Monthly Archives: June 2011

Reasons Not to Tell Little Girls They’re Pretty

Lisa Bloom writes in HuffPost Books that “twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize.” Just from looking at people on the street I can see that a troubling number of women and girls are indeed working hard to make others think of them as sex objects.

Bloom offers a prescription for working to combat this problem, one little girl at a time, one encounter at a time: when you meet a little girl, don’t let the first thing you say be how cute/pretty/princess-like she looks. Ask her what her favorite book is instead. It’s a small step but in a very welcome direction.

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Standing Up for Animals in Court

It is extraordinarily difficult to protect non-human animals through the courts. For one thing, there are very few laws that protect non-human animals, so often there is nothing to ask the court to enforce. But even when there is a law that should protect an animal who is in a terrible situation, the courts close their doors because they believe that humans don’t have the right to sue on behalf of other animals. And of course, non-human animals don’t have the right to sue on their own behalf. In other words, there can be no day in court for most abused, exploited animals.

I used to be a litigator at The Animal Legal Defense Fund, and this dilemma was one of the reasons I left animal law. I could bang my head against those courthouse doors only so many times before my heart just broke.

Fortunately heartier souls than I carry on the important work of fighting for justice for non-human animals. Here is a great essay by one of them about the courts’ frustrating refusal to grant legal redress to other animals.

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Save Your Hearing

A while back I wrote about the damage that noise, such as the din in subways, concerts, and spinning classes, does to our hearing. This article describes evidence that noise is correlated to hearing loss.
Wear those ear plugs. The more people do it, the less silly we’ll look!

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