Bans on crush videos and shark finning: some might say miracle

As you’re unstuffing your stockings and sipping hot toddy this weekend, don’t forget to celebrate two major victories in the area of animal welfare. This month, our country’s leaders got it right when they voted to make crush videos and shark finning illegal.

Crush videos: Months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ban on crush videos – depictions of rabbits, mice, and other small animals being stomped to death or otherwise tortured by humans – President Barack Obama signed the ban into law. Thank you, Mr. President, for understanding that such actions are no more free speech than is child pornography.

Shark finning: Earlier this week, Congress passed legislation banning shark finning. In this practice, a shark’s fins are crudely cut off, and the animal is thrown back into the water, left to slowly bleed to death. As Mad Men star January Jones said in her statement supporting the ban, “We shouldn’t be scared of sharks, we should be scared for them.” Bravo, Ms. Jones.

Let’s ride this momentum into 2011. Happy holidays to everyone working toward a more humane world.