Find Adam Some Good News
Adam wanted me to find him some good news yesterday and I'm thinking of billing him for my time because it took me an hour.
Here's the problem: If I were a welfarist, I'd have plenty of good news to report. A slight change in the slaughter technique of chickens, horses not being slaughtered here (but still being slaughtered elsewhere, and after excruciating transport), a designer ceasing the use of fur trim on his leather goods, a fast food chain introducing a vegetarian option that can be made vegan, an upswing in the number of some endangered species (that will become delisted and hunting will resume). These all could be seen as victories. They all could be seen as good news.
Can any of them be said to be steps toward the abolition of the use of any sentient nonhuman? At the very least we can say that it's impossible to tell in 2008. The answer will become clearer in a decade or two. Maybe. I can say, however, that more people are more aware of the myriad uses and abuses of animals than ever before in my lifetime, from my observation. And I can also say that more animals are being brought into this world only to be used and slaughtered than ever before (and that one's not just in my lifetime).
From my vantage point, I'm not overwhelmed with good news. I see a lot of excuses and rationalizations, and a lot of individuals claiming to care but admitting they're "weak" and therefore not able to stop eating animals like us vegan superheroes.
But I also see individuals around me making choices that represent a drastic departure from the way they were raised and the way our culture tells them to choose. I do see more people cutting back on animal products. But that's just people around me, and it's not a real indication of anything.
And, of course, I do see a light at the end of the tunnel for greyhounds, which brings me to the good news, which I found right here in the greyhound abuse capital of the US of A in "Officials say 'no' to poker at greyhound track" (in Pensacola). This is impressive because the economy is in such bad shape, and Florida's housing market has been hit particularly hard (along with California), that if I were a betting person I might have bet against the dogs and for Escambia County expanding gambling in the form of poker rooms at the dog track. Foreclosures, it turns out, have been caused by gambling though, and that was part of the reason for the vote against expansion. (Clearly, I should not gamble.)
There is no–no–mention of the dogs in the article. This was all about whether or not gambling is "moral."
And just so you know, a former security guard at the Pensacola Greyhound Track, Robert L. Rhodes, spent "his entire adult life" slaughtering greyhounds by shooting them, sometimes in the neck or mouth (he was aiming for the brain), for $10 each. He slaughtered up to 3,000 dogs in the last 10 years and dumped them in pits on his property.
If you were wondering what often happens to greyhounds, whether they are winners or not, now you know. Some get sold to laboratories for medical research (or donated and a tax deduction for the "property" donated is taken), some get adopted by nice people, some get adopted by horrible people, some get a lethal injection (which is perfectly legal to do to a healthy greyhound, by the way), and some get shot in the head, neck or mouth and dumped in a pit.
No poker rooms spells the end to racing in Pensacola–inevitably. And it spells even fewer dogs being bred to be used and slaughtered. Is that a huge victory? Stupendous news? It's a great step in the right direction, for sure.
It took some doing, but there's your good news. And if you've found any, Adam and I would love to hear about it!