Attention: Raw Feeders!

EDIT #5: The policy was passed.

Multiple posts in a single day is a rare thing around here, but I wanted to share this post, which details information regarding an upcoming vote by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine to create a new policy that will “discourage the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.”

The article author urges all concerned parties to act on this and contact the AVMA. Her sample letter contains a lot of pertinent information about feeding raw and I urge everyone to please read it and then shoot off an email or letter to AVMA via the contact information she has provided.

Also, there’s a petition that you can sign.

Please share this with others! This potential policy could have extreme impact and it will only be through educating others and bringing awareness about raw pet food that we’ll get anywhere with this.

EDIT: AVMA’s post regarding the policy, including the official “exact document that will be considered.” My thoughts on this are that so far as I’m privy to information there were no outright claims that AVMA was working with pet food companies and/or setting any law precedents. The concern is that this decision itself will be the beginning of such things and that will certainly greatly impact raw feeders. Also, their “scientific studies” only show one element of fact and don’t quantify the risks other types of food present or the fact that raw pet food is no more or less a risk than handling raw human food.

EDIT #2: Dr. Amy Nesselrodt  has posted a letter to AVMA on Facebook. Also, I’ve now made this post a sticky and I’ll continue to update as I come across information.

EDIT #3: Susan Thixton has another post on Truth About Pet Food going into some further detail of the history of the raw food backlash and her theory on where AVMA’s proposed policy could lead.

EDIT #4: Dr. Karen Becker has posted a very thorough summary of the proposed policy.

Oklahoma’s Personhood Bill

[alternate title: The Spilled Semen Amendment]

If you’re a feminist you’re likely following the various Personhood bills floating around the country. I posted about Mississippi several months back, in fact. I find the entire thing incredibly troubling since, much like SOPA, these bills are trying to accomplish one thing but actually doing a whole other thing. In this case, they’re outlawing birth control.

So, I was ever so pleased — and amused — to see Constance Johnson’s response to Oklahoma’s bill. I think she explains herself better than I ever could so read it all for yourself.

Service Dog Considered a Banned Breed

Saw this retweeted on Twitter [full article]:

Breed Specific Legislation Laws (BSL) have become a growing trend amongst cities trying to ban “bully breeds” from their city limits. A city ordinance which bans pit-bulls in the city of Aurelia, Iowa has caught national attention after the ban kept a service dog from his owner because of his breed.  The ordinance was approved in March of 2008 when a meter reader was bitten by a pit bull.  Due to the fact that several people felt unsafe and that the breed was labeled as being “aggressive” (which is only a matter of opinion rather than fact) the ban was placed which prohibits owners of the breed from having them within the city limits.

The owner of the dog in question is a disabled 64 year old Vietnam Veteran named Jim Sak.  He served for over 30 years on the police force in the city of Chicago, Illinois.  Now that Jim has retired both he and his wife Peggy have relocated to Aurelia so that they could be closer to help Peggy’s mother who is an ailing 87 year old woman.

Jim is now struggling to live his daily life due to the fact that an ordinance passed in the city prohibits him from having his service dog “Snickers” simply because he happens to be a pit bull mix.  Snickers, has been with Jim for five years and is certified through the National Service Animal Registry.  The Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities by giving them the right to own a service dog regardless of their breed.  Snickers happens to be a Boxer, Labrador and Pit Bull mix, but the fact that he is mixed with the banned breed has started a storm of problems for Jim and Peggy.

Jim suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke three years ago that causes him to have spasms on his right side affecting both his hand and leg.  He said that it occurs from doing more activity than he should, or during times of stress.  He is forced to use a wheelchair 95 percent of the day due to his disabilities. Snickers is a service dog and trained to sit next to Jim when he needs assistance and waits for the command on what he is told to do.  Snickers will usually be the one who goes to alert Jim’s wife so that she can help him to get back into his chair.  Jim stated in an article for MSNBC “If I fall on my back I’m a turtle. I just don’t move.” he explained, “I grab that collar…He’ll pull me over by the table and chairs and I can pick myself up.”  He says Snickers is very well trained, and has never hurt anyone. “He has never even growled at anybody. The kids come home from school and would stop and play with him.”The Sioux City Journal reported that said Snickers’ presence allows Jim to be left at home for Peggy to go take care of her mother.  Since Snickers has been gone, Peggy has had to leave Jim at home alone with no one to assist him. Jim has reportedly fallen once, and an emergency call was made to 911 for assistance.

The article notes that first a petition was signed by local residents to enforce the ban and then a council meeting voted that the service dog was not an exception. Jim’s filed a lawsuit, though, and the Animal Farm Foundation is assisting him. The hearing was scheduled for today and I’m very interested in the results of Jim’s lawsuit. As the article notes: “This case has the potential to set a precedent for many others. The number of aging and/or disabled people in America is larger than ever, and service dogs can be an essential tool for this population. The right to live independently and safely is a cherished freedom, so the world is watching Iowa to make sure this freedom is not compromised because of a service dog’s breed or physical appearance.”

SOPA Vote Delayed

Via The Guardian [full article]:

The US House Judiciary committee considering the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) abruptly adjourned Friday with no new vote date set. The surprise victory for the tech community came amidst a barrage of online criticism and in spite of the fact that most politicians on the committee appeared to support the act.

On the second day of discussions committee chairman and chief sponsor of the legislation, Rep Lamar Smith (R-Texas), conceded to calls for further investigation of claims that the legislation will damage the infrastructure of the internet.

If you haven’t yet, please visit Stop American Censorship for information on how to aid in the fight against the passage of this bill.

Lending Books is Bad?

I’ve looked a bit deeper into the Kindle Lending Library and I do have a few issues with it in its current format. For one the titles are currently very limited, which I’ll get into further below. But more annoying is that the only way to browse through the current listing is on a Kindle device and it loads every title eligible for lending without the ability to sort. Now, you can search for an individual title and if it’s available to borrow it will be noted as such. But right now it’s a very sloppy means to discover potential books.

The other issue I have is that the service is very limited. I’m not so much bothered by the one loan a month, but rather that you can only borrow a single book at a time. If the books that are currently eligible to be borrowed remain available for a significant amount of time I guess that’s fine, but there’s no guarantee that what you see right now will still be amongst the titles when you’re able to order it.

What I find interesting, though is that the publishing industry as a whole seem to be against this new service. I’m not entirely sure what the fuss is about. For one, they’re still getting their money so far as that article leads me to believe. As for the promotion angle, how exactly does this lending library differ from people going to an actual library and borrowing the book? I would think it’s more likely a purchase of a book — probably even the actual book being borrowed — is far more likely to happen on Amazon’s website than by standing in a library browsing the shelves. Seems to me the real issue is that Amazon went ahead with the service without the consent of the publishers, but even so the fact remains that the money is still changing hands as if the book wasn’t free to the customer . . . so I guess I’m failing to see how this is such a bad thing?

Oh, well. As far as I’m concerned I think it’s a keen idea, though the actual service itself has a ways to go before it’s robust enough to be truly worthwhile.