Category: entertainment

Book Review: We Animals, Jo-Anne McArthur (2013)

Monday, February 17th, 2014

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“It will change the world, for the better, for us all.”

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free pdf copy of this book for review.)

“What you see on these pages may surprise or disturb you. My aim is not to turn you away but to draw you in, bring you closer, make you a participant. I want my photographs to be beautiful and evocative as well as truthful and compelling. I hope you’ll take the time not just to look but to see — if only as a mark of respect for the billions of animals whose lives and deaths we don’t notice. To look at this book is to bear witness with me, which means also that we confront cruelty and our complicity in it. As a species, we have to learn new behaviours and attitudes and unlearn the old ones.” (page 9)

Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur has spent the last decade and a half traveling the world – both on her own and in the company of animal activists – documenting our complicated relationships with nonhuman animals. Relationships that so often boil down to objectification, exploitation, and consumption. If you’ve been involved with animal advocacy for any length of time, no doubt you’re familiar with some of McArthur’s images. She’s photographed open rescues conducted by Animal Equality; documented the affecting actions of Toronto Pig Save; and set sail with the crew of the Sea Shepherd. McArthur bears witness through the lens of her camera, exposing atrocities that many of us would prefer remain invisible.

Recently featured in Liz Marshall’s The Ghosts In Our Machine, We Animals features 100 of McArthur’s photos – some taken for the film, others on behalf of various animal advocacy organizations, and the rest during the artist’s travels. The result is a stunning portfolio that’s as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. From the Calgary Stampede to the Tam Dao Bear Sanctuary in Vietnam, McArthur brings us examples of unimaginable cruelty – and selfless compassion.

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: Women of the American Circus, 1880-1940, Katherine H. Adams & Michael L. Keene (2012)

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Challenging Gender Roles from inside the Big Top

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program.)

From 1880 through 1940, the circus was the main form of entertainment in America, and the most common live form of entertainment. The circus brought the exotic and transgressive to big cities and small towns alike, exposing Americans to the strange, unusual, and death-defying: trapeze artists and tightrope walkers, equestrians and lion tamers, clowns and magicians, strong men and tattoo artists – and scores of women who challenged gender roles on multiple fronts. Sometimes these subversive acts proved as simple as displaying one’s “freakish” body in public; other times they involved highly skilled and dangerous stunts which required years of training to perfect.

Bearded women, tall women, fat ladies, and other “born freaks” challenged traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity, while daredevil performers such as female equestrians, sharpshooters, animal trainers, hot rod tricksters, and human cannonballs claimed masculine realms as their own. Likewise, skeletal and short men – particularly when paired with their feminine opposites – also toyed with viewers’ perceptions of masculinity. “Manly” women were sometimes presented as the logical conclusion of feminism (i.e., women with facial hair are the next step in the evolution of the New Woman).

As women began to make up more and more of the circus audience after the Civil War, their roles in the circus changed, becoming more frequent, visible, and varied. Unlike actors, circus performers lived their roles; it was who they were. Women often got to “play the hero” – a role not usually open to them in the larger world. In many ways, a life in the circus afforded women greater independence and more opportunities for self-expression than women could find in the outside world. By 1910, women made up 1/3 to 1/2 of circus acts; as early as 1880, female aerialists earned more on average than men. Many of these were family affairs, with family acts immigrating to the U.S. to join more prestigious outfits. In this way, the circus was truly a microcosm of the “American Dream.”

(More below the fold…)

Everyday Ironies: Equality for…Some

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Wyoming State Quarter

Here we have the Wyoming state quarter, which on the back features its state motto – “The Equality State” – and, to its left, is the silhouette of a “cowboy” riding a bucking horse.

The website TheUS50 explains:

The bucking horse and rider symbolize Wyoming’s Wild West heritage. “Buffalo Bill” Cody personified this in his traveling Wild West show. First settled by fur trappers, Fort Laramie, Wyoming, later became a popular destination for pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail.

Wyoming was nicknamed the “Equality State” because of its historical role in establishing equal voting rights for women. Wyoming was the first territory to grant “female suffrage” and became the first state in the Nation to allow women to vote, serve on juries and hold public office. In 1924, Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman elected Governor of Wyoming. In 1933, Ross became the first woman appointed as the Director of the United States Mint.

