I wasn’t in a position to listen to all of yesterday’s debate in the House of Commons on the question of bombing Syria but I did hear the first hour or so. And the impression I came away with the most was the arrogance of Prime Minister David Cameron and the condescension of the Conservative… Read More


Musician and astrophysicist Brian May recently launched a new campaign from his charity the Save Me Trust. It’s called Common Decency with a mission to reform Britain’s democracy. We want nothing less than a complete reform of the Parliamentary system. It’s about not just removing the unfairness and injustice that the present Government represents, but removing the corrupt system… Read More


Animal advocates know the spectacle of exhibiting animals in a zoo or in any other form of display is an affront to the animals’ welfare and their intrinsic value as individual sentient beings with moral and legal rights. Zoos, aquariums, roadside attractions, etc., are examples of institutionalised speciesism in which we (the human animal) exert… Read More


After more than one year of meetings between academics and animal advocates which was prompted, in part, by my call for an animal rights think tank at the Minding Animals seminar in London in 2008, this week sees the launch of the Institute for Animals and Social Justice at an inaugural ‘Animals and Public Policy’ seminar… Read More


Martin Lacey from the Great British Circus spoke out in support of animals performing in circuses but refused access to the BBC to film the animals in his care. A move which could be seen to be audacious or naive (or both) given that the House of Commons was about to debate a motion calling… Read More


Rumours of Margaret Thatcher’s departure from this mortal coil continue. I wrote about my anxiety on how to react to the news of the inevitable here. Here’s another take from Owen Jones, which I appreciate. I doubt any Prime Minister has ever polarised this country as much as Thatcher. The right idolise her like no… Read More


Further to my post two days ago which detailed the UK government’s ideological agenda determining that it would be too much regulation to prohibit animals from performing in circuses, respected environmentalist Jonathon Porritt writes on his blog that It is, I’m afraid, unavoidably depressing to see just how rapidly things have gone backwards since May 2010… Read More


The joy expressed worldwide on the news of Osama bin Laden’s death is simultaneously understandable and disturbing. Understandable because, like everyone else in the USA on September 11, 2001, it was impossible to pretend otherwise that the morning’s terrorist attacks changed everything. That day I was in Baltimore, MD, which is one hour north of… Read More


Further to Jonathan Porritt’s critique of the UK’s environmental movement’s response to the government’s forest fireside sale which is now been chopped (forgive the puns), he commented (before the government’s u-turn announcement yesterday) further about their response to the coalition’s initiative. I like his strategic approach. So my simple suggestion for the Big 10 is… Read More


Here is the trailer for an interesting new film, Nonviolence for a Change, which is commissioned by the Turning the Tide programme of Quaker Peace and Social Witness. There’s also a report in The Guardian about this which is written by Zoe Broughton, an undercover investigator who has worked at a number of facilities, including… Read More


Leading environmental campaign Jonathon Porritt critically assesses a dozen of Britain’s environmental/green/wildlife non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and their reaction to the British Government’s proposed sale of historic forests. A combination of growing public concern (evidenced by the 450,000 people who have now signed the 38 degrees petition), more and more local action groups, and a sudden… Read More


Very interesting feature article in today’s Guardian, “A tale of two herds,” which juxtaposes the proposed mega-dairy for Nocton, Lincolnshire and the treatment of a small herd of cows cared for by the Hare Krishnas at their Hertfordshire estate. I like how the feature contrasts the attitude towards dairy cows by Peter Willes, one of… Read More


The Independent publishes today, The Great Animal Rights Betrayal, a front page lead story continued onto pages 4 and 5, which includes several side bars under the banner, “The Betrayals,” on Game birds, Slaughterhouse cruelty, Circus animals, Beak trimming and Badger cull. There’s also a Comment by Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor, Compassion In World… Read More


Science does not operate alone in its own universe. Regardless of how much scientists assert their work is objective, their research, as, indeed, is everything, is viewed subjectively in the ever present, including the world of politics and morality. Take, for example, the coalition government’s commitment to culling badgers in response to the spread of… Read More


I enjoyed this week’s brief interview in The Guardian with sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. I thought the following was particularly insightful–especially the bit I highlighted. I don’t see why what he has to say below is gloomy at all. It just seems right. Unlike some sociologists, Bauman’s work is accessible, intellectual and often polemical. His own… Read More


The BBC reports in No plans for hunting ban vote before 2012, MPs say: There will not be a House of Commons vote on repealing the Hunting Act before 2012, the BBC understands. MPs close to the campaign admit they do not have the numbers at the moment to win a vote and say the… Read More


You know Britain is seriously at risk from a slash-and-burn and shock-and-awe ConDem coalition government when even the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds runs a campaign to protest against spending cuts. As good as the RSPB is it can hardly be characterised as an organisation which you would expect to see at the… Read More


Guardian columnist George Monbiot writes about how the “built environment makes us.” I know from my experiences that the place where I am greatly affects the mood I become. I link the version of the article on his Web site because it includes the references. Here’s a quote to inspire you to read it all.… Read More