Who liked the smell of elephant dung, anyway?

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Wow…the human race actually moves ahead! It’s happening in Bolivia. One can only hope that many more countries will follow this example and outlaw animals in circuses. It would be nice if a country as “advanced” as the United States could do this, but I know that as long as animal-centric circuses keep on makin’ money, they’re not going to outlaw SQUAT. Still… one can dream.

I’m anxious to see The Cove. I’m fully aware that it’s going to be upsetting to watch, but I’m not afraid. After all, my first memories that involved being outraged with the way humans treat animals was watching a documentary on this very subject with my Dad when I was in kindergarten. Over the years, I drift around with different animal compassion/ conservation issues, but this one always circles back for me and I get all pissed about this senseless killing all over again. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that I get pissed. Sometimes I want to be pissed. It reminds me of the importance of staying true to yourself, and how being outraged means you care deeply about something. I’d much rather care deeply than be numbed by the moronic drone of daily life. Passion fuels action, and God knows I could use a little more action to help me yank myself out of my depression.

I don’t understand why it is that Asian cultures are the ones most likely to be cruel and senseless in their slaughter of animals. The whole whaling thing is a perfect, classic example. The rest of the world is clearly thinking, “WFT, Japan?” and yet they continue to go whaling while lying their brains out about the importance of their “lethal research.” Weird that the best way to determine the health of fish stocks is to see how many of them wind up dead inside a whale’s digestive tract. I would have thought it might be a little more based on real-life tracking, studies of ocean temperature and pollution and the effects of overfishing rather than using the dead stomachs of whales to figure this out. Japan: you might make great cars, but you suck at conservation, science and basic common sense. Get with the program.

The dolphin cull is the same damn thing. Only this one is more secretive, more of a shameful embarassment. They should be ashamed. They’re doing something absolutely barbaric. Think about what kind of person you’d have to be, to be one of those guys who rides out on the boat with a spiked club and some machetes, and swings down hard into the soft tissue of a young dolphin’s head. HOW could you actually go through with such an act and be OK with it?! What happens to a person to make them so desensitized to life? What pleasure does one attain from taking the life of another creature? I don’t think normal, healthy people would be able to do this. I might sound like I’m just a bigot against other peoples’ cultures, but I seriously can’t understand the way their minds work when they do things like this. It just seems evil. Subhuman. You can appreciate your heritage, your culture, but damn– don’t be dicks about it.

For example, the Native Americans used to hunt buffalo, wolves, etc… and it is definitely part of their heritage. And Native Americans today still celebrate this. But they’ve evolved and realize they can honor their ancestors, their old way of life, by REMEMBERING and celebrating; dancing and having ceremonies. They don’t have to go out and kill a bunch of buffalo or whales in 2010. They know that those animals are not plentiful anymore, and they never killed in ways that they knew to cause extreme suffering.

If all cultures continued to celebrate the things from their past that have since been proven to be unnecessary, inhumane, unsustainable or just plain harmful to the only planet we’ve got… then we might still have actual slavery. I mean, that was a way of life. An entire culture. So who’s to say that someone who was raised in the South and has ancestors that were slaveowners shouldn’t honor their past and keep doing what their family has done for generations, out of respect for their culture? What’s wrong with that? And anyone who came in from the outside who tried to tell them they were wrong to keep doing such a heinous thing– why, those outsiders would be bigoted, culturally-insensitive bullies to insist they stop honoring their culture!

Sometimes I think people hide behind their safe “culture” shield so they can keep doing things that are actually not in their best interest anymore. Japan’s not doing itself any favors by continuing to whale, continuing to do this dolphin cull in Taiji… the rest of the world is not pleased with them for doing this stuff and I’d bet that tourism, for one, is down. I know I’d never have the stomach to go to Japan, personally.

But why would people keep doing these things, then? Maybe it’s a certain machismo thing. Maybe it’s their personal way to extert power and ultimate control over the world. They really might enjoy smashing in another animal’s skull. Actually, really get excited by it. Stoked. Adrenaline pumping, they might feel like gods as they swoop down, all HUMAN and POWERFUL with our WEAPONS and take lives indescriminately. I think of those whaling ships as nothing but huge, floating dicks that Japan’s using to fuck the ocean. What better way to prove your virility than to kill?!

Ghandi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Well, I aspire to one day live in a truly great global nation. And I will never stop trying; I’ll train my children to never stop trying, either.

Now let’s start relatively small, following Bolivia’s example: let’s see if we can run Ringling Bros. out of business! Don’t buy tickets to that crap. Please.

And don’t eat whale meat. 🙂

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6 responses »

  1. What a great blog. I really enjoyed reading this because this is exactly how I feel about how people treat animals. It’s just disgusting and very sad. We are the only species to kill for fun, basically. Let’s kill something that cannot defend itself for money and/or sport. I have been banning circuses since high school and the rest of my family does as well. My dad used to hunt and do all kinds of crazy shit when he was younger and now he is right there with me about being kind to living creatures; it’s nice to see a tough guy saving a spider or a mouse from the cat’s clutches of doom. 🙂 He didn’t grow up with compassion but he has gotten wiser in his older years. At least my sister and I taught him something!

