Archive for June 16, 2009

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You can help us end bloodbaths like this and protect dogs in China from future culls

A death squad pursues a terrified dog.

Photo: Dog cull in Hanzhong

Please help stop the slaughter.

Dear paul,

A massive cull in the Chinese city of Hanzhong has claimed the lives of more than 30,000 dogs – and now we need your help to make sure that it never happens again.

The local government ordered the mass slaughter of all dogs as the result of a few cases of rabies deaths. Dog killing squads are stalking the streets, mercilessly beating dogs to death with sticks and rocks.

Friendly dogs – even healthy family pets – are being slaughtered right in front of their owners. Can you even begin to imagine how you’d feel if that happened to your dog?

IFAW has pleaded with government officials to stop the killing – and now we turn to you.

Please help us stop these cruel and massive slaughters once and for all.

Horrifying scenes of cruelty

Some of the pictures from culls like these are so horrifying that I can’t even show them to you. And I hate having to describe this, but I think you need to know the truth about what’s happening.

In one series of pictures, several small and fluffy white dogs – you can just tell they’re used to snuggling on the laps of their loving owners – are trapped in a makeshift cage. One by one, the dogs are pulled out with a pair of long metal tongs, and brutally beaten with a stick. And then – even though it appears that some of the dogs may still be alive – they’re tossed into a pit to be burned.

I can’t even imagine the pain and terror these poor dogs endure when the fire is set.

So many dogs will suffer slow and painful deaths…we must stop this cruelty now!

What we’re doing and how you can help

We have received so many messages in the past few days from animal lovers like you inside and outside China – pleading with us to step in and stop the slaughters like the one in Hanzhong City.

I assure you, IFAW is working to end these culls:

We CAN stop culls like this

We recently joined with concerned animal lovers in China to stop a similar mass slaughter in the city of Heihe by pointing out that the killing of dogs that have rightful owners is a violation of the basic rights of a citizen – owned dogs and cats are considered the “personal property” of Chinese citizens, and should be protected under China’s Constitution.

Plus, it has been proven that rabies can be effectively controlled by a well-managed vaccination program. In fact, a humane vaccination and neuter program in Chennai, India, has dramatically reduced rabies cases there by over 95%.

So we must act now to stop the killing! Please click here to contact the Chinese Ambassador in your country to call for an end to mass slaughters like this and to encourage China to pass legislation that protects all animals, including companion animals.

And then please donate what you can today to help us set up an emergency vaccination fund to help cities in China establish rabies prevention programs, help eliminate these mass dog culls once and for all, and to continue our mission to protect animals around the world from cruelty.

The slaughtered dogs of Hanzhong City deserved a better fate. Please help us ensure that dogs in other communities in China are protected from similar mass killings.

Thank you so much for your help,

Fred O'Regan Signature
Fred O’Regan
IFAW President

p.s. I have to tell you, the images of this dog slaughter keep me up at night. If you’ve ever enjoyed the companionship of a dog, then you know that they truly are members of our families. Please help us protect family pets by donating to our vaccination fund and our anti-cruelty campaigns around the world.

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An interesting post. But the proposed solution of course does not address the problems of unsustainability of supermarket shopping, like the use of cars, transport for goods production and distribution, the makeup of goods sold, etc. But I guess, it’s a small step into a hopefully better world.

By SEAN POULTER Mail Online

Shoppers’ cars will be used to power supermarket tills in a revolutionary new scheme.

The weight of vehicles driving over road plates into a new eco store will power a generator that creates enough electricity to keep checkouts ringing.

The system uses the same type of technology Formula 1 cars use to convert kinetic energy created during braking into speed.

shoppers cars 1

At the Sainsbury’s store in Gloucester, kinetic plates, which were embedded in the road yesterday, are pushed down every time a vehicle passes over them.

A pumping action is then initiated through a series of hydraulic pipes that drive a generator.

The plates are able to produce 30kw of green energy an hour – more than enough to power the store’s checkouts.

The scheme at the Gloucester Quays store demonstrates the potential of kinetic energy to generate enormous amounts of electricity.

