January 2014


“…living by voices we shall never hear” (see our slideshow)


  • Blog updates: white tigers, deer chow, vegan thank you notes
  • Travis the chimp: the ongoing story of two victims
  • Have you appreciated a squirrel lately? It’s time!
  • Bear pits, revisited 
  • “They’re made out of meat” – today’s mind-blowing sci-fi experience
  • Quick Links: Stuff FYI without all the blather
  • The tail end: Wag it!

KennytigerBLOG UPDATES:White tigers: Tragic–not magic”   Meet Kenny, now deceased. He’s the white tiger you never see on glitzy posters for magic acts. He’s the more common product of generations of inbreeding, producing excess, throw-away animals–many with genetic defects. It’s sad, it’s sordid.

Deer feeding video draws praise, criticism – Watch as human-habituated deer come running for a handout. Appreciative comments left at an animal rights Facebook page show how sketchy our understanding of wild lives really is.

Vegan thank you notes: Just thought you’d want to know – You can bet your Moo Shoes that ethical vegans always give vegan gifts–but don’t always receive them. We offered up some fictional holiday thank you notes…with an edge.

Travis the chimp and Charla Nash: Two victims of animal exploitation – It’s going on five years now since Travis the companion chimp destroyed the face, eyesight, and hands of his guardian’s friend (see her reconstructive surgery’s amazing results). Now, in an attempt to sway the CT legislature to reverse the judicial decision preventing her from suing the state (her suit maintains that state officials knew the chimp was dangerous but failed to act), Nash’s lawyers are presenting the chimp as an “intimidating brute” (photo & article) and instead of referring to him as “Travis” and “he” are using “the chimpanzee” and “it.” In other words, they are “depersonalizing” him. Oh, the irony.

It’s important to remember that this horrific incident had two victims–Travis was a victim, too. You can read his compelling story at the Nonhuman Rights Project–learn about his parents’ tragic lives; his upbringing as a “semi-human pet”; his servitude–being rented out for entertainment; and his tragic, final day on earth.

It is a tragedy in the true sense of the word – a morality tale of the human condition, of the arrogance of presuming to “own” other animals who belong with their own families in their own natural homes; of our blindness to their nature and to our own; and of the wreck and ruin that inevitably follow.  ~Nonhuman Rights Project

SquirrelAppreciationSQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY: January 21 – Have you appreciated a squirrel lately? To help you appreciate our bushy-tailed friends, here are some fun and useful links: appreciation Facebook page; Huffington Post comedy PhotoShop competition (squirrel-themed, from 2011; seriously…108 photos!); and noteworthy facts (we don’t like #11). To help you celebrate: Barking Squirrel lager, Fat Squirrel nut brown ale, and just about any brew from the Blind Squirrel Brewery (“we’re nuts about beer”). And speaking of beer (and being nuts), how ’bout the woman who wielded a ceramic squirrel and stabbed her guy when he came home on Christmas eve…without the beer? Bringing us to the point:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a beer state, the right of the people to keep and bear ceramic squirrels, shall not be infringed. 

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Credit & website – click image

Bear pits are the bare pits, part two – It was just over a year ago that an Other Nations post dealt with the deplorable conditions in southern U.S. roadside bear pits (see “Bear pits are the bare pits” here). We also shared reviews–some enthusiastic, others conflicted–from visitors who left comments at sites like Trip Advisor. Chief Saunooke’s is now closed, and PETA & company have recently closed another and sent the 17 bears to sanctuary (video here). Now elders from the Cherokee Nation Eastern Band are suing yet another–the Cherokee Bear Zoo. (Sadly, it sounds like tribal officials have been dragging their feet on the issue.) “The elders want ALL the roadside zoos shut down and the animals moved to reputable sanctuaries,” said one of the elders bringing the suit. Full article is here.

TakeAction150x150Take action by Monday, January 27th! At the same time bears are suffering in roadside pits, the U.S. Department of Agriculture/APHIS has been petitioned to strengthen the Animal Welfare Act where bears are concerned. Read the petition here and submit your comment hereby 11:59 EST on the 27th. Scroll down at that page to get an idea of the kinds of comments people are leaving–it doesn’t have to be weighty or researched (unless you want it to be) and can take only a few minutes.  

Yes, I know–bears shouldn’t be kept captive for display ANYwhere, so why are we asking for “improved captivity”? This is the dilemma we face. Do we refuse to sell out for welfare instead of rights, or do we pursue improved welfare while we continue the struggle for justice? We each have to determine that for ourselves…but without stronger regulations, bears will continue to suffer to a greater degree. 

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“They’re made out of meat!” A sci-fi revelation
You know how one thing leads to another on the internet and you end up somewhere entirely…alien, right? Stick with me and you’ll end up at a 7-minute sci-fi video that’s very well done (ha ha!). You know the documentary Forks Over Knives, right? Claiming that disease can be controlled or reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods, right? (Based on research by a biochemist with impressive credentials…)

So I found myself, by chance, at a sketchy website claiming that the movie is wrong and dangerous because “your body needs animal-based foods.” (Ho-hum. Tell that to this guy.) From there, a recommended link takes you to a “carefully-researched critical review” of Forks Over Knives (9/22/11), asking, “is the science legit?” If you care, you can determine that for yourself by reading the l-o-n-g post and perusing the 2383 responses. I saw all I needed to by glancing through the post–saw a photo of a “radical” vegan (a guy with, yeah, some pretty rad tattoos who’s currently in jail) and a map with a Nazi flag. (Connecting vegans to extremism and Nazism–wow, that’s original. Yawn.) Penultimately, I arrived at a piece suggesting that the author of said inflammatory post–supposedly a former vegan–isn’t a real person but a fiction of the beef and dairy industries devised to discredit Forks Over Knives. (Feel free to follow up on that if you like that sort of intrigue…I didn’t bother.) That, finally, led to “They’re made out of meat,” uploaded to YouTube in 2006. Maybe you’ve seen it. I hadn’t, and enjoyed it meatily. I mean, mightily.

quicklynxQUICK LINKS: Just stuff FYI…without all the blather!

  • In Memory of Dulary -Nov. 1963 – Dec. 2013; a touching video and obituary from The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
  • “The dominion myth” – “For many, a divine sanction for animal exploitation is found in the very first book of the Bible.Here.
  • “And on the sixth day, God created animal rights” – what the Torah says. From Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily paper.
  • Jelly Belly draft beer flavor jelly beans–and they’re VEGAN! Here.
  • Visit our Facebook page for many more similar items…including a young teen’s claymation video of factory farming. The emotion that clay can evoke is amazing.

tailendwagitTHE TAIL END: WAG IT!

  • Cats who love (or love to hate) vacuum cleaners – video here
  • French fur trappers spoof from Kids in the Hall – here
  • From our Facebook page: “You shall not pass, dog“: Dogs too frightened to walk past bully cats…some laugh out loud moments here.