Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kelly Miller Circus. Washingtonville High School. New York. Crass Entertainment for the Undiscerning.

It seems another circus company is soiling the ground and stinking up the air in our general area. The Kelly Miller Circus is performing, their animals actually, in Washingtonville, New York in mid-June 2011. Our dear colleagues from Hearts for Animals will be there to protest their appearance, specifically on June 15th at 630pm. The indefatigable Claudia Rose Emerson, founder of Hearts for Animals will be leading that protest.

With great disappointment, I can tell you that this event was sponsored by Washingtonville High School's class of 2011. The circus website said so. Students, no doubt with the cooperation of their school, invited the circus to town. What were they thinking? Haven't the bloody news surrounding circuses reached these people?

It is particularly discouraging when the circus is invited by an educational institution. I find this to be in utter contradiction to the spirit and purpose of education. Education, if done right, includes an awareness of the significant, often pressing social issues of the time. Animal abuse in circuses-- that's not exactly a secret anymore, is it?

People who have attained a higher level of thinking, a higher level of social consciousness, will have nothing to do with circuses and their inherent animal cruelty. This is not a stretch of the imagination. The enlightened recognize and eschew crass entertainment.

Pardon me, but I will be judgmental. There is a great divide between high roaders and the low roaders. I reckon that's why there are institutions of higher learning like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, and there are institutions like... well...like Washingtonville High School. Sorry.

If you want to know how bad Kelly Miller Circus is, particularly towards animals and including a charge of rape, you can read more about them HERE. Perhaps the high school should have checked this fact sheet before inviting the circus to town.

9 comments:

Vance said...

I must say that this particular thread is filled with fallacies and untruths. I will agree on one point: Yes, Washingtonville High School and the entities that you mention to include Yale, Stanford and Harvard are different. The former is a high school, the latter three are colleges. As far as the indefatigable Ms. Emerson is concerned, her education must be questioned, for it is not the mark of an educated citizen of the law to trespass on school grounds and endanger the welfare of elementary school children by smoking in the presence of these children, cursing at the children and their families, and verbally harassing their parents with baseless arguments of mistreatment of animals. First off, one so concerned with the treatment of animals one would think would also be an advocate for respecting treatment of young children. The five protesters at the circus last night were horribly and disgustingly inappropriate. Secondly, the Kelly Miller Circus has had no legal action against them convicting them of mistreatment of animals. The public should also be aware of last year's illegal attempt on the protesters' part of using their children to infiltrate the gates of the site with a video camera to try and illegally take video of the circus. Additionally, Hearts for Animals does not publicly announce through their websites or other locations where the money their sympathizers donate goes. Has there been any action taken by this supposedly devoted group of protesters legally against the circus? This is not the first year these same protesters have been on these grounds for this circus. Their efforts would best be put to filing legal action, rather than intimidating five year olds with profanities and yelling. The district's high school did their research when choosing the Kelly Miller Circus, for the school system is of course against mistreatment of animals. It would not sponsor a group without careful research into past claims brought to court on this circus. Protesters, please take this all into consideration the next time you decide to trespass on school grounds. Please do not allow your bias to disprove the posting of my response.

Chessbuff said...

Vance, thank you for commenting.

One does not have to appeal to my sense of fairness to get their comments published. As long as it stays clean, it will be fine with me.

First of all, my post is an opinion, just like an editorial, and so charges of fallacies and untruths do not apply. There is only one fact I alluded to, and that concerned the rape charges against a Kelly Miller Circus employee.

Second, I must say that it is palpable that you are affiliated with the circus and not the school. You should at least declare your allegiance rather than shoot from the side.

Third, there is something you didn't count on. I referred to Hearts for Animals in a tangential way, but that does not mean unfamiliarity with the group. I happen to be a member of Hearts for Animals and I am quite familiar with our demos and manner by which we conduct ourselves.

Having said that, I can tell you that we have never used children for our purposes especially in infiltration of the circus and crowd as you have suggested. I know that you just made this up to somehow win some sympathy and sully the reputation of the group. I don't think that will go far.

Fourth, do your homework so you don't get caught in a lie. Heart for Animals does not have a website. It is a meetup group and only members can communicate with others. You obviously wouldn't have access to the group.

Fifth, Heart for Animals does not receive funding from any donors or lobby group. It runs purely on the time and selfless efforts of its members. We are not a big group and we do not have an overhead to worry about.

Sixth, I am a veteran of many demos and I can tell you that trespassing is something we have never done. A permit for demonstrating clearly states the parameters by which the protesters must remain. The general public might not know this, but now they know. So much for your charge of harassing the public particularly the children.

Finally, court cases are not the only way to prove the illegal and unsafe operations of a circus as well as its abuse of circus animals. If one would only look at the litany of violations and citations by the USDA against the Kelly Miller Circus (a link was provided), one can easily come to the conclusion that this circus is bad news and every bit a serious danger to the public and harmful to the captive animals that are forced to perform acts that are unnatural to them.

You have to get pretty early in the morning to pull the wool over my eyes, but you may have a chance at the less informed public. But even them are well on their way to realizing what a hellhole a circus is.

Cheers!

Brendan said...

First off, let me oblige you and say that I am a student of Washingtonville High School but not directly assosciated with the group that brought the circus to the high school.

I would like to make a few very simple points on this topic as it appears to me that there is an incredible amount of misinformation being given.

First off you said "Fourth, do your homework so you don't get caught in a lie. Heart for Animals does not have a website. It is a meetup group and only members can communicate with others. You obviously wouldn't have access to the group.

Fifth, Heart for Animals does not receive funding from any donors or lobby group. It runs purely on the time and selfless efforts of its members. We are not a big group and we do not have an overhead to worry about."

Those appear to me to be very aggressive statements, especially considering they are flat out wrong. It took me approximately 15 seconds on google to come up with a website for "Heart for Animals".
The link is: http://www.meetup.com/HeartforAnimals/

Now, before you claim that it is something fabricated or not supported by the group please notice the author; Claudia Rose.
"The indefatigable Claudia Rose Emerson, founder of Hearts for Animals will be leading that protest." That is a statement by you claiming she is the founder of the group. That to me makes this a very valid website for the group.

Secondly the website very clearly lists sponsors. Sponsors are firms, organizations, groups etc. that verbally and financially vouch for, or support any other firm, organization, group etc.

To me that sounds an awful lot like a donor.

I'm sorry but, to me at least, that makes any statements you have made, especially those regarding heart for animals, invalid. I say this only because your statements made are totally incorrect and therefore you must have flat out lied. This is because one of two things happened; either you are a member of the organization and you knew about the sponsors and website and you lied about it or, you are indeed not a member of the organization thus you lied about being a member.

I merely wished to take the time to dispell the obvious mistruths that I saw in this debate. Mistruths that I personally have factual evidence to prove false.

Should you have any issue with my explanation or my sources please let me know and I will happily elaborate.

Thanks!

Chessbuff said...

Hi Brendan, thank you for commenting.

When one starts a Meetup group, a page is assigned to that group by the Meetup network. This page is used to stay in touch with
people (it is a meetup group) who share the same interest, who care about the same issue. You can begin your own Meetup group
if you wish, but that does not mean that you have a website. I think this is a matter of interpretation paticularly for me who maintains
this website, On Loving Animals. This website is not a social portal in the sense that Meetup pages are.

As for this talk about sponsors and lobbyists, remember that the thrust of the argument presented by the commenter Vance is that
such groups are steering Hearts for Animals. If you go to the Meetup page, you can see that Veggie Heaven and the Veggie Pride Parade
are represented. But do you really think that these are groups apply pressure on Hearts for Animals? How does a vegetarian
restaurant influence an anti-circus group, and why? So, as I said, there are no lobbyist groups that influence the course of actions
of this particular anti-circus group.

I am sorry that your points run along the lines of gotcha journalism. How far can that go? The points, or contradictions, you have cited
can easily be explained but none of them actually addressed the central point of my post---that circuses are unacceptable,
crass, appealing only to the shallow-minded people, and abusive to the captive animals who have no chance at a natural life.

You've had your say. Thanks again for commenting.

Brendan said...

Thanks for your response,

Let me start by re-stating my purpose here; I have no desire to debate with you the moral or ethical standing of circuses and the misuse of animals. That is a debate based solely on opinion and emotion with no facts that can be presented.

That being said:

On the topic of lobbyists I was not suggesting that any of your sponsors were lobbying you so to speak. You said that you recieve no funding and are powered solely by your selfless membership. That is a lot of self promotion backed by a basic mistruth. I have no doubt that you and your colleagues put countless hours into this cause, and I admire that I truly do. However, as I stated you do recieve funding from other groups hence the reason they are listed as sponsors.

I am sorry if I misinterrepreted you statement but that is what I read it as.

On the topic of the "meetup group" that is strictly semantics. I feel that the purpose of this "meetup group" is exactly the same as the purpose of any website and therefore in an intelligent debate may be classified in the same general category. If this debate is to become a question of semantics then I must respectfully abstain because a debate of semantics is a factless, unintelligent debate.

I am sorry if you feel that my comments are "gotcha journalism" and that I am attacking you, that was not my goal. I am merely trying to ensure that no facts are deliberately mis-represented.

Thanks again

Chessbuff said...

Brendan,

Fine. I will let you have the last word.

Anonymous said...

I'll chime in. Sit in a cage for 23hours a day, like the Kelly Miller tigers, and then tell me how cool the circus is. Go ahead, just try for one day. You can subsitute a small bathroom if you want.

Get real, live animal circuses are already banned in many countries and many US communities. You are dragging behind on this one, Washington.

Monica Flux said...

There is plenty of USDA documented proof that The Kelly Miller Circus abuses animals. That is not something that is up for debate. The most recent charges being in 2011, 3 tigers escaped and bit a horse. If you need help with locating documented proof of USDA violations, perhaps you should contact the USDA directly.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USDA's Postal Service mailing address is:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250

Information Hotline: (202) 720-2791

Anonymous said...

There is plenty of USDA documented proof that The Kelly Miller Circus abuses animals. That is not something that is up for debate. The most recent charges being in 2011, 3 tigers escaped and bit a horse. If you need help with locating documented proof of USDA violations, perhaps you should contact the USDA directly.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USDA's Postal Service mailing address is:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250

Information Hotline: (202) 720-2791