As per usual, “equality” by default applies only to human animals; the irony of choosing to feature an image of animal exploitation alongside the state’s nickname was apparently lost on the US Mint. This is hardly surprising, given the speciesist world in which we live. So ubiquitous is our oppression of animals that it’s rendered mostly invisible; like water to a fish. Try as we might, sometimes it can be difficult to recognize it all.

Although this particular quarter was released in 2007, I didn’t catch on to the irony until last winter.* The husband, having taken the dogs walking in a nearby park, accidentally left the car’s lights on, thus draining the batteries. Long story short, I ended up stuck behind the wheel for a half hour while we jumped the battery. Bored to tears, I started rummaging through the car’s various cubbies and compartments and found a few state quarters. Though I’d probably glanced at a Wyoming state quarter countless times by then, for some reason the contradiction struck me; equality for whom? Certainly not the horses imprisoned, enslaved, raped, abused, maimed and killed in rodeos (not to mention other horse-related industries). But nonhumans – much like women before them – simply aren’t deemed worthy of our consideration. I can only hope that history will once again prove us wrong.

* Yes, this is on average how long my posts languish in draft purgatory. Bad blogger, bad.

The Rodeo/Horse Slaughter Connection, Bullfighting & More: Recent Action Alerts from SHARK

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

In cleaning out my inbox, I found the following action alerts from SHARK; I’m including them all here for simplicity’s sake (and because I cannot find them to link to on SHARK’s website). These are all from the group’s most recent enewsletter, dated October 14, 2009.

Rodeos Send Their Horses to Slaughter

Love is a Slaughter Line???!!!

Rodeos claim to care about their animals, so why do many of their worn-out bucking horses suffer the horror of a slaughterhouse? SHARK’s 141st YouTube video is one of the most graphic we have released, making the connection between rodeo and horse slaughter. We didn’t do it to sicken people. We did it to let people know just how cruel rodeo is, and how much rodeo animal victims are suffering. It brings into focus even more sharply the role of corporate sponsors such as Coca-Cola.
 
I hope you will watch this video, and then call Coke (800-438-2653/800-Get-Coke) and let the company know just what you think. It is because of big money from corporate sponsors like Coke that rodeo stock contractors are breaking their horses down, as well as overbreeding, and then casting the foals who don’t make the cut into the clutches of the horrific slaughter industry.
 
Foreign companies are killing America’s horses — many of them rodeo horses — to be sent abroad for human consumption.

Call your legislators and ask them to vote Yes on HR503 and S727 – Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009. For more information on what you can do, go to: http://HorseKillers.com

(More below the fold…)

SHARK: Please Contact Cheyenne Mayor About Criminal Investigation

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Here’s the latest on SHARK’s ongoing campaign against Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. You can find out more on the group’s website (a search for “Cheyenne Frontier Days” turns up 190 results, so grab a cup of tea and some cruelty-free patries before digging in) and view SHARK’s investigative footage on its YouTube channel.

The Chief is Leaving, But Let’s Keep Investigation Going

As you will recall, earlier this month, I contacted Cheyenne Police Chief Robert Fecht and requested an investigation of Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo for criminal neglect. SHARK’s documentation shows dozens of animals injured, while CFD claims only seven received care. See the first two of four videos showing many of the animal injuries.

2009 Cheyenne Animal Injuries, Part 1:
 


 
2009 Cheyenne Animal Injuries, Part 2:
 

 
This is in stark contrast to what is stated on CFD’s website about their care for the animals in the rodeo:

We recognize that animals, as well as humans, may be injured in these events. Any injured animal is accorded immediate veterinary medical attention, and is isolated from further harm. Every attempt is made to make injured animals comfortable, and offer them opportunity to recover. Injured animals are not used again.

Read the entire “Animal Care” statement here.

While Chief Fecht has been investigating the matter, he is retiring and his last day is today. It is now up to the Mayor of Cheyenne, Mayor Rick Kaysen and the acting Chief of Police Jeff Schulz to continue this investigation.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Updates, April – June 2009

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:59 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: APR – JUN 2009

