There’s good and bad news on the animal rights front. Here’s our investigative correspondent Iggy to bring us the latest news:

Jesse Helms – man or mouse?

Jesse Helms, a Republican Senator from North Carolina, added language to a Senate Farm Bill that says birds, mice and rats are no longer defined as “animals” under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA is a U.S. law that protects warm-blooded animals from being used in research and other industries. As we all know, these three species, especially mice and rats, are commonly tortured and killed for scientific experiments and product testing for humans. I call upon the Senate to add language to the U.S. Bill of Rights excluding old, white, racist and speciesist Southern men from being labeled “humans.” I’m sure there’s some cute little squeaky mice out there (amongst other oppressed animals and humans) who would like to poke and prod him with various dangerous implements just to see how long he can hold out. “Let’s see how loud he squeals when the birds peck him here!” To contact the folks who keep track of this sort of thing, see the website for the National Anti-Vivisection Society at:

...all men (and women and animals) are created equal...

U.S. Congress - consider yourself slapped around by the more enlightened Germans. Instead of changing the definition of certain species to benefit human greed and to further inhumanity, the parliament in Germany voted to give constitutional rights to animals. The Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, voted by 543 to 19 with 15 abstentions in favor of the amendment. Its decision followed 10 years of parliamentary debate and three failed attempts to alter the constitution. With a vote to insert just three words – “und die Tiere” (“and the animals”) – into the highest law of the land, parliamentarians effectively ordered the state to protect “the natural foundations of life” for animals as well as humans. As the London Guardian reported, “The move was welcomed by vets and animal rights groups, but the scientific research lobby called yesterday “Black Friday.” From now on, the federal constitutional court will have to weigh animal rights against such factors as society’s requirement for scientific research and the right to freedom of religion. This could translate into tighter restrictions on the use of animals for testing cosmetics or non-prescription drugs. Now we’ve got to work on the right to vote!

Michael Podell, cat torturer, leaves OSU

Dr. Michael Podell, cat torturer and murdered, is gone from OSU driven away by constant protests of his work. Protect Our Earth’s Treasures (POET), a Columbus-based animal rights organization was at the forefront in protesting his research, along with the national group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and many other prominent organizations such as: The Humane Society of the United States, The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights and Americans for Medical Advancement have taken a stand against it. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an organization that includes almost 5000 physicians in its more than 100,000-strong membership, was also highly critical of this research and has published several articles condemning it. These experiments involved killing 120 domestic cats over five years by infecting the cats with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and then giving them methamphetamine (“speed”) to determine if abuse of the drug will alter the progression of FIV. Dr. Podell subjected cats to spinal taps and other painful procedures before killing them to examine their brains. These procedures cause extreme pain, distress, and suffering for the cats. POET states: “Our investigation has yet to determine whether or not another researcher at OSU will pick up the grant. From news reports it appears the cats on meth experiment is over but until POET sees something in writing we continue to be vigilant.” A Time magazine article called “A Win for the Kitties” tells the story of POET’s victory here in Columbus. POET’s website is:

Egg farm loses, maybe

Sometimes it’s too little, too late. The Ohio EPA recently proposed to revoke Buckeye Egg Farm’s 15 wastewater permits that it needs to operate its egg production facilities in the state. Chicken abuse, pollution and excess flies as well as corrupt business practices haven’t been enough, I guess, for any authority to shut them down until now. If the permits were revoked May 23, the EPA expected the egg farmers to clean up, pack up and move out. Kudos to the EPA for finally becoming a vertebrate, but we’ll believe it when we see it. Former owner of the farm, Anton Puhlman, was thrown out of Germany for these same practices. Why did Ohio welcome him in with open arms? I propose we put a few warm-blooded animals to work at the EPA and in state government. We could have prevented the whole mess.

Whales are given a reprieve

Greenpeace reports two recent cases of victory for the whales of the world. Thanks to Greenpeace’s noble efforts, Mexico granted a sanctuary for whales in May. The Mexican Whale Sanctuary is in the EEZ (exclusive economic zone) that includes 3 million square miles of the Pacific ocean, Atlantic ocean, Caribbean sea. It is now the largest protected area in the world and is home to 21 species of cetaceans. Gracias, our southern neighbor! Also the Fisheries Agency of Japan failed again at this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission to end the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling despite building a larger than ever bloc of votes bought with promises of overseas development aid. “Drink, ye harpooneers! drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat’s bow” – drink and pass out ‘cause ye may no more harpoon the whales! Read more at: