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Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

Dear (activist),

I am very aware of the years of effort you have personally put into elephant protection. I have been with you in spirit for a long time, including as much letter writing and phone calling as time has permitted. But I have also spent an enormous amount of time studying Professor Gary L. Francione’s abolitionist approach to animal rights. He developed this theory over 25 years ago, while practicing animal law. He went on to be the first to teach animal rights at a US university and has written several pivotal books on abolitionist theory over the years as well. His message is one of justice and respect for all nonhumans with the main tenets being: we must reject the ‘property status’ of animals in order to abolish all animal exploitation and as such it is our moral obligation to stop eating, wearing, or otherwise using animals in any way. This, of course, makes the practice of Veganism the moral baseline of the Abolitionist Movement.

I would highly recommend reading his books. But he also has an amazing website, which hosts copious valuable audio and video content, including many interviews, as well as a huge array of highly logical and very convincing, searchable blog essays:

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/

The reason I wanted to share this with you is because I am absolutely convinced, having watched and learned the history of circus abuses, that our efforts are nothing more than a cat and mouse *game* we play with circuses and owners like the Felds. For every one (elephant) we might save—after an eternity of torture—there are tens or hundreds more coming on stream. You may be aware already but see, for example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Elephant_Conservation

Today, elephants, like all animals, continue to suffer enslavement, torture, and misery at human hands in ever greater numbers largely due to public socialization to animal use as normal. This latest effort by the USDA is merely lip service to appease the “irritation” we are to them and circus operators and even zoos. I’m sure the users consider it nothing more than an expense of doing business. And you can be sure this news will be spun to persuade the public that it is now more acceptable than ever to attend animal circuses because they are USDA monitored.

I know you participate in protesting at circus venues, but I would like to invite you to consider modifying those protests to become instead a massive grassroots network of, as Gary Francione calls it, “creative non-violent Vegan education.” As I said, I would encourage you to read on the subject to familiarize yourself with the theory—Veganism is definitely not just a diet, for example—so that you will appreciate not only the futility of the present “Welfarist” path but also the enormous potential for real and lasting and instantaneous change by removing all *demand* for the products of exploitation, be that for food, clothing, experimentation, AND entertainment.

Respectfully yours,

Jeffrey

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In a recent thread about the atrocious conditions at the Belgrade Zoo, a friend sums up my general feelings toward Zoos very well:

“…I remember when I was 5 years old going to the zoo and seeing a bear on top of his little wooden house pacing to the end, stopping, lifting up his paw, turning around and doing the same to the other end, over and over. I asked my mom what he was doing, everyone thought it was so cute, I found it disturbing.

Years later I saw a show where they were talking to a vet. They were discussing zoos and animal behaviour and he talked about animals doing things over and over, such as the bear I saw. 

The vet said this is because the poor animal has literally lost his mind from being enclosed for years. To this day, I remember that bear, he pops into my head every once in a while. This zoo was in very good condition compared to Belgrade and this bear still went crazy from being locked up. Throw in vile conditions such as Belgrade zoo has, it must be a complete nightmare.”

The Belgrade Zoo SOS site linked above appeals to relocate the animals, “to some other place where animals will have more space for a decent life”, and I do agree animals such as these poor unfortunate souls MUST be offered sanctuary from such horrific subjugation! I feel ALL animal captivity is ultimately cruel as it is simply extremely UNnatural. Even in what society terms “enriched environments”, it is still captivity!

In the same thread another friend makes the a very accurate observation, “99% of animals’ problems depart from one concept: Human Exceptionalism (Anthropocentrism / Speciesism)”, i.e., the extremely short sighted and arrogant notion that animals – and Nature – are somehow here for our use, entertainment, food, or any other form of exploitation we can think up. My friend’s solution is very simple, yet extremely powerful… 

“Go VEGAN!”
– practice a totally compassionate lifestyle –


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I want to share with you a response I gave to a comment on one of my recent posts. The anonymous commenter was expressing their disgust and dismay with the ongoing Canadian Seal Slaughter:

Dear “Anonymous”,

Thank you for your comment. I agree the thought of any innocent creatures suffering at the hands of human beings is disgusting.

But let us resolve to maintain focus on the positive. A change in attitude toward other living creatures is what is required to end animal suffering. As long as we see any living creatures as “resources” or “commodities” to be used or taken advantage of, suffering will continue.

The “murderers” as you refer to them are, in this case, nothing more than the innocent victims of generational de-sensitization. Those (workers) who rely on institutionalized cruelty (food and commodity animal industries, for example) need rehabilitation in the form of economic assistance, re-training and even psychological counselling.

The “liars” as you refer to them, the “bad science” purveyors, the governors, etcera, those who seek to profit in one way or another by maintaining the status quo, hiding the truth about animal suffering, using their positions of authority and influence in unethical ways, should be ejected from our social and political arenas and treated as common criminals until such time as they can demonstrate an understanding of the error of their ways …and monitored thereafter to provide society assurance of that.

I believe that change in attitude, though painfully slow, is happening. And each time one’s attitude changes, so does their lifestyle and as such, so does their global influence!

…Teach your children well, respect ALL living creatures right to a free, unfettered life in their natural habitat and set good examples!

…Elect compassionate representatives; support The Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada

Go Vegan

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