Brazil was fabulous...as we had expected. I spoke on Animal Hoarding, Animal Cruelty, and Shelter Medicine...more on the specifics of the lectures later. For now, I am linking to an article from Brazil's Clinicavet mentioning the conference.
My hope was to return and write a bit about Animal Hoarding. Unfortunately or fortunately, I have been very busy helping animal shelters with all kinds of interesting issues. My newest adventure will take me to Curitiba, Brazil, where I will be the keynote speaker at a conference at the veterinary school. The topic will be animal cruelty and animal hoarding. I'll admit, I was surprised that this is the topic they chose, but am also very excited to be bringing these concepts to a country that is only recently developing official policy on animal cruelty related topics. The trip will include a visit to Iguassa Falls and Rio de Janiero where I will also give a short lecture on Animal Cruelty.
I spoke yesterday at the Los Angeles Hoarding Forum: Hoarding Forum 2012 “People Hoarding Animals and Things; Is it Capacity, Mental Illness or Life Style?”
which was sponsored by the Department of Mental Health and Genesis. It was an incredible experience meeting people from a broad range of backgrounds all coming together to discuss hoarding.
At the Forum, participants were given a handout to fill after discussion in small groups. I will review the answers and provide a summary of responses regarding the roles of different agencies in animal hoarding cases and the approach to therapy, in the following weeks. Stay tuned for details to come!
There are many places online that you can go now to search for animal laws, but my favorite site is this one. Michigan State University's Animal Legal and Historical Center's site allows you to search for laws at the federal, state, and local level.
I said I'd post some photos of cows in Indian animal shelters so here are two from a "sanctuary" I visited in India. These are all downer cows that are being kept alive with fluids and other medications. The second photo below is especially disturbing. It's a calf that is on an IV fluid drip, covered in flies, lying out in the sun. So does keeping a calf in this condition constitute animal cruelty? In India, the answer is no -- or at least not in this particular community where this sanctuary is lauded as one of the forerunners in promoting animal welfare. In a country where cows are considered sacred, I'd say this is a pretty poor way to show respect for the species. If an animal is suffering to this degree, it is our duty as compassionate medical professionals to stop its misery. Or at least, that's my take on it. Obviously, as the medical professionals at this particular sanctuary demonstrate, there are others who would disagree.
UF Forensics Course. The question this time was a bit more creative:Here's the next in the series of articles I've been writing for the
Ascione (1993) has defined animal cruelty as: "Socially unacceptable,” non-accidental behavior that causes unnecessary pain, suffering, distress and/or death to an animal." Cultures often have widely varying concepts of what constitutes “socially acceptable” behavior vis-à-vis animal welfare. Dogfighters believe their animals are doing what makes them happiest. Some Asian cultures eat dog meat. Hindus worship cows and most Americans eat hamburgers. A veterinarian’s docking a dog’s ears is an accepted cosmetic surgery practice in the US but illegal in the UK. Starting from Ascione’s definition of animal cruelty, write a 2-3 page paper describing a contentious cross-cultural animal welfare issue and whether it constitutes cruelty in a legal sense.
So, I of course, chose to write about Hindus worshiping cows since I've been curious about this for some time. I'll have to pull up one of my photos from my other computer and post it at a different time.
Forensics course I've been taking and thought I'd post some of them here. This one is an overview of some of the writings from philosophers who first touched on animal cruelty. There has been a shift from an anthropocentric viewpoint to one that recognizes the importance of animals as individuals, deserving of our legal protection.I have been writing essays for a
I have to say, it's not the most exciting writing...but thought I'd post anyways. The next assignment (stay tuned...to be posted soon) is much more interesting.
The question was as follows: This week’s readings cover more than 200 years of thinking about animal cruelty and human violence from several different philosophical and religious perspectives. Compare and contrast the reasons given for concern about cruelty to animals and the importance of fostering a humane ethic prior to 1950 with those today. How do the different authors view the dangers of allowing cruelty to continue? Where do they think the ability to show kindness or cruelty comes from? What suggestions do they make for changes in education, child-rearing or law that will help reduce the potential for violence? Your response should be 500- 750 words.