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In Its Waning Days, Trump Administration Could Further Imperil Animals, Environment

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/21/its-waning-days-trump-administration-could-further-imperil-animals-environment


I find it utterly depressing that we need “laws” to save species, ecosystems from human destruction and in some cases laws that try to stop killing just for the sake of killing (sport hunting, thrill kills).
In a fair, just, compassionate (I know, I know life is not fair) world humans would not be complicit in such things---- even without regulations.


“COULD further imperil animals” ?

Seeing how Trump and the GOP serially “imperil animals” make that WILL “further imperil animals”.
Obstruction and destruction is all the GOP has done during the past 40 years.


The Cloud Foundation/Ginger Kathrens have been fighting for the wild mustangs for years against the horrific treatment of the BLM and the entitled ranchers that support the despicable acts that the BLM has committed and continues to commit. The latest being the rounding up of wild mares and actually ripping out their ovaries without sedation and dumping them back into the wild. I kid you not. One cannot make this shit up.

If you care at all about those beautiful beings, check out the organization and join the fight.


We need to examine how moral and ethical values are determined in our society. Starting with human beings that have little understanding of sovereignty and place. The consequences couldn’t be more clear.


For a start, look at the anthropocentric Judeo-Christian tradition how moral and ethical values are determine! Check out Catholic Church teachings:

According to the Catholic Church (in which I was raised and taught this), “Brute beasts, not having understanding and therefore not being persons, cannot have any rights. The conclusion is clear. They are not autocentric. They are of the number of THINGS, which are another’s: they are chattels, or cattle. We have no duties to them…. Nor are we bound to any anxious care to make [their] pain as little as may be. Brutes are THINGS in our regard: so far as they are useful to use, they exist for us, not for themselves; and we do right in using them unsparingly for our need and convenience….” Jesuit Joseph Rickaby

FROM THE CATECHISM: 2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise UNWORTHY to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

“…a Neapolitan peasant, having learned from his parish priest that animals are not ‘moral persons,’ can go home after Mass and with a clear conscience give his donkey a thorough taste of the switch.” – “Men, Beasts, and Gods - A History of Cruelty and Kindness to Animals” – Gerald Carson (1972) p. 17

The reflection that the lower creatures suffered, although innocent, troubled many consciences. But the official dogma stood firm that brutes had neither personality, “intellective soul” nor future life. Their place in the universe was fixed forever in Genesis 1:38, that they live and died for the convenience of man. As late as the middle of the last century, Pius IX refused permission for the formation in Rome of a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals on the grounds that it was a theological error to suppose that man had any duty toward animals…

And echoes of the animal-machine idea occur in a statement made by Pius XII to the effect that when the lower animals are killed in a laboratory or an abattoir, “their cries should not arouse unreasonable compassion any more than do red-hot metals undergoing the blows of the hammer, seeds soiling underground, branches crackling when they are pruned, grain that is surrendered to the harvester; wheat being ground by the milling machine. All of these groups, commercial, vivisectionist, and ecclesiastical, are quick to raise the cry of sentimentality when any attempt is made to consider the mental or emotional life of subhuman creatures.


Yeah, I have a very different orientation but overtime have investigated some of these original teachings that have grown and evolved from this ideology. Anything based in Latin basically has some influence.

I posted this in another thread but I think it sheds some light on this as well. The focus is on race but it deals with vulnerability as well.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, renowned sociologist William E. B. Du Bois warned that “the problem of the twentieth century” would be “the problem of the color line” [1]. I suspect that Du Bois would not have imagined that this color line would be as enigmatic and troubling in the twenty-first century. But the fact is that today’s issues of race and identity reveal an arguably more complicated terrain. To illustrate this point, consider the background of the following patients [2].

Ms. A’s father is Nigerian and her mother is British.
Ms. B’s mother and father are both from Jamaica. She has lived in the United States since birth.
Ms. C’s parents were both born in the United States. Her father is from Detroit’s inner-city and her mother is white.
Ms. D’s parents were born in Ghana and South Africa.
Ms. E, who has curly blond hair, fair skin and green eyes, has checked the box for “black or African-American” on her medical history form. She was adopted at birth.

In fact, each of these patients has checked that same box—“black or African American”—on their patient history forms. What does this tell us?

The quick answer is that it tells us not much at all about the patient—but a whole lot about whomever provided the box. Just the quick background sketch I provided for patients 1-5 indicates how different they are. In fact, the receptionist who made the appointment for the woman with Jamaican parents was surprised to see a woman with brown skin report at the scheduled time. “On the phone, you sounded like you were British,” she told her as she gave her a clipboard with the new patient information form attached to it. In the receptionist’s racial imaginary, being (or sounding) British is a stand-in for being white.

The receptionist is not alone. When you read about the first woman (the one with the Nigerian father and the British mother) did you make a presumption about the race of the British mother that would coincide with the receptionist’s? Did the third patient’s “inner-city Detroit” father signal a particular race for you? If so, you’re not alone. For the majority of Americans, “urban” (or “inner-city”) is a synonym for black or African American. “Suburban” is a synonym for white. Geography matters. Before we leave this example, did it occur to you that the fourth woman’s South African parent might be white (something we tend to ignore when we imagine “African” ancestry)?

