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The Crying Elephant


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This has nothing to do with elephants but it does deal with what I strongly suspect was animal cruelty.

 

For years a tiny carnival (comprised of games and rides) has set up camp twice a summer in a corner of the plaza at the top of my street. For a number of years the attractions included a pony ride. The pony, however, was tethered to a long thin plank of wood forcing it to walk in a circle, with kids riding on its back.

 

It pained me to look at this tiny pony, whose head was always bowed, whether walking or standing still, hair covering his eyes. I remember how, when there were no kids riding on him, the pony would stand still, head always bowed, almost like a statue. This completely submissive little animal barely looked as if he had any life in him. I seriously wondered if he might be blind or, at least, had seriously impaired vision.He never raised his head to look at anybody.

 

There was a small trailer off to the side, with bits of hay sticking out underneath its door, obviously the pony's home. I never saw anyone strike the pony (obviously with paying customers around) but the conditions of its existence were such that it must have lead a miserable life, being cooped up in a dingy trailer, taken from plaza to plaza, and then tethered to that wood.

 

A number of years ago the pony ride disappeared as an attraction, and, for that, I was glad. I sometimes wonder what may have been the fate of that little pony.

 

In any event, I am glad that within three years (wish it was sooner) elephants will be freed from the unnatural and, I'm sure, cruel life that they must suffer at Barnum and Bailey's.

Those little carnivals and roadside zoos are among the worst.  I hope the pony was eventually retired and given to a kind family to live out its days in green fields.  But we know that rarely happens.

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FREE ALL DOGS, CATS, GOLDFISH, CANARIES, and COCKATOOS!!  KEEPING PETS IS THE LOWEST AND MOST VIRULENT SLAVERY on the face of the EARTH!!  FREEDOM, FREEDOM NOW!!  KNIT SWEATERS FOR THE FIELD MICE!!  HUG A MOSQUITO TODAY!!  This extreme silliness is what we are moving towards.  I had fried chicken tonight and did not shed a tear for the chicken.  Imagine that.  I am also a hunter and a fisherman and I shed no tears as I eat their flesh.  My long dead father was a cattle rancher and I am proud to have come from the ranching heritage.  The older I get the sillier the human race evolves.  Now a circus is thought to be a criminal enterprise as are the makers of a mink coat.  Leather???  How dare anyone own something made of leather!! 

roverrocks, I can't help hoping I'll run into you at a TCM event one day.  It would be fascinating (to me, anyway!) to see if there was even one issue we agreed upon.  Just one!  ;)

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What's really amazing to me is the people who are upset with the role animals have in human's lives are usually those who only have dogs or cats as pets with zero experience with the animals they feel need protection. Many people "humanize" and project what they think the animal is "feeling". And for many animals, these "feelings" do not apply.

 

Not to discount what mockingbird said about her mare "feeling pain", weaning is absolutely a normal stage in a mare & foal's life in nature. The only difference is in nature, both the mother & foal have support from others in the herd. Keeping horses solitary, the person must step in to compensate the emotional support.

 

It's always funny for me to hear people say things like, "the ponies just stood there with their heads hanging low" as if they are "feeling"  humiliated or defeated. In reality, the ponies are just SLEEPING! Emotional trauma is imagined by the human observer.

 

I too have seen the Circus train give the elephants & horses a rest stop at our fairgrounds. I thought they were treated just like any other large animal-walked around, fed, watered, etc. The cars were mucked out, hosed and refilled with clean bedding. Believe me, no one works with animals all day who doesn't love and respect them.

 

The saddest part to me, is that another generation of kids will be brought up without exposure to farm or exotic animals except for maybe a zoo. Very few kids know where their food comes from, nor even understand what it means to care for these animals. And on a more primal level, kids do not even know how to interact with animals or even what they smell or feel like. 

It's this kind of separation that perpetuates misunderstandings about animal cruelty.

 

(ok I'm ready for my flaming)

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Believe me, no one works with animals all day who doesn't love and respect them.

 

 

I wouldn't question that statement. However,it is sometimes what those animal workers see (and, if they have the courage, report) regarding exploitation or cruel treatment of those animals of which we should take note. Most say nothing, I'm sure, for fear of loss of employment.

 

Marineland in southern Ontario has had a series of animal cruelty articles published about it by the Toronto Star, starting  a couple of years ago (there is still the occasional update). Much of its information came from employees or former employees, particularly in regard to the poor water condition in which the animals had to live.

