CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 2012 |
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.
December 18, 2011 |
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 |
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.
August 7, 2011 |
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.
July 24, 2011 |
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.
January 14, 2011 |
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 |
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.
December 9, 2010 |
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.
November 26, 2010 |
Simultaneously poetic, dramatic and realistic, "White Material" is an altogether stunning work. Directed by Claire Denis and starring Isabelle Huppert in a bravura performance as a woman confronting armed chaos in Africa, this is filmmaking that is at once exhilarating and chilling, powerful and powerfully disturbing. Though not a marquee name in this country, French director Denis is so respected internationally that the British film journal Sight & Sound declared "there is no better filmmaker working in the world right now. " Having grown up in Africa, which she used as the setting for her signature film, 1988's "Chocolat," Denis takes us back again, to a nameless country caught in the brutal, catastrophic struggle between a ruthless regime and a rebel army filled with child soldiers.
November 16, 2010 |
While Michael Vick was screaming toward the sky, a black pit bull named Mel was standing quietly by a door. On this night, like many other nights, Mel was waiting for his owners to take him outside, but he couldn't alert them with a bark. He doesn't bark. He won't bark. The bark has been beaten out of him. While Michael Vick was running for glory, Mel was cowering toward a wall. Every time the 4-year-old dog meets a stranger, he goes into convulsions. He staggers back into a wall for protection.