DEAR READERS: The Supreme Court's decision on California's Proposition 12 came out in late May. The measure was originally passed by California voters in 2018, with 63% voting in favor, but has been held up in legal challenges.
As ABCNews.com reports, "Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for a five-justice majority, said that California voters overwhelmingly endorsed the 'ethical pork' law in 2018 and have the right to decide what products appear on store shelves."
Some background from HumaneSociety.org: "Proposition 12 requires that mother pigs, hens used for eggs, and calves raised for veal be given at least enough space to stand up, turn around and extend their limbs. The law also bans the in-state sale of pork, eggs and veal produced via extreme confinement."
SentientMedia.org reports: "The Court upheld the rights of California to require pork sold in the state meet certain animal welfare requirements. Notably, all nine justices rejected the National Pork Producers Council's argument that Prop 12 is unconstitutional because it has indirect effects on pork producers beyond California -- (pointing out that) 'virtually all state laws create ripple effects beyond their borders.'"
As Gorsuch wrote in the decision, "Companies that choose to sell products in various States must normally comply with the laws of those various States. While the Constitution addresses many weighty issues, the type of pork chops California merchants may sell is not on that list."
I doubt that this Supreme Court decision had anything to do with compassionate concern and humane ethics for factory-farmed animals. Rather, it is aligned with the intent to put greater responsibility on the states, especially regarding other ethical issues such as reproductive rights. However, this decision will have a ripple effect across the factory farming industry that has, for too long, been insulated from public censure and accountability for animals' health and welfare.
DEAR DR. FOX: It's been about 20 years since my beloved cat, Orso, passed away from natural causes. He used to hop onto the bed with my wife and me and do something like a fandango around our feet before settling down.
A week after his death, my wife and I were in bed at our cottage (about 150 miles away from our Toronto home) and each of us had this same experience: Orso doing his fandango at the foot of our bed, moving from right to left, then stopping. Neither of us spoke until after it happened and we each described it the same way. It hasn't happened again.
While I consider myself to be an agnostic, I agree with you that this phenomenon disconfirms our materialistic worldview -- or, to quote Shakespeare, "There are more things in heaven and Earth ... than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Buddhist beliefs seem to be more accepting of this kind of a transition phase after corporeal death. -- L.P., Toronto, Canada
DEAR L.P.: Many thanks for sharing your experience of an afterlife manifestation of your deceased cat. Such experiences are too often dismissed as a product of our own brain-conditioning, but when two or more people experience the same phenomenon at the same time, that theory is moot.
I would like to hear from other readers sharing similar experiences after their animal companions have died. For more details, see this post on my website: drfoxonehealth.com/post/animal-spirits-companion-animal-communications-after-death.
MEDICATION TO FACILITATE CAT RESCUE-ADOPTION
Cats rescued from hoarding situations were more amenable to human interaction after being given a dose of gabapentin, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Also, they were rehabilitated and adoptable sooner than cats that received the same rehabilitation program without the drug. The rehabilitation protocol developed by Bailey Eagan, a graduate student in the University of British Columbia's Animal Welfare Program, has been a "game changer" for cats at a shelter in the province, says Kim Monteith, the shelter's manager of animal behavior and welfare. (Full story: CBC News, Canada, May 21)
MEALWORM PET FOOD PROGRESS
France-based Ynsect worked with veterinary nutritionists to develop a nutritional product made with mealworms that can be incorporated into pet foods, and the company recently acquired its first U.S. production facility in Nebraska. The product is high in fiber, omega-3s and protein; low in ash; and has a slightly nutty taste. Ynsect is developing feed for wild birds and backyard chickens and working with other companies on pet food formulations. (Full story: Fast Company.com, May 18)
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