By Steve Hindi
November 25, 2016
We’re Winning! It was phrased a few different ways, but that was the claim from the Hillary Clinton camp in the weeks before her stunning loss to Donald Trump. Now we can look forward to four years with a habitually lying, racist, tax evading, cheating, misogynistic, bullying sexual predator in the White House. Trump’s tenure will make the disaster of the George W. Bush presidency look like the good old days.
While Hillary Clinton is no hero for animals, she lacks Trumps massive character flaws that will forever diminish both the presidency, and our standing as a nation. Like any candidate, Clinton is imperfect, but she doesn’t have offspring who qualify for animal serial killer status like Donald Trump’s sons, who have been only half-comedically been compared by comedian Bill Maher to Uday and Qusay Hussein, the murderous, psychopathic sons of the late Saddam Hussein.
As vice president-elect Mike Pence said, “Buckle Up.” What Pence didn’t say is that the ride we will all be forced to endure only goes down. Welcome to our new position on the world stage - that of a laughingstock.
What has this to do with the animal protection movement? The premature declarations of “We’re Winning” from the Clinton camp was hauntingly similar to what I’ve heard for the past two years at the national animal rights convention sponsored by the Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM). “We’re Winning!” was in fact the title of the closing plenaries for 2015 and 2016.
In the more than twenty years that SHARK has investigated and exposed the cruelty of rodeo, we have seen a great many editorials and columns against rodeo animal abuse, which is typically cloaked as “Western American Tradition” by unethical corporate sponsors and clueless “reporters" looking for an easy story that won’t stress their limited abilities.
Rarely have we seen a more truthful column than this piece by Naomi Lakritz, a columnist for the Calgary Herald. The obvious truths of Ms. Lakritz’s column will be utterly lost on the narcissistic rodeo crowd, as their world is all about benefiting themselves, no matter the cost to the nonhuman victims. For those striving to do the right thing, however, Ms. Lakritz has crafted a thought-provoking piece well-worthy of consideration by any enlightened person.
From the article:
... the bottom line is these animals are still being used for sheer entertainment in events that can cause them traumatic injuries and death — and it is unnecessary for them to be subjected to this. Are we humans so hard up for entertainment that we must amuse ourselves by watching events that can cause animals to suffer and die?
July 3, 2014
Randy Santucci, president of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, poses a loaded question in his editorial to Chambersburg Public Opinion. He asks, “what are the factual, substantive, societal or economic benefits of not shooting pigeons?” And along with his contempt for those “animal rights zealots” among us, he also doubts the relevance of a Pennsylvania House Bill banning the consumption of cats and dogs. A bill that would only seem irrelevant to someone who doesn’t keep up with current events in Pennsylvania.
Much like the issue of eating dogs and cats, the need to pass a law explicitly banning pigeon shoots arose because people treating pigeons inhumanely have failed to be held accountable under Pennsylvania’s existing animal cruelty statues. That’s what the amendment attached to House Bill 1750 is all about.
July 3, 2014
Randy Santucci supports live pigeon shoots but fails to describe what a live pigeon shoot is. This is not an accident. I am sure Mr. Santucci knows that the reason why so many people are opposed to pigeon shooting, including hunters and members of the NRA, is because of how obscene, immoral and cruel pigeon shoots are. As someone who has been on the ground at numerous shoots, allow me to tell you what Mr. Santucci doesn’t want you to know.
The cruelty begins long before any shots are fired. No matter what the originating source the pigeons come from, whether they are sold by pest control companies, bred for shoots or trapped off the street, these animals are starved and deprived of water for days leading up to the shoot. We know this because every pigeon we have rescued has been on the verge of starvation and are desperate for a drink of water.
August 1, 2013
Recently, I blogged on the Underbelly of Rodeos: Busting the American Myth and feel the need for an update as here we are in early August, and already the horrific occurrences of abuse, injuries and deaths are significant. I've read a lot about "freak accidents" at rodeos, and how shocked and horrified rodeo people are when... sigh... that gosh darn animal got his neck snapped -- who would have thought roping a calf or steer around his neck and violently jerking him off his feet may break his neck! Certainly, it would appear not the "cowboys" who have caused it and seen it happen time and time again, and yet still remain bemused by the apparent "freak accident."
July 13, 2013
(Photo: Reno Rodeo 2013 – Ellie Lopez-Bowlan)
Against all the mind-numbing denials from the rodeo industry a clear voice rings out against the abuse of animals for “entertainment.” Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Colorado, award-winning animal behavior expert and prolific author, Marc Bekoff called for a ban on rodeos after viewing the footage of a horse going into convulsions and dying at Cowtown Rodeo on June 29, 2013. Our SHARK investigator witnessed 9-year-old Duke being electro-shocked out of the bucking chute and seconds later he was dead. The rodeo owner Grant Harris denied that Duke had been shocked even though he admitted the images did show a person, crouched down, holding an electro-prod next to Duke.
June 30, 2013
These days YouTube seems to be doing the job of investigative journalism and law enforcement, hopefully in a helpful way. There really is nowhere left to hide and nowhere can it be said to be more useful than in exposing heinous acts of animal cruelty. Groups like Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) have used social media to such a great degree that it is hard to refute egregious acts of animal exploitation and abuse. As the 2013 rodeo season gets well under way, we can expect to see yet more evidence that the animals suffer enormously for the jeering crowds.