Thursday, March 05, 2015

Ringling Bros. Elephant Acts to be Abolished. Nothing to be Excited About. March 2014.




This is today's big news. It is all over the newspapers. Different animal rights organizations have made their respective announcements. Many people, particularly animal right advocates are celebrating.

No reason to celebrate, sorry. If you believe that Ringling can commit an act that benefits their enslaved animals, any animal for that matter, I have a circular building on 34th Street to sell you. Altruism is not the motivating factor, but their profits. Why three years from now? If they have the money to keep the elephants for three more years, they certainly have the money to release them to sanctuaries NOW. It's a ploy to lull AR groups into a state of complacency, and ease up on the pressure. 

I don't think that will happen. The AR groups will persists simply because elephants are not the only enslaved animals in circuses. All of them have to be sent home for us to truly celebrate a victory. As for now, Ringling will tread water and watch if their image will recover, and the gullible public will return to their shows. That's the reason for the three years. 

Ringling is playing rope-a-dope, resting between rounds. They will renege on their word as soon as their profits show signs of recovery. We really have no leverage against them except the momentum we have built against their shows. Let's not let Ringling play us like a piano. The animals are depending on our grit and resolve.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Circuses Deludes the People




Truth be told, there is no circus animal who wakes up in the morning and declares to all that she wants to stand on her front legs, balance on a ball, or perform in a conga line...

An animal's performance of an act that is inherently unnatural to her comes from a mentality like, " I'll do what you command. Just don't beat me."

Anyone who pays for a ticket at the circus is part of this cruelty. Entertain yourselves in some other way than watching animals perform tricks.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Sochi. Russia. Winter Olympics 2014. Stray Animal Cull.


It seems that a cleansing of animals, a culling of the stray dog population of Sochi, Russia is underway in preparation for the Winter Olympics.  When humans plan on tidying up, they often end up with some sort of mass killing of animals. They cull the cities of strays (Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey et al), the oceans of sharks (Australia), and the woods of black bears and deer (New Jersey). It's always what can we do TO these animals instead of what can we do FOR these animals.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Zoos. Animal Prisons. A Showcase for Animal Misery in Captivity. Nothing Educational.


How much you can learn about an animal on exhibit? The placard placed at his cell usually states only his genus and place of habitat. Some zoos don't even bother with placards at all. How much would you know about a person from reading the ID card that is hanging around his neck? And if you ignore the placards and just observe the animal, wouldn't it dawn on you that you are observing the behavior of an animal in captivity rather than its natural behavior?

Zoos have long enjoyed a free pass by posing as educational institutions. They conveniently excuse the life-long imprisonment and suffering of the animals by citing regular meals, regular medical checkups, and providing a safe place to stay away from their natural predators. Following this logic, would you say that a life in a state penitentiary for a non-criminal isn't so bad either? The point is freedom. All living things have a right to it. Zoos are a farce and teaches our children that imprisoning animals is acceptable.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SeaWorld. Recognize the Writing on the Wall. Animal Captivity and Slavery. Blackfish.

The arrogance of SeaWorld...Their stock price has fallen. Eight of the ten scheduled artists to perform for them in 2014 have canceled. Attendance tanked for 2013. The Chairman of their very own Board of Directors, David D'Allesandro,  sold S1.3 millions of his SeaWorld shares last November. That's 26,000 shares on November 1 and then another 17,000 shares on November 4. Yes, that's like the Captain securing a lifeboat for himself while the band was still playing at the ballroom. And Seaworld still refuses to capitulate or make any concessions. They ignore the writing on the wall, clinging to those Orcas like the the thief who stole the silver candelabra from the church altar. At the present time, SeaWorld controls twenty-two Orcas at its three parks---ten in San Diego, seven in Orlando, five in San Antonio. Freedom for ALL the marine animals at SeaWorld, not just the Orcas. Every animal at SeaWorld is a captive. 

Everyone should see Blackfish.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Animal Cruelty. Animal Suffering. No Less Than Human Suffering.


Pretty good answer to a very common question. Somehow, our self-proclaimed dominion over animals, the we'll-decide-what-happens-to-you, also translates to a my-good-before-the-animals' mentality. We know that one of the fallacies out there is that human concerns preempt animal concerns. How is one's suffering more important than another? We're all sentient beings. We object to all forms of animal cruelty no matter what exists on the human side of the equation. Animal welfare is our infinite passion and there is no substitution or subrogation to others.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Free Mali, Manila Zoo's Lone Elephant. Inquirer. Editorial. Peter Wallace.


The battle rages on over Mali, the lone elephant at the Manila Zoo. In 1977, she was taken there as a a goodwill gift from Sri Lanka to Imelda Marcos. She was still a child back then. Yes, I refer to animals like they were humans. It is never "it," but always a he or she. Surely, a mind-shift whose time has come. When we relegate animals to a form of "it," we open the door to all sorts of abuse and liberties upon them. "It" makes them subhuman. What an incredible thought---something lower than a human.
Below is my response to an editorial that appeared in a local newspaper in Manila. The writer, obviously, supports the Stay Mali movement as opposed to the Free Mali movement. The former favors extending captivity while the latter favors freedom. We want Mali transferred to a sanctuary in Thailand where she can socialize with other elephants and live in an environment that may not be perfect but closer to reality. She has not been with another elephant for more than thirty years. Her life literally spent in solitary confinement. Mali lives in a concrete enclosure at the Manila Zoo with a leaky faucet for a waterfall and painted trees on the walls for greenery. The zoo officials gave her an old truck tire for a toy, and she ignored it. It is all so pathetic.
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Peter, thanks for your opinion. It should be obvious to you that coming up with realistic solutions is far more difficult than editorializing on the fate of a nonspeaking, long-held captive animal. We can go around in circles discussing compassion and ethics, but seeking real solutions will inevitably have us confront the hard facts, the specifics that no conjecturing will resolve.

For one, there is the matter of space. The zoo covers approximately 5.5 hectares. Maali's enclosure is just a fraction of that area which, by my generous estimation, would come to 100x100 meters. An Asian elephant, in its natural environment, would cover a walking distance of 20-30 miles. And a herd of Asian elephants, living in the wild, would require an estimated roaming area of 30,000 hectares. If renovation is the answer, then the final product should come as close as possible to this ideal.

How would the the city bankroll such an expansive and expensive renovation? How could the city spend so much money on a zoo in the face of other pressing social problems? How? Please show us through the process, the money trail. The city is in a state of penury. You said it yourself.

The Singaporeans are not the answer. Stop pointing at the Singaporeans like they are cavalry on their way to our rescue. Cavalry have been known not to show up, and Estrada has said things that were never true. There are no specifics about the Singaporeans’ offer of a P2 billion renovation , no specifics about their construction plans, and no guaranty that Singaporean investors would invest money on a facility that, by your own description, cannot generate sufficient revenue.

The city cannot provide the proper care and environment for Maali. It’s time to evolve into a higher form of existence where the concepts of compassion and empathy are not incomprehensible but commonplace.