When Common Sense Takes A Vacation

The current tuition at Yale Law School is $55,000 tuition, $9,400 board, and $7,200 board, for a total of $72,100. So what are you paying for?

Yesterday Campus Reform posted an article about a new program at Yale. The program deals with the legal rights of animals. Now in the interest of clarity, I probably need to say that I am against any sort of cruelty to animals. I think my steak should have a reasonably happy life before it gets to me. However, I also believe that plants and animals were placed on the planet to be consumed by man. There is a reason we have canine teeth. However, I do think the concept of legal rights for animals is a stretch.

The article reports:

Yale University is launching a new program with the goal of addressing America’s “outdated” and “insufficient” animal rights policies. 

Doug Kysar, a law professor at the Ivy League school, and law professor and Humane Society chief counsel for animal protection litigation Jonathan Lovvorn are heading up the new Law, Ethics & Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School along with Viveca Morris, an associate research scholar in the law school.

Yale published Kysar’s assertion that society is in the midst of an important time for animals, due to factors such as revelations in animal intelligence that allegedly “overturn past beliefs about human exceptionalism,” according to a news release.

Kysar believes that while human attitudes about animals are changing, “our laws regarding animals are often outdated, insufficient, or nonexistent.”

The article continues:

According to the course description, students will also address the “problems of litigating on behalf of animals,” as well as animals’ classification as property. This will include debating the merits of recognizing “legal rights” for animals.

During the spring 2020 semester, Lovvorn will teach Climate, Animal[s], Food and Environmental Law & Policy Lab (CAFE Lab), which will “develop innovative law and policy initiatives to bring systemic change to the global food industry, which is one of the top contributors to climate change, animal suffering, human exploitation, and environmental degradation worldwide.”

“The damage wrought by industrial agriculture is staggering and rapidly expanding, and beyond the capacity of any one legal discipline to mitigate or reform,” Lovvorn said in the news release. “By engaging leaders from a broad array of disciplines, the CAFE Lab presents a unique opportunity to develop new strategies to understand, respect, and protect those who have been left behind by the current legal system.”

Yale notes that LEAP will conduct unspecified “additional research and policy work,” as well as assist in the distribution of a podcast about animal rights. The program is also expected to collaborate not only with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies but also with the School of Public Health and the School of Management. 

Yale Animal Law Society Co-Chair Manny Rutinel said that he is “genuinely ecstatic” about the program, which he believes will “give the Yale community a unique opportunity to make an impact on issues that affect our environment, the health of our population, and the billions of animals used in industrialized agriculture,” according to the release.

“Human-animal relationships raise profoundly important questions of power, conscience, and the consequences of human actions for all living beings,” the student added. “The topic of animals and the law quickly reaches some of the deepest questions of what it means to be a good human.”

At least the Professor is aware of the problems of litigating on behalf of animals. I wonder if he realizes how ridiculous this could get. As I have stated, I don’t want my food abused before it gets to me. However, could I be sued (on behalf of my cat) if I give my cat a bath? What about if my cat wants to be an outdoor cat and I am keeping him inside for his own safety? What if I put a collar on my cat that has a bell and that bell is annoying to the cat? You can see that this could quickly get totally out of control. An unscrupulous lawyer could theoretically sue me on behalf of my cat and take a portion of the settlement as a fee. What about my friends who have a horse farm with barn cats? Is that cat abuse–the only wages the cats receive are food and a warm place to sleep.

I think I would try to send my child to a different law school.

 

The Latest War On Nature

2012-12-27_20-38-02_218This article is based on a story posted yesterday in the New York Times. I will admit that my reaction to the story is totally biased. I am the proud owner of two shelter cats. I fostered shelter cats for about a year and a half before I adopted these two. I also need to mention that my cats are strictly indoor cats. The shelter I worked with was a no-kill shelter that had a TNR (trap-neuter-return) program.

The article in the New York Times reports:

In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat.

