L.A. bans painful tools used to train elephants! »
Infuriating still from Peta’s "Elephants in Circuses: Training & Tragedy"
On Wednesday, Los Angeles sided with the elephants when the city council banned the use of “bullhooks, pitchforks, baseball bats and other goads that circus trainers use to control elephants and other exotic animals.”*
First of all, “pitchforks and baseball bats”?!
Secondly, thank you, L.A. The city council’s vote was unanimous (faith in humanity momentarily restored), and the ban takes effect in January 2017, a delay “meant to give circuses time to change how they handle elephants or remove them from the shows.” (You know which choice I’m rooting for.)
Naturally Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey spokesman Stephen Payne (insert snide remark about how much pain elephants are caused by this abuse), was pissed, and said the law was “completely unnecessary.” He went on to say that this new ban “would force the cancellation of Los Angeles circus events” (excellent!) and City News Service quoted him as saying that the circus may move to a venue outside the city limits. (I see a PETA protest happening.)
City Councillor Paul Koretz said using bullhooks is “inhumane and unhealthy,” and that “the circus is welcome in Los Angeles, just without the bullhooks. … We’re hoping that they follow the model of other circuses that don’t use exotic animals.”
Happy day for the elephants and other “exotic animals!”
Protest the terrible circus in the SF Bay Area! Seriously, go, you will not regret speaking up for the elephants! »
Join Humanity Through Education to protest the terrible circus! Seriously, the circus blows balls (not really, that would be more entertaining and less disgusting than the actual circus) so we must stand up and say HELL NO, CIRCUS. If you love elephants very much, and I KNOW you love elephants very much, then you’ll make your way to one of these events. And seriously, they’re not scary and you meet some great, passionate people and afterwards you can totally binge eat to reward yourself for being the best person alive.
Take it away, Humanity Through Education:
Your voice is needed to oppose Ringling’s horrible, inhumane practices and their lies regarding these practices. Please join Humanity Through Education to protest the circus and educate patrons about the inherent cruelty of using animals for entertainment.
Oakland Arena (7000 Coliseum Wy., Oakland, off of 880 at the 66th Ave exit). Aug. 8, 9, and 10 at 6 p.m., and Aug. 11 at 12:45 and 5:30 p.m. Please meet in front of the ticket booths.
San Jose Arena (525 West Santa Clara St., San Jose). Aug. 15, 16, 17 at 6 p.m., and Aug. 18 at 12:45 and 5:30 p.m. Please meet on the corner of Santa Clara & Autumn Street.
Stockton Arena (248 West Fremont St., Stockton). Sept. 13 and 14 at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 15 at 12:45 and 5:30 p.m., and Sept. 16 at 2:45 p.m. Please meet in front of the ticket booths.
Signs and leaflets are provided at each leafleting time listed above. For more information call (650) 248.4489 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: 12:45 p.m. leafletting times are between two shows. It is very important to arrive on time for these leaflettings, as we first leaflet people exiting the early show, who come out quickly and en masse. If we are not set up by the time the early show is done, we will miss our opportunity to educate these people. After the early show crowd disperses, we will turn and leaflet the people attending the later show.
This week: Protest the disgusting circus in Santa Cruz & Napa! »
I’m just gonna copy and paste the announcement because it has all the news you need and I can’t write too much about this or I’ll get too mad and burn the house down! Here goes:
Join Humanity Through Education to protest the Piccadilly Circus in Santa Cruz & Napa
Piccadilly Circus uses two elephants “owned” by Gatti Circus. The owner of Gatti forces one of the elephants to walk on her hind legs. This is the cruelest circus trick I have ever seen. Elephants are the heaviest four-legged animals and carry most of their weight on their front legs. Males get up on their hind legs to mount a female and an elephant may briefly stand on their hind legs to reach up into a tree but an elephant
NEVER walks on their hind legs. Forcing an elephant to walk on their hind
legs is physically unnatural, painful, and harmful for the elephant.
As well, the elephants are forced to live in severe confinement; either chained or kept in small pens. These living conditions are extremely boring and frustrating. As a result the elephants literally go crazy, endlessly swaying or rocking back and forth. This repetitive behavior only occurs in animals in captivity. All animals need to move about freely - when they cannot they suffer. You can watch the cruelty of Gatti Circus here and here.
Your voice is needed to oppose this horrible and inhumane practice. Please join Humanity Through Education to protest the circus and educate patrons, who have been very receptive to our message about the inherent cruelty of using animals for entertainment.
Signs and leaflets are provided at each leafleting time listed below. For
more information call Mark at 415.623.8604 or email Pat.
WHEN: Tue., November 8, 5:30 -7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Santa Cruz Fairgrounds (2601 E. Lake Ave. Watsonville, Calif.)
WHEN: Wed., November 9, 5:30 -7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Napa Valley Expo (575 Third St. Napa, California)
At each leafleting, we will first leaflet the people exiting the early show and then immediately turn and leaflet the people coming into the later show. It is very important to arrive on time for these leafletings as the people exit quickly and if we are not set-up before the show is done, we will miss our opportunity to educate them.