A similar system on the roadway into theme parks could provide enough power to keep rollercoasters running.

And road plates could be used on motorway slip roads to light the national road system.

shoppers cars 2

Sainsbury’s environment manager Alison Austin said: ‘Not only are we the first to use such technology with our shoppers, but customers can now help to make their local shop greener. We want to make the weekly shop

sustainable. Using technology like this helps us reduce our use of carbon.’

Sainsbury’s first used the kinetic road plates at a depot in Northampton. Following that success, it is rolling out the technology to its supermarkets.

The plates are one of many energy- saving measures at the store. Over two years, it will harvest enough rainwater – for flushing toilets – to fill an Olympic-sized pool, while solar panels heat water during the summer.

Floor-to-ceiling windows and 140 sun pipes in the roof reduce the need for artificial light, while automatic dimmer lights ensure less electricity is used on brighter days.

Cold air is also retrieved from the fridges to cool the checkout area.

David Sheehan, Sainsbury’s director of store development, said: ‘We use cutting-edge technology to improve our services and the store environment. At the same time we are ultimately reducing our carbon footprint.’

[Via News for Greens]

Hiwa Alaghebandian, who professes to be “an avid follower” of this blog, added the video links below to a comment to the recently published anti-capitalist manifesto, asking whether I’d consider publishing them. Well, here they are.

The videos represent the view of the Cato Institute which, despite a few ‘progressive’ elements in the Institute’s thinking, it is a conservative think tank; it is important to keep that in mind when watching them (for some background on the Institute’s philosophy go to the end of the video listing).

For example, if you believe in minimal government,  one that should not provide free education, health care and social benefits to the disadvantaged, you will also see no reason why governments should have a high tax base. If it does though, and you also also happen to believe that wealth is created through the ingenuity of the individual entrepreneurial spirit and not, for example, also because others work for him or her, then you will also believe that these magnificent beings have a right to protect what they think is justly theirs. And if a government is so ignorant and doesn’t want to honour such astounding and fabulous individuals, for example by not taxing ‘their’ fruit at all or at the most just a tiny bit, it will seem only fair that these shining representatives of  humankind  go to places with a low or no tax base to stash away their wealth.

But that’s not the end of the story; it important to understand the thinking behind it and to realise that, apart from some ludicrous arguments put forward in these videos (like tax haven help people in oppressive societies to safekeep their money), many make sense within their philosophical context. It’s the philosophy we need to critically reflect on.

One of it’s assumptions is that there is an objective reality out there to which we gain access through our senses. In that process we gain knowledge through forming concepts and applying logic. The second assumption is not that we gang together and learn and grow together, but that we are driven by rational self-interest in our pursuit of happiness. In other words: our morality is one of selfishness. We are born as individuals, learn as individuals, face a world full of individuals, and reap the benefits or misfortune of our actions as individuals. In this world it’s each for oneself.

This in turn means that we need a social and political system that is consistent with this morality, ie one that puts the respect of individual rights over the respect of collective rights, and that provides a laissez fair economic environment (capitalism, free market, unfettered liberalisation, etc.). This philosophy of objectivism, developed by Ayn Rand, elevates the free individual’s activities to a level of artistry: he (mostly, of course ;)) ingeniously reproduces objective reality in new ways, transforming what could be described as exploitation of his workers into HIS work of art, thus generating for example personal wealth, which in turn might be expressed in the grand architecture of his mansion or the multi-million dollar paintings on his wall by another kind of individual artist.

In this worldview there is neither place for creative collaboration nor for social justice, the plight of the poor and disadvantaged or the questioning of the defensibility of financial scams that make billions for a few and bring the rest of the world to its knees by destroying economies, robbing millions of people of their life savings and making millions more lose their jobs. That’s simply seen as part of life and the fault of those who lose because in the objectivist’s dreamworld everyone has the same rights, the same chances, the same possibilities and opportunities. And, of course, not everyone can be a great artist. Therefore those who are should be rewarded, for example by gaining access to tax havens – to shield their money from the lesser geniuses, the unskilled and non-glamourous but parasitic masses.

Watch with discretion!

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