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST

VICTORIES * SETBACKS * PROGRESS

PART 1: APRIL – JUNE 2009 / KINSHIP CIRCLE UPDATES

1. Pig Abusers At Hormel Supplier Get 1-2 Year Probation
2. Bureaucrats Reach No Decision On Whaling
3. Lax Officials Knew Travis The Chimp Might Attack
4. Kitten Killer’s Accomplice Is Now Charged Too
5. Pet Food Poisoners Plead Guilty And Face Jail Time
6. Foie Gras Producer On Trial For Cruelty
7. Atlanta Falcons Bid Michael Vick A Permanent Farewell
8. “Change” Doesn’t Look Much Different Under Obama
9. California Spay/Neuter Law Passes Senate, Moves To Assembly
10. Groups Sue Salazar In Effort To Save Delisted Wolves
11. Way To Go SAEN! Research Industry Meltdown
12. Cheyenne Frontier Rodeo Bans Video Instead Of Abuse
13. California Bullfight Busts Continue; Humane Officer Assaulted
14. Repression Of Austrian Animal Activists Worsens

PART 2: KC UPDATES / APRIL – JUNE 2009
RESEND PART #2 TO ME: info [at] kinshipcircle.org

15. HSUS And Michael Vick Team Up To Fight Dogfighting?
16. Armed To Kill In National Parks: Guns Allowed
17. Maine Is 6th State To Ban Cruel Confinement Crates
18. NC Pro-Gas Chamber Bill Gets A “No” Vote
19. USDA Cites New Iberia Primate Lab For Violations
20. U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Against Canada Sealing
21. Canadian Sealers Lose Biggest Customer — EUROPE!
22. EU Votes To Let Most Primate Research Continue
23. Karley’s Sociopath Killer Ordered To Stand Trial
24. Horse Slaughterhouses Now Legal In Montana
25. Michigan Pound Gives R&R Research The Boot
26. Big Surprise: Swine Flu, Born On U.S. Factory Farms
27. Los Angeles DA Drops Charges Against Dog Dragger
28. Obama Accepts Breeder Dog As Gift For Daughters

(More below the fold…)

Breaking: Gymnast Shawn Johnson Put To Sleep After Breaking Leg

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The Onion reports:
 


 
This video is chock full of snarky goodness, but my favorite part?

“Shawn was only 17 years old, so we never got to breed her.”

(More below the fold…)

June 20th marks the 1st International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

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On June 20th (that’s a week from this Saturday, folks), In Defense of Animals will be holding the first-ever International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ for short).

IDA describes IDAEZ as

a global event aimed at bringing mammoth attention to the plight of elephants in zoos and ending their suffering. On Saturday, June 20th, pro-elephant advocates will turn out en masse at their local zoos, holding outreach events and demonstrations to educate the public about the tragic effects of keeping elephants in small, impoverished zoo pens where they are suffering and dying prematurely.

Elephants are highly intelligent, complex and self-aware individuals who have evolved for long distance living. In the wild they range tens of miles a day, live in large, tight-knit family groups, and communicate with one another at great distances. Yet zoos keep elephants in tiny exhibits of a few acres or less, where lack of movement and standing on hard surfaces cause painful foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of euthanasia in captive-held elephants. The stress and boredom of intensive captivity results in abnormal behaviors such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing. [...]

The elephants need your help! By participating in this event, you become part of a global community of pro-elephant advocates joined together on June 20th to end the suffering of elephants in zoos. We urge you to organize or join an event at your local zoo, write letters, educate your friends and family. It’s all about taking action. United, we are a powerful force for change!

Backed by an army of public relations personnel, the zoo industry has been largely successful in convincing the general public that zoos work for the public good: breeding endangered animal species which might otherwise go extinct; fostering in children a love and appreciation for nature and its inhabitants; throwing their weight behind sundry conservation efforts so that, one day, animals need not live in captivity for their species to survive. This is a lie.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Friends of Kinship Circle Updates, June 2009

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – KinshipCircleInfo [at] accessus.net
Date: Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 9:31 AM
Subject: Pig Massacre, Cat Labs, Black Market Asia Film…[Friends Of Kinship Circle]
To: “3) KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY”

FRIENDS OF KINSHIP CIRCLE, 6/7/09

http://friendsofkinshipcircle.wordpress.com

* KINSHIP CIRCLE DOES NOT WRITE OR RESEARCH THESE ALERTS.
* QUESTIONS? CONTACT ALERT WRITERS. PLEASE DO NOT HIT REPLY.