And now, to combat the sadness of that post, here’s an adorable rescued ellie hanging with a dog at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee:
Tell Congress to support the new bill banning animals from traveling circuses! »
Good news for circus animals, but also time for action! Congress introduced a new bill this week, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. The bill, if passed, would restrict the use of exotic and domestic animals in traveling circuses, forbidding the animals from performing if they’ve been traveling in mobile shelters during the 15 days prior.
The bill is supported by Jim Moran, a Northern Virginia representative who has pushed other animal-related bills on issues like fur-labeling and outlawing the sale of animal crush videos. Moran’s reasons for the bill include:
- Traveling and captivity are bad for the health of animals
- The living conditions inherent to traveling circuses cause animals psychological and behavior problems
- Traveling circuses use elephant hooks, electric shocks, and other abusive methods and tools on the animals
- A riled-up elephant could pose a danger to the public, and one could understand why an elephant in a traveling circus might get riled up
Those all sound like good reasons to pass this bill to me.
Based upon publically available research, including video and photographic evidence, it is clear that traveling circuses cannot provide the proper living conditions for exotic animals,” he said. “This legislation is intended to target the most egregious situations involving exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses.
The animals that suffer most are the big animals—that would be the elephants—but any animals in traveling circuses suffer terribly. The conditions are completely abnormal. In their training, they are forced to do things that they would never do naturally. They are struck with clubs…they are whipped.… They [trainers] even withhold food and water to make them perform.
What’s important now? Making sure the bill is passed. You can read the bill in its entirety at Mother Jones. Then you can contact Congress—tell Rep. Moran you want to continue to see him support bills like this, and tell your own representative that you expect them to support this bill. Perhaps you can include a link to the MJ article "The Cruelest Show On Earth" as evidence of why this legislation is needed.
[photo by c.a.muller via Flickr]
Terri Coles lives in Toronto, Ont., where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues.
Good job, Irvine: City Council bans sale of dogs and cats! »
Last night the Irvine, Calif. City Council passed some amazing legislation: They banned the sale of dogs and cats, rodeos, and animal circuses! Irvine has us all beat, California! Money quote:
Society is “moving toward a more thoughtful and conscientious approach to animals,” speaker Claire Kim said Tuesday night. “This ordinance responds to the spirit of our times.”
It totally is! It totally does! Next for the city: Mandatory spay/neuter laws, which the council decided to further study.
Three cheers for Irvine!
Protest the circus in Oakland, tomorrow and this weekend! »
Ringling Bros. circus is coming back to the Bay Area, which makes us wonder, what is the deal with people that this touring company of animal-torturers is still popular? What is your goddamn problem, circus-goers? You know how abusive the circus is to the animal “performers,” but you still pay to see it? They’re not like zoos, which at least can excuse keeping animals in gross cages in environments radically different from their homes with endangered-species breeding programs. Circuses punish all the animals unlucky enough to be trapped in them, full stop. They are disgusting and disgraceful and the sooner we end them, the better.
Humanity Through Education will be holding protests/leafletting events at the Oakland Arena, where stupid horrible Ringling Bros. is holding shows Thursday through Sunday. If you can, come out and help educate the remaining people (apparently) ignorant of the horrorshow that is the circus. Meet in front of the ticket booth at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8 and Friday, Sept. 9, at 1 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11.
HTE has lots of information on the abuses in circuses here, and you can look at the leaflets here. If you want to know more about this weekend’s planned protests, contact Pat Cuvie through email or by phone at (650) 248.4489. The circus is the fucking worst, and the more people know about it, the sooner we’ll be rid of it forever.
Top 10 links of the week: a festive boat ride through the sea of veganism! »
[This poor turtle got his leg burned and it had to be amputated. Poor guy! I’m glad they gave him a wheel but am I the only one who thinks this wheel is kind of difficult to maneuver? He’s using it kind of like a stub, it looks like.]
Brooklyn Bliss is doing a giveaway for a four-piece Paul Labrecque curly hair care kit valued at $92! They tell me the brand is vegan. Go enter or whatever, you curly-headed bastards.
The NYT has the story on what happens when you get rid of top predators. It’s bad. Didn’t we talk about this last week? I could look but I am tired and it’s hot.
Here’s a dumb article about locavorism vs. not eating meat. What if you eat neither meat NOR dairy?
Apparently they have less cattle in America so beef costs are going up. I’m sure they can just get more from the Amazon! Slash and burn, baby!
Here are some stories from people who had terrible health issues that went vegan and got healthy!
In South Dakota, 1,500 cows died from heat exhaustion. Poor ranchers, am I right? Guys, they will lose money!
Top eight links of the week: a relevant ride through the internets! »
[WTF is going on here? Do people just have lambs now? Can I get one? Will it stay the size of a cat? How patient is this cat!]
I’ve been super-busy so you only get eight links this week. Cry me a river!
Some six-year-old raised over $25,000 for the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society. What have you done for me lately?!
The Family Kitchen over at Babble asks, what do you want for your final meal before Judgement Day? Well?
This Dish is Veg has the scoop on Dogs Deserve Better’s loan approval to buy Mike “the Dick” Vick’s old property. Smells like justice!
The New York Times has a hawk cam full of baby hawks! Try not to die!
Ducklings! It’s baby bird day!
If you haven’t been paying attention—I know you!—catch up on the news regarding the animal circus ban in the UK. Spoiler: it got shot down. You can also follow ADI’s and CAPS’ Twitters for updates like every other minute. Which I can tell you want—I know you!
Are you concerned about who will care for your pets after the rapture? Worry no more!
Goats on Stuff: depressing or adorbs? A bit of both. You’ll see what I mean. On the other hand: hilarious captions, for realio!
Water for Elephants looks like some crazy elephant-exploiting bullshit »
As soon as I saw the commercial for Water for Elephants, in which Robert Pattinson pretends to care about animals, I cringed something awful. How pathetic is that picture above? The smirk on Pattinson’s face? The chain around the elephant’s foot? Good grief. And really? A live elephant in a movie? Still? COME ON! Even if this particular elephant lived a lavish life of ecstasy, captive elephants promote abuse in the industry, and are not OK. But spoiler alert: I’m not so sure this elephant lives a lavish life of ecstasy!
The elephant in the movie’s name is Tai. I look for information on her and it turns out she’s part of a whole elephant troupe, Have Trunk Will Travel: serving all your circus, movie and wedding needs! Charming. Reading an interview with the trainer, he’s like, “Tai has so much fun acting!” Sounds super. I’m sure it beats roaming the plains free with your family (I mean, as long as Go Daddy isn’t on vacation).
But wait! There’s more! Turns out, Have Trunk Will Travel is BFF with notorious elephant-abusers the Ringling Brothers and even testified for them in the court case against Ringling not too far back. Because I am so dedicated, I read the crazy-ass transcript from their testimony for you and it is NUTSO.
The witness, Kari Johnson, who runs Have Trunk Will Travel with her husband Gary, is asked all these questions about elephants and her answers are totally bizarro. My absolute favorite part is when she’s testifying about the bullhook—or “guide” as she calls it—and the judge is like, “um, WTF?” and she’s all like, “uh…”:
THE COURT: Is the guide designed to penetrate the skin?
THE WITNESS: It can; it shouldn’t.
Q: And is the guide intended to cause pain to an elephant?
Q: In your experience, do elephants fear the guide?
Q: The guide can penetrate the skin though?
Q: And cause bleeding?
A: Yes, it can.
Q: That is not uncommon?
A: It’s—it’s—it shouldn’t be common, but it happens, yes.
Q: All right. I’m talking about that point, though. That point—does it have the potential of harming an elephant, that point?
A: I am sure it would have the potential, but that’s not what it is for. It’s—
Q: Why is it there, then?
Johnson then tells the judge that the elephant’s skin is so thick, it wouldn’t feel anything duller than the pointed hook. Then of course in the cross-examination, she states that elephants are super-sensitive and could feel a fly on their skin. Thanks, elephant queen, you are really clearing things up. The best part about these statements is that they are supposed to be in favor of Ringling. If you want a really good time, read the cross examination [pdf]. That shit is a bit brutal.
These people are disgusting. They actually fight for rights to exploit elephants. They are totally active in the animal incarceration community: “When there’s—well, any sort of elephant legislation, I go to wherever that might be, whatever state, or whatever town or city in California, wherever it might be, and advocate basically to be able to use the guides and tethers, and be able to manage the elephants in free contact like we do,” says Kari. Mind you, “be able to manage the elephants in free contact like we do” means BULLHOOK. Wow.
I’ve never read the book the movie is based on because I’m allergic to reading but it’s my understanding that the subplot is all about the suffering of this elephant in the circus. So I guess Tai is perfect for the role? Apparently Have Trunk Will Travel is really into method acting! Good morning, irony:
Q: As part of your husbandry expertise, have you provided food and water to elephants?
Q: Is it necessary for elephants to have free access to water throughout the day?
The moral of this story is: boycott this terrible movie and tell your friends and family to do the same. If you gotta see a movie about elephants (I know you!), check out The Elephant in the Living Room instead. Or even better, donate your ticket money to the The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Now, let’s look at the awesome elephants who live there and for the first time today, be happy.
More good news: Anne arrives at new home, U.K. may ban live animals in circuses! »
Here’s a picture of Anne from the Daily Mail being greeted at her new home at Longleat Safari Park! She has a six-acre enclosure there, which is a far cry from the miles and miles wild elephants usually roam, but her arthritis tells me maybe that’s OK.
I am still so impressed by how quickly the people in the U.K. reacted to Anne’s terrible situation, and how quickly she was moved to a brand new home. Amazing. What’s more, it looks like Britain will ban live animals in circuses (dead ones, I presume, are totally OK). The ban hasn’t happened yet but Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman is “minded” to pass the ban. The public shock of Anne’s treatment is the catalyst: “The tragic plight of Anne once again mobilised the people. From protesting on the streets, to lobbying MPs, the past week has been filled with cries for a ban.” AWESOME! I’m so jealous! Maybe we can just get the Brits over here and they can care about all the captive animals in the United States.