In which Sean Delonas & The New York Post wallow in racism and speciesism.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Update, 2/20/09: The New York Post offered a half-assed apology for the Delonas cartoon today; by “half-assed,” I mean of the “we’re sorry if we hurt your delicate feefees” variety.

Naturally, the “apology” only addresses the racial aspects of the cartoon, while completely overlooking the speciesism inherent in comparing marginalized human group x to marginalized animal species y as a means of insult – and in mocking chimpanzee Travis’s needless and tragic death.

If you’d like, you can comment on the “apology” here, or submit a letter to the editor here.

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The above cartoon ran in today’s issue of The New York Post.

In one tidy little panel, cartoonist Sean Delonas – and, in printing and defending such trash, The New York Post – happily wallows in a toxic pool of racism and speciesism.

Here, President Obama is likened to Travis, a captive chimpanzee and former “animal actor,” who escaped from his “house” and attacked his “owner’s” friend on Monday. He was later shot and killed by police.

In bestializing Obama, Delonas engages in both racism and speciesism. Comparing people of color to nonhuman animals – particularly primates, such as chimps and monkeys – is a familiar, age-old racist meme. Denying the humanity of people of color – again, by likening them to nonhuman animals, which are presumably “sub-human,” “lesser beings,” “wild” incapable of intelligent thought or emotion, etc. – was used to justify slavery and segregation, and is still employed as a rationalization for current social inequities such as the disproportionately high rates of poverty, hunger and incarceration among people of color.

These comparisons are also speciesist, inasmuch as they rely upon and reinforce our (collective) stereotypes and prejudices re: nonhuman animals, as well as our utter lack of regard for their sentience and interests. Just as the above cartoon derides Obama by tying him to Travis, it also vilifies Travis (and, by extension, chimpanzees) for being “stupid,” “wild” and “vicious” – “less than.” To add insult to injury, Delonas turns Travis’s tragic death into the butt of a joke. (This didn’t have to happen: Travis should have been living in a sanctuary, with his own kind, not in the residential home of an elderly woman.)

(More below the fold…)

PETA: Exotic Animals in Missouri Need Your Help!

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: PETA – newsmanager [at] peta.org
Date: Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 11:07 AM
Subject: Exotic Animals in Missouri Need Your Help!

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Two tiger attacks in Missouri this week graphically illustrate the need for new laws. On August 4, a 16-year-old worker at Predator World—an unaccredited zoo in Branson, Mo.—was attacked by three tigers, and the victim is currently in the hospital in critical condition. On August 3, a tiger was shot and killed after the animal attacked a worker at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya, a private menagerie in Warren County, Mo. The victim’s leg had to be amputated.

These are not Missouri’s first tragic incidents involving exotic animals. Previously, a volunteer at Predator World was bitten by a leopard, and three wolves, a grizzly bear, and a fox have escaped from the facility. In 2001, an African lion at Ozark Nature Center in Morgan County escaped and was on the loose for four days. In 1999, a 5-year-old boy in Williamsville was mauled by a neighbor’s “pet” lion.

Potentially dangerous wild animals—such as big cats, bears, wolves, and primates—should not be kept in captivity. These animals pose public health and safety risks, and they suffer immensely when they are kept as “pets” or in poor conditions at unqualified and inexperienced roadside zoos or pseudo-sanctuaries.

(More below the fold…)

Think Outside the Cage

Friday, January 5th, 2007

Today is National Bird Day!

API - National Bird Day 2007 (Think Outside the Cage)

Each year, millions of exotic birds are captured from the wild or produced in captivity for commercial profit or human amusement, only to languish in conditions that fail to meet these animals’ instinctive behavioral and physical needs. As a result, many birds lead miserable lives.

National Bird Day (January 5) is a day to appreciate our own native wild birds flying free outside our windows, and a day to reflect on how we treat the native birds of other countries. National Bird Day is also a time to commit to improving the lives of birds in captivity and supporting efforts aimed at protecting birds in the wild.

Spread the word.