IN THIS ALERT:

1. Egypt: Mass Pig Slaughter During Swine Flu Panic
2. Stop Texas Tech’s Senseless Torture Of Cats
3. Support New Film On Illegal Trade In Wild Animals
4. Shield Polar Bears From Deadly Global Warming
5. End “Jumps Racing” Carnage For Good
6. Shocking Elephant Abuse Video From Greek Circus
7. Brookfield Zoo Elephant Deserves Safe Haven
8. Check Out Karen Dawn’s Blog
9. 50+ Years In A Lab – Save Elder Chimps From Hell

(More below the fold…)

SHARK is holding Coke responsible for animal cruelty; are you?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

SHARK is still tugging at Coke’s pull-tab, as the megacorp continues to insist that it “will not sponsor events or attractions that feature animals unless the event organizers have policies and procedures in place to support the humane treatment of animals” – this, while sponsoring rodeos.

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Here’s SHARK’s latest alert; you can read previous alerts here.

———————–

Dear Friends,

I want to make this real easy for you to find because I want you to call Coke again, Coke’s number is: 800-438-2653.

William McMullen, a dedicated activist in Michigan, has learned that rodeo sponsor Coca-Cola now has a special “Alert” on its “Frequently Asked Questions” section of its website. This means Coke is getting a lot of complaints about the rodeo issue.

Here’s the link that will allow you to see this for yourself: Coca-Cola’s Alert

Here is Coke’s latest statement:

‘Does The Coca-Cola Company sponsor rodeos?’

“Coca-Cola cares about the welfare of animals and supports their proper treatment. That is why the Company and our U.S. bottling partners will not sponsor events or attractions that feature animals unless the event organizers have policies and procedures in place to support the humane treatment of animals and provide ready access to quality veterinary care to protect the animals’ health and safety.”

This statement is a damnable lie, and the company knows it. It is both unbelievable and repulsive this corrupt company is going to such lengths to outright lie to its own customers. Coke sponsors numerous cruel rodeos across the country that maim and kill animals. SHARK has been proving for 16 years that rodeo humane rules are a farce, and that rodeo animals are regularly injured and killed. Even the rodeo industry admits this by refusing to release animal injury and death reports.

(More below the fold…)

SHARK: Bloodless Bullfighting Coming to America

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Excerpted from SHARK’s May 5, 2009 e-newsletter:

Bloodless Bullfighting Coming to America

More Bull and Horse Abuse in Las Vegas

SHARK has been notified that the company Don Bull Productions (in cooperation with Protamex) is going to organize bloodless bullfights in the South Point Arena in Las Vegas. These bullfights are going to take place on September 14th and 15th, as well as in December 2009, September and December 2010. For more information, click here.

We are told that the bulls are dressed with a Velcro “cape” designed to catch the harpoons (which have no points, but a tip also of Velcro). The concern is that these bullfights might be bloodless, but real toreros such as ‘El Cordobes’ (who kill bulls during other events) take part in them, and both bulls and horses are subjected to stress and injuries during such events. We also have a strong suspicion that the bulls used during these events are going to be killed in Mexico, during a regular bullfight or in the slaughterhouse.

We cannot let these events happen in Las Vegas, because the bullfighting industry is losing ground in the ‘real’ bullfighting countries Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and is now trying to export these events to other countries.

The last thing we need in this country is more animal abusing events.

What You Can Do:

Contact the South Point Arena, the mayor of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and ask others to do the same. Las Vegas has plenty to offer and doesn’t need to abuse animals for entertainment.

Mr. Oscar B. Goodman
Mayor of Las Vegas
City Hall, Tenth Floor
400 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 229-6241
Fax: (702) 385-7960
email the Mayor, click here
Mayor’s website

Website Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (official tourism authority): www.visitlasvegas.com/vegas/index.jsp
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Attn. Board of Directors
3150 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: 702-892-0711
Fax: 702-892-2824
LVCVA’s website

South Port Equestrian and Events Center: www.southpointeventscenter.com
South Point Arena
Attn. Steve Stallworth, director general
9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89189
Hotel Phone: 866-796-7111 toll free
Hotel Fax: 702-797-8001
Equestrian and Events Center Phone: 702-797-8005
South Port’s website

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Friends of Kinship Circle Alerts, 4/13/09

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – KinshipCirclePrimary [at] accessus.net
Date: Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 9:31 PM
Subject: We Are Their Hope [Friends Of Kinship Circle, 4/13/09]

Kinship Circle - Friends of KC Banner

4/13/09: We Are Their Hope

http://friendsofkinshipcircle.wordpress.com

* KINSHIP CIRCLE DOES NOT WRITE OR RESEARCH THESE ALERTS.
* QUESTIONS? CONTACT ALERT WRITERS. PLEASE DO NOT HIT REPLY.