 

Here's a general summation of some of those findings:

 

Marineland Is a Hellhole

January 30, 2013

By Brad Casey

 

  • Marineland, Niagara Falls’ premier tourist destination, was opened in 1961 by John Holer. At the time, John was a portly Slovenian immigrant who couldn’t find work when he arrived to Canada. With what little money he had, and what little English he could speak, Holer built two water tanks and acquired three sea lions. When he opened Marineland’s doors, admission was 25 cents per person. In the fifty-two years since then, Marineland has expanded to include a large collection of animals, animal shows, and a theme park with over a dozen rides. His is the kind of story that gives one hope, and makes one look nostalgically to the past when things were simpler, right? No. According to an exposé headed by Toronto Star reporter Linda Diebel, Marineland is rife with animal neglect and poor facility conditions that have led to an ever evolving series of depressing stories, distressing events, and grim accounts from Marineland employees. Not to mention the protests, lawsuits, and public overload of bleeding hearts.

 

In the original Star report, a group of former Marineland employees came forward with allegations that the park suffered from poor water quality. They also noted that the park was understaffed and mentioned several cases of animal neglect. Doesn’t sound so hellish at first, right? Well, the water in some of the facilities was turning green and causing seals to lose their vision, and one of them even had an eye pop out of its socket when it barked because the water eroded its eye lens away. Several dolphins were losing their skin, which was coming off in chunks in the pools. A baby beluga named Skoot contracted bacterial meningitis, and was then attacked by other whales that threw her into a stone wall because they were trying to kill her to alleviate her suffering. After that, she was pulled from the pool by two trainers where “she convulsed and died in their arms.” There is even a logbook from a former Marineland supervisor, who wrote that water was coming up from a sewer near Friendship Cove that was so corrosive it ate the tires off a pickup truck.

 

eead096559c4de389fd3f6f12160fd5b.jpg

 

But Marineland doesn’t just have aquatic animals to force into severe conditions, there are also land animals that get to feel the pain, and their problems are even more grim because, well, why not? According to this article, Marineland has a cramped collection of fifteen bears. They share four dens and are underfed. They have to fight for corn pops, which people throw at them, and occasionally they eat their own young. There was an incident where one bear was killed by four other bears as a crowd observed.

 

Then there’s the deer. The deer at the park suffer sores from the concrete grounds and sometimes break their legs, at which point, instead of euthanizing the injured animals, park owner John Holer has allegedly resorted to shooting them with a shotgun while sitting inside of his truck. According to the former supervisor of land animals, Jim Hammond, Holer once shot a sick deer in the neck, drove home, and then when Hammond called Holer to tell him the deer was still alive and choking on its own blood, Holer told him to finish the job with his knife. Hammond describes the experience as, “trying to cut into concrete,” because the knife was so dull, and says that he's "ashamed." The Star, who initially reported on all of this, was unable to confirm Hammond's claims regarding the incident, as Marineland would not comment on it. Holer’s response to these allegations of gruesome killings has simply been along the lines of an

inspired, “circle of life” type statement.

 

And who is John Holer? According to this article no one who knows John Holer wants to talk about him. That same article tells of how, one time, John bought a neighbouring trailer park and waited five years to evict everyone, allegedly driving through the community daily to harass the residents. Then one woman killed herself on eviction day by putting a bag over her head and filling it with helium. He demolished the trailer park for a future Marineland expansion. John also had six of his dolphins seized from Marineland, because he caught them illegally. He has threatened to run over protesters with his car, and he once beat up an escaped sea lion, dragged it into his car’s backseat, and then made that sea lion his star attraction.

 

8fbe542a5873f062141f9ae0f1c3cbbc.jpg

 

Since the scandal hit Marineland, there have been numerous protests. There was the slightly banal protest where the singer of the

demanded that her voice be taken out of the song. Then there was the ongoing series of protests which started with a group of about 150 people storming inside Marineland, and ended with
where the crowd listened to Snap’s “I’ve Got the Power,” as someone named Spandy Andy breakdanced in a spandex onesie. Unfortunately, despite public pressure, the province can’t do much in terms of regulating Marineland, because strangely enough there are no regulations in Ontario surrounding sea mammal captivity. How you decide to destroy a sick or dying animal is your own business. So, everything Marineland has done so far is perfectly legal.

