Friday, May 29, 2009

Greece. Elephant Abuse. Bullhooks. Trainer Beats Elephant. Massimo Circus.

Well, it's another day of coming to work with a less favorable attitude towards humankind. This attitude was born in the streets of New York, just this morning actually, when the guy behind me at the coffee line thought that his schedule was more urgent than mine. Some people are just impatient and disrespectful of others. If this guy had a bullhook, he would have used it to " guide " me out of his way, very much like how Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus guides their elephants to do unnatural and humiliating acts for our entertainment and the circus' profit.

Speaking of disrespect, there is yet another video of elephant abuse circulating in the blogosphere. This time, it's in Greece. When will people realize that you can't have a bullhook, and not equate it with beatings? If bullhooks are guiding tools, why does it have a spear point and a sharp hook? You wouldn't consider a bullhook a guiding tool when brought into an elementary school environment. People would scream, weapon! So, why is it not a weapon when used in an animal circus environment? Bullhooks euphemistically presented as a guiding tool and not a weapon of fear and pain is probably one of the greatest snow jobs out there. Watch the video, and then send Greek authorities a request to seize this elephant, named Andra, from its abusive trainer. The Greek organization ARCTUROS reported that the abuser is a trainer with the Italian circus named MASSIMO
. Even a one-line message will be do. The email addresses are :,,, Just copy and paste this string into your address window.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Seals. Canada. Maple Syrup. Buy Vermont. Save the Seals.

In today's mailbox, there is a message from PETA about seals and maple syrup. Oh Lord, don't tell me that why it's so sticky? Oh no.

Well, as it turns out, there really isn't a bit of seal in the syrup, but a whole lot of Canada. You see, Canada produces 85% of the maple syrup in the global market, and the U.S. is her biggest customer. We're talking more of an economic embargo than sweetening Canadian maple syrup with seal blood. So, the next time you need to stock up on maple syrup, make sure it's made in Vermont.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Michael Vick. Wayne Pacelle. HSUS. Forward Pass or Run the Clock Down?

Wayne Pacelle, he needs no introduction. In his blog entry for May 20th, Pacelle talked about working with Michael Vick, now that the animal abuser is set to go free. However, the peculiar thing about Pacelle's post is that he prefaced his point with a long history of his and the HSUS's campaign against animal cruelty. It gave me the impression that he's not yet comfortable with the idea, like he's expecting a tsunami of criticism for even suggesting the idea. You don't have to gear up like a hockey goalie, Wayne. It's not such a bad idea.

Well, as a matter of fact, I have previously considered the idea before I read Pacelle's post, and found it to be quite the natural progression from this point on. Vick has paid the price, in time and money, and he is free to rebuild his life. Will he go back to dogfighting? I don't think he is that stupid. All he wants to do now is to regain his former glory and begin to earn mega bucks once more. Has he learned his lesson? Time will tell.
Vick is smart enough to know that some humility at this point will help in his comeback. Because talk is cheap, I would seriously doubt the sincerity of any remorseful statement from him, for now. I wouldn't be surprise if he posed with some animals to soften up his image. It will be cheesy, but some people will buy it. I don't believe that a prison term will engender a love of animals in a person who went to prison for animal cruelty. Vick experienced no epiphany in prison, but I do believe he regrets the loss of time, money, and fame.

So, I am with Pacelle on this idea. Let's offer Vick a chance to show some real compassion and sincere regrets. The HSUS has a lot of programs for Vick to participate in. I want to be proven wrong on my hunches. Don't just say you're sorry, Vick. Run the extra yard and make a commitment to animal welfare. Don't leave this experience behind you. Take it and run with it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New York City. Veggie Pride Parade 2009. Say No to Meat.

Sunday came, and I had to decide between supporting a friend who is trying to establish a Sunday chess meet at Ridgewood, NJ or supporting an ideal that I passionately believe in---a meatless society and a lifestyle that can be loosely summed up as vegetarianism. I love chess, and it has been the only game in my life. I just love the concentration and problem-solving aspect of the game. But, it is only a board game and a selfish game at that. Winning in chess makes ME, and only ME, happy. My opponent, he's devastated. The others, they don't give a hoot. So, the choice was not as difficult as it seemed. There is no higher ideal in my life than animal welfare.

