Archive for the ‘ Animal Activism ’ Category

The Cincinnati Zoo Incident with Harambe; a few thoughts…

First, I want everyone who is not a zookeeper, member of zoo staff, or primate behaviorist to sit down and take a really long deep breath.

Second, I want everyone who is not a parent to do the same.

Third, I want the rest of you to pay really close attention to the following:

Everyone; say Om for me breath in, breath out. Ommmmmmm.

Okay, now that we are a bit calmer (I hope) I would like to discuss the tragedy that happened at the Cincinnati Zoo on May 29, 2016. You all know what happened. A human child got into the Gorilla Enclosure and the zoo fatally shot Harambe the 17 year old male silverback gorilla who would not move away from the child.

THE ZOO MADE THE RIGHT DECISION.

My absolute sincerest condolences go out to the Cincinnati Zoo family.

I want you non-keepers to understand something; we love our animals. Really and truly. They are literally part of our family. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to make that call; but it was the correct call. The keepers knew it, the zoo knew it. They followed the very correct protocol and kept that child safe. That doesn’t mean that the keepers arent in pain and grieving the loss.No one asked to be put in that situation that day. They made the best decision based on the information at hand and they did it swiftly. Part of being a keeper is having to make quick decisions on your feet a lot. We are used to quickly assessing a situation and coming up with the best ideas. We have protocols and drills for these exact scenarios. The keepers got the other gorillas secured away in holding and did what they had to do to protect that child. At the expense of there own feelings. Can you put aside your personal feelings and shoot someone you love for the safety of another? Can you?

If they hadn’t, or if they had not acted swifter, or if anything else had gone wrong; and that child had died or been seriously injured… what do you think the public would be out-crying about then?

“But what about tranquilizers!” I hear you type furiously. Let me explain something; tranqs don’t work IRL like they do in movies. A large animal can sometimes take 20-30 minutes to go down, or longer. Most of the time it’s not one shot and done boom on the ground. It can take even longer if the animal is rushing on adrenaline. If at all. Think for a moment; if this was your child, would you want to stand anxiously as an unpredictable and intensely strong wild animal has a hold of your child waiting for a tranq to kick in? Seeing the animal possibly become confused and be more likely to hurt your child? Of course not.

“Well those parents should be more watchful! It’s negligence!” I hear you continue to angrily pound away at your computer saying.

Okay, all non-parents, let me explain to you: you can’t control  kids. You can try and watch them as close as possible and teach them whats dangerous and whats not. At the end of the day you can’t watch your child every moment. People make mistakes, turning away for a moment you might lose a child in a large crowd. It doesn’t make you a negligent parent; it makes you a human. Four year olds are curious and love to explore and have zero sense of self preservation. That family just almost lost there child. Now that mother has to read all over the internet a bunch of strangers calling for her head. Can you empathize with that and feel compassion for her? Can you?

I won’t even get started on the throngs of people angrily typing about “the cruelty of animals in zoo’s” because in this day and age there is just no reason for that kind of ignorance and complete blindness to the facts of the matter. That is an entirely separate blog post of which I don’t have time to type right now. Suffice to say for right now; WITHOUT ZOO’S AND ZOOKEEPERS, GORILLAS (and a plethora of innumerable other species)  WOULD ALREADY BE EXTINCT. Ruminate on that awhile.

I get it. You are all looking to blame…. someone… anyone. This event is upsetting and tragic. I sincerely wish everyone would stop making a tragic and unfortunate incident worse by all the sh*t-throwing. Your all acting like lesser primates. Take your outrage and your petitions and whatnot and kindly think about how you are just making a sad story even sadder; for everyone.

P.S.

Please stop anthropomorphizing Harambe. This is not a Disney cartoon. He was fully capable and could certainly have severely injured/killed that child at any moment. Again, unless you are not a primate specialist please stop talking about Harambe like he was about to hand over the child over the gate while Phil Collins music swells in the background. Have a little sense please.

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

One of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis mor…

Source: The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

Dolphin Hunt in Taiji: Why Should I Care?

…starts September 1st.

