frandroid: "The Tentacle goes where?" in front of Buffy and Willow looking at a computer monitor (tentacle)
(Lots of my blog writing happens in Friends' journals, often in locked entries... I'll repost some of it here. I don't intend on linking to or revealing which journal the discussion comes from unless the person subsequently provides permission...)
(The conversation was about whether zoos and aquaria serve an educational purpose, and how these institutions don't actually provide much "education", captions or specific information about their captivesthe animals on display)

That makes some sense for art, because you don't go see art to be educated, not in an academic way, per se. It's another game...

If the intent of vivaria is to educate, well, that doesn't happen in a vacuum now, does it? I don't know of many business schools where they just park you in front of a stock ticker and say "well, we don't want to direct their learning about the stock market..." A large part of education happens with words.

I think people go to museums and vivaria to learn a little bit, or at least they tell that to themselves. But education, learning is work, and most people don't go to these places to work, they go there to be entertained, even if it's somewhat educational entertainment, just like watch National Geographic shows about African wildlife are a lot more about entertainment than education.

And yet. Having grown up at the edge of suburbia and the countryside, having spent my youth sport fishing (!) in various provincial parks and roaming around the patch of forest we own, I think there's something fundamental about being in contact with nature, and vivaria is one place where it happens, because you don't actually see many animal species when walking around in a forest, it's mostly about the flora. I just think that most zoos are not set to encourage that kind of phenomenological learning experience, keeping animals behind bars, separating them from the crowd. I many cases it's necessary, but not always, not most of the time.

The Montréal Biodôme is one cool vivaria; they have 4 "ecosystems" which you walk through on a ramp. It's a lot less like a zoo; in some places the ramp is also walled (3 to 4 feet high) or flies over the display, to keep the animals away (in the tropical exhibit, in particular, where they have a small croc or alligator), but it's a lot more immersive than your traditional zoo. In Saint-Félicien, a few hours north of Québec City, they have a wilderness park where the visitors get in a cage and are driven through the park, where large animals roam "free". So zoos could do a better job, than they are doing most of the time, for sure.

A friend of mine, the meat-eating animal-rights lover, thinks zoos should be banned. As a veg*n with an ambivalent relationship to the concept of animal "rights", having grown up somewhat close to nature, I disagree... I still think we should be shaken out of our urban, sanitized experiences to be reminded of where we came from and who are our brethren. I think vivaria can fulfil part of that purpose.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
As a culturally sensitive vegan, I would approve of Michaëlle Jean's seal eating and hunting, if only she wasn't conflating inuit seal hunting with east coast seal hunting... So not the same thing.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
From The KLF's wikipedia entry:

On 12 February 1992, The KLF and crust punk group Extreme Noise Terror performed a live version of "3 a.m. Eternal" at the BRIT Awards, the British Phonographic Industry's annual awards show; a "violently antagonistic performance" in front of "a stunned music-business audience". Drummond and Cauty had planned to throw buckets of sheep's blood over the audience, but were prevented from doing so due to opposition from BBC lawyers and "hardcore vegans" Extreme Noise Terror. The performance (The KLF - 3 a.m. Eternal (Live at the Brits) was instead garnished by a limping, kilted, cigar-chomping Drummond firing blanks from an automatic weapon over the heads of the crowd. As the band left the stage, The KLF's promoter and narrator Scott Piering announced over the PA system that "The KLF have now left the music business". Later in the evening the band dumped a dead sheep with the message "I died for ewe—bon appetit" tied around its waist at the entrance to one of the post-ceremony parties.
frandroid: A faroher, emblem of the Zoroastrian religion (faroher)
Vegan parents jailed for baby's death by malnutrition

This is a stupid way to die. It even says on many brands of soy milk that it cannot replace baby formula. Now vegan parents are going to be labelled cruel parents.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
In spite of being vegan, I'm voicing my dislike of animal rights activists more often these days, but this:



certainly keeps me in the game.
frandroid: camilo cienfuegos in a broad-rimmed hat (camilo)
Activist Charged With Violating Orlando's Ban On Feeding Homeless

ORLANDO, Fla. -- An activist was arrested while he was feeding homeless people in a public park.

Eric Montanez, 21, a member of Orlando's Food Not Bombs, violated a city ordinance against feedings in the park Wednesday evening, police said.

Each group is allowed to feed only 25 people, but undercover officers saw Montanez feed 30, police spokeswoman Barbara Jones said.

Food Not Bombs and Montanez are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming that the ordinance is unconstitutional, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Montanez was charged with a misdemeanor count of prohibited activity in a park and was released from jail on a $250 bond.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
frandroid: (doomsday clock)
'A world without seafood'

The diversity of species in the world's oceans is being so severely depleted that most stocks will collapse within decades while the water itself grows sicker[.]

...species are disappearing at such a rapid rate that all wild seafood could collapse by 2048.

"If we don't change the way we do things, we will literally run out of species in our lifetimes"


THIS is what I'm refering about when I'm saying that the ban on horse slaughter doesn't really matter.

"We really see the end of the line now. . . . Our children will see a world without seafood if we don't change things."
frandroid: (bad religion)
Willie Nelson sez to U.S. Senate, don't slaughter horsez for human consumption. (via [livejournal.com profile] mhalachai) I sez, so what? 100,000 horses is a drop in the bucket. I was trying to figure out if Willie is vegetarian, and my google-fu led me to this:
We, Christian vegetarians, are probably asking: what is the difference between a horse and a cow or any other farmed animal? Why is the public so against the consumption of horse meat but keep supporting the cruelty involved in raising and slaughtering the rest of the animals for food? Willie Nelson is right in that horses need not to be eaten; however, it’s not because they are part of the American Heritage, but because they’ve been created by God to glorify him and share the earth with us.
Edited: While I don't think that animals were "created by God" or even "to Glorify him", I share the general sentiment that asking not to eat horses while eating other animals is somewhat hypocritical.

(I mean according to the Christian logic listed above, weren't plants created by God to glorify him too? I'm just in the environmental and nervous system harm-reduction camp.)

I need a veg*n icon.

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