Archive for the ‘deplorable practices’ category

Cecil the Lion Slaughtered…

July 29, 2015

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I will always remember the occasion when I was taken as a boy of about ten to the den of a wealthy neighbor who was a “big game” hunter.  I was supposed to admire the heads of lions, antelope, and other exotic wild animals that stared at me from the walls, but instead I was filled with a sense of horror and revulsion; this was to me a charnel house, a mortuary. This “mighty hunter” had not done in my sight anything commendable to be worthy of praise or emulation.

The actions of my former neighbor, while I found them personally deplorable, were at least legal. Not so was the hunt of American dentist Walter Palmer of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, who paid at least fifty thousand to track and kill Cecil, a beloved and protected lion at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe who was readily identifiable, the object of research, and wore a collar.  Cecil was lured off the National Park and then shot with bow and arrow. Wounded and suffering, Cecil lived and was tracked for forty hours before being cornered and fatally shot by the “mighty hunter.” Cecil’s ultimate fate was then to be skinned and beheaded, and his cubs will likely be killed by the next lion in the hierarchy to spread their bloodline.  

Since this despicable and stomach-churning act, the dentist will at least be charged with poaching and has begun to receive some well-deserved drilling himself. The Yelp page for Palmer’ s dental facility has been overrun with negative comments. “Wouldn’t it be clever to see how you would face Cecil without your tricks and tools?,” ran one comment.  That’s a fantasy I could well entertain.  Rest in peace, Cecil…you deserved so much better than you received.

“Cookie Monster” Just That…

April 14, 2013

cookie– – Many strange things may be found in New York City, including people who walk about in unlicensed character costumes offering tourists the opportunity to have their children photographed with them in the expectation of getting a several buck tip in return.  These characters are known to frequent Times Square and elsewhere, and may be dressed up as Sesame Street notables, Mario of Nintendo fame, Buzz Lightyear, Winnie the Pooh, or perhaps the Statue of Liberty, to name a few; some of the outfits are poor copies, barely recognizable.  Trouble is, the hustlers tend to be a bit aggressive, and at times have been known to bother or pursue their marks for photo privileges, demanding money afterwards before putting a photographed child down.   There have been ugly incidents as well; last summer, someone dressed as Grover lost it, and burst into an antisemitic rant in public…a Super Mario once groped a woman, and a Spiderman even punched a mom!  Hardly your friendly neighborhood Spidey…

Well, last Sunday someone dressed as Cookie Monster had himself photographed with a two-year-old, becoming irate when the child’s mother didn’t have tip money handy.  Insults and cursing followed, and the costumed cad pushed the child, allegedly causing the boy to almost lose balance.  Now the Cookie Monster wanna-be is facing charges of assault, aggressive begging, and endangering the welfare of a child…

…what’s next?- -“Shackle-Me Elmo?

 

Bad Eggs Cancel Egg Hunt!

April 2, 2012

— As we enter Easter week, it would seem that Peter Rottentail made an appearance at past Easter egg hunts at Bancroft Park in Colorado Springs, causing that event to be cancelled because of some parents leaping over guide ropes to blatantly grab eggs for their children!  This avarice caused other children to go eggless while some raked in the eggs,  and kinda spoiled the supposed mood of the event.  We will bypass tempting economic and political analogies represented by this occurrence to state the seemingly obvious to the offending parents and their ideological clones elsewhere:  egg hunts are for kids, to paraphrase the great Trix Rabbit, who can teach us much about the nature of desire, frustration, and deprivation. –Wise, long-suffering Trix Rabbit!   One may learn so much from him, and profit from his instruction!   But I digress…

Things seldom get as distasteful and as thoroughly messed up as when parents seek to live vicariously through their children, expressing their greed and Alpha-male dominance needs through them.   We can see this mentality represented in youth sporting events where some parents convey the notion through action and word that yes, winning is everything!   Some even curse other child competitors, or get into physical altercations with other parents.  It’s a mentality that their child is the only one in the universe, or that in a world of supposed equality, some are more equal than others, remembering George Orwell.

I shall mourn the tainting of the humble and lovely tradition of the Easter Egg hunt, which was never intended to be an ego-invested greed fest.  Perhaps it is as worldly philosopher Homer Simpson once observed that we all want the same thing:  preferential treatment!