 

There was an inspection by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums back in August, another in October, and a report released by the same group in November, however. But guess what? They found nothing wrong with Marineland, despite their two separate day inspections. So case closed, right?

 

Well, there was a report in October of the lone killer whale at Marineland bleeding from its tail constantly. And how has Marineland responded to this report? By suing the former trainer who leaked that story to the press for over a million dollars. And just to keep things interesting, they also sued a protester for more than a million bucks.

 

You’d think by now, everything that can possibly bum you out about Marineland is done, right? Well, there’s still that pesky little issue of the mass graves on the Marineland property. In the four mass graves wedged between Bear Country and the Welland River (which happens to be a clean water source for the Niagara region) there is estimated to be over a thousand dead animals that have been carried by backhoes and dumped into a rotting pit. Something has to be done about the dead animals, right? Marineland has thankfully been ordered to stop using the mass graves until the Environment Ministry has inspected them. Which is great, especially in light of an account from a former employee. He said that after a whale was buried, he and another employee had to dig it up two weeks later because they forgot to take a brain sample. He describes the experience as being: “elbow deep in the pit, in a reddish orangey sludge, and we both kept coming up to vomit.”

 

Lately, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has ordered a complete overhaul of Marineland in an attempt to make it seem like less of an animal POW camp. Strangely enough, however, the order was made months ago and was kept secret until now. This is the diamond in the pile of **** that a lot of people have been waiting for, but still, this story is ongoing and I’m sure Marineland will find another way to bum us all out again before long. Owner John Holer has been quoted in the original Star report as saying that he takes care of the animals at Marineland, “better than I would take care of myself.” I think the only way Marineland won’t depress people any more is if he holds true to that promise and throws himself in a festering pile of dead dolphin flesh.

 

 

[media]

[media]

 

The gentleman in this video is being sued by Marineland, along with several trainers at the facility who have also spoken up about the cruel conditions for the animals that they witnessed.

 

The Ontario Government has taken note, and is passing some new legislation to try to protect the animals. It will include special standards of care for marine animals, of which there is now none.

 

Here's a Toronto Star followup:

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/marineland/2013/08/06/marineland_the_story_so_far.html

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eead096559c4de389fd3f6f12160fd5b.jpg

 

 

Now everyone is wondering how are they treated the remainder of the year? Surprised PETA don't demand they be equipped with ACAS.  :P

181634-425x283-santas-deer.jpg

Injecting humour into a discussion is fine. I've attempted it myself on numerous occasions on these boards. And, yes, I know, we don't all share the same idea of what is amusing. However, trying to make light of animal cruelty is not something that appeals to my funny bone.

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Animal cruelty happens far, far, far, FAR less than the demigods and fundraisers of PETA claim in their propaganda attacks which try and extract $$$$$$$$$$$$$ from those who listen to the BS and BELIEVE.  Much like TV and radio evangelists.  There's a sucker born every minute.

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Animal cruelty happens far, far, far, FAR less than the demigods and fundraisers of PETA claim in their propaganda attacks which try and extract $$$$$$$$$$$$$ from those who listen to the BS and BELIEVE.  Much like TV and radio evangelists.  There's a sucker born every minute.

 

The one's who really needs it gets the U000A2.pngIt's called the trickle down effect.

 

It's like "Feed The Children" that cost pennies a day to feed a child. How much are those TV ads (they are NOT cheap!)

 

You're correct about some of the evangelist.  One is Benny Hinn, who collects $200 Million a year, makes a half  million salary, owns a private jet, lives in a $10 Million dollar house and rents hotels costing THOUSANDS.  Why don't he donate 99% to the Feed The Children Foundation or some notable cause?  Maybe a few thousand to PETA to make good on Proverbs 12:10.

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FREE ALL DOGS, CATS, GOLDFISH, CANARIES, and COCKATOOS!!  KEEPING PETS IS THE LOWEST AND MOST VIRULENT SLAVERY on the face of the EARTH!!  FREEDOM, FREEDOM NOW!!  KNIT SWEATERS FOR THE FIELD MICE!!  HUG A MOSQUITO TODAY!!  This extreme silliness is what we are moving towards.  I had fried chicken tonight and did not shed a tear for the chicken.  Imagine that.  I am also a hunter and a fisherman and I shed no tears as I eat their flesh.  My long dead father was a cattle rancher and I am proud to have come from the ranching heritage.  The older I get the sillier the human race evolves.  Now a circus is thought to be a criminal enterprise as are the makers of a mink coat.  Leather???  How dare anyone own something made of leather!! 

