Raise Giant Frogs

No, thank you. This ad was from 1936. Giant frog farms were apparently all the rage in the 1930s.

As the craze grew, though, so did skepticism about the frog business. The industry, the Los Angeles Times wrote, was “somewhat ephemeral.” A Midwest paper compared it to rabbit farming, another get-rich-quick scheme meant to harness the reproductive potential of small food animals. In 1933, the USDA released a bulletin on frog farming that warned, “Within the past fifteen years the bureau has received thousands of inquiries concerning frog raising, but to the present time it has heard of only about three persons or institutions claiming any degree of success.

Ad: Raise Giant Frogs, 1936
Ad: Raise Giant Frogs, 1936

Russian ALF Outlines Its Extremist Actions

In July, the Russian Animal Liberation Front Support Group posted on the Internet an English-language outline of the group’s activities in Russia since its first activities in 2000.

The Russian ALF apparently started out with pretty low expectations, bragging, for example, that,

The summer of 2002 was marked by the destruction of 70 advert posters . . .

A few years later they had progressed to stealing frogs,

On 21 April 2004 RALF activists managed to get into the laboratory of the institute named after Anokhin, Russian Medical Academy. They freed 119 frogs and their eggs.

Thank goodness they saved the eggs!

The RALF (their acronym, not mine, but quite apropos) then moved up the food chain to rats and rabbits,

On 8 May 2004, 110 rats and 5 rabbits disappeared from the laboratory of Moscow State University Biological Department. These animals were used in experiments against alcoholism and drugs. Rats were fed drugs and alcohol, and rabbits had electrodes inserted in their heads.

Ah, the globalization of animal rights cluelessness in action.


History of the Russian Animal Liberation Front…so far.
Russian Animal Liberation Front Support Group, July 2, 2004.

Animal Protection Institute Wants Frog Jumping Contest Stopped

The Animal Protection Institute recently circulated a press release calling for an end to the 74-year-old Caleveras Count Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee which is scheduled to take place this weekend in Angels Camp, California.

The frog jump competition was started in the 1920s hand attracts hundreds of participants who compete for the $5,000 grand prize. In a sample letter distributed with its press release, API writes that,

  • Like circuses, cockfighting, and greyhound racing, frog jumping promotes the message that animals exist purely to entertain us.

API also describes the conditions under which the frogs are kept in boxes prior to the event as “certainly cruel and inhumane.”


Help stop cruel “frog-jumping” contests. Animal Protection Institute, Press Release, May 13, 2002.

Japanese Researchers Claim They Grew Artificial Eye

Researchers at Tokyo University recently reported that they succeeded in growing an artificial eye in tadpoles.

Led by biology professor Makoto Asashima, the researchers said they soaked undifferentiated cells from a frog embryo in a special medium, and then implanted them into a tadpole whose left eye had been removed.

After a week, Asashima reports that the cell was connected to the optic nerve and there was no sign that it had been rejected.

Unfortunately although it garnered a lot of headlines last week, this research has yet to be published or accepted by a peer reviewed journal and as a result it is a bit difficult to figure out exactly what, if anything, these researchers accomplished.


Scientists ‘create artificial eyeball.’ Charles Scanlon, The BBC, January 5, 2002.

Scientists claim to growth artificial eye. Reuters, January 5, 2002.