23 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Long and very interesting look at animal personhood, with a particular focus on orcas — excerpted from a forthcoming book by a Seattle journalist.

    A portion of the piece looks at the emerging legal approach to establishing personhood for at least some animals, and why PETA’s approach to freeing killer whales in captivity (which was based on a slavery argument) failed. The newer approach (PETA thankfully appears not to be involved) is more subtle and seems much more likely to eventually succeed.



  2. Also, I’ve become involved in citizen efforts to ban private fireworks in my area. This is a very challenging effort, even under circumstances of officially declared drought, burn bans, and fire-weather warnings, all of which are happening where I live. Local officials are resistant to declaring emergency bans, and the process to pass bans legislatively is not only lengthy, but also subject to pressure from pro-fireworks voters, who are extremely vocal and quick to anger.

    I’m curious if anyone else here has had experience with this issue. Fireworks have a profound effect on pets, as we all know, and my involvement was spurred primarily by concern for our cats, along with fear of fire and dread of our own mental anguish from the noise. We expect to be moving from this area shortly after July 4th, but will be going to yet another jurisdiction that allows private fireworks, so my work on the issue will likely continue. I’d appreciate any insight others can provide.

    And, as someone who two days ago spoke publicly in front of an official body for the very first time, I’d like to thank everyone here who has shared their experiences of activism. These accounts gave me the courage to speak up, and also provided me with great examples of how to speak effectively. I actually got positive feedback from those on the local fire district oversight board before whom I spoke, and that is really thanks to the activists on this blog. I very much appreciate you sharing your efforts!


    1. Fireworks are not only dangerous for pets and, if not handled responsibly, humans, but also very difficult for those veterans who have returned from combat. I wish you luck on your quest.


      1. Oh, good point, db!

        Soldiers with PTSD should not be subjected to that sort of thing unnecessarily.

        Glad to hear you were able to speak in front of people about something you believe in! It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s important and if we want change, we have to fight for it! Bravo to you!


    2. Good for you for speaking publicly! Welcome to the Troublemakers Club.
      We have some dogs who are scared out of their minds during fireworks. It’s very stressful, especially since we are already working hard to manage our “regular” dog anxiety issues (involving fighting) between other dogs. Please let us know how things go.


  3. Sharing a feel good happy story about a VERY senior kitty cat that arrived at our shelter, The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS). This poor guy, was found as a stray in horrible condition. He was rescued off the streets by a kind person who brought him to us. He was emaciated, dehydrated, starving, and very weak, with rotten teeth, ear mites, and an infection. His ears black and pieces had fallen off, probably frost bite, his whiskers, broken and singed. Plus he was estimated at 18+ years old! We immediately got him to the vet, on meds and got his strength back with food and water. You would think he would be scared and unsure…no way! We named him Grandpaw and he LOVED everyone he met! No one claimed our little old man so he went up for adoption! He deserved a loving home! Grandpaw loved to sit on laps, loved to be carried like a baby! Kind people sponsored his medical care and a local Girl Scout Troop donated to help him too with their cookie sales money :)
    We put a plea out on our Facebook page with his story and photo – for a kind person to adopt or foster our little OLD man!
    Well, their our the best people in this world! Check out his update! :)


  4. The child in the photograph is so beautiful that I have looked at her least a dozen times since you posted it – and a few minutes ago I finally noticed that she is carrying a puppy!
    You have a talent for finding (and taking) photographs that are not just images, but truly art. I thank you for the frequent feasts you serve here.


  5. One of my guilty pleasures/timesucks/things is surfing the net for dog treat recipes. I came across one today that had a comment below it which took me by surprise:

    I use these on my paper route to ward off unfriendly pooches. Really works!

    I thought this was awesome. Someone clever enough to realize that dogs who might be inclined to chase or otherwise bother the paper delivery person might not be dissuaded by the offer of some stale, store-bought biscuit but perhaps would think twice before turning down a homemade treat.
    I was bitten by a dog when I delivered papers as a girl and it traumatized me. I was afraid of big dogs for a long time. I wish I would have thought of taking along some homemade treats on my route.


    1. Ha! I carried milk bones on my route. There was one GSD who was mean to everyone. It took me a long time and a lot of biscuits, but he and I eventually became “through the fence” friends…



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