IN THIS ALERT:

1. Recent Kinship Circle Alerts Are A Click Away
2. Pound Seizure & Humane Euthanasia
3. Save Stu – Wrongfully Impounded Since 9/15/05
4. New England Animal Rights Workshop 6/13/09
5. Party To End Puppy Mills On 4/19/09
6. Urge Portugal City To Become Anti-Bullfighting
7. We Are Their Hope: World Lab Animal Liberation Week
8. Vegans Take On The “3 Peaks” Challenge

(More below the fold…)

On mares, wet nurses and shared exploitations.

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Photo via ImaginaryGirl

A few weeks ago, Jennie at That Vegan Girl wrote about a little-known practice of the horse racing industry in which genetically “undesirable” mares are made into “nurses” for the offspring of “thoroughbred” mares and stallions. When “prize” mares are prevented from nursing their foals themselves, they’re of more use to breeders, as they can be impregnated sooner. More babies = more product = more money. And it’s always about maximum profit, right?

In addition to severing the mother-child bond between the “prize” mare and her foal, this practice has even graver consequences for the “nurse” mare and her child. Remember – in order to produce milk, females must first produce a baby. So what happens to the “nurse” mare’s foal, the one for whom the “nurse” mare’s milk is actually intended?

Jennie explains:

The Jockey Club, which is the official governing body of Thoroughbred racing (the kind you see in the Kentucky Derby) does not allow embryo transfer or artificial insemination of horses. In order to have a baby every year, a mare must be re-bred directly after foaling, which means that she must be shipped to the stallion for breeding directly after having her own baby. It’s a process that usually takes three to four weeks in whole, and the foal is too delicate (and valuable!) to travel with his mother. Plus, if she nurses her own foal, she’s not going to come back into heat and thus cannot conceive. Since her whole purpose is to give the breeder potentially valuable offspring, she must be rebred, and since she cannot nurse her own foal and fulfill her “purpose”, a “nurse mare” is brought in.

In order to give milk, female animals generally need to be pregnant and have given birth (the oxytocin secreted during birth allows lactation to begin). In the “nurse mare” industry, like the dairy industry, the newborn foals become the byproducts of milk production. The nurse mares are generally horses of “lower quality” who are otherwise healthy and good milk producers. They are bred to inexpensive stallions for the sole purpose of being able to provide milk to the potential racehorse foals. But wait, you ask… what about their own foals? If you’re unfamiliar with horses, you might think she, like a human wetnurse, gets to nurse both her baby and the other mare’s baby. That doesn’t seem so bad, you might think. Not bad enough to provoke yet another horse “sport” related rant at least. However, if you are familiar with horses, you know that mares rarely produce enough milk to support two foals (one reason why twins are such a problem) and that you’d have to give the mare a substantial amount more feed and that the whole process would require extra attention, extra money. Since the point is to make the “valuable” foal grow up strong and healthy, and the extra foal has no “value”, there’s no chance that the mare’s real baby will get a share of her milk anyway, so what then?

Traditionally, these foals are killed.

That’s right. Like dairy calves, these sentient “byproducts” are killed because they’re not worth keeping alive. It’s not that you couldn’t. You could (and rescues do) keep them alive on formula. However, on large farms, there tend to be a large number and these farms are concerned not with life, but with their bottom line. It is time consuming and not cheap, per say, to do. So they kill them. Why? On the off chance that the foal that their mother nurses will fetch money at auction or win on the track or become a superstar stud (25% chance he will, 75% chance he’ll go to slaughter too). Because their mothers’ are more valuable pregnant than being able to properly bond with their children.

(By the by, this is but a small part of Jennie’s post; you should go read the entire piece, because it’s excellent. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back!)

(More below the fold…)

SHARK: Keep the pressure on Coca-Cola

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Update, 5/11/09:

In an email dated May 5, 2009, SHARK updates us on its campaign against Coke:

Coca-Cola’s Feeling the Heat

Keep Pressuring Coke About Sponsoring Animal Abuse

Thank you to everyone who has contacted Coke about its sponsorship of rodeo animal abuse. We appreciate all the responses you have been sending us from the Company.

Under intense pressure the Company is now issuing yet another form letter response. In bold is the relevant change.

