Last night I went to a celebration of the Gay Liberation Front at Charleston called “A Gay Outing.” GLF was founded in London in 1970 one year after the Stonewall Inn riots in Manhattan, New York City. Charleston was the Sussex home of Vanessa Bell whose sister was Virginia Woolf. Charleston was a family home… Read More


Last Friday evening at Canary Wharf I attended a large hustings meeting for the Labour leadership. All candidates were present and answered questions from the floor. There was very little disagreement between them. Just a few cases of personal sniping. I’m trending toward one of Miliband brothers. If I had to pick one it would… Read More


Wonders why …is it so crucial that bovine TB is eradicated? You might well ask. The true answer is that, health-wise for humans, it is not important at all. It’s all about money. The farming laws of Europe dictate that if any herd has had an infected cow in it, the herd cannot be sold… Read More


Guardian columnist Felicity Lawrence got to the heart of the matter in her recent column when she concluded, “In their Big Society [ConDem coalition] – which casts everything as personal responsibility – social injustice, like obesity, is indeed a moral failure, but only on the part of those who suffer it.” So, this morning’s news… Read More


Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education Harold Fromm, visiting scholar in English at the University of Arizona, berates vegans and demonstrates shocking ignorance about what veganism means in theory and practice. Apparently, he’s author of The Nature of Being Human: From Environmentalism to Consciousness (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) and co-editor, with Cheryll Glotfelty,… Read More


UK Coalition Government Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, as reported in The Guardian on July 7. It’s perfectly possible to eat a bag of crisps, to eat a Mars bar, to drink a carbonated soft drink, but do it in moderation, understanding your overall diet and lifestyle. Then you can begin to take responsibility for it.”… Read More


Published in The Guardian on June 19 I have only recently been able to catch up with reading this persuassvive criticism by Naomi Klein which frames the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the context of a larger criticism of capitalism. In the arc of human history, the notion that nature is a machine for… Read More


The agreement struck between The HSUS with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio Farm Bureau to stop the ballot initiative scheduled for this November which was to promote humane standards and prevent cruel factory farming practices is causing outrage in the state’s farming interests and raising questions by animal advocates. The core argument in… Read More


Sadly, I was unable to attend this year’s Summer Fellowship Program produced by the Animals and Society Institute. I’m grateful, then, to read the blog of Ken Shapiro, ASI’s executive director, which included his “personal reading of a primary idea selected from the presentations of this year’s seven fellows.” The most interesting to me is Siobhan… Read More


Earlier this year Michael Foster, who was the Labour MP for Hastings and Rye before his defeat by Conservative candidate Amber Rudd at the general election in May, presented a petition of 4,000 names to Parliament in support of the Hunting Act 2004. Michael recently forwarded to me the official response from the now Tory… Read More


The remaining country in the UK to allow hare coursing, Northern Ireland, voted in the assembly on June 22 to ban the bloodsport. The narrow vote — 23 – 18 — was after a seven-hour debate. It is reported that the ban will be in effect later this year.  Whereas this is a most welcome development… Read More


In a recent study of health care in seven countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) the Netherlands ranks first, followed closely by the UK and Australia. The US ranks last overall, as it had in earlier studies.… Read More


Cheap food isn’t as cheap as it would appear, as Felicity Lawrence writes in “Free choice isn’t healthy for the food industry’s menu” in The Guardian recently. Further, the real cost of cheap food in terms of human morbidity and mortality as well as the significant impact on animal welfare and the environment are not… Read More


Changes have been made to my Web site to bring more into focus the two books I’m currently working on. My first book, Animal Dharma, explores what it means to care deeply about animals and discovers how we can live peacefully with ourselves and others by proposing four key values: truth, compassion, non-violence and interbeing,… Read More


The moral and legal status of animals is not an isolated issue as it clearly exists and relates to the society in which it exists or doesn’t, as the case maybe. Regrettably, the animal welfare/rights movement has yet to succeed in effectively placing a concern for animals in a larger and progressive context. This point… Read More


Important columnist Johann Hari ask this vital question — In 1980, the average CEO in America and the UK took 42 times the average worker’s wage. By 2000, it was 531 times. Did CEOs become 12 times more effective? Or was this another trick of the boom-light? — in a discussion of a new book… Read More


This week I became the proud owner of Songs of Freedom. Selected and Edited, with an Introduction, by Henry S. Salt (London: The Walter Scott Publishing Co., Ltd.; 1893). Salt wrote Animals’ Rights. Considered in Relation to Social Progress in 1894. He was also the founder of the Humanitarian League. In the Introduction to Songs… Read More


In a historic move for animals in Australia, the Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Bryan Green, today announced his government’s plan to place restrictions on the time pregnant sows are allowed to be kept in stalls from 2014, with a full ban coming into effect in 2017. This puts Tasmania ahead of the… Read More


Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins makes a provocative and persuasive argument. I say apply the same approach to corporate welfare, including agricultural subsidies. I say cut defence. I don’t mean nibble at it or slice it. I mean cut it, all £45bn of it. George Osborne yesterday asked the nation “for once in a generation” to… Read More


The Animals and Society Institute (ASI) publishes a series of Policy Papers on specific animal issues and their impact in the public policy arena. Six Policy Papers have been published since 2006: Dog Bites: Problems and Solutions by Janis Bradley, which was made possible with the generous support of the Animal Farm Foundation and is… Read More