Cheers and Jeers

Cheers and Jeers

We have a big cheer for U.S. President Barack Obama rejecting the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada today—a crucial victory for the climate and wildlife.

“This is a historic moment, not just for what it means about avoiding the impacts of this disastrous pipeline but for all of those who spoke out for a healthy, livable climate and energy policies that put people and wildlife ahead of pollution and profits,” said Valerie Love with the Center for Biological Diversity. “President Obama did the right thing, but he didn’t do it alone: Millions of Americans made their voices heard on this issue and will continue pressing Obama and other political leaders to do what’s necessary to avoid climate catastrophe.”

Four species that were in the pipeline’s direct path were the critically endangered whooping crane, greater sage grouse, swift fox and the endangered American burying beetle, according to an article by National Geographic. Important bird areas that were also in its path: the North Valley Grasslands in Montana and the Rainwater Basin and the Niobrara River in Nebraska,

“The pipeline would not make a meaningful longterm contribution to our economy,” Obama told the media at a press conference Friday.

He said Keystone XL would not reduce gasoline prices for drivers, and that shipping “dirtier” crude from Canada would not increase U.S. energy security.

Reuters reports that the denial of TransCanada Corp’s more than 800,000 barrels per day project will make it more difficult for producers to develop the province of Alberta’s oil sands. It could also put the United States in a stronger position for global climate talks in Paris that start on Nov. 30 in which countries will aim to reach a deal to slow global warming.

Keystone XL would have linked existing pipeline networks in Canada and the United States to bring crude from Alberta and North Dakota to refineries in Illinois and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico coast.

TransCanada first sought the required presidential permit for the cross-border section in 2008 but the proposal provoked a wave of environmental activism that turned Keystone XL into a rallying cry to fight climate change,” Reuters reported. Blocking Keystone became a litmus test of the green movement’s ability to hinder fossil fuel extraction in Canada’s oil sands.

Obama’s decision demonstrates the power animal rights activists and environmentalists can have in protecting the habitat of our country’s wildlife from powerful interests like the cattle and sheep ranching industry and fossil industry.

In a similar fashion, we will continue our campaign to get wild horses protected under the Endangered Species Act since the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 fails to protect their habitat and for the BLM to start buying back grazing permits so that cattle and sheep grazing is not allowed in wild horse Herd Management Areas.

“This is a big win,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of the environmental group 350.org, which helped make Keystone a symbol of a movement to slow global oil output. Obama’s decision “is nothing short of historic, and sets an important precedent that should send shockwaves through the fossil fuel industry.”


Definitely our most literal “cheers” yet…a big one goes out today for Guinness, which announced  that they will no longer use fish bladder to filter their traditional stouts, making their world famous beer friendly for vegans and vegetarians!

NPR explained, “For a couple of centuries, the fish byproduct known as isinglass has been used to make the yeast settle faster, leaving behind itty-bitty fish particles in the black brew.”

Adam Callaghan, beer writer and editor of Eater Maine, says consumers shouldn’t notice any difference on their end. “Plenty of breweries already use a vegan-friendly alternative [for clarifying] like BioFine,” he says, noting that more natural ingredients like Irish moss can also be used. “It’s the kind of move where you go, it’s probably cynical — but if it’s a good result, does the intention matter?”

The Guinness company did not give details about how it will replace isinglass. In previous statements, Guinness has said it was searching for a method that is “as effective or as environmentally friendly…whilst maintaining the quality of the liquid.”


We have a big cheer today for another huge step forward in the war against the ivory poaching as officials announce they have arrested notorious elephant poacher Boniface Matthew Mariango, referred to by law enforcement officials as “Shetani” or “The Devil,” after a manhunt that lasted for over one year.

This major arrest follows the recent arrest of the Queen of Ivory, Jang Feng Glan earlier this month.  This most recent arrest is the second high-profile wildlife criminal who will face prosecution this year.

Mariango was responsible for the deaths of thousands of elephants over the years and he was the most wanted poacher and trafficker in Tanzania. His operations extended to 15 other operations that existed in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Burundi.

According to an elephant census, Tanzania lost around 85,000 elephants to poaching between 2009 and 2014. Wildlife conservationists say that the massive Chinese demand for ivory fuels poaching in Africa, and a report by World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong last month said Hong Kong, with the world’s largest retail ivory market, also contributes to this.

“This arrest is yet another substantial breakthrough in Tanzania’s anti-poaching and anti-trafficking efforts, with implications also reaching into neighboring countries. Finally, we see big fish getting caught in the law enforcement net,” said Andrea Crosta, co-founder of the Elephant Action League and the WildLeaks initiative.

A senior government official also said that they have overwhelming evidence against Shetani. He was responsible for the supply of transport, weapons and ammunition to poachers in Tanzania and well beyond the borders.

In order to put a stop to the the buying and selling of animal parts, like ivory, as commodities  Friends of Animals has been working diligently to help stop trophy hunting in its tracks and drafted a bill called “Cecil’s Law”, that would implement a statewide ban on the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the remains of the five big game species native to Africa (the African elephant, lion, leopard, black rhino and white rhino, all of whom are threatened by illegal poaching and sport hunting and are currently facing extinction.) Learn more about the bill on our website.

 

 (Credit: Terra Mater Factual Studios)

Being a super famous couple means your personal life is constantly on display, which recently married couple George Clooney and Amal Clooney know all too well. But now they can finally address the rumors about if they’re planning to expand their family….because the couple recently adopted a 4 year old basset hound named Millie!

To find this precious pooch, the couple took to Petfinder and were specifically looking for a basset hound when they found the 4-year-old pup located at San Gabriel Valley Humane Society in California (right outside Los Angeles). Millie had come to the organization as a homeless dog.

“Despite those adorable googly eyes, pretty long ears, and shorty legs, Millie was found without a home and hoping for food scraps outside of a local restaurant in San Gabriel earlier this month,” the shelter wrote in an announcement on their website.

“They did a ‘meet and greet’ with her and spent time introducing her to their other rescue, a cocker spaniel named Louie,” the shelter added. “It was good news that Millie and Louie hit it off and the happy, new family headed home together! We hope Millie will stay in touch and send photos.”

We’re happy to see them spreading the love to older dogs, who are normally picked over in shelters in favor of younger puppies.