right to breed dogs or cats is being attacked. The reality is the only entities being regulated are puppy mills.

Those who can’t practice within the minimum guidelines being proposed should never be allowed to breed animals – period.

And of course this other side keeps spreading the notion that a definition of the phrase ‘puppy mill’ does not exist. This one is one of the most extreme cases of propaganda floating around.

Puppy mills and kitten mills are substandard breeding operations where the dogs or cats live 24/7 or a vast majority of every day locked in small cages, in unsanitary conditions. The animals rarely to never are allowed time to play or even walk around for exercise and rarely to never are given veterinary care or proper food and water.

Another area where the propaganda slides far from reality is the suggestion that breeders would never mistreat or neglect dogs, as they know it would hurt their chances of selling the puppies.

As we’ve seen in every puppy-mill bust ever – this isn’t true. As long as these mass-production operations can sell the puppies to the unsuspecting segment of the population, they care very little about what happens later with the health of the puppies or about the suffering of the parent dogs.

This is happening all over the country right now. This notion that breeders can’t mistreat their dogs because it would cut into sales is millions of miles off Reality Road.

And then we have the attacks on the Humane Society of the US and the ASPCA. This effort is ONLY designed to push the debate away from the suffering of the dogs and cats trapped in mills. We can’t let the puppy mill supporters get away with it.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Hall of Fame drummer drums up support for ivory ban

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I just received the following release from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW):

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Matt Sorum Drums Up Musicians’ Support for U.S. Ivory Ban

(Washington, D.C. – June 4, 2014) – Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, legendary Grammy Award-winning drummer of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult and Kings of Chaos, and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) supporter Matt Sorum, penned an open letter urging fellow musicians to support the U.S. government’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, which seeks to dramatically reduce the U.S. role in elephant poaching by enacting new rules on ivory trade.

Under the new regulations, owners of ivory objects would still be allowed to own their items, or give them as a non-commercial gift. However, owners (including musicians with instruments that include ivory) would not be allowed to sell them without removing and replacing the ivory first. Additionally, musicians would need to secure proper documentation before they travel with their instruments overseas.

As Sorum noted in the letter, “This is an issue that needs the attention and support of the music community. We need to be a part of the solution, not the problem.  As much as we all love our instruments, they are in the end just things – not worth contributing to the demise of a species.”

Elephants are being poached for their ivory at an alarming rate. The elephant population in Africa has declined up to 95 percent in the last century, and on average, poachers are killing one elephant every fifteen minutes. Some populations are well on the path to extinction.

“Elephants are in crisis. This rule will bring about meaningful action to reduce the amount of illegal ivory smuggled into the country, while helping to protect this dynamic and most intelligent species. But we need the support of many stakeholders to ensure its success,” added Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director, IFAW. “We thank Matt for bringing attention to this important issue and hope fellow musicians will band together to protect elephants.”

Sorum is among many celebrities supporting the ivory sale ban. In April, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall and Dave Matthews, alongside a coalition of businesses and conservation organizations, signed a letter to the Administration commending them for their actions to protect elephants.

To read Sorum’s letter, visit g.ifaw.org/mattsletter. Learn more about IFAW’s work to protect elephants.
“” “”

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Manufacturer of d-CON rodent poison reaches agreement with EPA

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Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of d-CON rat and mouse poisons, has reportedly agreed to stop selling some its products that contain chemicals the EPA has deemed to be a risk to people, pets or wildlife.

Twelve products are on the list and they will no longer be distributed beyond March 31, 2015.

The EPA has included information – on the linked page above – for people who want to dispose of any of these products they already purchased.

Consumers who wish to dispose of any of the d-CON mouse and rat poison products listed above should contact their state or local waste disposal program or service for information on proper disposal in their community. These pesticides are harmful to the wildlife, so consumers who have opened containers should not discard them outdoors or dispose of them in sinks or toilets.

Consumers can contact their local government for recommendations on how to dispose of unwanted or unused pesticide products.

My wife and I have always been leery of rat and mouse baits/poisons and do not use them for fear of the possible ingestion by our pets.

This case is an important example of how the EPA does protect us. I keep reading about uninformed politicians who want to shut down the EPA. What a look at how we’d live without the EPA? – Just take a look at China and the areas where the air is thick with smog and rivers are toilets.

We need the EPA.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Minnesota’s important new puppy mill regulations begin July 1

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As of July 1, all commercial breeding operations within the state of Minnesota will be required to obtain a license and will be subjected to annual inspections.

Inspections are a key element that all states should enact. As long as breeding facilities meet minimum standards of care, they will have nothing to fear. Quality breeding operations will be allowed to continue to operate.

The notion propagated by groups such as the AKC, suggesting breeding regulations will harm quality breeders, is wrong on its face. And of course, those who cannot meet minimum standards of care should be shut down.

A bill to regulate puppy mills in my home state of North Carolina has regrettably stalled in the State Senate. Hopefully, the success in the Minnesota will help push North Carolina to take up the cause of compassion.

 

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Defenders of Wildlife: Backlash prompts Animal Planet to pull anti-wolf episode

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Defenders of Wildlife sent out the following press release concerning the cancellation of an episode from Animal Planet’s Monster Week.

