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!”
NYC: Protest the evil Ringling Brothers and their elephant-beating ways tonight! »
Lovely protest sign made for tonight by the lovely Jess Davis. Used entirely without her permission.
It’s billed as New York’s biggest circus protest in history and it’s tonight! I’m going to be there along with a few gagillion of my favorite animal lovers to tell Ringling that they are big d-bags! I hate them so much! How could you not? Eles are only the greatest animals and Ringling is so so evil to them.
The protest starts tonight at 6pm and goes until April 1st, at the Barclays Center (620 Atlantic Ave.). Please make it out to protest at least one show! Down with Ringling! Down with bullhooks! Up with eles!
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.
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.
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.
Here’s the video from an awesome Ringling protest in D.C. I’m so hype on this projection idea! I don’t care if it means there will be aborted fetuses on the side of Planned Parenthood (I’m pretty sure that’s what it means). Still, this RULES. We SHOULD show those circus goers what is ACTUALLY happening in the “greatest show on earth!”
Here’s the video for the FBI protest the narrator mentions. So awesome. I miss D.C.!
The circus fucking blows. And how you can help! »
All animal abuse is awful but many of us probably have our one issue that bothers us more than others and for me, it’s circuses with “performing” animals. ESPECIALLY the elephants. I love elephants! They are amazing! They are so totally cool and sweet and I love them. Juxtapose that with how horrifically they are treated—it’s despicable! They get electric shocks, and don’t forget about the disgusting bull hook. I would bull hook the heck out of those “trainers,” I swear. As far as animal abuse videos go, this one just kills me. I won’t watch it ever again because I will cry and not leave my house for three days and then only emerge to be mean to people. It’s not of Ringling but trust me, there are plenty of Ringling videos too. I will give you permission not to watch this video because it is super-disturbing and I feel like vegans don’t have to watch that stuff since we are already vegans. Everyone who goes to the circus, however, should have to watch that video over and over.
Back to Coney Island: I already missed the big protest but we can still go out and meet with the protesters on any Wednesday through Sunday while the show is running. It’s running until fucking September. GOD! I’m about to cry! But I won’t because I’m a tough guy.
Anyway, everyone knows that Cirque du Soleil is way better than Ringling. Like, a million times better. And they don’t use any animals! Has anyone besides me seen the one that’s just in Vegas, O? It’s amaaaazing. My family and I went a few years ago and I was all like, “what’s this thing? I don’t know, I’m tired,” but then I went and it was SO AWESOME. Actually, it was so dope that I kind of can’t see any of the other ones because they are not as awesome.
Another thing I hate: how all the New Yorkers are so very enchanted by the whole elephants having to walk through Manhattan every year. OMG it’s just so totally amazing. I’m like, STFU JERKS! Why are people so selfish? Probably because it’s our world and animals are just here for entertainment and food because they can’t protect themselves from the cancer called humans. Right on!
[illustration by Megan Rascal]
[Ed.: Crappily, the circus will be coming to the SF Bay Area in August and September. If you’re interested in heading out and educating circus-goers of the crappiness behind the tents, please holler at the fine folks with Humanity Through Education.They make it really easy to show up, grab some leaflets and signs, and help the animals of the circus! And check out Ringling Abuses Animals for other stuff you can do too.]