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EBay condemned for allowing "rampant" ivory trade
The animal welfare organization International Fund for Animal Welfare says the elephant, the world's largest land mammal, is being threatened with global extinction by a "rampant trade" in ivory on the eBay online auction site.
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Encyclopædia Britannica presents this site as a source of information, a call for action, and a stimulus to thought regarding humanity's relationship with the animals with whom we share our planet. We support worldwide efforts to ensure humane treatment of animals, develop our understanding of their nature, promote their survival, and protect and restore the environment.
Image credit: Baby bird in boy's hand. Ove Eriksson—Nordic Photos/Getty Images
Most people are aware that dairies in the United States bear little resemblance to the idyllic pastures of yesteryear. As with other branches of animal agriculture, such as chicken and egg production, hog farming, and beef production—as well as crop growing—small, traditional dairy farms have been steadily pushed out of the business by large agribusiness concerns. Since the mid-20th century, the growth of factory farming has led to the transformation of agriculture, forcing small farmers to “get big or get out.” Small farms cannot compete with big agricultural firms because they cannot achieve the same economies of scale. […]
» Read more of The Big Business of Dairy Farming: Big Trouble for Cows
Last week, the International Whaling Commission (IWC), an intergovernmental organization founded in 1946 to regulate the commercial and scientific hunting of whales, held its 59th annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. Among its notable decisions was a resolution to uphold an indefinite moratorium on commercial whaling by IWC members that had been in effect since 1986.
Although the vote was symbolically important, it will have no practical effect on the whale hunting now conducted by Japan, Norway, Iceland, and certain other countries. Since the moratorium was approved, Japan has continued to kill large numbers of whales each year under a provision of the IWC’s founding treaty, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), that allows member countries to issue permits to their nationals to kill whales for “scientific research.” […]
» Read more of Hunting the Whales
Gregory McNamee is a contributing editor for Encyclopædia Britannica, for which he writes regularly on world geography, culture, and other topics. McNamee is also the author of many articles and books, including Blue Mountains Far Away: Journeys into the American Wilderness
(2000) and editor of The Desert Reader: A Literary Companion (2002). As a guest writer for Advocacy for Animals, he writes this week on the increasingly frequent sightings of coyotes in urban environments around the United States.
Each night throughout the year, except in the season when they take to their dens, a pack of coyotes five or six strong crosses the little Arizona ranch where my wife and I make our home. They weave a circuitous path across the property, stopping to chortle when they catch sign of rabbit and howling and yipping as they wander. […]
» Read more of Coyotes: The Wild Becomes Urban
Last week, Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Advocacy for Animals
published an feature entitled “The Difficult Lives and Deaths of Factory-Farmed Chickens.”
Readers of that article may have been inspired to learn more about the practice of vegetarianism; this week Advocacy for Animals
offers another look at the subject.
Although vegetarianism, both in philosophy and in practice, has been around for millennia, in the modern Western world it was long considered a “fringe” movement. Less than a century ago, even the celebrated playwright and wit George Bernard Shaw, a vegetarian for the last 70 years of his long life, was considered a “crank” by some, though it mattered little to him. When asked in 1898 why he was a vegetarian, Shaw had a typically outspoken answer: “Oh, come! That boot is on the other leg. Why should you call me to account for eating decently? If I battened on the scorched corpses of animals, you might well ask me why I did that.” […]
» Read more of Another Look at Vegetarianism
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