While the Cape Charles Mirror has received a healthy dose of abuse, and general ill-will while focusing on animal rights issues in Northampton, a reader did send over the transom another kind of letter, one that was sent to the animal rescue organization Guardians of Rescue. This is from a nine year old boy named Mathew who, for his birthday didn’t want anything for himself. Instead, he asked friends and family to donate money to a non-profit organization, Guardians of Rescue, whose mission it is to “to facilitate and foster programs and activities that further the unique benefits of interaction between people and animals.”
Special to the Cape Charles Mirror, this is part 2 of Robert C. Jones essay, How not to be a Vegan: Veganisms
In adopting vegan practice, a number of ethical vegans see veganism primarily as an individual lifestyle choice, an expression of their commitment to decreasing (and ultimately ending) the suffering and death that accompanies the commodification of sentient nonhuman beings.
Since many ethical vegans may believe (wrongly) that no animals are harmed in the production of their vegan consumer goods and foodstuffs, this ethical vegan “lifestyle” may sometimes be accompanied by a sense of ethical purity, a belief that once one adopts a vegan lifestyle, one then has “clean hands” and may carry on one’s consumerism with a clear conscience. Seen as a kind of litmus test of one’s commitment to social justice for animals, veganism may sometimes thought to be the “moral baseline” for those seeking to end the suffering and domination of other-than-human animals. Though there are debates among vegans about questions of purity and commitment, there appears to be a growing public perception of vegans, a kind of vegaphobia—that may be based in fact, prejudice, or more likely a combination of both—that vegans see themselves as better than and morally superior to nonvegans; that they may sometimes appear to be “preachy”; that they may exhibit a kind of self-righteous zealotry, acting as the “vegan police” who promulgate veganism as the universal, one-and-only way to fight systemic violence against animals. It was perhaps proponents of identity veganism that prompted philosopher Val Plumwood to describe vegans as: crusading [and]…aggressively ethnocentric, dismissing alternative and indigenous food practices and wisdom and demanding universal adherence to a western urban model of vegan practice in which human predation figures basically as a new version of original sin, going on to supplement this by a culturally familiar methodology of dispensing excuses and exemptions for those too frail to reach their exacting moral norms of carnivorous self.⁴
Special to the Cape Charles Mirror. This is part one of a brilliant essay by Robert C. Jones, “How Not To Be Vegan”¹. See Robert’s bio at the end of the essay.
I believe that those of us living in affluent consumer culture under late capitalism, where plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy are readily available, are morally obligated to adopt vegan practice, though I will make clear just what I mean by ‘vegan practice’. The source of this obligation is grounded in a very widely held belief, namely, that—all else being equal—unnecessary suffering and premature death are bad things, and that acting with relatively minimal cost to oneself, we should all aspire to decrease violence, objectification, domination, exploitation, and oppression whenever and wherever we can. However, when I say that we are obligated to adopt vegan practice, not just any type of “vegan practice” will do, so today I want to argue for a specific type of veganism I call revisionary political veganism.
A Puzzle About Ethical Veganism: The Causal Impotence Objection.
To argue that the raising and commodification of other-than-human animals for consumption is morally bad is one thing; to argue that individual consumers ought not purchase animal products is quite another. The reason being that there’s a bit of a puzzle in the relationship between consumer purchases of animal products and the suffering of so-called “farm” animals, a question that few vegans address.
The assumption behind ethical veganism—and most likely the central reason why a vast majority of vegans go vegan in the first place—are the beliefs that (a) individual consumer consumption of animal products increases the production of animal products, and (b) that by going vegan we decrease animal suffering. Going vegan, according to the argument, somehow contributes causally and directly to decreasing suffering both on small and large industrialized ranches.