I know the show The Cove has made this massacre really famous, but I really want to talk about animal sentience, and why we should care at all that these dolphins are being slaughtered and also rounded up to be captured and sold to theme parks.

It is a horrible scene of course, the waters blood-red, dolphin carcasses littering the shore, the boats, floating in the water. Babies, females, males; entire pods (family groups) wiped out. Kind of like someone tricking your whole family into a reunion, and then coming in and killing you all at once. Not such a nice picnic scene, eh?

So, lets say you are a really apathetic individual; after all Japan is really far away. There are “so many” dolphins in the world, plenty in captivity for sure yeah? Anyway, it is kind of like hunting deer right, dumb animals too stupid to get away.

So why should you care?

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Yeah Yeah, that tired old quote… no really why should I care?

Here is why; because as a compassionate and intelligent human beings we MUST have respect for other forms of life, especially forms of life that have shown to also be compassionate and intelligent.

To allow this old school form of selfish thinking to continue is just backwards. Humans are certainly NOT the only beings on this planet, we certainly are not the only feeling beings on this planet and we definitely are not the only “intelligent” beings on this planet. I have personally known birds who are smarter than most humans I know. This is 2012.  Are we really still so self involved and blind as to think we are the only beings with family, with culture, with invention? That is just absurd.

I am not just talking about the dolphins, or cetaceans in general, I mean there are so many scientifically proven creatures on this planet who show sentience that matches our own. To slaughter a sentient being is no better than slaughtering helpless human. Just because we CAN do it, does not mean we SHOULD do it.

So what is sentience? Here is an entire awesome article about it : Animal Sentience

Here is the gist: a creature that can distinguish between objects, animals, sensations, etc… and can appear to learn from situations and cope with the future with a higher understanding.Also appears to be self-aware .

Society, culture, family, innovative thinking. All of these things humans have. So do dolphins and many whale species. So do elephants. So do MANY species of primates and rodents, and many species of birds, especially Psittacines (parrots)  and Corvids (crows and ravens.)

But do you know the difference between all of these sentient species and humans? The real difference? They have all learned to adapt to their environment and SHARE the planet. Not always harmoniously, but they do a large sight better than humans do at sharing the planet. Humans have learned to adapt the environment to fit our needs, often causing destruction and devastation in the process. Our food demands have nearly outgrown our supply’s, so we create new ways to adapt our surroundings and use the environment to help ever bloat our expanding population (think factory farming, think how much food you yourself waste in any given day.)

As a species, we want to continue. I want us to continue, I want us to thrive as a species. But we need to be smarter in what we do and we need to show more compassion and be more aware of what we are doing. Even animals that have yet to have sentience in the strictest scientific terms proven can clearly be seen to at the very least feel pain and suffering, as well as forms of elation. Is that not at least worth a kind manner on our part?

Am I telling you that if you don’t go vegan this moment and don’t stop going to SeaWorld ever again that you are a bad person? No, I am not saying that. I am saying: Be more aware of the world around you, and the consequences of your actions. WHERE do those lovely animals at those theme parks come from exactly? Maybe I should finish all the chicken on my plate instead of just throwing away what I didn’t feel like eating (or at the very least strip the mean from the bone and let your dog have it.) How is it that cows can make so much milk and what happens to their babies (mammals only produce milk when they have young to feed.)

Ask yourself these questions and more. Enjoy what you will, but be aware of whats going on around you. Everything has a price, and if you are going to pay it at least be aware of what price you are paying. If you think it is too steep, make your own personal adjustments in your life, to whatever extent you will, until you come to a price you can morally afford.

——We aren’t the only people on this planet… and we all know it! <–For my fellow LOST fans——

For your further reading about Dolphins specifically:

About Dolphins in Theme Parks

Save The Dolphins

“Talking” Dolphins

And one more about animal sentience, one of MANY books and articles on the subject:

Wonderful Paper on Animal Self Awareness by David DeGrazia

Dissapointment at Gaga and Brain Melt for Me…

This week I can’t even describe in detail there is too much going on. I kind of wish I had someone other than my husband to talk to about all this, but honestly, I don’t think I even could right now, so I turn to you semi-anonymity of the internet!

