Star of anti-dolphin killing film The Cove held by Japanese immigration

Ric OBarry seen in documentary about slaughter in a Japanese village says government is waging a war on dolphins

The star of Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, about the killing of dolphins in a village in Japan, has been detained by immigration authorities at Tokyos Narita international airport.

Ric OBarry an American known for training the dolphins used in the TV series Flipper said immigration officials told him he could not enter Japan on a tourist visa because he was not a tourist, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano.

Takano said officials accused OBarry of having close ties with the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which OBarry denies. Immigration officials said it was their policy not to comment on individual cases.

Takano said he was appealing against the detention, and that the Japanese government would decide on whether to allow OBarry into the country or deport him. It was not clear when a decision would be made.

The Cove, which won the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary, shows the slaughter of dolphins herded into a cove in the fishing village of Taiji and bludgeoned to death.

The Japanese government is cracking down on those who oppose their war on dolphins, OBarry said in a statement sent to the Associated Press through his son, Lincoln OBarry.

Officials in Taiji, a small fishing village in central Japan, and fishermen have defended the hunt as a tradition, saying that eating dolphin meat is no different to eating beef or chicken.

Most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat. Many say they are horrified by the dolphin killing and there is a campaign against the Taiji hunt. Animal welfare activists say the hunt is driven mostly by the lucrative sale of dolphins to aquariums, with the income from the sale of meat simply an added extra.

OBarry has been stopped and questioned by Japanese immigration before. He has also been taken into custody by local police on the suspicion of not having proper travel documents before being released. But this is the first time he has been detained in this way. He has the support of high-profile celebrities, including Sting, the US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and the former Guns N Roses drummer, Matt Sorum.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Star of anti-dolphin killing film The Cove held by Japanese immigration

Ric OBarry seen in documentary about slaughter in a Japanese village says government is waging a war on dolphins

The star of Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, about the killing of dolphins in a village in Japan, has been detained by immigration authorities at Tokyos Narita international airport.

Ric OBarry an American known for training the dolphins used in the TV series Flipper said immigration officials told him he could not enter Japan on a tourist visa because he was not a tourist, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano.

Takano said officials accused OBarry of having close ties with the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which OBarry denies. Immigration officials said it was their policy not to comment on individual cases.

Takano said he was appealing against the detention, and that the Japanese government would decide on whether to allow OBarry into the country or deport him. It was not clear when a decision would be made.

The Cove, which won the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary, shows the slaughter of dolphins herded into a cove in the fishing village of Taiji and bludgeoned to death.

The Japanese government is cracking down on those who oppose their war on dolphins, OBarry said in a statement sent to the Associated Press through his son, Lincoln OBarry.

Officials in Taiji, a small fishing village in central Japan, and fishermen have defended the hunt as a tradition, saying that eating dolphin meat is no different to eating beef or chicken.

Most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat. Many say they are horrified by the dolphin killing and there is a campaign against the Taiji hunt. Animal welfare activists say the hunt is driven mostly by the lucrative sale of dolphins to aquariums, with the income from the sale of meat simply an added extra.

OBarry has been stopped and questioned by Japanese immigration before. He has also been taken into custody by local police on the suspicion of not having proper travel documents before being released. But this is the first time he has been detained in this way. He has the support of high-profile celebrities, including Sting, the US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and the former Guns N Roses drummer, Matt Sorum.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

The Case for Treating Animals as Humans

In the new documentary Unlocking the Cage, attorney Steven Wise makes his case for why animals need legal personhood for their own safety. “>

Earlier this month, when Louisianas New Iberia Research Center, the worlds largest chimpanzee research facility, announced it was moving all 220 of its chimps to a sanctuary in Georgia, its a safe bet the news made attorney Steven Wise the happiest man on the planet. Thats because two of the chimps, Hercules and Leo, had been the subjects in an ongoing legal battle about the rights of chimps, a legal case brought by Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, and the subject of D.A. Pennebaker a Chris Hegeduss Unlocking the Cage, a documentary out now in New York, followed by a national rollout and an HBO broadcast early next year.