I recently ate at the Southern California vegan fast-food chain Native Foods, where, after ordering at the counter, I was handed a placard with my order number on it. The placard read, “Crispy Battered Native Chicken Wings: One order saves three chickens!” What exactly does this mean? It can’t mean that there are three chickens somewhere who are waiting to be slaughtered on a factory farm whose lives are spared when I order the Crispy Battered Native Chicken Wings. [Read more…]
CORRECTION: This article implies that there is not a tethering ordinance in Northampton, but that is incorrect. The current ordinance allows for animals to be tethered no longer than 12 hours per day. The point is that, without a complete ban, or severe restrictions such as in Suffolk, VA., there is no way to effectively enforce it (who actually puts a timer on it?). Currently, the Sheriff’s department and animal control essentially have their hands tied.
Improper tethering, the use of something, such as a rope or chain, by which a dog is fastened so that it can range only within a set radius, can lead to death, mistreatment, excessive barking and vicious temperament in a dog. In 2013 the City Council of Suffolk passed an ordinance prohibiting all unattended tethering of dogs. The code, Section 10-42 is law: “Unattended tethering of dogs prohibited: It shall be unlawful to tether any unattended dog whether or not the dog has been provided adequate space.” Violation of the ordinance is a class 4 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $250.00.
While Northampton County has many dogs living happy, healthy lives, some dogs are still chained or tethered in one place as a means of restraint, some tied up constantly or for many hours at a time. Should Northampton be more concerned with these dogs? Is it time to create an ordinance that will not only protect the animal, but also provide a way for county officials to incorporate tethering regulations into effective community dog management strategies?
Dogs are social creatures who need to be part of a group, whether it is part of a human family or with other animals. Constant tethering can severely damage them physically, socially, and psychologically. Dogs chained to a tree or post will often be unhappy, anxious and often aggressive. According to Jim Mason, probably the most knowledgeable person on the Shore when it comes to the legal aspects of animal welfare, “Keeping a dog chained 24-7 is cruel, inhumane and backward. Caring communities like our neighbors in Suffolk and Hampton have stopped this with ordinances banning unattended tethering.”
The physical problems associated with being continuously tethered include necks that become raw and sore, and collars that can painfully grow into their skin. Unable to move freely, they are vulnerable to insect bites and other parasites.
Tethered dogs, while being socially neglected, may also suffer from irregular feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care and being exposed to extreme temperatures. During the summer in Northampton, they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun. Dogs chained all day to a tree or post will also have to eat and sleep in an area contaminated with urine and feces. This severe neglect can lead to neurotic behavior, making the dog difficult to approach to give even minimal affection. They can be easily ignored by their owners.
We can’t fence in the entire county, so what are the alternatives? Some dogs do travel, and can wreak havoc along the way. If the dog must restrained, attaching a dog’s leash to a long line—such as a clothesline or a manufactured device known as a pulley run—and letting the animal have a larger area in which to move about is preferable to tethering the dog to a stationary object. This option may also carry many of the same risks associated with tethering, such as inadvertent hanging, attacks on or by other animals, lack of socialization and safety.
User submitted information from Natalie Rinker-Good, the current ordinance in Northampton
Northampton County, Virginia
May 10, 2004
No animal shall be tethered for more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period. Tethers must be at least 10 feet long.
§ 95.05 TETHERING OF ANIMALS.
(A) An animal owner in the county shall allow each animal to (i) easily stand, sit, lie, turn about and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal and (ii) interact safely with other animals in the enclosure. When an animal is tethered, “adequate space” means a tether that permits the above actions and is appropriate to the age, size, and health of the animal; is attached to the animal by a properly applied collar, halter, or harness configured so as to protect the animal from injury and prevent the animal or tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals, or from gaining access to public thoroughfares, or from extending over an object or edge that could result in the strangulation or injury of the animal; and is at least ten feet in length or three times the length of the animal whichever is longer, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, except when the animal is being walked on a leash or is attached by a tether to a lead line. When freedom of movement would endanger the animal, temporarily and appropriately restricting movement of the animal according to professionally accepted standards for the species is considered provision of adequate space. Provided, however, that no animal shall be tethered for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
(B) Animals involved in agricultural activities shall not be subject to this section.
(C) It shall be an unlawful act if any person violates any provision of this section and it shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.
