December 2014


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


  • Blog update – Pony rides: Service…or servitude?
  • Beyonce’s ele ride seen ’round the world
  • Ele ride, part 2
  • In memory of local sanctuary founder
  • Tether? NEVER!
  • Quick links – just stuff FYI
  • The tail end: Wag it!

pony-356Blog update – “Pony rides: Service…or servitude?” Tethered ponies, plodding in circles at a farmers market, spawn a lawsuit when animal activists protest what they say is exploitive abuse. Are the ponies simply “earning their keep”? Is their labor forced? Is it OK because they’re loved and cared for? Is exploitation always abusive? Just like tethered ponies, the arguments go ’round and ’round in this latest post.

The elephant ride seen around the world: Multiple Grammy Award-winner and film star Beyonce tweeted a picture of herself atop a young elephant in Thailand–now that photo and others are making the media rounds. While her fans fawn over her exotic image and scribble “ride an elephant” on their to-do lists, the evil side of elephant exploitation goes unseen. According to the Expert Vagabond, baby elephants are forcibly taken from their mothers, confined, isolated, and tortured (photos and a link to video here) to prepare them for a life of servitude in the tourist trade.

Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution; ride, part 2: Earlier in November I came across an essay at Huffington Post titled, “Travels from a Beatnik Boomer.” A speaker-author-blogger-yoga/meditation teacher, preparing for a trip to South Africa, revealed that “more than anything, I wanted to ride an elephant. Isn’t that what all beatnik boomers want to do?” Being a boomer myself, I felt compelled to tell her “no,” and posted a comment hoping to inform her and her readers of the reality tourists never see. If she’s thoughtful and open-minded, and I suspect that she is, perhaps she’ll see the light and use her forum to promote respect, compassion, and justice for other species. You can read her essay and my comment here. By the way, the links I posted in the comment aren’t active, so I’ll re-post them: “Why elephant riding should be removed from your bucket list,” here; and Right Tourism: Elephant trekking, here.

New Dawn’s Precious, the resc-ewe

I’ve linked to New Dawn Montana farmed animal sanctuary many times on Other Nations pages–in newsletters and in blog posts; it also had a permanent link on the homepage. Promoting the good work taking place at the local farmed animal sanctuary in the Bitterroot Valley was a no-brainer. Sadly, visionary founder Sue Eakins passed away early in November and the New Dawn animals have been re-homed to other caring individuals and sanctuaries. And so, one last chapter is added to the life of Molly B– “perhaps one of the most famous cows in Montana history,” according to this recent article. Molly B was a slaughterhouse escapee who emphatically reminded us that all sentient animals–human and nonhuman–value their lives and want to live.

DDB - click image

DDB – click image

Tether? NEVER! Dogs should never be left chained or tethered to endure heat, cold, neglect, and loneliness–and singer/bluegrass songwriter Donna Hughes (bio here) is changing the world with a song. She’s petitioning her state–North Carolina–to ban tethering. Her petition is here; her music video, “Dog on a 10 Foot Chain” can also be found at that link–as well as immediately below. Some of the extreme consequences of neglectful and abusive chaining can be seen here–in a young dog who chewed off his own foot; and here–four years on a chain, resulting in starvation, dehydration, infection. Dogs deserve better!  (The Other Nations newsletter continues below the video screen.)


QUICK LINKS: Just stuff FYI–without all the blather!

  • Is your booze vegan? Check out the Barnivore–your vegan beer, wine, and liquor guide.
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund has released their 2014 Animal Protection Laws rankings–how did your state do? Click.
  • “New-age circuses after Mexico bans animals” – seriously, check out the robotic elephant!
  • Spy drones expose Smithfield Foods factory farms – video footage here.
  • Heart-breaking images from the “cruel core of China’s circus industry” here.
  • Items posted to the Other Nations’ Facebook page: “A boy, a mouse, and a BB gun” (from the What Could Possibly Go Wrong Department – here); fox hunting on Boxing Day in the UK: view “What if it was you?” a harrowing (but non-graphic) anti-hunting ad here; “Cry of the Innocent,” an in-production documentary on the fur industry–movie trailer here. Check out the rest of the FB offerings here.

tailendwagitTHE TAIL END: WAG IT! 

  • Old activists will remember Buffalo Springfield’s 1967 protest songFor What It’s Worth.” But did you know that the Muppets re-made it as an anti-hunting song?!? (Find the backstory here.)
  • Adorable rescued piglets frolic at their new sanctuary home after being saved from slaughter…trot on over!
  • Casper, the one-eyed, senior citizen dog, got his Christmas wish: a comfy, new home to live out his golden years. Click here.
  • Ear tufts! We’ve got ear tufts! Rescued Siberian lynxes – here.
  • From the Other Nations Facebook page: Drone vs. kangaroo!