“As little as possible,” is my answer to whenever I’m asked what am I doing for Christmas? So, why have I just cleaned the house? About to prepare vegetables? Make curry? Cook rice? Lay the table? Get ready for guests? Doing laundry? Anticipating two hours of washing up later? Turning on the social button in… Read More


CounterPunch, the political newsletter published in the US, recently included an article (November 16-30, 2010; couldn’t find the article online at time of posting this) by Larry Portis about the short film, “Barking Island.” Portis describes how the film contrasts “aesthetic beauty” and the “horror it recounts.” The animated images produced by filmmaker Serge Avedikian, according to… Read More


Prospect of TB vaccine for badgers looks promising, reports the BBC. Vaccinating badgers could prove a good way to tackle the spread of TB in cattle, according to research. In a four-year project, UK scientists found vaccination reduced the incidence of TB infection in wild badgers by 74%. This does not prove vaccinating badgers would… Read More


Here is the text of the letter I sent to my Member of Parliament, Amber Rudd, about the government’s proposed badger cull. I will post her response here. As you know as a resident of the Old Town and as the MP representing the Hastings and Rye constituency, many constituents consider themselves to be very lucky… Read More


Further to my post about the proposed badger cull in England by the ConDem government and in Wales by the Welsh Assembly, George Monbiot writes in today’s Guardian, and concludes So why commission £49m of research then shred it? Because the National Farmers’ Union wants to see blood, and it is neither prepared to wait… Read More


There’s animal cruelty and exploitation and then there’s animal cruelty and exploitation which I find particularly egregious and unacceptable. One example is using animals in war. A lot of patriotic nonsense is written about dogs in war. But here’s the reality, as reported recently in The Guardian. I added emphasis in order to make the… Read More


The Independent publishes today, The Great Animal Rights Betrayal, a front page lead story continued onto pages 4 and 5, which includes several side bars under the banner, “The Betrayals,” on Game birds, Slaughterhouse cruelty, Circus animals, Beak trimming and Badger cull. There’s also a Comment by Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor, Compassion In World… Read More


Science does not operate alone in its own universe. Regardless of how much scientists assert their work is objective, their research, as, indeed, is everything, is viewed subjectively in the ever present, including the world of politics and morality. Take, for example, the coalition government’s commitment to culling badgers in response to the spread of… Read More


Intriguing article, The Rise of the Power Vegans, in Businessweek. It used to be easy for moguls to flaunt their power. All they had to do was renovate the chalet in St. Moritz, buy the latest Gulfstream jet, lay off 5,000 employees, or marry a much younger Asian woman. By now, though, they’ve used up… Read More


I enjoyed this week’s brief interview in The Guardian with sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. I thought the following was particularly insightful–especially the bit I highlighted. I don’t see why what he has to say below is gloomy at all. It just seems right. Unlike some sociologists, Bauman’s work is accessible, intellectual and often polemical. His own… Read More


The BBC reports in No plans for hunting ban vote before 2012, MPs say: There will not be a House of Commons vote on repealing the Hunting Act before 2012, the BBC understands. MPs close to the campaign admit they do not have the numbers at the moment to win a vote and say the… Read More


Mike Markarian, Humane Society Legislative Fund, reports on successes for animal issues in the US this week. It was a big election night for animals, with major victories against the puppy mill industry and agribusiness lobby in Missouri, and against the NRA and trophy hunting lobby in Arizona. And many of the leading animal advocates… Read More


Yesterday two important homes in the history of British literature were open to the public for the last time this year before they are closed up and put to bed for the winter to reopen next spring. They are Charleston, the home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the… Read More


You know Britain is seriously at risk from a slash-and-burn and shock-and-awe ConDem coalition government when even the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds runs a campaign to protest against spending cuts. As good as the RSPB is it can hardly be characterised as an organisation which you would expect to see at the… Read More


Sociologist Anthony Giddens writes about the Catalan Parliament’s recent ban to outlaw bullfights and the British Government’s recent ban on hunting. Whilst short-term political manoeuvring is part of any explanation of the timing of such bans, for sociologists there has been a discernible long-term modern trend or social process towards the appreciation and conservation of… Read More


Anyone read Power: A Radical View by Steven Lukes? I’m quick reading it. One point stood out, which now seems so obvious, but never occurred to me before: Power is at its most effective when it is invisible. A good case in point is the power of speciesism–the ideology by which humans exert power over… Read More


Guardian columnist George Monbiot writes about how the “built environment makes us.” I know from my experiences that the place where I am greatly affects the mood I become. I link the version of the article on his Web site because it includes the references. Here’s a quote to inspire you to read it all.… Read More