Cats do kill birds and mice and other animals. It’s what they do.

The article further reports:

The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes.

The article reports on the TNR programs:

The Washington Humane Society and many other animal welfare organizations support the use of increasingly popular trap-neuter-return programs, in which unowned cats are caught, vaccinated, spayed and, if no home can be found for them, returned to the outdoor colony from which they came. Proponents see this approach as a humane alternative to large-scale euthanasia, and they insist that a colony of neutered cats can’t reproduce and thus will eventually disappear.

Conservationists say that, far from diminishing the population of unowned cats, trap and release programs may be making it worse, by encouraging people to abandon their pets to outdoor colonies that volunteers often keep lovingly fed.

The problem here is not the cats–it’s the irresponsibility of the people who abandon them. The feral colonies will die out because of the TNR program. Looking into the future, I see myself needing cat licenses for my pets. I truly think this is ridiculous.

Just a note. As I stated, I have two indoor cats. Since they were rescued, they have not been outside or expressed any desire to be outside (they are a little more than a year old). However, the average lifespan of a field mouse that manages to get into my house is about 5 seconds. Hunting is a feline instinct, and cats should not be condemned for it!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Paying For Spaying Your Pet With Obamacare

I realize that some of the information coming out about the Obama Administration is just dumb–politics has been happening in America for a long time–President Obama did not invent it, but Chicago politics seems to be a slightly different animal. The misuse of money in Obamacare is rampant–but some of the explanations given for the spending are really creative.

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner reported that some of the anti-obesity money from Obamacare was used in Nashville, Tennessee, to spay dogs and cats. Yes, you read that right.

The article reports:

The Nashville health department issued a press release last year that told residents in one neighborhood that they could get free pet spaying, neutering, rabies shots and other services as part of $7.5 million grant from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which is part of the Public Health and Prevention Fund that will soar to $2 billion in 2015 under Obamacare. The program was initially funded by the Obama stimulus initiative.

There are two things here–first the program was originally funded by the Obama stimulus, second, it is now funded by Obamacare. The City of Nashville’s comment was ““This targeted effort aims to address residents’ concerns that identify stray dogs as a barrier to outdoor physical activity. The Nashville Public Health Department Communities Putting Prevention To Work campaign is funded fully by the Department of Health and Human Services, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” Good grief.

Please follow the link to the Washington Examiner to read the entire story. It is an amazing example of government run amok.

I need to say at this point that I support the spaying of pets. I am a foster parent for a local cat shelter. Below is a picture of one of the cats I fostered. The shelter spays the stray cats that they take in and requires new owners to place a deposit for spaying that will be returned to them when the animals are spayed. There are many ways to raise money to help people with the cost of spaying pets–Obamacare is not one I recommend.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I Don’t Usually Post Household Hints But This Is Amazing !

Field mouse of the subgenus Mus.

Image via Wikipedia

As Americans, we are a bit nutty (compared to many other areas of the world) about cleanliness. We use bug spray, bug repellent, ant spray, ant repellent, roach motels, etc. We also worry about what affect these products have on our children and our pets. Well, I came across the most amazing answer to dealing with mice. I live in New England, and in the fall we sometimes get field mice that manage to come into the house. I am a wimp and am not interested in mouse traps. I depend on whatever foster cat we currently have to solve the problem. However, now there is a better way.

Ehow.com posted an article explaining how to get rid of mice using peppermint Altoids. Who knew?

The opening paragraph of the article:

When you have mice in the home, it’s crucial to figure out a way to get rid of them as quickly as possible. If you have peppermint Altoids on hand, you can forget the trip to your local pest control store, and instead use the peppermint Altoids as a natural mouse repellent. The little rodents cannot stand the scent of peppermint, and will go nowhere near it, allowing these small candies to double as an inexpensive mouse repellent.

Follow the link above to the article to get the details. It is an amazingly easy, safe and simple way to deal with wayward mice!

Enhanced by Zemanta