Unlike PETA, which lost a case in 2012 alleging that five orcas held by Sea World deserved constitutional protection under the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery (the judge in the case ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment only applies to persons), Wise has been pursuing a more radical, nuanced, and researched approach to the issue of animal rights: he wants the most intelligent animalsapes, dolphins, elephantsto be granted legal personhood, so they can invoke habeas corpus and challenge their detention in zoos and other facilities in a court of law.

The arguments we make deal with the decisions judges make in their fundamental decisions, and that is about liberty and equality, says Wise. Today, all animals are on the thing side of the law, and all humans are on the person side. If you look back 150 years, there were humans on the thing side of the lawwomen, children, slaves. We are trying to open another hole in the wall and move some animals from the thing side to the person side.

In other words, if a corporation can legally be considered a person, why not a chimp?

Its a very novel approach and [Wise] is pushing the envelope, says Chris Green, Executive Director of Harvard Law Schools Animal Law and Policy Program.

As far as acceptance goes, the jury is still out. And there is concern that the animal protection community might get too far in front of itself that if they find a judge who is too far ahead of public sentiment, there might be some sort of backlash.

Wise is the first to admit that his tactics havent proven successful so far. All the cases in the film were filed in New York State, and so far the only success he has had was an appellate decision that declared Hercules and Leo could be legal persons, but the judge felt bound by precedent and denied them the right of habeas corpus for now.

We understand that if judges are going to make important decisions, they have to hear these cases five times, 10 times. How much are they crawling out on a limb by ruling in our favor? Its a long process, says Wise, who notes that losses in three appellate courts, all on different grounds, tell us that the law is far from stable.

Wise thinks of himself as a battering ram, and hell keep battering away until he breaks through, says David Favre, a professor of property and animal law at Michigan State. He has researched the law, found a state he thought would be most open to hearing the issue, found plaintiffs, and a legal team to put together the materials. His case is educational, awakening judges to think of these issues. Hes trying to steer a really big ship in a different direction.

Yet even though Wise may be thought of as something of an outlier in the legal system, in the court of public opinion he seems to be swimming with the mainstream. A recent Gallup poll found that nearly a third of all Americans believe animals should have the same rights as people, and a majority feel they deserve some protection, yet can still be used for human benefit.

In addition, pressure from animal rights activists recently forced Ringling Brothers Circus to phase out all its elephants and move them to a Florida sanctuary.

And SeaWorld announced that it will stop breeding killer whales and will phase them out of its live shows in the wake of the sparked by the acclaimed documentary Blackfish.

Favre believes this sea change in opinion, which he says is relatively recent, is because you cant ignore the fact that pets have been important to the idea of a core family over the past 15 years. Pets are emotionally very important, and I think people are more aware of pets as companions and transferring that to other animals. And there is more and more science coming out about the complexity and intelligence of other animals.

Wise, who has bolstered his arguments with numerous studies on how advanced chimps are cognitively, believes at the very least these animals should have the legal rights of a human five-year old. And in Unlocking the Cage he states very clearly the difference between animal welfare, which he is not litigating, and animal rights, which he is. This is the detention of an autonomous being, he says. Were not talking about how hes being treated.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!
By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to have read the TermsofUse and PrivacyPolicy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason

Everyones core goal is animal protection, and improving the conditions under which animals are treated, says Green. Welfare is trying to make improvements under current laws, or improve those laws. On the rights side, thats saying youre just putting nicer wallpaper on a prison, and by making conditions for animals more humane, you are perpetuating their captivity.

So where is this all headed? Everyone involved with animal law agrees that animals born and raised in captivity do not have the survival skills to live in the wild, which is why sanctuaries are a logical alternative to zoos, carnivals, entertainment attractions, and research facilities. But the big question is, what happens if Wise is successful with his lawsuits? Since an ape in Argentina has already been granted human-like rights, this is not such a far-fetched concept. Does this mean that eventually human-like rights will be granted to chickens? Pigs? Cats? Dogs?

Who knows where its going? says Favre. Thats why this is such a great adventure. [Wise] is using chimps because its the easiest case to make.

In five years, I think youre going to see massive strides, more corporations stepping up and eliminating certain practices considered cruel, and I think keeping wild animals captive, you will see progress, adds Green. As far as actual rights go, the jury is still out, but I think there will be a shift in the way we treat these animals, and they might have the right to additional protection.

And theres this. In the film, Wise notes that when he first began this form of advocacy, people used to bark at him when he entered a courtroom. Not anymore. And in fact, Wise is now expanding his efforts, and intends to file a habeas corpus lawsuit on behalf of two captive elephants (he wont name the state theyre in until he files later this year).

So stay tuned. This story is far from over.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/26/the-case-for-treating-animals-as-humans.html

National Bird review chilling film reveals truths about drones

Using the testimony of three courageous whistleblowers who worked on the US drone programme, this documentary uncovers some disturbing truths about modern American warfare

This is a disturbing documentary which, through the testimonies of three courageous whistleblowers, sheds some daylight on the USAs secret military drone programme. Directed by Sonia Kennebeck and executive-produced by Wim Wenders, National Bird weaves together the stories of the air force veterans Lisa, Daniel and Heather, all of whom have worked on the drones programme, gathering intelligence and tracking targets to be killed.

Then National Bird moves to Afghanistan, where the maimed survivors of a mistaken drone strike on unarmed civilians in February 2010, which killed 23 people, describe what happened when they were attacked. The juxtaposition of the appallingly gung-ho attitude of the drone operatives, re-enacted from a transcript of the event, and raw footage of the dead bodies (some children) returning to their anguished friends and family, is heartbreaking and enraging.

Kennebeck juxtaposes Obamas speeches about drones in which he claims that they are able to take out insurgents without harming those around them with the testimonies of those who know that this is untrue. Self-evidently, drones wreak widespread devastation, and the fact that a growing element of modern warfare involves studying dots on a screen and deciding on which to drop a bomb has frightening ethical implications. National Bird demonstrates that the nature of drone warfare makes some drone operatives trigger-happy, while others, like Heather, who analysed intelligence on warzones and wrote about her experiences for the Guardian, end up dehumanised and suffering from PTSD.

This is a documentary that shows rather than tells, ominously beautiful drones-eye tracking shots of ordinary American streets demonstrating the way the technology can be used against any community. The film kicks up a gear when signals intelligence analyst Daniel, who had worked with the NSA at Fort Meade, decides to blow the whistle on the drone programme and gets the full force of the government machinery dropped on top of him, including the raiding of his house by dozens of FBI agents and the threat of decades in jail for treason. His attorney Jesselyn Radack, who represents the other whistleblowers and did the same for Edward Snowden, makes clear that once you cross the military-industrial complex, your life becomes extremely difficult. At the end of the film, Daniels whereabouts are chillingly described as unknown.

Under the US 1917 espionage act, the film and the whistleblowers are severely restricted in what they can (or, in the case of the whistleblowers, would wish to) say, but certain sharp facts poke through the murk. Lisa shows a letter of commendation for helping to identify 121,000 insurgent targets over two years as she points out, since the US has been at war in Afghanistan since 2001, the scale of casualties must be vast. No one will say, but its also pretty clear that the US is using drones in countries with which it is not officially at war. With stealth and elegance, Kennebeck brings these alarming truths into the light.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/apr/17/national-bird-review-us-drones-program-tribeca-film-festival

Star of anti-dolphin killing film The Cove held by Japanese immigration

Ric OBarry seen in documentary about slaughter in a Japanese village says government is waging a war on dolphins

The star of Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, about the killing of dolphins in a village in Japan, has been detained by immigration authorities at Tokyos Narita international airport.

