Each week we post links to news about humane education & humane living, and items connected to humane issues, from human rights to environmental preservation, to animal protection, to media, consumerism and culture.
Chinese activists work to take cat off the menu - LA Times (12/22/08)
”Although Cantonese cooking is known abroad for dim sum and won-ton soup, it is also recognized as the most exotic of the Chinese cuisines, serving up a veritable Noah's ark of species on the dinner plate. As a popular saying goes, the Cantonese will eat anything that walks, crawls, hops or flies. But now fellow Chinese are drawing the line. Eating cat, they say -- that is just too disgusting. ’Cats are your friends, not food,’ read the banners carried at a demonstration last week at the Guangzhou train station, where protesters were trying to intercept a shipment of cats.”
NAACP report reveals continued decline in diversity on TV – Common Dreams (12/21/08)
”Nearly a decade after the NAACP condemned a 'virtual whiteout' in broadcast TV, the civil rights group said major networks have stalled in their efforts to further ethnic diversity on-screen and off. ‘This is America: So goes TV, so goes reality. We don't think it's any accident that before we had a black president in reality, we had a black president on TV,’ [Benjamin Todd Jealous] said, referring to the chief executive portrayed by Dennis Haysbert on Fox's ’24.’"
Milgram redux shows people still willing to harm others – BBC (12/19/08)
"’What we found is validation of the same argument - if you put people in certain situations, they will act in surprising and maybe often even disturbing ways.’ [Dr Jerry Burger] said that it was not that there was ‘something wrong’ with the volunteers, but that when placed under pressure, people will often do ‘unsettling’ things. Even though it was difficult to translate laboratory work to the real world, he said, it might partly explain why, in times of conflict, people could take part in genocide.”
Thanks, Global Sociology Blog, for the heads up.
Teens’ attempts at random acts of kindness generate hugs, suspicions - Seattle Times (12/18/08)
"’People can't accept the fact that there are other people who just want to be nice,’ says Sheldon High School senior Kelsey Hertel, who founded the school's new Random Acts of Kindness Club. ‘People don't trust each other. They think everyone's out to get them.’ Ironically, that's exactly why Hertel founded the club in the first place….’We thought by doing random acts of kindness, we could totally change someone's day or life. And they could pay it forward to someone else. And one person at a time, we could make the world better.’"
Some penguins to get endangered species protections – Daily Green (12/18/08)
"’Threats to these penguin species include commercial fishing, competition for prey, habitat loss, disease, and predation,’ according to the USFWS."
Declaration for gay rights brought to UN - New York Times (12/18/08)
”The declaration, sponsored by France with broad support in Europe and Latin America, condemned human rights violations based on homophobia, saying such measures run counter to the universal declaration of human rights. ‘How can we tolerate the fact that people are stoned, hanged, decapitated and tortured only because of their sexual orientation?’ said Rama Yade, the French state secretary for human rights, noting that homosexuality is banned in nearly 80 countries and subject to the death penalty in at least six.“
Human rights groups demand changes from computer manufacturers – Spiegel Online International (12/16/08)
”Thousands of PCs and laptops are sold every Christmas, but most consumers don't know that many computer parts are produced under inhumane working conditions in the Far East. A new study has exposed shocking neglect at suppliers for some of the biggest computer manufacturers.”
ALDF releases state animal protection laws rankings – ALDF Press Release (12/16/08)
”This report – the only one of its kind in the nation – is based on a detailed comparative analysis of each jurisdiction, researching fourteen distinct categories of animal protection laws throughout more than 3,400 pages of statutes. The ranking groups each jurisdiction into a top, middle or bottom tier, and includes a listing of the best five and worst five states.”
Hunger for palm oil profits threatens orangutans - The Star.com (12/15/08)
”But, it's humans who are clear-cutting Kesi's rainforest habitat in Indonesia and Malaysia. Orangutans are being forced from their homes. Adults are shot on sight while babies are sold into the black market as pets. And, it's all happening in the name of palm oil. Palm oil is one of the most widely used vegetable oils in the world. It is found in products ranging from ice cream and cookies to soap and detergents. More recently, it has been used in biofuels.”
Thanks, Common Dreams, for the heads up.
Industrial plants near schools cause health risks for students – USA Today (12/10/08)
”Scientists have long known that kids are particularly susceptible to the dangers. They breathe more air in proportion to their weight than adults do, and their bodies are still developing. Based on the time they spend at school, their exposures could last for years but the impact might not become clear for decades.”
Rape: The hidden war against women – Guardian (UK) (12/5/08)
"’This situation is not going to go away,’ Chishugi said. ‘I want the international community to take action. During the 1994 Rwandan genocide nobody spoke up for us and now I want to speak up for people who are suffering. [These women] are still terrified when you talk to them; you really find the deeper pain in their heart. So they need more than just food. These people need help.’"
Thanks, Global Sociology Blog, for the heads up.