 

To me your no different then PETA;  an extremist.      There is a middle ground here but clearly you can't see it.

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You're the one who posted Santa trying to make the dolphin fly of all the animal abuse images.

That picture in my posting was merely a part of the article about the abuses at Marineland. The photo, I assume, was put out by Marineland to indicate what a Santa-friendly "fun" place it is for kids. Meanwhile, we now discover that the animals there were sufffering.

 

Besides, why just zero in on one photograph? Did you not read the article about animal cruelty that accompanied it? Or the video featuring the former employee of Marineland?

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That picture in my posting was merely a part of the article about the abuses at Marineland. The photo, I assume, was put out by Marineland to indicate what a Santa-friendly "fun" place it is for kids. Meanwhile, we now discover that the animals there were sufffering.

 

Besides, why just zero in on one photograph? Did you not read the article about animal cruelty that accompanied it? Or the video featuring the former employee of Marineland?

 

Hopefully changes have been made there.

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To me your no different then PETA;  an extremist.      There is a middle ground here but clearly you can't see it.

You appear to be one of the "suckers born every minute" who has swallowed the bait hook, line, and sinker.  Sarcasm is clearly beyond you. 

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You appear to be one of the "suckers born every minute" who has swallowed the bait hook, line, and sinker.  Sarcasm is clearly beyond you. 

 

So when you posted "this extreme silliness is what we are moving towards",  that was sarcasm?    Of course what you put in caps was,  but I'm not buying that your paranoia was.

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So when you posted "this extreme silliness is what we are moving towards",  that was sarcasm?    Of course what you put in caps was,  but I'm not buying that your paranoia was.

No it was not sarcasm.  I believe explicitly that as we become more and more urbanized and less associated with the land that the animal silliness will become more and more extreme.  The Bambi/Thumper Syndrome carried to an absurd degree of non-reality and "worship".

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I think there is a middle ground here as james suggested. I am always glad to see abuse stop. I have to say it breaks my heart when I read someone has beaten a baby child to death. Those stories I cannot even read anymore. There definitely are people that should not have children and don't realize this until the child suffers or its too late.

I hate to see anything/anyone suffer. I understand that animals provide food/leather etc...

I eat meat and I love it. I try to eat more chicken but I love a good steak as well. Unfortunately we all can't live where Dargp lives, so we could sample some of that "dee-licious" chicken.

I don't know how PETA works and yes it is a shame many children will not be able to see an elephant. The only one I saw was at the Philadelphia Zoo, a long time ago. I don't know the solution but there is a difference, to me , regarding raising animals for food and using them for a business. Is PETA allowed to inspect the businesses? I don't know and I don't know if I made any sense here or not. I rattle on not knowing if I made my point or not. I'm not knocking anyone who wants to keep animals safe, and people. Nor am I knocking people who eat meat (me) or use leather products etc.. I bought a beautiful older coat at a thrift store and it has a fur collar(rabbit) and I wear it. I don't like to see anything hunted to the point of extinction, like never seeing pheasants here anymore. Ah well I rambled enough.

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One group we all should take note from are the Native Americans.  They only hunt what was needed, tried to do humanely as possible and WASTE NOTHING.  They have the proper balance of hunting and respecting nature.  Alaska has the most stringent wanton waste laws in the country (GOOD!).  Common sense should always be the rule - no fanaticism on both sides.

 

indian-buffalo.jpg

 

 

Always wondered how they got along with the wolves.

 

de7ac86938f5760fb14b0e4f41ca64a1.jpg

 

 

I think our biggest problem is that the average person today has a complete disconnect from nature - not knowing how it works, what separates the animal kingdom from man on a planet we must share together.  Watching "Bambi" is NOT the way to do it.

 

The disturbing trend is, modern society are unrealistically humanizing animals and devaluing/degrading human life.

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What's really amazing to me is the people who are upset with the role animals have in human's lives are usually those who only have dogs or cats as pets with zero experience with the animals they feel need protection. Many people "humanize" and project what they think the animal is "feeling". And for many animals, these "feelings" do not apply.