Aside from an ordinance, enforcement approach, our boots on the ground advocate organizations focused on reaching out to pet owners with information, resources and services on pet care can be effective. However, trying to rescue all tethered dogs may not be the best approach. Removing the dog adds to the already overwhelming number of dogs competing for room in the co-county shelter, which is already at capacity. Working with owners to improve the situations for their existing dogs is a valid best option, finding positive, constructive ways to empower owners to unchain their dogs themselves.
While tethering a dog may seem like an inherently local enforcement issue, at the national level, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a statement in the July 2, 1996, Federal Register against tethering: “Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog’s movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog’s shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog’s movement and potentially causing injury.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concluded in a study that the dogs most likely to attack are male, unneutered, and chained.
As a community, we must understand that tethering a dog is a cruel fate for what is by nature a highly social animal. Any city, county, or state that bans this practice is a safer, more humane community.
Editor’s Note: Charles Knitter submitted a valid point to the Cape Charles Mirror, that the Suffolk law is not a complete ban. Tethering is allowed by right at the state level and localities may not pass an outright ban…only tethering restrictions. If you read the Suffolk law closely you will see it is a restriction and not a complete ban. An outright ban can only happen at the state level and any local ban will likely be overturned in court when/if challenged.
Machipongo, VA, USA – On May 4, animal advocates celebrate International Respect for Chickens Day. Launched by United Poultry Concerns in 2005, International Respect for Chickens Day celebrates chickens throughout the world and protests their suffering and abuse in cockfighting, agribusiness, experimental research, and other cruelties.
“We urge everyone to do a compassionate ACTION for chickens, on or around May 4th,” says Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns which promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl.
“A library display, a vegan open house, an informative blog post, or simply talking to family and friends about the plight – and delight – of chickens are great ways to stick up for chickens,” Davis says.
In honor of International Respect for Chickens Day, activists will be organizing creative actions all across the U.S. including a leafleting at the White House in Washington DC on Saturday, May 7th and a Peaceful Protest in Petaluma, California on Sunday, May 1. To further the message, UPC will have 150 kiosks in New York City advertising International Respect for Chickens Day with a powerful image of a mother hen protecting her chicks under her wing. It will read “What Wings Are For.”
“Happy chickens are cheerful birds,” says Davis, who maintains a chicken sanctuary in Virginia. “Chickens love the earth and sun, yet millions are sitting in filthy dark buildings on crippled legs breathing polluted air, as described in my book Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs. After they are dead, salmonella-infected chickens are soaked in toxic chemicals.”
United Poultry Concerns urges people to celebrate chickens on the planet instead of the plate.
For information, visit United Poultry Concerns at http://www.upc-online.org.
United Poultry Concerns’ Conscious Eating Conference brings expert speakers to Berkeley, California to share their ideas about the best food choices we can make for the planet, ourselves, and other animals. UPC President, Karen Davis presented this personal account.
I did not grow up around chickens or other farmed animals, but meeting a chicken in a muddy shack in Maryland awakened my personal awareness of chickens, their feelings and living conditions. My experience with the hen I named Viva coincided with my discovery of the hidden suffering of billions of chickens buried alive in the modern poultry and egg industry. These revelations led me to “think like a chicken” so deeply that in 1990 I founded United Poultry Concerns, an organization dedicated to promoting the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl including a sanctuary for rescued chickens. I will describe what I have learned about the emotional nature of chickens and their destruction by the poultry industry for nuggets and omelets. I will discuss what we need to do.
Karen Davis, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that addresses the treatment of domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations. She is the author of several books including Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry and More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality. Award-winningly profiled in The Washington Post for her outstanding work for the birds, Karen maintains a sanctuary for chickens on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. www.upc-online.org
Cool morning temperatures didn’t keep the 260 runners and walkers away, many with their canine companions.
Record numbers were hit in both participants and money raised.
Raising over $12,000 for the local animal welfare orgs who serve the Shore;
including the SPCA, Animal Control, Shore Wildlife Rehab, Shelter Me, Eastern Shore Spay Org, Over The Moon Rescue, Road Runner Rescue, and Run For The Animals’ winter straw program.