I can’t believe it is Wednesday already and all of this has only happened over the past four days but the decisions we make next are going to shape the rest of our lives.

It is a lot of pressure.

Outwardly, not a lot of people can probably tell what is going on, and I don’t really want it public yet, any of what is going on. It isn’t even one thing; when it rains, it pours, eh?

Right now, feeling overwhelmed. Blasting some old Kittie (over the headphones as not to wake the sleeping toddler of course) just trying to decompress and stop thinking about it for a bit. Also, after I am done writing this, going to work on the doll house some more, that’s pretty mindless busy work.

Update about what all this is about as soon as I can actually speak about it publicly. Stay tuned kids!

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In other news, Lady Gaga may or may not be wearing real fur. She has yet to actually confirm or deny if it was real. It looks pretty real, but who knows? She can certainly afford high-end fakes. She has also publicly stated she is against fur.

Just in case, I will NOT be supporting Gaga at all until this matter is officially cleared up, and I am telling others to consider the same. I wont go into a big crazy rant about how the animals are tortured and skinned alive, I am sure you have heard it (if you haven’t check out these links: Animal Defenders International and Cruelty Free)

I am willing to give Gaga the benefit of the doubt, I do love her music and my daughter LOVES to dance-y dance to it; but until I get clarification on her TRUE stance on fur I am going to have to join the boycott.

Here’s a brief story so you get the gist: Lady Gaga Fur Flip Flop

 

A Thought on Racism…

So after Sunday’s crazy rampage of a Sikh Temple and NPR’s constant barrage of hate-crime and hate-group based broadcasts, I feel compelled to ask; WHY are people still joining hate groups? Haven’t we evolved a little bit at all since the 1950’s?

It is always unfortunate when this happens, and it happens all the time. Any group that is a little bit different from the white American bubble someone grew up in gets targeted. No, it even goes further than that, there are hate groups that hate that white apple pie group too. Everybody hates everyone else, and everyone is angry because they are hated.

I hate my upstairs neighbor, but you don’t see me gunning him down in the middle of his bedtime prayers. I tolerate the shit out of him because we live together in the same building and I have to. Kind of like we all share this country together, and this planet, whether we like it or not.

Taken from Dictionary.com:

tol·er·ance

[tol-er-uhns]

noun

1.

a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
2.

a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.
3.

interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
4.

the act or capacity of enduring; endurance.
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No where in that definition does it say you have to LIKE someones viewpoint, or AGREE with them or CONVERT or any other lovely verbs and adjectives. The gist I think of that definition is “Hey, try not to kill other people you don’t understand, OK bro?”

I suppose I could take this further into my animal activism and animal rights viewpoint, how I HATE people who abuse animals and take away an animals right to a life free of pain and torture, and how some animal rights groups (not naming any names here folks) could potentially be considered in a construed fashion to be hate groups and terrorists… but honestly I am too tired for all that tonight. Perhaps the subject of a future blog. You comments and messages are of course always welcome.

Sikh Shooting

Michele Martin on NPR

NPR covers “hate-music”

P.S. Can someone form a hate group against David Barton? The guy is a nut job and is just making shit up. I haven’t heard him say anything that was an actual fact yet. Seriously, Fuck You David Barton, fuck you because people are stupid enough to believe you and you are just taking advantage of their naivety. Do your research people, here is a quick link to start you on the right path:

NPR

T.E.A.P.A. (H.R.3359)

In case you haven’t heard of this bill yet, this is the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. Currently in congress. NEEDS SUPPORT.

From Federal Circus Bill:

“With the passage of the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, Congress aims to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and traveling exhibitions”

That about sums it up.It will NOT effect zoo’s, aquariums, farms, domestic animals, etc etc… What it WILL do is fix the loopholes in the AWA that people use to continue to exploit exotic animals. The Show Must Not Go On!

I have already sent out a letter to my congressmen, along with 89 signatures we gathered during my protest of the exotic animal exploitation show at our local fair.

Click on the links and find more, get informed and support this bill.

Thanks!