Thank you for contacting The Coca-Cola Company, Mrs. Hunter. We appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Like you, The Coca-Cola Company cares about the welfare of animals and supports their proper treatment. That is why the Company and our U.S. bottling will not sponsor events or attractions that feature animals unless the event organizers have policies and procedures in place to support the humane treatment of animals and provide ready access to quality veterinary care to protect the animals’ health and safety. Additionally, the Company’s trademarks may not be used to promote an event or an attraction that violates local, state or national laws or is contrary to the Company’s policy and guidelines.

We hope we have addressed your concerns. If you have questions or comments in the future, feel free to contact us again.

Tom Barber
Industry and Consumer Affairs
The Coca-Cola Company

Coke has a policy in effect that says:

“The Coca-Cola Company does not endorse or condone any practice of cruelty to animals, and the Company does not sponsor or promote events where there is a risk of physical harm to animals.”

Clearly, rodeos violate that policy.

They should have no presence in rodeos.

No matter how many times you have already contacted Coke, please contact them again. We have to remind them of their policy, and we have to keep discrediting their claims and exposing them. It is your calls, letters and e-mails that has them dancing around this issue.

Please let them know that you will not buy their products until they stop supporting animal abuse and will encourage others to do the same.

What You Can Do:

You can help the animals by sharing your thoughts about Coke’s insensitivity with the company’s CEO and President:

Muhtar Kent
President and CEO
The Coca-Cola Company
P.O. Box 1734
Atlanta, GA 30301
Phone: 770-989-3000
Toll Free: (800) 438-2653 (Get-Coke)

Please also send a separate letter to the same address to the Board of Directors at Coca-Cola.

Email Coke on their web form by clicking here.

Email Coca-Cola’s Corporate Responsibility Review directly at crreview [at] na.ko.com

Please forward any response you may receive from Coke to us at info [at] sharkonline.org, so we can keep track of what corporate lie(s) they are handing out at any given moment.

——————-

Excerpted from the latest edition of SHARK’s enewsletter:

SHARK wants to give a giant Thank You to everyone who took the time to contact Coca-Cola. We know that our letters and phone calls are having an effect. Coca-Cola is responding to our emails by sticking to their ridiculous story that they don’t support rodeo, but bizarrely, they then go into a lengthy defense of rodeo. We believe that this shows that Coca-Cola is feeling the pressure.

We are going to ask you to call Coke again and keep calling Coke this year until they withdraw their support of animal abuse and cruelty. A message needs to be sent to the corporate sponsors of animal cruelty that sponsoring animal cruelty will not be tolerated. PLEASE CONTACT Coca-Cola again or if you haven’t told them how you feel yet, please do so today! We need your support on this issue.

We also have one correction to make: E. Neville Isdell’s proper title is Chairman of the Board and Coca-Cola’s CEO is Muhtar Kent.

Please crosspost to everyone you know and to other organizations.

For more information visit: CokeCruelty.com

Contact Coke Today!

Call Toll Free (800) 438-2653 (GET-COKE)

Email Coke on their web form by clicking here: http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/contactus/cokefeedback/index.html

Email Coca-Cola’s Corporate Responsibility Review directly at crreview[at] na.ko.com

Snail Mail:
Muhtar Kent, President & CEO
The Coca-Cola Company
P.O. Box 1734
Atlanta, GA 30301-1734

E. Neville Isdell, Chairman of the Board
The Coca-Cola Company
P.O. Box 1734
Atlanta, GA 30301-1734

Please also send a separate letter to the same address to the Board of Directors at Coca-Cola.

Please forward any response you may receive from Coke to us at info [at] sharkonline.org, so we can keep track of what corporate lie(s) they are handing out at any given moment.

SHARK offers proof of Coke’s rodeo love on their website, including this banner from the 2007 CFD Rodeo.

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If you’re going to endorse cruelty, the least you can do is have the backbone to stand behind your decision. If it’s such a PR nightmare that you’ve got to deny the sponsorship, then here’s an idea – withdraw your support!

(More below the fold…)

Horizontal Women, Redux

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

This is extent of interaction allowed between piglets and their mothers “living” on modern factory farms:

(More below the fold…)

The not-so-curious case of Santino the chimpanzee.

Friday, March 13th, 2009

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Santino the chimp with a stone in his hand. Photograph: PA

Many of you have no doubt already heard the story of Santino, a chimpanzee being held captive in a Swedish zoo who, in gathering rocks to throw at visitors to the zoo/prison, evidenced abstract thinking and planning for the future.

STOCKHOLM (AP) – A canny chimpanzee who calmly collected a stash of rocks and then hurled them at zoo visitors in fits of rage has confirmed that apes can plan ahead just like humans, a Swedish study said Monday. Santino the chimpanzee’s anti-social behavior stunned both visitors and keepers at the Furuvik Zoo but fascinated researchers because it was so carefully prepared.

According to a report in the journal Current Biology, the 31-year-old alpha male started building his weapons cache in the morning before the zoo opened, collecting rocks and knocking out disks from concrete boulders inside his enclosure. He waited until around midday before he unleashed a “hailstorm” of rocks against visitors, the study said.

“These observations convincingly show that our fellow apes do consider the future in a very complex way,” said the author of the report, Lund University Ph.D. student Mathias Osvath. “It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including lifelike mental simulations of potential events.” [...]

Osvath said the chimpanzee had also been observed tapping on concrete boulders in the park to identify weak parts and then knocking out a piece. If it was too big for throwing, he broke it into smaller pieces, before adding them to his arsenal.

“It is very special that he first realizes that he can make these and then plans on how to use them,” Osvath said. “This is more complex than what has been showed before.” [...]

For a while, zoo keepers tried locking Santino up in the morning so he couldn’t collect ammunition for his assaults, but he remained aggressive. They ultimately decided to castrate him in the autumn last year, but will have to wait until the summer to see if that helps. The chimpanzees are only kept outdoors between April and October and Santino’s special behavior usually occurs in June and July.

“It is normal behavior for alpha males to want to influence their surroundings … It is extremely frustrating for him that there are people out of his reach who are pointing at him and laughing,” Osvath said. “It cannot be good to be so furious all the time.”

I’ll try to not rehash what others have said, but if I may, a few points:

I’ve noticed that a disturbing number of news articles refer to Santino as “belligerent,” “anti-social,” and the like. His behavior is characterized as unreasonably antagonistic and hostile, as if it’s wholly unprovoked. On the contrary; Santino’s actions are defensive, not offensive. How would you respond if, day in and day out, naked apes invaded your space, gawked, laughed and pointed at you, and occasionally even assaulted your person, both verbally and physically? (Anyone who’s taken even the occasional trip to a zoo has witnessed humans – adults and children alike – harass the animals, usually with words and noises, but also with improvised weapons.) Probably you wouldn’t like it. Probably you’d become fed up and eventually lash out. Santino is 31 years old; though I’ve no clue how long he’s been held captive in a zoo, probably it’s been years – possibly, decades. How would you handle 31 years of captivity and slow torture?

In regards to the zoo keepers’ efforts to control Santino’s “belligerent” behavior by castrating the poor bloke, I say this: isn’t the obvious answer to remove him from the gorram display? That’s the real issue at play here, not his aggression or excessive levels of testosterone.

And also: humans often invoke our superior intellect – whether this is defined as a sense of self, ability to plan for the future, ability to craft and use tools, what have you – as an ethical justification for our exploitation and enslavement of non-human animals. So what do we do when a non-human animal exhibits human-like intelligence? Why, we (try to) castrate it out of him, of course! Can’t have a dirty, filthy ape acting like a person now, can we? Oh, the irony.

I can only hope that Brother Kwan – another forward-thinking primate – escaped his captors after his own attempt at freedom. Brother, described only as “a monkey,” killed his abusive owner by throwing a coconut at the man’s head. Slave owner Leilit Janchoom died instantly.

Perchance Brother Kawn will make an appearance on a future segment of TCR’s “Monkey on the Lam“?

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NEAVS: Great Ape Protection Act Update 3/11/2009

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Release Chimps – releasechimps [at] neavs.org
Date: Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 4:16 PM
Subject: Great Ape Protection Act Update 3/11/2009

Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories: Legislative Update 3/11/2009

Great Ape Protection Act Continues to Gain Bipartisan Support

Three things YOU can do right now to help!

The Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) is currently in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. As of today, the bill has the support of 28 cosponsors including all the original sponsors. It is vital we continue to work hard to add even more cosponsors to ensure the bill’s success.

