A Good-News, Bad-News Day For Animal Rights

Pigs are flying again. Proving that a controversial 2002 Florida “pregnant pigs” amendment was not an isolated joke, Arizona voters approved a measure (backed by the Humane Society of the United States) yesterday giving legal protection to hogs and veal calves. Read that last sentence again, slowly. And then consider what Peter Singer, the animal rights movement’s intellectual godfather told TIME magazine this week about the vote’s significance: “If it works in Arizona, then we’ll go on to California and other states.” The long-term goal of animal rights groups, TIME notes, is “federal legislation,” supposedly to save farm animals from farmers.

While Arizonans were busy protecting pigs, however, a Philadelphia jury was protecting its community from a prominent animal-rights organizer. Nick Cooney, a former Farm Sanctuary intern who leads the deceptively named Hugs For Puppies group, was handed three guilty verdicts in criminal court. The top count, “Terroristic Threats With Intent To Terrorize Another,” carries a maximum 5-year jail term. Cooney will be sentenced in December.

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