    I saw this independent short film a long time ago that sums up how I feel about humansand the way the treat animals: this man was fishing on a dock and eating a sandwich. At one point he bit into the sandwich and he started to panic. It turns out that there was a hook in the sandwich and it got caught in his mouth. He was struggling to break free but was being pulled into the water. He fell into the water and shortly after, a big fish swam away. And it said, “How does it feel to be on the other side?” I will never forget that because it is so true. I don’t get the senseless torture of animals but then again we are talking about a species that tortures each other.

    I do commend your passion because I believe that if enough people expose these sonsabitches, someday there will be less suffering in the world. And I mean that about a lot of issues as well, not only animal abuse.

  2. I can’t watch that show Whale Wars because I get so upset with the whalers and their warped view on how what they are doing is okay. If I were on those boats I would be ramming them until they sank, lawsuits and jail time be damned. I don’t think I could watch a movie like The Cove because I know I would cry all through it. I cry during those Sarah McLachlan Humane Society commercials. I am such a tender heart when it comes to animals and can not stand to see them hurt or killed. Can’t watch Animal Cops a lot either. I get so mad I want to reach through my TV and throttle someone. (Which is why it makes me sick to think Fucktard Vick is back playing football. I never had a reason to boycott football before, but now I do) But I do support causes that try to help end animal abuse and unnecessary killing. I am not as extreme as people who want everyone to eat only vegetables (I do love my meat) but I don’t agree with farms that treat their cows or pigs cruelly. And killing animals that are endangered or not used for food is not cool.

  3. I was thinking about it some more, and it’s actually encouraging when you think of how much has changed for the better even in our lifetimes, so far. Trap, neuter & release programs weren’t common 20 years ago. McDonalds has pledged to only use meat suppliers who pass basic standards for animal care and humane slaughter. A large amount of animal testing and vivisection has gone away thanks to the cosmetics industry changing the way it operates based on public opinion and common, scientific sense. And zoos… wow, I think back to the zoos we visited when I was a little kid in the late 70s, early 80s, and there were lions pacing on concrete-floors and animal shows were routinely part of the zoo experience. Now, the habitats are much more humane and designed with the animal’s health in mind, and the focus is largely on education, first and foremost…not entertainment. There’s still a long way to go before our society is compassionate to other living creatures through and through, but there is hope.

    Hell, even though Michael Vick–dumb ass fucktard that he is!– is getting to play football again, think of the wide range of people you’ve heard bitching about it and calling him a sadistic prick over the past few days! I’m betting that 20 years ago, he wouldn’t have even been arrested, let alone caught. And if he was, the attitude wasn’t as strong as it is today about being kind of animals; football fans would be pissed he was getting in trouble for something as *insignificant* as dog fighting. We know now more about the link between violence against animals and violence against people; the internet has brought an immediacy to the issues that wasn’t possible before thanks to YouTube, websites with petitions and facts… and even PETA has made its point effectively. Sure they have been extreme, but they got people talking. Got them THINKING. Even when people are railing against how they hate those crazy PETA people, they are actually aligning themselves with the aspects of PETA’s campaigns that they *do* agree with. I read commentary on all articles I come across dealing with animal cruelty, and someone always picks on PETA, but then says something like, “I don’t want to see animals tortured or killed, and would do anything I could to stop something like that from happening, but these PETA people, man…they’re crazy!” That’s OK. PETA doesn’t mind if you don’t agree with their tactics. Because somehow, in the midst of their delivery, the message was still received. Every little bit helps chip away at the facade that we can just look the other way and be OK with not doing anything.

    Kids today are growing up in a more compassionate world than we did, and that’s the best we can hope for, really. Little by little, the world WILL change, as long as we never let our guard down and forget to consider all the implications of our actions (and inactions).

    Sorry for soapboxin’! Damn, ya can’t shut me up when I get going on this.

  4. Go on soapboxin’! It’s good to hear from people who are passionate about things they care about. I definitely have a soft spot for animals.

  5. I got issues about PETA first hand. I know Ive told you the story. They dont necessarily care to know how to take care of the animals they rescue. How hard is it to learn how to take care of an animal? And why just release into a natural population? That mink thing gets me riled. Minks are cannibals outside their own litter. Plus, PETA doesnt care about fish, frogs and other non fluffy animals or they would work better with Greenpeace.

    And another thing: why are there so many groups with different focuses? Why isnt there one big group doing everything it can to make things better? big enough to take on oil and other polluting corps? Land, forest, sea, air, animals? Screw the children, though. OK, dont SCREW the children. You know what I mean. Sometimes I feel you can either help people or you can help the environment and animals. People are the problem.

    You arent like PETA. You dont just join a bandwagon to feel good about yourself. You arent just “environmental until graduation” like a lot of college students in from the burbs. You care about why you are doing something and do your part.

  6. Don’t eat whale meat or any meat at all! It saddens me how horrific farming practices are too. The Cove was excellent, and it’s easy for people to feel sympathy for dolphins, because we like dolphins and don’t eat them, so there’s no conflict…. But what about pigs, cows, chickens, etc? You know?

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