These examples indicate the ways in which U.S. residents are primed to make certain presumptions regarding race. We’ve given race its substance and assured its viability despite its growing complication as a coherent category of identity. There’s little doubt of medicine’s interest in sustaining these racial designations. Patient history questionnaires betray this preoccupation. But what is it that we learn from a patient’s response? Is it worth the sustained stereotyping that comes from some people being assigned to a community and others not?

Our research and our practices both confuse and conflate the many social referents of the word “race.” We commit this error most frequently when we tolerate the notion that prompts our assigning someone membership in an “African American community.” It is an affiliation that suggests that being “black or African American” places you into immediate and reasonable consonance with any other black person in this country. Our habit of assigning community also suggests that phenotype reveals something about biology in a reliable and consistent enough manner to make that categorical assessment have standing equal to other factors like weight, dietary habits, smoking history, and whether or not you had rheumatic fever as a child.

The black folk whose souls Du Bois worried over in 1903 had a peculiar history of visibility and vulnerability. It is a history replete with narratives about medical care of lesser quality and exploitation sutured to institutionalized racial biases and stereotypes. When contemporary medicine takes up the category of race as a biologic rather than a social indicator, it ignores the complexity that is resident in “African American communities.” A community-based medicine or research ethic cannot escape this history of identity and vulnerability and the significant variables that accompany the experience of race. This is not an occasion when new and good intentions erase the impact of past bad acts. Language has a habit of entanglement.

“Vulnerable” patient populations are not an invention of bioethicists in search of a subject. When bioethicists refer to vulnerable populations these persons might be minorities, women, children, the elderly, the imprisoned or other institutionalized persons. We sometimes forget that the source of their vulnerability is not intrinsic. It is decidedly extrinsic. They are, as the title of this essay indicates, vulnerable to patterns of institutionalized bias. Categorical vulnerability is a consequence of medical research and medical practices that have exposed persons to bad acts because of a guiding presumption about the value of their identities [3]. The labeling does not develop a neutrality simply because we bring it to a different setting and a new era. We take ourselves wherever we go. The assignation of community and color began as a way to distinguish rights and assign moral value. That history is not dissoluble simply because a contemporary society accepts this labeling as benign—just one among several options. There is a lived history in our words.

Vulnerable” Populations: Medicine, Race, and Presumptions of Identity | Journal of Ethics |


I guess the larger point is that species extinction and the creation of this vulnerability can be attributed to the foundations of human invention and can be alleviated to some degree from some of the same sources. Additionally, we all benefit in the process.


"Great change is coming to the world, and people around the world are feeling this and sensing this and seeing the evidence of this. But the great change exceeds people’s concerns and expectations.

For humanity has disrupted the world so sufficiently that now you are facing a different kind of world—a new world, a world of different dimensions, a world that will be quite new to your experience in so many ways, a world with a new climate, a world of diminishing resources, a world of growing economic and political upheaval and conflict, a world of greater stress and uncertainty, a world of erupting situations and natural catastrophes, a world where your food production will decline with the changing climate.

It is a world that people are not prepared for, for people still think the future will be like the past. They assume the world will always be as they have expected it to be. They have invested themselves and their lives in the world being a certain way, but it is now changed. It is a different world, a new world."… - “Facing Planetary Instability”–Marshall Summers… The New Message


As bad as slaughtering wild horses is it’s no worse than slaughtering cows, pigs, chickens, you name it. Americans (and folks in other western cultures) have this idea that certain animals are okay to slaughter - usually very brutally - and others like horses, dogs, and cats aren’t okay to slaughter. People in Asian cultures that demand horse meat don’t see it that way: if they can catch it then they can eat it.

My point is, criticizing trump (or obama) for facilitating the slaughter of wild mustangs is wrong and very hypocritical if your meals consist of slaughtered cows, pigs or chickens (or other animals). In a kind and just world we would protect all animals from being slaughtered.

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This almost makes me vomit.


So-called and misnomered “Brutes” are fully sentient beings. Human beings are the true “brutes” – perpetrating, often gleefully, brutality upon those deemed “other.” Again, reference “Dominion – The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy,” Matthew Scully (2002), St. Martin’s Griffin, New York.

Re: Donald Trump’s last minute EPA changes …

It must be convenient for the fossil fuel industry to have such a large portion of mainstream society simply too worried about and exhausted with feeding, housing and protecting against COVID-19 their families on a substandard income to criticize Big Fossil Fool for the great damage it’s been doing to our planet’s natural environment and therefore our wellbeing, particularly when that damage is not immediately observable.

(Who needs ‘carbon sinks’ when, as the subconscious general mentality allows us, Earth’s entire atmosphere and water systems can be and usually are used as our carbon dumps?!)

About a year and a half ago, our supposedly environmentally concerned Canadian (now minority) Liberal government, besides pushing for the tripling of diluted bitumen flow, gave the dirty-energy fossil fuel sector 12-fold the subsidization they allocated to clean renewable energy technology innovations.

To have almost everyone addicted to driving their own fossil-fuel-powered single occupant vehicle (etcetera) surely helps keep their collective mouths shut about the planet’s greatest and still very profitable polluter, lest they feel like and/or be publicly deemed hypocrites.

Goes without saying.

Honoring all of life is key.