1. If you have not already done so in 2009, contact your legislator and ask them to sign onto the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) as a cosponsor, or, if they already have in 2009, please thank them. Then ask at least three of your friends or family to contact their legislators too! Email us for legislator postcards to help make contacting them fast and easy (releasechimps [at] neavs.org).

2. Please contact the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and let them know that you no longer want your tax dollars going towards research on great apes. Tell them you want funding allocated to:

* Retire chimpanzees currently in U.S. labs to sanctuary.
* Alternatives which are not only more humane but are safer and better science.

3. Recently there has been important media coverage (ABC’s Nightline) on primates in research. As a result, thousands of comments are being posted on social networking sites such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. Please add your voice to this debate with positive, informative and reasonable comments to help educate the public.

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SDAC ALERT: Save Iditarod dogs from brutality – Write to Sponsors

Monday, March 9th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: – SledDogAC [at] aol.com
Date: Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 11:12 AM
Subject: ALERT: Save Iditarod dogs from brutality – WRITE
To: SledDogAC [at] aol.com

Please send protest emails and forward this alert widely.

From the Sled Dog Action Coalition, http://www.helpsleddogs.org

Imagine the cruelties these cute sled dog pups will eventually experience in the Iditarod.

Contact information, email blocks and sample letter are below.

Please help end the barbaric treatment of dogs by sending protest emails to organizations that support the Iditarod. What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite (where it hurts the most!), bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains.

Dog beatings and whippings are common. During the 2007 Iditarod, eyewitnesses reported that musher Ramy Brooks kicked, punched and beat his dogs with a ski pole and a chain. Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, “A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective.” “It is a common training device in use among dog mushers…”

Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed large numbers of dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Many dogs who are permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or who are unwanted for any reason are killed with a shot to the head, dragged, drowned or clubbed to death.

When they’re not hauling people, most Iditarod dogs are forced to live at the end of a chain. It has been reported that dogs who don’t make the main team are never taken off-chain. Chained dogs have been attacked by wolves, bears and other animals. Old and arthritic dogs suffer terrible pain in the blistering cold.

Most Internet service providers allow people to send up to 40 email addresses at a time. For your convenience, the addresses have been divided into groups of 40. Please email the first group first. Individual email addresses are given under the sample letter. The groups contain addresses for the Iditarod sponsors, promoters, and the sponsors of the 73 mushers who signed up for the 2009 Iditarod. Email blocks with semicolons are on
http://www.helpsleddogsorg/sponsors.htm .

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Kinship Circle: Friends of Kinship Circle Alerts, March 2009

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 1:59 PM
Subject: Greyhounds, Fur, Rodeo Shock, Cats Skinned… [Friends Of Kinship Circle]

Kinship Circle - Friends of KC Banner

FRIENDS OF KINSHIP CIRCLE / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST

http://friendsofkinshipcircle.wordpress.com/

* KINSHIP CIRCLE DOES NOT WRITE OR RESEARCH THESE ALERTS.
* WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VALIDITY OF FRIENDS OF KC ALERTS.
* CONTACT ALERT WRITERS. PLEASE DO NOT HIT REPLY. We will not respond.

1. Trouble For Greyhounds in South Africa
2. Jamaica Wants Greyhound Races Too
3. Jason Wu Puts Aside Fur, For Now
4. Tucson Rodeo Shocks Horses
5. Guandong – Cats Skinned And Boiled Alive
6. Fight Horse Slaughter State By State
7. Prosecute Bird Killers In Florida
8. Ask For End To NYC Horse Carriages
9. World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week

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SHARK: Tucson Rodeo – Will They Shock Horses This Year?

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

The following is excerpted from the most recent edition of SHARK’s newsletter.

—————————

Tucson Rodeo – Will They Shock Horses This Year? Or Will They Join Other Rodeos and Ban Shocking?

In 2008, SHARK exposed the Tucson Rodeo for shocking horses with 5,000 – 6,000 volts of painful electricity to make them perform.

SHARK filed a complaint requesting a criminal investigation and charges against those responsible, that was filed with the Arizona Department of Agriculture – Animal Services Division.

SHARK received great media coverage of this issue helping to educate many in Arizona about rodeo animal abuse.

In advance of the upcoming rodeo this year, SHARK has sent out two press releases (see below) to the media, the City Council and the Mayor of Tucson requesting their attention and action on this issue.

What You Can Do:

Contact the Mayor and City Council Members and request a ban on shocking the animals in the rodeo like many other rodeos in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, etc.

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