Ric OBarry an American known for training the dolphins used in the TV series Flipper said immigration officials told him he could not enter Japan on a tourist visa because he was not a tourist, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano.

Takano said officials accused OBarry of having close ties with the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which OBarry denies. Immigration officials said it was their policy not to comment on individual cases.

Takano said he was appealing against the detention, and that the Japanese government would decide on whether to allow OBarry into the country or deport him. It was not clear when a decision would be made.

The Cove, which won the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary, shows the slaughter of dolphins herded into a cove in the fishing village of Taiji and bludgeoned to death.

The Japanese government is cracking down on those who oppose their war on dolphins, OBarry said in a statement sent to the Associated Press through his son, Lincoln OBarry.

Officials in Taiji, a small fishing village in central Japan, and fishermen have defended the hunt as a tradition, saying that eating dolphin meat is no different to eating beef or chicken.

Most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat. Many say they are horrified by the dolphin killing and there is a campaign against the Taiji hunt. Animal welfare activists say the hunt is driven mostly by the lucrative sale of dolphins to aquariums, with the income from the sale of meat simply an added extra.

OBarry has been stopped and questioned by Japanese immigration before. He has also been taken into custody by local police on the suspicion of not having proper travel documents before being released. But this is the first time he has been detained in this way. He has the support of high-profile celebrities, including Sting, the US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and the former Guns N Roses drummer, Matt Sorum.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/19/star-of-anti-dolphin-killing-documentary-the-cove-ric-o-barry-held-by-japanese-immigration

New documentary explores men who want to live their lives as dogs

There’s been infinite think pieces about furry culture, but few journalists have actually explored the phenomenon known as “puppy play.”

Puppy play is a not-strictly-sexual form of “play,” enjoyed by people who identify primarily as dogs. While their costumes may be made of latex, many puppy players hope to imitate dogs as closely as possible. Puppy players will often bark, wag and wiggle like a pup. Many perform tricks to earn “treats,” and the rewards aren’t always sexual.

A new documentary, “Secret Life of Human Pups,” hopes to give voice to people who love puppy play. The fetish appears to have grown out of the gay BDSM community, but puppy players come from across the sexual spectrum.

Many who practice puppy play see it as more than a behavior it’s their identity.

It feels like you can be gay, straight, bisexual, trans and be accepted, one of the Puppies says. All I want is for the pup community to be accepted in the same way.”

The documentary airs on Channel 4 in the UK tonight.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/05/25/documentary-trailer-men-dogs/

The Case for Treating Animals as Humans

In the new documentary Unlocking the Cage, attorney Steven Wise makes his case for why animals need legal personhood for their own safety. “>

Earlier this month, when Louisianas New Iberia Research Center, the worlds largest chimpanzee research facility, announced it was moving all 220 of its chimps to a sanctuary in Georgia, its a safe bet the news made attorney Steven Wise the happiest man on the planet. Thats because two of the chimps, Hercules and Leo, had been the subjects in an ongoing legal battle about the rights of chimps, a legal case brought by Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, and the subject of D.A. Pennebaker a Chris Hegeduss Unlocking the Cage, a documentary out now in New York, followed by a national rollout and an HBO broadcast early next year.

Unlike PETA, which lost a case in 2012 alleging that five orcas held by Sea World deserved constitutional protection under the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery (the judge in the case ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment only applies to persons), Wise has been pursuing a more radical, nuanced, and researched approach to the issue of animal rights: he wants the most intelligent animalsapes, dolphins, elephantsto be granted legal personhood, so they can invoke habeas corpus and challenge their detention in zoos and other facilities in a court of law.

The arguments we make deal with the decisions judges make in their fundamental decisions, and that is about liberty and equality, says Wise. Today, all animals are on the thing side of the law, and all humans are on the person side. If you look back 150 years, there were humans on the thing side of the lawwomen, children, slaves. We are trying to open another hole in the wall and move some animals from the thing side to the person side.

In other words, if a corporation can legally be considered a person, why not a chimp?

