The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Cambridge Bans Retail Sales of Commercially Bred Pets
By Zachary Toliver
The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, just became a hot spot Monday night for celebration as officials passed a sweeping ban on the sale of non-rescued animals.
The ordinance, passed by the Cambridge City Council, prohibits the commercial sale of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians in pet stores. Fish are not included in the ordinance but could be added at a later date.
Despite opposition from infamous animal-exploiting corporations Petco and PetSmart—the two main pet shops in Cambridge—deputy director of advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Laura Hagen wrote that "Cambridge residents have been enthusiastically supportive [of the ban], indicating that they want to see Cambridge leave the inhumane animal supply chain."
Animals in pet shops are often purchased by people who are unprepared or unable to provide for the animals' needs. Many of those who are purchased from these stores will be abandoned or will die from neglect or improper care.
Vice Mayor Marc McGovern—who originally filed the ordinance—noted that the new law would force pet shops to obtain animals from rescue organizations and shelters that are overwhelmed with the unwanted animals these stores brought into the city in the first place.
This ban is especially important for animals like birds, reptiles and amphibians, who aren't afforded even the bare minimum protections of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Thank you, Cambridge, for leading the charge against animal sellers and breeders!
The Pet Trade Is a Living Hell for Animals
Seven eyewitness investigations of animal dealers tied to Petco and/or PetSmart have revealed filthy, abusive conditions for animals.
We've seen breeders cram animals into filthy, crowded plastic bins stacked into shelving units like old bank statements. We've documented that living beings have been deprived of water for days or even weeks. We've even uncovered the common practice of cruelly killing sick and injured animals by gassing or freezing them to death. If people knew of the horrors that animals endure before the survivors land in a cage or tank inside Petco or PetSmart, they'd never support these companies again.
What You Can Do
Never buy an animal and buy animal supplies only from businesses that don't sell animals, such as Target, Walgreens or online retailers.
Let Petco and PetSmart know that you'll shop elsewhere until they end all animal sales.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
georgeclerk / E+ / Getty Images
By Jennifer Molidor
One million species are at risk of extinction from human activity, warns a recent study by scientists with the United Nations. We need to cut greenhouse gas pollution across all sectors to avoid catastrophic climate change — and we need to do it fast, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This research should serve as a rallying cry for polluting industries to make major changes now. Yet the agriculture industry continues to lag behind.
"The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism wishes to inform the public that following extensive consultations with all stakeholders, the Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension," the government announced in a press release shared on social media.
Company Safety Data Sheets on New Chemicals Frequently Lack the Worker Protections EPA Claims They Include
By Richard Denison
Readers of this blog know how concerned EDF is over the Trump EPA's approval of many dozens of new chemicals based on its mere "expectation" that workers across supply chains will always employ personal protective equipment (PPE) just because it is recommended in the manufacturer's non-binding safety data sheet (SDS).
By Grant Smith
From 2009 to 2012, Gregory Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approves nuclear power plant designs and sets safety standards for plants. But he now says that nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive — and not part of the answer to the climate crisis.
By Brett Walton
When Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park. What caught his eye, though, were the plastics.
In a big victory for animals, Prada has announced that it's ending its use of fur! It joins Coach, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and many others PETA has pushed toward a ban.
This is a victory more than a decade in the making. PETA and our international affiliates have crashed Prada's catwalks with anti-fur signs, held eye-catching demonstrations all around the world, and sent the company loads of information about the fur industry. In 2018, actor and animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson sent a letter on PETA's behalf urging Miuccia Prada to commit to leaving fur out of all future collections, and the iconic designer has finally listened.
If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.
"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.
"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›