Yesterday was the second annual Veggie Pride Parade, and approximately 800 people participated. We met at the meat packing district on West 14th street, and marched through Greenwich Village, ending at Union Square. It was heart-warming to see all these people come out for animal welfare which vegetarianism is mostly about. Good health, yes, but vegetarianism is a rejection of animal cruelty most specifically in factory farming. We used to think of a farm as a happy place where good family values are practiced. I guess there still are some small farms where the chickens are free-ranging and so with the cows, but meat and dairy products are the problem. Factory farming, without doubt, is a hideously cruel enterprise where battery cages, veal crates, gestation cages, regular beatings and the humiliation of condemned animals are a daily routine. As has been said many times, if slaughterhouses had windows, we would all be vegetarians.

I can't look at a meat dish and not see it as the remains of a sentient being, one who also wanted to live, one who had a family, one who most likely went through a most terrifying slaughter. To turn these sentient beings into hamburgers, steaks, chops, and stews is just outright murder in my book. Where is our shame? Where is our conscience? Even today, with vegetarianism on the rise, animals can survive easily without humans but most humans can not survive without animals. Humankind needs to shift its dependency on meat to grain. If we were, indeed, gifted to possess a higher intellect, then we have grossly misused it by creating so much cruelty on animals, trashing our planet with our plastics and our noxious transportation systems, and by being the only species on Earth who can plot the murder of another.

Please, give vegetarianism a chance in your life and you would be giving our planet , the animals, and yourself a chance at a better life. Here are some of the photographs I took from yesterday : Veggie Pride 09 Photos

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New York City. Major Deegan Highway. Son-Dog Protects Injured Mom-Dog.

Deja Vu All Over Again. History does repeat itself. Looking over the news this afternoon, I found it odd that Yahoo would carry a news item that was several months old. Gee, they're really getting lazy up there. But, I was wrong. This morning at around 630am, we had our own version of Chile's heroic and faithful dog rescue right on the Major Deegan. A Yellow Lab/Chow mix was hit by a car near Exit 3, where the Grand Concourse meets the Deegan, and her son ran to the rescue. The dog kept all good-intentioned people away from the injured dog including the police. In the end, the downed mom received the medical attention she needed and the rescuer ran home after dodging the police for several minutes. The Major Deegan is probaby my next least appreciated road in the tristate area, second to the Cross Bronx Expressway, and now I have something good to associate with it. I hope there's a video of this entire incident. The news crews must be trampling over each other for an interview with the owner. We have a new celebrity in town, a true hero. Move over, Sully.

Should we continue to doubt that animals possess sentience, be it a dog, a cow, or a bird? Animals are not just animals. Some of them have a greater love of family than we have seen among our fellow humans. Stop this chauvinism.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Malaysia. Pulau Ketam. Dogs Abandoned on an Island. Furry Friends Farm.

The things people do to animals. I was told by a long-time animal rights activist that it wasn't an exaggeration to say that almost everything you find in a hardware store has been used to cause pain in an animal. I don't find that hard to believe actually. Not too long ago, at the animal control facility where I volunteer at, a mastiff was brought in with both his ears sheared off. No ear flaps, just cavernous holes on both sides of his head. Now, what sick individual would do something like that? A sick individual, that's who!

Below is a link
to what's happening in Malaysia. Go on, the link doesn't contain photos of dogs being slaughtered. Instead, it contains photos of dogs abandoned on an isolated island. These were stray dogs who lived in a small community whose citizens decided that the best way to deal with them was to ship them over to an isolated island and leave them there for good. Pretty cruel stuff considering that the island is more of a mangrove than solid ground. Help started pouring in after a stink was made, but now there are two more islands where abandoned dogs were found. These are the photographs and story of the rescuers.

More News:

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New York City. Molly, the Cow. Sentient Being Fights for her Life.

