Posts Tagged 'John Sorenson'

New opportunity

John Sorenson on a plan to bring the seal hunt to Sable Island.

Unsurprisingly, the fishing industry – which blames seals for the problems the industry itself has created, namely the decline in fish stocks – is vigorously promoting this deadly plan. Also cheering it on is the Fur Institute of Canada, which says the problem is not the massive, uncontrolled commercial fishing that has almost emptied the world’s oceans, but rather the institute’s favourite target – animal rights activists. Both the fishing and fur industries will seize any opportunity to promote the killing of seals, no matter how irrational.

Compartmentalizing compassion

John Sorenson responds to National Post article on misgivings around Windsor and Newmarket protests.

. . . it is completely untrue that “an animal receives more concern than a child” in Canadian society. Most obviously, we do not operate factory farms in which we raise children for slaughter. Nor do we skin them so that we can make them into clothing or use them in biomedical experiments. Many more resources and far more social advocacy groups are devoted to human problems than to the plight of animals. Even in the case of those animals we designate as pets, Canada’s existing animal cruelty laws are antiquated and inadequate and lag behind legislation that exists in many other countries.

Rather than compartmentalizing compassion and regarding activism as a zero-sum game, those who advocate on behalf of abused children and women should recognize that the abuse of animals is directly related to their own priorities.

Loathsome nature

John Sorenson on the RCMP’s claim that there is no cruelty at Bouvry Horse Exports Ltd.

. . . the RCMP were probably persuaded by Bouvry that their operations conformed to standard practices. This is probably true, but this is simply an indication of the loathsome nature of the entire industry. Anyone seeking verification of this may turn to Gail Eisnitz’s book Slaughterhouse.

As depraved and horrific as they are, the scenes at Bouvry are simply instances of a far greater pattern. The entire industry is based on cruelty: deliberately depriving sentient beings of the lives they enjoy simply to satisfy the trivial desire to savour their flesh in our mouths.

Our inconsistency

John Sorenson on OSPCA debacle.

The outrage over the killing raises questions about our inconsistency in designating some animals as pets and awarding them better treatment than those we designate as research tools, food, or raw material for clothing. In fact, the animals killed by the OSPCA will suffer less than those processed through factory farms, slaughterhouses, and laboratories. These animals receive even less “protection” from animal welfare organizations like the OSPCA, which endorse our commercial exploitation of other living beings and go out of their way to distance themselves from “radical” animal rights groups.

But even if we limit discussion to those animals designated as pets, we still are faced with these moral inconsistencies. Every year, thousands of unwanted pets are sent to “shelters” that are in actuality killing centres, established to dispose of those animals people find it too inconvenient to maintain. However, public callousness does not mean those organizations that exist to offer “protection” to animals are not culpable. The OSPCA could have pursued a more humane strategy, but it did not want to spend the money to do so.

 One love

John Sorenson reviews Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs.

 Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs is both inspiring and frustrating. The book demonstrates that individuals can have an impact but also that governments are always ready to serve the interests of private profiteers, and that constant, organized oversight is required.

Beyond that, the book demonstrates some of the shortcomings of campaigns that focus on particular species. Johnston’s efforts on behalf of wild horses were certainly admirable but there is no indication of any broader concerns for other animals or of consistency of ethical principles through awareness of animal rights. Throughout the book, defenders of horses are depicted wearing buckskin jackets and sitting down to chicken pot pies and never giving a thought to their contradictory behaviour. Why love one but eat the other?

Former donor

Ape author John Sorenson — his About Canada: Animal Rights comes out in September — writes to the Toronto Star.

Thanks for your story on the OSPCA’s decision to kill hundreds of animals at their “shelter” in Newmarket. As a former donor to the OSPCA, I was horrified to learn of this plan. Instead of hiring security forces to surround their offices, the OSPCA should spend their resources to save the lives of animals. Ringworm is treatable. The animals should receive medical care and be adopted.



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