Public Outcry Prompts Animal Planet to Remove “Man-Eating Super Wolves” Show

WASHINGTON –Animal Planet removed a segment titled “Man- Eating Super Wolves” from its Monster Week line up this week after over 80,000 Defenders of Wildlife members and other activists contacted the station demanding the episode be immediately removed from the air.

The shameful and distorted anti-wolf episode was aired one time on Wednesday, May 21, and while Animal Planet claims the show was always intended to air only once, various TV schedules showed that “Man- Eating Super Wolves” had subsequent scheduled air times for Sunday, May 25; Tuesday, May 27; and Wednesday, May 28. These show times have now been miraculously removed from Animal Planet’s schedule.

Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark issued the following statement:

“There are real-world consequences to airing a fictitious portrayal of wolves based on sensationalism instead of on science. Demonizing wolves does serious harm to these imperiled animals and erodes public support for their continued recovery.

“We’re glad to see that Animal Planet dropped this show from its schedule and are proud that our members spoke out so forcefully on this important topic”

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Predictions that environmental rules would devastate coal plant were completely wrong

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When it was announced three years ago that a coal-fire power plant in Pennsylvania would have to reduce its output of pollution into the air, the anti-environment crowd and operators of the plant cried that there would be horrible consequences.

None of it happened; the predictions were wrong and now we have more proof that environmental regulations can protect us, without shutting down local economies or the national economy.

Sure, there are upfront costs. But then again, in many cases we’re talking about companies that pay CEO’s massive salaries each year. A report just came out noting the median CEO pay in the US has topped $10 million per year. (Note that is the MEDIAN annual paycheck.)

It’s like Donald Sterling, who is crying about the millions he will have to pay in capital gains tax if he sells the LA Clippers – for over a billion dollars – some reports suggest $2 billion.

Boo hoo hoo. Cry me an ocean. Poor little fella. He might ONLY profit in the hundreds of millions of dollars or maybe exceeding a billion. These people are so far removed from the rest of the population, they must have nose bleeds while looking over their portfolios, bank accounts and stock holdings.

So in getting back to the coal-fired plant, the Associated Press reports -

GE Energy Financial Services, the plant’s majority owner, now says it can do it — and without electricity bills increasing for the two million households it provides with power.

And guess what. People are being employed to make the upgrades.

The article does note another company filed for bankruptcy this year, when faced with having to put in place protections for the local environment. But we don’t know the underlying details about this case.

If the Pennsylvania plant can do it, why not others. That facility will invest $750 million in protecting the people. The article explains how important the move is:

Last year, the facility, released 114,245 tons of sulfur dioxide, more than all of the power plants in neighboring New York combined.

Suggesting a company’s profits are more important than protecting the lives of citizens is more than clueless and wacky. We’ve known about the devastating impacts of pollution on our air, water and ground for decades. Companies should have been spreading out their investments in protecting the public for decades. Then, the financial impacts would not have been so large in one chunk.

But instead, too many industries have poured untold millions each year into campaign donations to elect anti-environment candidates. That money could have been used to protect the environment. It’s a really moronic way to go about polluting and putting the public health at risk.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Bullfighting is one of the Earth’s cruelest industries

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The government of Spain and anyone who supports bullfighting should come forward with shame at what they are supporting. And those who take part in the horrible act and continue to do so should be jailed – as they are the equivalent of dog fighters or anyone else who abuses animals for the sick enjoyment they take in the cruelty.

I was sickened by what I read in a CNN report posted May 22. In a recent so-called “festival” in Madrid, two bulls fought for their lives against the evil abusers and injured three of them.

The bullfighting was subsequently suspended, to the disappointment of the 24,000 clueless individuals in attendance.

But the torture was not over for the bulls. The article included the following:

But the tradition says the bull must die, so in stepped the second bullfighter, Antonio Nazare, who finished him off.

Tradition? Some sick people consider the torture and death of animals, for entertainment – is a tradition. Talk about clueless.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Troubling legislative news out of North Carolina

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The Associated Press reported recently on a new bill in the North Carolina General Assembly, proposed legislation that would make it illegal to expose the secret chemicals in fracking fluids.

The goal seems to be to protect the gas companies, while possibly putting public health at risk.

If passed, gas companies would submit the contents of fracking materials to a state geologist and this would be held in secret, to be used in case of an emergency. This is far from being reasonable.

The public needs to know what gas companies are injecting into our environment. We deserve to know and keeping the contents a secret means the contents must be something the companies know we’d be fearful of.

The NC Senate also voted recently to lift a moratorium on fracking by next summer.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

More evidence to support the FACT that animals do have emotions

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The evidence is abundantly clear and all doubts should be wiped clean. Animal do experience emotions.

The only folks who are in denial are those with profit and/or greed motives or those supporting those with a profit and/or greed motives.

Animal-loving families and individuals across the planet already understand the fact that animal experience emotion. But finally, we are seeing momentum – in a monumental bulldozer of forward progress.

The Washington Post published a piece May 19 by David Grimm, in the Health & Science section of the website. It contains some extremely important information developed in Marc Bekoff’s research. Bekoff is a cognitive ethologist and professor emeritus at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Continue reading More evidence to support the FACT that animals do have emotions →

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic