This never-before-seen footage was shot onboard a tuna fishing vessel in the Pacific and released by Greenpeace. The crew in the video is using what are known as fish aggregating devices (FADs) to increase their catch. But as the video clearly shows, FADs attract a lot more than just tuna. Sharks, sea turtles, rays, and dolphins are all brutally murdered for the sole purpose of getting canned tuna on the grocer’s shelf.
Would it matter if we perceived other species as fundamentally like us instead of fundamentally different, recognizing clear distinctions between our capacities to modify our environment, communicate and learn through complex languages, and adapt, but without drawing lines in the sand between “us” and “them” that permit our turning other animals simply into means toward our own ends?
This is a defining moment in the battle between Wyoming’s cattle ranchers and the wild horses, the mustangs, one of the great symbols of the American West, which are in great jeopardy due to continued expansion of cattle ranching on public lands that were intended as sanctuaries for these horses and other wildlife.
There are days when I feel hopeless about the future. Not my personal future, but the future of humanity, the planet and other species. But my work in humane education, which explores the interconnected issues of human rights, environmental preservation and animal protection, and provides people with the knowledge, tools and motivation to be solutionaries for a better world, is inherently hopeful. There would be no reason to devote my life to this work as a full-time volunteer at the Institute for Humane Education if there were no hope that it could make a difference.
Ranchers in five Western states are very happy with the government’s decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list because it will make it easier for them to hunt the animals, which they claim kill their livestock. This is a precedent, the first time a species has been removed, without the scientific burden of proof required by law. Instead it was “earmarked” into a larger package of laws.