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Tagged:

DawnWatch last minute tip: "Inside Edition" on exotic animal auctions — 12/21/06

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch USA – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Dec 21, 2006 10:26 AM
Subject: DawnWatch last minute tip: “Inside Edition” on exotic animal auctions — 12/21/06

Today, Thursday December 21, on “Inside Edition”:

“Exotic Animal Auction — You’ve never seen an auction like this! Zebras, monkeys, even a kangaroo sold to the highest bidder! But where are they ending up? Inside Edition investigates!”

You can watch the promo on line at http://www.insideedition.com/

This link tells you where and when you’ll find the show: http://www.insideedition.com/wheretowatch/

(Note for New Yorkers: It is on Fox5 at 11:30am — just after you should receive this alert)

Check it out if you can, and if it shines the spotlight on animal cruelty, please thank Inside Edition. The show takes comments at: iemail [at] kingworld.com.

My thanks to Jenny Desmond for making sure we knew about the piece.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)

To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php

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API: Ask Your City Mayor to Officially Recognize National Bird Day

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: API Newsletters – donotreply [at] api4animals.org
Date: Nov 29, 2006 12:16 PM
Subject: Ask Your City Mayor to Officially Recognize National Bird Day

Ask Your City Mayor to Officially Recognize National Bird Day

With National Bird Day just around the corner, the Animal Protection Institute (API), in coordination with the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC), is calling on activists around the U.S. to take action on behalf of captive birds, by drawing attention to the exploitation of birds by the U.S. pet industry.

A few of the facts:

*Nearly 12% of the world’s 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world’s 330 parrot species.

*Many of the world’s parrots and songbirds are threatened with extinction due to pressures from the pet trade and habitat loss.

*Millions of birds are captured from the wild or produced in captivity only to lead miserable lives languishing in conditions that fail to meet their instinctive behavioral and physical needs

Help us spread the important message about the plight of captive birds by asking your city mayor to proclaim January 5, 2007 “National Bird Day.”

(More below the fold…)

API: Make Plans to Celebrate National Bird Day

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Via the Animal Protection Institute:

Start Making Plans to Celebrate National Bird Day


National Bird Day - January 5th

January 5, 2007 will herald the fifth annual celebration of National Bird Day. To commemorate the occasion, the Animal Protection Institute (API), in coordination with the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC), is calling on activists around the U.S. to take action on behalf of captive birds, by drawing attention to the exploitation of other country’s native birds that is being perpetrated by the U.S. pet industry.

Since there are a variety of things you can do to benefit the birds, some of which will take a bit of advanced planning, there seemed like no better time than the present to bring your attention toward this upcoming occasion and stress the need to take action on behalf of the birds.

You can help the birds and celebrate National Bird Day in many ways. Click here to find out more.

Free 2007 National Bird Day Posters Available to Activists!

Thanks for Flocking Together to Help the Birds!

My mostest favoritist poster below the jump.

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DawnWatch tip: ABC’s 20/20 to cover privately held wild animals — 10/27/06

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Oct 26, 2006 10:30 AM
Subject: DawnWatch tip: ABC’s 20/20 to cover privately held wild animals –10/27/06

On Friday, October 27, ABC’s 20/20, which airs at 10pm ET/PT, will include a segment titled “Lions and Tigers and Bears in the Backyard.”

You can read a lot of the transcript and see a three minute version of the story on line at http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2604901.

Michelle Thew of the Animal Protection Institute is interviewed.

In the three minute video on the website we see Dave Salmoni of Animal Planet mauled while “doing a live show at a Toronto zoo with a mild mannered lion named Bongo.” What we see is Salmoni taunting that wild animal with a stick and we see Bongo attack when he has had enough.

Salmoni says, “You believe they love you like you love them.” He continues, “They don’t have the same feelings that we do and they won’t think twice if they come to kill you.”

Really? They don’t have the same feelings we do? I wonder how Salmoni would feel and what he would do if some little guy half his size was bossing him around with a stick. Perhaps they have feelings much like we do, but they don’t have the same feelings for us, their jailers, as we have for them, our beautiful captives.