Rain. Rain. Today must be the fourth straight day that rain has fallen on New York City. April has come and gone, and so why the showers and no flowers? I can tolerate my raincoat for only one day after which I could be described as the typical New Yorker however unjust that might be. Perhaps having worked in Manhattan for more than thirty years had actually engendered a constant state of grumpiness in me. But, I am giving New yorkers a bad rap. Walking along Fifth Avenue, I noticed that everybody seemed to have a grudge against me. Even the coffee cart guy said something that I took offense to as I passed by. I must be having a bad day. So I ducked into my favorite coffee shop on 38th and ordered some breakfast. The newspaper is usually free to read with the breakfast. There, the New York Daily News had a headline I couldn't ignore.

A cow had, out of an intense desire to live, escaped from the Musa Hala, Inc. slaughterhouse on Beaver Road near 158th Street in Queens and ran through the neighborhood at approx. 1pm yesterday. Now named, Molly, she avoided recapture for an hour but tranquilizer darts fired at her finally had their effect. It might be the unspoken rule in NYC that when a condemned cow shows enough spunk and desire to live that it has rightfully gained its freedom. This is not the first time this dash for freedom has happened. There was Maxine back in September 2007 who jumped a low wall to freedom. She weighed approx. one thousand pounds and was estimated to be worth $800 to $1,000. Maxine earned her freedom and now lives at the Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York. Not knowing Molly's fate, I rang Farm Sanctuary's emergency number and got someone who already knew about Molly's case. She told me that Molly's final home will be at the " North Shore *&*(%^# " I couldn't make out the rest of it because the cell phone reception wasn't good at all, having made the call entombed in a fortress-like, windowless building. Anyway, I am very pleased with the outcome.

So, what makes one killing acceptable and another improper? As I speak, there are other cows being slaughtered at that very same slaughterhouse. Why are we powerless to stop that? Does a sentient being have to fight for its life for it to be spared? There is a double standard in effect here, and our value system is skewed the wrong way. Those who defend the consumption of cats and dogs usually point to our society's consumption of farm animals as evidence of a double standard. To be hard nosed about it, only those who do not consume any animal meat should have the right to criticize those who eat dogs and cats.

Personally, I find the slaughter of all animals offensive and immoral. I haven't felt like this all my life, and I regret having spent more years being a meat-eater than not. Call it an epiphany, but not a hypocrisy. I am done with meat for a few years now, and I would love to see the day when we don't have to kill animals to have a meal.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

European Union. Ban on Canadian Seal Products. May 2009. The Market is Closed.

Some great news from across the pond. So great you could almost hear the seals bark in joyous symphony. Today, the European Union officially said NO to all products stemming from the cruel Canadian seal hunts that have irrevocably stained that country's reputation. We've heard about this rejection for some time now, but now it has become official. Those seal hunters will just have to find a real job with real skills, like landscaping a frozen tundra. No more hacking away at innocent, sentient beings; no more wading in the warm blood of freshly killed seals. How lucky of them! Not all murderers get a second chance in life. I am sure that in the future these hunters will present themselves as involuntary participants in this most cruel business, just following orders, just earning a living, all those lame excuses.

Let's do some math, shall we? According to the Humane Society International, the price of canadian seal fur declined 86% since 2006 to $ 15 per skin, and that's just from the news of EU's impending ban against the business. This year's kill is also down at 57,622 when the quota allows for 338,200. According to HSI, many of the hunters have simly opted to stay home because it wasn't cost effective to hunt at those prices. The Humane Society of the United States tells us that the industry will lose approx. $6.6 million each year and last year's hunt earned only $7 million. So, it looks like hunting seals will no longer provide the profits that made the business viable.
So, somehow and at some time, the good guys do win and the bad guys go down in flames although this all seems like a pyrric victory to me.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Petition. Self-Confessed Serial Cat Killer. University of the Philippines. Joseph Carlo Candare.

I won't make this long. Here is the URL of a petition I wrote urging key faculty members of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, to sanction a self-confessed cat serial killer within its student body. Please read and sign the petition if you agree with it: