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Cruelty

OPINION
August 14, 2012
Re "French gag on ban of foie gras in California," Aug. 11 The ban on foie gras in California is a bit comical and so very American in its hypocrisy. Yes, ducks and geese are force-fed grain to grow their livers, but foie gras is not an everyday American food. It is expensive and uncommon. I challenge the people who worked so hard to ban foie gras in California to visit the beef, chicken, pork, egg and milk "factories" in our state. Perhaps these activists should put their energy toward banning the incredibly inhumane treatment of these animals, which are consumed daily by most Americans.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2012 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
Children murder one another in a multitude of gruesome and memorable ways in "The Hunger Games," deploying spears, arrows, rocks, venomous wasps, mutant wolves and their bare hands in a televised gladiatorial death match. The juvenile slaughterfest depicted in the film and its source material, Suzanne Collins' trilogy of bestselling young adult novels, may give audiences (particularly parents) pause — is this what contemporary entertainment has come to? But violence committed by and against children has a long, grisly tradition in literature — as an allegory for adult cruelty, a representation of the emotional volatility of adolescence and a tension-raiser for audiences.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 2012 | By Dean Kuipers
The Florida Legislature has dropped a controversial provision that would have made it a crime to photograph or videotape on agricultural facilities without consent. We have reported previously on this blog that several states have attempted to thwart whistle-blowers and animal rights activists by making it a crime to record images on a farm, lab or other animal enterprise. Of course, many other actions such as trespassing, removing animals and other acts are already illegal. Florida was taking a lead in this push, but in the last few days its legislature has removed the image collection language - derisively called an “ag gag” provision by activists - from state House Bill 1021 and state Senate Bill 1184.
OPINION
December 18, 2011 | By Jay Kirk
In 1882, P.T. Barnum paid $10,000 to have Jumbo, the world's most famous elephant, shackled like Houdini, stuffed into a crate and sailed across the ocean to New York City. Barnum got Jumbo on the cheap because — unknown to him but well known to Jumbo's keepers at the London Zoo — the elephant had gone bonkers. Jumbo had become such a hazard that his owners feared for the safety of the many children who took rides on his back. Alumni of such rides included an asthmatic Teddy Roosevelt, who, perhaps traumatized by the experience, would later go on to kill four elephants in less than five minutes while on safari in British East Africa.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2011 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
The case of a former city employee accused of treating dogs inhumanely at Los Angeles' West Valley animal shelter in Chatsworth is being referred to prosecutors for review, the head of the animal services agency said Friday. Brenda Barnette told The Times earlier this week that she had not considered a criminal referral for Manuel Boado, 64. He allegedly failed to sedate dogs before euthanizing them, placed them near other dead animals and inserted the euthanizing needle into their jugular veins during euthanasia, which is considered more painful than other locations.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2011 | By Irene Lacher, For the Los Angeles Times
Maggie Nelson, a poet and faculty member of California Institute of the Arts' School of Critical Studies, takes on a sometimes disturbing offshoot of 20th-century avant-garde culture in her new book, "The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning" (W. W. Norton & Co.). What is the art of cruelty? The question of cruelty in art is not the same question necessarily — it can be, but it's not always the same question — of what cruelty is in life, because if you presume cruelty has an object, like you're being cruel to somebody or something, the question of who a piece of art might be cruel to if it's just depicting something that makes you think, "Wow, that's a really cruel thing," the question hasn't really been answered.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
The Art of Cruelty A Reckoning Maggie Nelson W.W. Norton: 304 pp., $24.95 From a movie billboard in her Los Angeles neighborhood to the Italian Futurists, Maggie Nelson swings her lively gaze across a century's worth of art and culture in "The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning. " The starting point for this study of violence and art is Antonin Artaud, the French playwright behind the "theatre of cruelty" who wrote that cruelty in art "signifies rigor, implacable intention and decision, irreversible and absolute determination.
WORLD
January 14, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
Sparks flew as blacksmiths fanned fires and Stephen Jada, a welder with ambitions far larger than his tin shack, rested in the shade and spoke of how this gritty, once forgotten sliver of the world was about to blossom. "A new nation," he declared, "is being born to be equal with other countries. There is much to be done. " He looked down an alley of tools and rust and listened to the hiss of blowtorches, the bite of hacksaws. Men around him hammered and sweated. Women sold beans and shooed children along bamboo fences not far from families scrubbing clothes in the Nile.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
More than three decades after the war in Vietnam, a Marine named Robert Lucius had a moment of reckoning on the road to Lai Chau. A naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, he was bound for a rural clinic with a donation of medical equipment. When his car was passed by a motorbike with a wicker basket full of dogs, he locked eyes with one of them. "There was an immediate sense of connection," he said. "You could see the fear, the dread, the helplessness. " A vision raced through his mind: Liberate the dogs.
BUSINESS
December 9, 2010 | By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
Exactly how much space is a chicken legally entitled to have in a California henhouse? A Modesto farmer sued the state and the Humane Society of the United States on Wednesday seeking to answer that question, as egg producers begin overhauling their operations to meet an anti-cruelty measure that was approved by state voters in 2008. The lawsuit, filed in Fresno County Superior Court by egg farmer J.S. West, is asking for a judge to interpret and clarify California's Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, known as Proposition 2. The 2008 measure, approved by more than 63% of the voters, banned small, confining crates or cages for veal calves, egg-laying hens and pregnant sows.
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