Humane Issues in the News...

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.

Protecting forests can help reduce global warming - Time (11/30/09)
“The good news is that protecting forests ‘is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to take a big bite out of the apple when it comes to emissions,’ says Greenpeace spokesman Daniel Kessler. Ulu Masen will be one of the first forests to be protected under a pioneering U.N. program called REDD — Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries — that offers a powerful financial incentive to keep forests intact.”

Study reveals climate as major source of conflict in African countriesBBC (11/24/09)
“Previous research has shown an association between lack of rain and conflict, but this is thought to be the first clear evidence of a temperature link. The researchers used databases of temperatures across sub-Saharan Africa for the period between 1981 and 2002, and looked for correlations between above average warmth and civil conflict in the same country that left at least 1,000 people dead. Warm years increased the likelihood of conflict by about 50% - and food seems to be the reason why.”

Preschoolers may be watching TV for 1/3 of their time each dayAP (11/23/09)
''’In general, we still have a culture that sees television as benign,'’ said Rich, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard University. '’This is an area where we're learning more and more all the time.'’ He compared society's growing knowledge of the impact of TV on child development to the early days of seat belt use. Today's parents and child care providers grew up on TV, Rich said, so it's understandable that they do not recognize the problem.”

Largest animal sacrifice begins in Nepal – 200,000 animals AP (11/23/09)
“The Gadhimai festival is celebrated every five years. Participants believe sacrificing the animals for Gadhimai will end evil and bring prosperity. Many join the festival from the neighboring Indian state of Bihar, where animal sacrifices have been banned in some areas. Critics say the killings — carried out by slitting the animals' throats with swords — are barbaric and conducted in a cruel manner.”

India to ban elephants from country’s zoos, circuses - LA Times (11/23/09)
“The decision means that all elephants living in India's zoos and circuses -- an estimated 140 pachyderms in 26 zoos and 16 circuses -- will be moved to ‘elephant camps’ run by the nation's forestry department. (Those elephants currently employed in logging camps or living in Indian temples -- by all accounts, a larger number than those in zoos and circuses -- are unaffected by the decision.) In the camps, the elephants will be able to move freely in a large space and graze as they would in the wild. A group of mahouts will be employed to monitor their well-being.”

“Children’s rights still violated 20 years after convention”Voice of America (11/20/09)
"’So many things are happening to us that is against the rights and when the Convention on the Rights of the Child puts laws, most of these laws have been violated every day,’ [Fredrica] says. ‘So, many violence, cases of child trafficking… Every day things are going bad, bad, bad and bad. But, we just hope that things get better for all the children living in Sierra Leone and also in Africa.’"
Thanks, People’s News, for the heads up.

Key to better world is “understanding the human mind” - New York Times (11/19/09)
“Barriers include not knowing what actions to take, not understanding the benefits or having mistaken information -- for example, research has shown that the top reason parents do not want their kids to bike or walk to school is because they fear abductions, even though the number of abductions per year in Canada is often in the single digits….”

“Growing meat without animals”Live Science (11/19/09)
“To grow meat in labs from satellite cells, the researchers suggested current tissue-engineering techniques, where stem cells are often embedded in synthetic three-dimensional biodegradable matrixes that can present the chemical and physical environments that cells need to develop properly. Other key factors would involve electrically stimulating and mechanically stretching the muscles to exercise them, helping them mature properly, and perhaps growing other cells alongside the satellite cells to provide necessary molecular cues.”

“Countering the sexualization of your youth” (commentary) – Huffington Post (11/18/09)
“With the percentage of ads which sexualize youth increasing every year, we need to start countering the messaging - and aggressively at that. It's up to us, and not advertising, merchandising, or the media, to create an environment in which everyone can feel sexually healthy.”

USDA report outlines U.S. food insecurityGuardian (11/17/09)
“Food insecurity - defined by the USDA as when ‘food intake … was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food"’ - afflicted 14.6% of Americans in 2008. Ie, some 50 million people were too poor to guarantee being able to put food on the table.”

Middle school students learn about human rights at International DayPress-Citizen (11/17/09)
“In one session, students designed tactical maps, linking topics and the players in that area. One group, composed of eighth-grader Jenna Suckow of Oelwein and seventh-graders Enrique Aburto and Greig Duo of Muscatine, connected the issue of child labor, linking the topic with its players, including the actual enslavers to businesses and shoppers who buy the items produced by youth in sweatshops.”

What you eat is much more than a “personal choice” (commentary) – Washington Post (11/16/09)
“Now, if someone told you that a particular corporation was trashing the air, water and soil; causing more global warming than the transportation industry; consuming massive amounts of fossil fuel; unleashing the cruelest sort of suffering on innocent and sentient beings; failing to recycle its waste; and clogging our arteries in the process, how would you react? Would you say, ‘Hey, that's personal?’ Probably not. It's more likely that you'd frame the matter as a dire political issue in need of a dire political response.”

Scientist seeks to reduce, eliminate animal farming - Forbes - (11/12/09)
"’There's absolutely no possibility that 50 years from now this system will be operating as it does now,; says Brown. ‘One approach is to just wait, and either we'll deal with it or we'll be toast. I want to approach this as a solvable problem.’ Solution: ‘Eliminate animal farming on planet Earth.’"

Sesame Street to focus on caring for the earthNational Geographic (11/10/09)
"’Global warming and deforestation—those are really adult concepts, and it's just too scary for children,’ said Rosemarie Truglio, vice president of research and education at Sesame Workshop, the New York City-based nonprofit that produces Sesame Street. ‘The place we're coming from is, 'Let's love and care for the Earth, because it's so beautiful, and we appreciate its awe and wonder, and we're going to respect it.'’"



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