Steven Wise: Unlocking The Cage

The New York Times today features a powerful short-documentary about a visionary lawyer , Steven Wise, who will be both The New York Times Magazine’s cover story this Sunday, and the subject of a full-length feature film produced by The New York Times called “Unlocking The Cage. “They used to bark at me when I walked into the courtroom” says Wise.

Please take a look at the short film below, and leave a comment for the New York Times here.

How does a thing become a person? In December 2013, the lawyer Steven Wise showed the world how, with a little legal jujitsu, an animal can transition from a thing without rights to a person with legal protections. This Op-Doc video follows Mr. Wise on his path to filing the first-ever lawsuits in the United States demanding limited “personhood” rights for certain animals, on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State. – The New York Times


Slovenia is for Animal Lovers & Xie Young Takes A Stab at Fur


Artist Xie Yong, a professor at Shenyang University’s art department, installs an eye on his fox-like sculpture (above) covered in needles during “Fur Hurts”, an anti-fur campaign organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), at Zhuozhan Shopping Center in Shenyang, Liaoning province, March 27, 2013. PETA has also launched an interactive website in Chinese showcasing the sculpture in three-dimensions.


On March 7th, 2013 a new animal protection law was passed in Slovenia banning:
  • farming and hunting animals for their fur
  • farming and hunting animals for their skin
  • farming and hunting animals for their down and feathers
  • use of wild animals in circuses and similar shows
  • religious slaughter without stunning

The law was being changed due to new EU regulations on animals used for scientific purposes, and Slovenian animal protection and rights non-governmental organizations managed to implement significant changes to the law – namely the ban on circus acts involving wild animals and the ban on farming and hunting animals for their fur, feathers or skin. The law was passed in the Slovenian Parliament with a great majority (95% support). (read the full article here at veganska-iniciativa)

Bambi is Dead

by Patrick LaDuke

Humor Chic is a fashion blog by aleXsandro Palombo who critiques and satirizes fashion through illustration. It is updated just about daily, keeping you in the know of fashion’s latest controversies. He also happens to be a strong human and animal right’s advocate reporting on issues such as Cambodians being payed slave wages by H&M, the illegal trade of python skins for luxury fashion, and the Chinese fad of keeping live fish and turtles in keychains.

Below are a few images from his ongoing attack campaign STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY, targeting the likes of Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld and fashion label Fendi.

TAFA Fashion Panel

On Saturday, July 29th 2012 I had the honor of presenting alongside fashion icon and hero to animals John Bartlett, and Andrew Page, managing director of Wildlife at the Humane Society of the United States. The Taking Action for Animals conference is an annual conference held in Washington D.C. that provides people with opportunities to collaborate, learn, and take more effective action as animal advocates.

Our panel, “Fighting Fur From Within – Working With Designers and Retailers” — Fur Panel at Taking Action for Animals 2012 focused on challenging the fur industry from inside fashion culture. John Bartlett, now vegan, was once known for his leather designs and had even used fur in the past, shared insights and anecdotes from his involvement with CFDA to conversations he’s had with popular designers (who you’d be surprised to hear have serious qualms with the fur they use). Andrew provided facts, figures and the current laws governing international fur farming and trapping. Traps were passed around the audience. Confiscated samples of real fur were compared to the latest faux, and I spoke about the semiotics of animals in the fashion system. (for more info on my Fashion & Animals presentation, click here)

Weathered Belts, Broken Records & South Korea’s Dog Days

• If you like the look of an old, weathered and beat-up leather belt, you’ve probably been disappointed with the vegan selections thus far. In comes CLIFF belts to the rescue, made from cork. The cork is lightweight, strong, and the belts are reversable. So put a cork in it and go buy one. Eventually, you can even build your own. According to the CLIFF website:

Cork is environmentally preferable to leather as it comes from a lower carbon impact source (tree bark) and does not use animal products in its manufacture (a vegan product). The environmental concerns associated with leather include the energy and carbon intensity of generating animal products and the chemicals used in the leather tanning process that can be damaging to human health and the environment. Cork is a naturally beautiful and greener alternative to leather.

Eat Smart Chart. Eat smart your food choices affect the climate
Look! Colorful scienc-y stuff!

• I feel like a broken record. A new environmental study urges people to eat far less meat and cheese.  This one is interesting, though. Unexpectedly, the biggest offender when it comes to GHG emissions is lamb! Lamb is a whopping 50% worse than beef. Damn! What sicko eats a defenseless, cuddly baby, anyway? Macho men, that’s who – guys who are tough enough to stand up to a dangerous creature like a lamb! Take that you puffy, fluffy, gentle threat to my manhood.

The deadly creature in question

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released the Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health, a comprehensive study warning Americans that the extreme amounts of meat and cheese we eat take a huge toll on the environment, animal welfare and human health. Meat and dairy products require more energy and resources to produce, and generate more toxic waste and pollution than equivalent amounts of potatoes, rice, beans and other plant-based foods. According to the EWG, if everyone in the U.S. chose vegetarian foods over meat or cheese for just one day a week, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road per year.

• Every year, two million homeless or captured South Korean dogs are butchered and eaten. They are often electrocuted, strangled, or bludgeoned to death and are then skinned, chopped up, and boiled. The cruelty and suffering endured by these dogs is unimaginable. Even though the country’s Animal Protection Law, which was passed in 1991, considers dogs to be “domestic pets, officials often turn a blind eye and allow this to continue . Click here to find out more and help.

A dog rescued in 2010 from South Korea’s meat trade In Defense of Animals