“When children see animals in a circus, they learn that animals exist for our amusement. Quite apart from the cruelty involved in training and confining these animals, the whole idea that we should enjoy the humiliating spectacle of an elephant or lion made to perform circus tricks shows a lack of respect for the animals as individuals”
-Peter Singer: Aust Author/Philosopher, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University

Break The Chain

Animal Defenders International

Open Congress: TEAPA HR 3359

No More Tigers at Our Fair Protest and a random trip to the city…

This week I…

Protested some tigers at the local fair, lost a friend, gained a few new ones, took a spontaneous overnight trip to the city, my daughter caught some random virus from who knows where and we are about ready to start potty training her!

The protest itself went well. The local media either ignored us, or in the case of the paper, printed a bias article and even printed a blatant lie about our protest, a lie which I believe the person told in order to attempt to discredit our protest and make himself look good. In the end though, I think it makes him look pretty silly for lying, and just ends up discrediting him more. The author of the article has agreed to print an explanation and retraction, and I myself posted the truth on the newspapers website. All in all, we managed to collect 200 signatures, educate many people and made some friends in the process. We spread the word about the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359…now in Congress) and collected 143 signatures for that as well to send to our local representative.

A friend of mine, for the past 6 years now, has always been in disagreement with me about my stance on traveling exotic animal shows, among other things. We were in the same program in college, but we both walked away from it with different views on whats right and whats wrong. I have never let it get in the way of our friendship, however I think maybe this was too much for him. He has decided that we should no longer be friends. I will miss him truly, but if I had to do it again I would. People must always stand up for what they believe in and I don’t regret standing up, nor do I begrudge him for anything either. Everyone has to do what they feel is best in all matters.

My husband, after reading the article, got so angry at the performer for what he had said that he wanted to print out fliers specifically outlining his many USDA violations and very suspicious and sordid history with animals (our fliers weren’t specifically aimed at this performer, just in general plain facts about the lives of traveling animals.) So he stayed up half the night making them. The next day he wanted to run down to Staples and have them mass printed to spread around. I told him no. To do something so childish would be no better than what the performer tried to do to our protest. I don’t need to fight dirty to win because the truth was on my side.

So instead we took a spontaneous trip down to the zoo in the city!

We had so much fun we decided to stay the night, and a few clicks from hubby’s IPhone later we had a hotel reservation. Went out to a great place for dinner, then the next day did some shopping and bought my daughter a Merida doll from the Disney store! Just what we needed!

Of course, by Tuesday night we ended up in the E.R. with a temperature of 103.  After two hours of waiting, with another three to go (according to the triage nurse) the other three families with toddlers and us decided to leave. By this point it was 11:30 at night, so far past my little one’s bedtime that the best thing for her was sleep and a visit to the pediatrician in the morning.

Flash forward, her doctor does a bunch of tests and can’t figure it out. Says bring her back in three days if her fever is still around. Just another random toddler illness. This is only her third fever in her 20 months. The first she had an ear infection around 14 months, the second was Hand Foot and Mouth Disease at the beginning of this month and now this. The pediatrician doesn’t think it is from HFM, he thinks it is something separate. The nurse thinks she is teething. We have never had a fever when teething, anyway she has most of her molars already.

As of today, she is still fussy and cranky, but no fever. We are going to wait until Monday if she isn’t back to herself than back to the doctor we go. Missing playgroup this week stinks, but it is what it is. I think being a parent you learn to just kind of go with the flow sometimes (not my strong point.)

In other news, I bought her a cool new potty! Hopefully it will be here by next week.

It’s by Hoppop. Lets see if she likes it. We also have the Prince Lionheart weePod:

Its easy to put on and take off, easy to clean and it looks comfy, but she cant climb up on the big potty by herself to use it, even with our step stool, and I think that may be whats hindering her potty training so far. She is very independent, she wants to do everything herself. She spent the first 6 months after birth in hubby or my arms, and now we can hardly pin her down for a moment! We even had to take shifts holding her and alternating sleeping. She never wanted to be put down! Now I really wish we could just sit and relax and snuggle on the couch for awhile sometimes. That never happens unless she is sick.

See you all next week!

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