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.

Noted friend-to-elephants Bob Barker was on hand for the bill’s announcement, as well. He told Politico:

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.


Californians: Call to help sharks TODAY!  »

From the HSUS website because I’m too lazy to read and paraphrase:

Tens of millions of sharks are killed every year to supply the cruel and wasteful trade in shark fins used for shark fin soup. They’re obtained by cutting the fins off the shark and throwing the animal, often while still alive, back into the ocean to die a slow death.

Sharks are our ocean’s top predators [Ed.: SO COOL/TERRIFYING] and are important for the health of all other marine species and our entire ocean ecosystems. 

Fortunately, the California legislature is considering a bill to stop the trade in shark fins — and a vote in the Senate Appropriations committee will occur early next week. 


Please make a brief, polite call to your state senator and urge support for A.B. 376. Look up your senators and their phone numbers. You can say, “I am a constituent and urge support for A.B. 376 to prohibit the sale of shark fins in California.”

After making your phone call, fill out this form to reiterate your support for A.B. 376. Be sure to edit your message so it stands out.

So do those two things! Right now! It’s fast and easy and can help save lots of sharks who are the fucking coolest and also the fucking scariest. Remember: STAY OUT OF THE OCEANS. The oceans are for sharks, just like the woods are for bears and serial killers. HUMANS DON’T BELONG THERE. 

Here is a cool/terrifying shark to stare at during your call. He’s all, “come at me, bro!” and you’re all, “I just shit my pants.”


Last week, Mercy for Animals released this video documenting the horrible cruelty at a catfish slaughterhouse in Mesquite, Texas. This video is not for kids—brace yourself. I watched it once and that’s all I can handle. Mostly, they are skinning the catfish alive while they are still flopping around and gasping for air. It’s highly disturbing. Over and over, I just kept thinking, “why can’t they just kill them first?” They specifically tell the undercover worker to “clean them” while the fish are still alive. Why?

If you don’t already know: yes, fish can feel pain. Fish are also a lot smarter than people assume. Isn’t that always the way? Go to Mercy for Animal’s website to see how you can take action and/or donate to the cause.


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