Winners of the Half Marathon were:
Benjamin Thomas from Cape Charles
Josie Brown from Dames Quarter, MD (returning winner from 2015)
Winners of the 10K were:
Kevin Burcham from Midlothian
Laura Gonzalez from Exmore (returning winner from 2015)
Full details can be found at www.RunForTheAnimals.com
NORFOLK, Va. — “There’s a lot of pain.” That was the message Sen. Bernie Sanders brought to Norfolk Scope on Tuesday. Repeatedly interrupted by a cheering crowd,Sanders touched on several campaign promises, including banking reform, free college education, a Medicare-for-all health care system, tighter campaign finance laws and stricter international trade rules to protect U.S. jobs.
“You are very, very powerful people when you start flexing your muscles, and that’s what everyone has got to do right now,” said Sanders.
There must be “a political revolution in which millions of people understand democracy is not a football game,” he said. “People in this community, where you have a strong military, you understand that people have fought and died to defend American democracy. … You are that democracy.”
The Cape Charles Mirror did interview one of the event’s attendees (the Editor’s daughter).
Mirror-“So, Rachel, was there a big crowd?”
Rachel-“Oh,yeah, every section at Scope, except for two were completely filled.”
Mirror-“Really? It was reported by the other news outlets that only 3500 or so showed up. It sound’s more like 7500 to 8000.”
Rachel-“At least that. That report is typical of what they say, trying to discredit Bernie.”
Mirror-“Did you get any pictures I can use with the nice new camera you got for Christmas?”
Rachel -“I was too busy listening to Bernie.”
Mirror-“How was he?”
Rachel, -“Dad, Bernie rocks!”
Besides humans, no species drinks milk beyond infancy, and never consumes the milk of another species. Cow’s milk is a refined substance especially suited to the nutritional needs of calves (calves have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they are 2 years old). According to the American Gastroenterological Association, when people ingest it, problems such as food allergies among infants and children can occur. Most people begin to produce less lactase, the enzyme that helps with the digestion of milk, when they are as young as 2 years old. This reduction can lead to lactose intolerance. Millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and an estimated 90 percent of Asian-Americans and 75 percent of Native- and African-Americans suffer from the condition, which can cause bloating, gas, cramps, vomiting, headaches, rashes, and asthma.
At the Mirror, we are passionate about great design, as well as ways to accomplish great design, cruelty free. We were very excited to accidentally come across Vaute Couture (“Haute” with a “V” for Vegan, pronounced “Vote”) the “The World’s First All-Vegan Fashion Brand.” The company is based in Brooklyn NYC, and was founded by Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart as “a quest to take animals out of the fashion equation, and create the perfect winter dress coat warm enough for a Chicago winter.” We came across VAUTE while keeping an eye on New York Fashion Week (ok, really following Kendall Jenner), and it was noted that Vaute is the first vegan label to show at during the Week. CNN said “Hilgart is the rebel of fashion week, VAUTE is breaking runway history.” PETA named Ms. Hilgart the “Most Influential Designer”, and Glamour Magazine & Conde Nast called Leanne a “Gamechanger, embodying courage, conviction, and creativity.” VAUTE has also been featured in WWD, Elle France, BusinessInsider, and more.
Celebrity fans include Angela Kinsey, Alicia Silverstone, and Emily Deschanel.
From the Vaute website, “The line launched in summer of 2009 in the depth of the recession, to hundreds of preorders from customers who had never seen the coats in person, most of which had never met Leanne, and would wait months before receiving them. This proof of concept allowed Leanne to produce her line’s fabrics with the same cutting edge mills that work with Patagonia and North Face. Without a background in fashion but 8 months of fabric research, Leanne realized that marrying these high tech performance textiles with structures, cuts and finishes of dress coats created a coat that had the look and feel of a beautiful wool coat, but the warmth and protection of a ski coat, and without any animal fibers. Her entire first production run was funded by her earliest supporters.”