 

Not to discount what mockingbird said about her mare "feeling pain", weaning is absolutely a normal stage in a mare & foal's life in nature. The only difference is in nature, both the mother & foal have support from others in the herd. Keeping horses solitary, the person must step in to compensate the emotional support.

 

It's always funny for me to hear people say things like, "the ponies just stood there with their heads hanging low" as if they are "feeling"  humiliated or defeated. In reality, the ponies are just SLEEPING! Emotional trauma is imagined by the human observer.

 

I too have seen the Circus train give the elephants & horses a rest stop at our fairgrounds. I thought they were treated just like any other large animal-walked around, fed, watered, etc. The cars were mucked out, hosed and refilled with clean bedding. Believe me, no one works with animals all day who doesn't love and respect them.

 

The saddest part to me, is that another generation of kids will be brought up without exposure to farm or exotic animals except for maybe a zoo. Very few kids know where their food comes from, nor even understand what it means to care for these animals. And on a more primal level, kids do not even know how to interact with animals or even what they smell or feel like. 

It's this kind of separation that perpetuates misunderstandings about animal cruelty.

 

(ok I'm ready for my flaming)

I'm sure the majority of those who work with animals care deeply for them.  I've seen zookeepers weep after the death of beloved zoo animals. Elephants in circuses, though, are taught to perform via intimidation and the threat of abuse.  The really bad stuff happens behind the scenes, where they are beaten, whipped, even shocked.   Those who work with them either accept that, or, presumably leave the business.  I'm troubled that kids seeing elephants in circuses have a sad, false image of them standing up,  wearing head pieces, and performing confusing routines.  

 

Some zoo and circus elephants (the lucky ones) are placed in sanctuaries throughout the country upon retirement.  One (PAWS) is in northern California, and I've visited a couple times when they are open to the public.  (There's another in Tennessee, possibly others.) Elephants live in a paradise there, with ponds, mud baths, munching trees-- things that are natural and they love.  Not everyone lives near such places, but this is the ideal way kids, and all of us, should see wild animals if at all possible.

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Elephants in circuses, though, are taught to perform via intimidation and the threat of abuse.  The really bad stuff happens behind the scenes, where they are beaten, whipped, even shocked.


 


Really? Where do you GET this information?


I know people who work for 2 different circuses, and know they treat their animals very well. Animals like that are expensive, and you need special permits to even BUY them. These permits are not simply handed out to anyone, you realize, they must meet proper criteria.


 


 I'm troubled that kids seeing elephants in circuses have a sad, false image of them standing up,  wearing head pieces, and performing confusing routines.  


 


How is wearing costumes any different from a horse or oxen wearing harnesses on the farm? Have you ever seen how people dress their DOGS?


As for "performing", an animal won't do anything it doesn't want to do. Do you realize most animals actually enjoy having a job? 


 


Elephants live in a paradise there, with ponds, mud baths, munching trees-- things that are natural and they love.  Not everyone lives near such places, but this is the ideal way kids, and all of us, should see wild animals if at all possible.


 


Ha! The person I know who has a traveling "petting zoo" sort of thing keeps his animals on a HUGE farm in CT with everything they desire. It's like a wildlife sanctuary. This guy loves his animals and just wants others (especially kids) to be exposed to the wonder & beauty of these animals. It's really sad to me when he gets blasted in the media by animal rights activists who really have no idea what they're talking about.


 


I have 2 examples of "whipping" for a horse commonly used:


One is when you're driving a horse and carriage, you are communicating remotely, not touching the animal. It's very dangerous, you have much less control. You simply touch the horse's fanny to ask them to walk forward. And if there is any hazard, you tap the horse on the opposite side to distract their attention. The whip is invaluable for remote communication.


 


Secondly, my horse has ticklish spots when I groom her. Her natural reaction is to lift her leg as a warning to kick me if I don't stop! Well, she needs to be groomed and also needs to learn to tolerate being "tickled". When she lifts her leg in warning, I tap the leg with a short whip "warning" her back, simulating what another horse would do to keep her "in line".


If I didn't teach her not to kick when being groomed, it would be far more dangerous.


 


When you see any handler with a whip or prod or whatever, it's because the animal is potentially dangerous and sometimes you need more than just voice or hand commands. It's often to simply keep piece for the other animals involved. Just because I carry a whip does NOT MEAN I ever hurt the animal I'm working with.

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