Its a very novel approach and [Wise] is pushing the envelope, says Chris Green, Executive Director of Harvard Law Schools Animal Law and Policy Program.

As far as acceptance goes, the jury is still out. And there is concern that the animal protection community might get too far in front of itself that if they find a judge who is too far ahead of public sentiment, there might be some sort of backlash.

Wise is the first to admit that his tactics havent proven successful so far. All the cases in the film were filed in New York State, and so far the only success he has had was an appellate decision that declared Hercules and Leo could be legal persons, but the judge felt bound by precedent and denied them the right of habeas corpus for now.

We understand that if judges are going to make important decisions, they have to hear these cases five times, 10 times. How much are they crawling out on a limb by ruling in our favor? Its a long process, says Wise, who notes that losses in three appellate courts, all on different grounds, tell us that the law is far from stable.

Wise thinks of himself as a battering ram, and hell keep battering away until he breaks through, says David Favre, a professor of property and animal law at Michigan State. He has researched the law, found a state he thought would be most open to hearing the issue, found plaintiffs, and a legal team to put together the materials. His case is educational, awakening judges to think of these issues. Hes trying to steer a really big ship in a different direction.

Yet even though Wise may be thought of as something of an outlier in the legal system, in the court of public opinion he seems to be swimming with the mainstream. A recent Gallup poll found that nearly a third of all Americans believe animals should have the same rights as people, and a majority feel they deserve some protection, yet can still be used for human benefit.

In addition, pressure from animal rights activists recently forced Ringling Brothers Circus to phase out all its elephants and move them to a Florida sanctuary.

And SeaWorld announced that it will stop breeding killer whales and will phase them out of its live shows in the wake of the sparked by the acclaimed documentary Blackfish.

Favre believes this sea change in opinion, which he says is relatively recent, is because you cant ignore the fact that pets have been important to the idea of a core family over the past 15 years. Pets are emotionally very important, and I think people are more aware of pets as companions and transferring that to other animals. And there is more and more science coming out about the complexity and intelligence of other animals.

Wise, who has bolstered his arguments with numerous studies on how advanced chimps are cognitively, believes at the very least these animals should have the legal rights of a human five-year old. And in Unlocking the Cage he states very clearly the difference between animal welfare, which he is not litigating, and animal rights, which he is. This is the detention of an autonomous being, he says. Were not talking about how hes being treated.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!
By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to have read the TermsofUse and PrivacyPolicy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason

Everyones core goal is animal protection, and improving the conditions under which animals are treated, says Green. Welfare is trying to make improvements under current laws, or improve those laws. On the rights side, thats saying youre just putting nicer wallpaper on a prison, and by making conditions for animals more humane, you are perpetuating their captivity.

So where is this all headed? Everyone involved with animal law agrees that animals born and raised in captivity do not have the survival skills to live in the wild, which is why sanctuaries are a logical alternative to zoos, carnivals, entertainment attractions, and research facilities. But the big question is, what happens if Wise is successful with his lawsuits? Since an ape in Argentina has already been granted human-like rights, this is not such a far-fetched concept. Does this mean that eventually human-like rights will be granted to chickens? Pigs? Cats? Dogs?

Who knows where its going? says Favre. Thats why this is such a great adventure. [Wise] is using chimps because its the easiest case to make.

In five years, I think youre going to see massive strides, more corporations stepping up and eliminating certain practices considered cruel, and I think keeping wild animals captive, you will see progress, adds Green. As far as actual rights go, the jury is still out, but I think there will be a shift in the way we treat these animals, and they might have the right to additional protection.

And theres this. In the film, Wise notes that when he first began this form of advocacy, people used to bark at him when he entered a courtroom. Not anymore. And in fact, Wise is now expanding his efforts, and intends to file a habeas corpus lawsuit on behalf of two captive elephants (he wont name the state theyre in until he files later this year).

So stay tuned. This story is far from over.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/26/the-case-for-treating-animals-as-humans.html