On a cold winter day in Belleville, Wisconsin, Peter Westenberger decided to take his long-haired Jack Russell terrier, Olie, for a walk. Little did Westenberger know what horrors lay in store.
Animal advocates in California can breathe a bit easier. Assembly Bill 87 (AB 87), which once threatened to undermine an existing state law that helped protect wildlife, has been modified. API worked actively to challenge this bill and reduce its potential harm to animals.
Bundled up in her favorite long black and tan tweed coat, Eleanor strolled down the sidewalk enjoying the brisk chill in the air. A young woman approached Eleanor with a look of concern in her eyes and asked, “Excuse me, ma’am, but that’s not real fur on your collar, is it?” Eleanor was shocked, and quickly said, “Why no, I would never wear fur. It is an awful thing to kill an animal for its fur.” The young woman smiled and said, “Well, I’m sure glad you checked, I know it can be hard to tell sometimes,” and wished Eleanor a pleasant day.
After the woman walked away, Eleanor began to wonder what she had meant when she said she was glad she “checked” that the collar was not real fur. Why, she just assumed the fur was fake. The furry-looking lapel was dyed a creamy tan color, unlike any animal she’d ever seen. And the price sure didn’t indicate that it was real fur — she got a great deal on the coat. But was it actual fur? How awful she would feel to know that her purchase was an end product of animal suffering.
On May 7, 2005, a letter to the editor appeared in the Toronto Star. It was written in response to an article about how the Canadian Travel Commission could not explain why Canada had fallen off the list of the top ten countries visited by tourists. “I think,” said the letter, “the answer may lie in Canada’s seal hunt. I’m sure that a little research will reveal the loss of literally tens of thousands of potential tourists who simply do not want to have anything to do with a country that shows such a barbaric disregard for animal welfare.”
Is it a good idea to take your companion animal on vacation with you?
Is taking your companion animal along best for your companion animal, or best for you? At home your companion animal has all of his/her favorite toys, sleeping spots, and perhaps the run of the backyard all day. Will he/she accept being cooped up in a car for several days?
Across the United States, humans and other animals seem caught in what is literally a vicious circle: As human population and urban sprawl increases, so do conflicts between people and wildlife.
In the course of our everyday lives, we humans encounter other animals in a wide variety of settings and situations. We may view farmed animals in transport trucks on the highways, companion animals in “pet” shops, and captive exotic or wild animals used for entertainment or kept as “pets” in the residences of friends or neighbors. If we are fortunate, we may encounter wild animals when hiking or exploring at wildlife refuges or nature preserves.
It is both convenient and comforting to assume that specially-written laws protect the animals in each of these situations from harm. Unfortunately, however, such an assumption is misguided.
Summer is here! It’s time to hose down the driveway, scrub the picnic table, toss a load of beach towels into the washing machine, and rinse the windows to let the summer sun shine in. While keeping things at home squeaky clean, API asks that you double-check that your household products have not been tested on animals.