The show covers the tragic death of teenager Haley Hilderbrand who was killed on a visit to a tiger “sanctuary.” The tiger was also killed.

(More below the fold…)

Center for Biological Diversity: Tell Paris Hilton No! Help Free Exploited Wildlife!

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Via the Center for Biological Diversity:

Tell Paris Hilton No! Help Free Exploited Wildlife!

Alleged singer and celebutante Paris Hilton, desperate for attention – any attention – has recently inflicted her lifestyle on a succession of exotic pets as a publicity ploy. The latest victim of Paris’s affections is a captive “pet” kinkajou cloyingly named “Baby Luv,” which has appeared in public draped across Paris as if it were the latest fashion trend. […]

Fortunately, the state of California recognizes the serious threats that the international wildlife trade poses, both to wild animals from other countries and to U.S. species when these animals are imported and then abandoned or released. Due to these threats, it is illegal to import or possess kinkajous or other wild animals in California without a valid permit.

But unfortunately, Paris Hilton does not seem to understand or share these serious concerns – and it’s unlikely she will unless she knows a growing number of people think her “fashion statements” are barbaric and tragically unhip. Please send a letter today to demand that Paris Hilton stop collecting and exploiting exotic wildlife and that she immediately free Baby Luv, the kinkajou!

See the new Paris Hilton kinkajou video at http://www.TellParisNo.com

IFAW: Keep Big Cats Wild and Your Family Safe: Pass Haley’s Act

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Via International Fund for Animal Welfare:

Keep Big Cats Wild and Your Family Safe: Pass Haley’s Act

There are more than 10,000 big cats in captivity in the U.S., many of whom are in facilities licensed by the USDA. Although this license might seem reassuring, the harsh reality is that a USDA-licensed facility can be anything from a fenced-in backyard to a roadside zoo. The USDA lacks authority when it comes to public safety. Not only is the public at risk, but many USDA facilities barely meet the minimum welfare conditions for big cats who are forced to live a life behind cages and in chains.

Thankfully, there is now an effort underway to improve conditions for these wild animals and protect the public from big cat attacks. Congressman Jim Ryun (KS) has just introduced “Haley’s Act” (HR 5909). Named in honor of Haley Hilderbrand, Haley’s Act is a necessary bill that will give the USDA the authority it needs to prohibit direct contact between the public and big cats. Haley’s law will also significantly increase penalties for violations of the animal welfare act.

Click here to learn more and take action today.

API: 2 Ways to Take Action to Protect Primates

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: API Newsletters – donotreply [at] api4animals.org
Date: Jul 26, 2006 11:08 AM
Subject: 2 Ways to Take Action to Protect Primates

1. Raise Support for the Captive Primate Safety Act: Contact U.S. Representative Today

Great news! The Senate unanimously passed this legislation and now it’s time for the House of Representatives to act.

Legislation is currently making its way through Congress to address the problem of the primate pet trade in the United States. The Captive Primate Safety Act — H.R. 1329/S. 1509 — would bar the interstate movement of chimpanzees, macaques, capuchins, and other primates if they are to be kept as “pets.” Some states already prohibit private ownership of nonhuman primates as “pets,” but since these animals are often moved between states for the pet trade, federal legislation is needed to curb the interstate movement of these animals. Take Action Today!

Go to http://www.api4animals.org/actionalerts?p=138&more=1 for more information.

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Captive wild animals in two Sunday NY Times book reviews 6/5/06

Monday, June 5th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch [dot] com
Date: Jun 5, 2006 4:02 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Captive wild animals in two Sunday NY Times book reviews 6/5/06

The Sunday, June 4, New York Times Book Review has two reviews of interest to animal advocates. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, well-known for “The Hidden Life of Dogs,” reviews “Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World’s Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers” by Amy Sutherland.

The book is about the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program (EATM) at Moorpark College in Ventura County, Calif. We read, “EATM produces specialists who train animals for television and film and hold jobs at aquariums and zoos. Thousands of young people, especially women (who make up an overwhelming majority of students at EATM), long for such careers and wonder how to achieve them. Some will be applying to Moorpark before they finish Sutherland’s last chapter.”

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