February 10th, 2004


More about your pet food than you probably wanted to know...

Noticed today that Morrissey and Chrissie Hynde are helping PETA to encourage a boycott Iams pet foods due to cruel animal testing practices...

"A recent PETA undercover investigation revealed deplorable conditions at an Iams contract laboratory. At least 27 dogs were killed, while others died of illnesses that went untreated, despite assurances from Iams that no animal in any Iams test would ever be deliberately killed."

Apparently, Iams does their testing in numerous contract labs, and at one of the labs PETA investigated, they found that the dogs were tightly confined in steel cages, sometimes force-fed through tubes, often not treated for illnesses, and had their vocal cords cut. The details are available at http://www.iamscruelty.com . If you would like to contact Iams and encourage them to stop laboratory animal testing, you can call them at 1-800-675-3849 or email them via this form.

There is a list of pet food companies that do not do laboratory animal testing here. Out of curiosity, I googled online to see whether Hill's, the company that sells our pet food, do animal testing. Gah. Apparently, they like torturing puppies and kittens.

While I appreciate the need to do research to develop new foods, I would think that it could be done far more humanely than in tightly confined labs. It seems to me that this kind of testing environment is more a matter of "doing things on the cheap", than anything else. If there are no ethical guidelines for the treatment of these animals, it is likely to be for financial reasons. While such stinginess and lack of concern may be acceptable for animals that are being bred to be slaughtered, it just doesn't cut it when you are dealing with pet owners.

For obvious reasons, I don't want to feed our pets predicated upon the pain of others. Given a choice, other options are sounding a *LOT* more attractive right now.

Dinner is served.

Kerry wins Virginia with over 50% of the vote, nearly double the votes of his nearest follower, Edwards. He also wins in Tennesee with 40% of the vote. This leaves Edwards and Clark battling over second place, with Dean hoping -- in vain -- for a win in Wisconsin, where a poll just put Kerry ahead by a 3-1 margin over Dean.

Stick a fork in it. It's done.

The race is now for VP, with Edwards and Clark as the most likely choices, and Edwards as the presumptive front-runner in that contest. Kerry could select someone else, but the only VP candidate that I have heard suggested who could be just as good for Kerry would be Bill Richardson, who could successfully debate Cheney on foriegn and energy policy, while handing Kerry the latino vote on a plate, locking up California, giving Kerry the upper hand in states like Florida, and quite possibly forcing Bush to campaign hard in Texas. A very competent guy... but still a dark horse.

And that leads us to the Democratic National Convention, late July in Boston. Might as well be called Kerrytown, for all that it matters. Kerry will get a bounce, and have a strong lead overBush in head-to-head polls. This will be followed by the Republican National Convention in NYC. Expect large protests, combined with transparent attempts to milk 9/11. The only excitement that might come out of this is Giuliani, who, if he doesn't step in and take over for an ailing Cheney, will probably make a speech that sets him up as the presumptory Republican frontrunner for 2008. Will Bush get a bounce? Dunno. I hear NBC is releasing their new fall lineup that week, so the excitement might be muted.

Then the gloves come off, as Bush's campaign (and the Republicans in general) try to brand Kerry as wishy-washy on defense, anti-military, and a Vietnam-era commie sympathizer, while Bush spews FUD while emphasizing trust, security, and tax cuts. Bush will have the most money, but something tells me that might not matter. We'll see...