We’re just getting started this week (you may notice here and there that we’ll be taking some time off this summer). But already, the number of stories about animal mistreatment are way too frequent for my taste. For example, when was the last time you heard of someone (allegedly) killing his poodle by punching it in the face? Former "NYPD Blue" writer Ted Shuttleworth was arrested over the weekend for this. It’s said that he “punched the 4 1/2 pound poodle, named Lola … after becoming annoyed with it.”
On a much larger scale, there are the elephants - Billy, Tina and Jewel – at Griffith Park Zoo's "Elephants of Asia" exhibit in LA. Trial began yesterday over their alleged mistreatment. The plaintiff’s attorney opened with the statement that “the exhibit was so cramped that it was like stuffing a ‘blue whale in the equivalent of a goldfish bowl,’ and the ground so hard that it wore down the animals’ joints and feet.” The city denies this and is fighting the case.
On the other hand, as to the residents of the Bat World Sanctuary, a jury was apparently so convinced that the bats were not being mistreated that it awarded $6.1 million against a former intern, who had launched an internet campaign against the sanctuary and its founder alleging “horrific allegations of animal cruelty.”
And in a somewhat related story, it was widely reported today that ConAgra Foods Inc has been sued by consumers in Minnesota who say that hot dogs and other products sold under its Hebrew “we answer to a higher authority” National brand, actually aren't Kosher. While I’m no expert (or even know the facts behind the lawsuit), Kosher slaughtering is supposed to be “most humane method of slaughter possible.” So wonder what they’re doing?
On the other hand, not sure I want to know. (So glad I’m not on that jury.)