“Diving Horse” Revival Scrapped…

February 27, 2012

– – In times gone by, New Jersey’s fabled Atlantic City featured at their Steel Pier a so-called “diving horse” act which began in the 1920’s, and was shut down five decades later.   In the stunt, a horse ascended to the top of a 40-foot platform, and didn’t as much dive as was tipped off it, plunging the animal and its rider into a 12-foot deep water tank below.   Animal rights advocates maintained that the act at the very least scared horses, and carried the potential for them to be injured or even killed.

A brief return of the act happened in 1993 with riderless mules substituted for the horses, but protests ended that revival.  Nostalgia for Atlantic City’s edgy past prompted recent plans for another diving horse comeback, but successful online petitions against the plan caused the revival rather than the horses to be tanked…

McDonald’s Supplier Animal Abuse?

November 19, 2011

 – – Regardless of how you look at it, chickens do not live enviable lives.  They should not, however, be forced to live their entire lives in cages so small that they can barely turn around, or be swung around by their feet by their caretakers.  The animal rights group Mercy for Animals recently released video illustrating such conditions that was filmed over three months by an undercover investigator posing as an employee for Sparboe Farms, the fifth largest egg producer in the country and a major egg supplier for McDonald’s.   The FDA has also said that it discovered serious violations of a federal rule designed to prevent salmonella at five egg production facilities of Sparboe.

McDonald’s has dumped the supplier, who has said that the actions illustrated in the video are in direct violation of their animal care code of conduct and dismissed the workers involved.  McDonald’s is further studying the merits of traditional versus cage-free hen housing systems, which are already used by the company in Europe…

 

 

Lions, Tigers, and Bears…

October 20, 2011

 – – Neither in their native habitat nor near Oz, dozens of wild and exotic animals kept in private ownership escaped from a farm near Zanesville, Ohio Tuesday night when an animal farm owner described as a “collector” released 56 animals from their cages and then killed himself.  Of the released animals which included lions, tigers, bears, mountain lions, wolves, and a baboon, 49 were killed by local authorities who deemed such necessary to ensure the public safety.  Six animals were captured alive while at least a baboon remained unaccounted for.

Counted among the slain animals were 18 tigers, nine male and eight female lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzly bears, two wolves, and a baboon.  The owner/operator of the wildlife farm had been previously convicted of multiple firearms and animal regulations violations, including cruelty to animals.  

This horrendous and unnecessary tragedy underscores the need for strict and nationally standardized regulations governing the sale and ownership of exotic animals;  Ohio is one of the states that currently has no such laws…

“Gladiator” Fights Lion; Not Worth Lion’s Time…

July 1, 2011

 – – With the World Animal Bothering Belt on the line, a self-proclaimed Egyptian “gladiator” stepped into a steel cage set in a wheat field in Mansoura, Egypt with a reportedly 660-lb. (?) lion in order to attract foreign visitors to Egypt and lift his country out of its post-revolution downturn. 

As the “gladiator” glared and bared his teeth, the lion, which had been fed an entire donkey before the event, is reported to have looked bored.   The event lasted 17 minutes, with spectators said to have been disappointed and to have regarded the feat as a publicity stunt.

One can only imagine what thoughts were running through the lion’s head about the human warrior, who carried a “shield” made of an old satellite dish (“You are so lame, pink skin!”).  The Egyptian Tourism Minister commendably blasted the spectacle as an inhumane act against animals…

For his next exhibition, perhaps the warrior will take on a narcoleptic camel, an agoraphobic scorpion, or even a rather large jellyfish in a bucket of water!–Hey, reality TV should be this good!

Animal Smuggling…

May 14, 2011

 – -We’ve posted previously here on Foxsylvania about the illegal trade in wild and exotic animals, including animal smuggling.  While it’s fairly common for one type of animal to be smuggled (snakes, spiders, etc.), some smugglers diversify and try to take a variety of different species out.

Take for example the case of a man arrested at Thailand’s international  airport May 13th after he was caught trying to smuggle wild animals out of the country.  The man, identified as a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, was trying to board a flight to Dubai when investigators found a baby bear, two leopards, two panthers, and at least two monkeys stuffed into his luggage!  Don’t ask me how…must have been some pretty big luggage!

The anti-animal trafficking group FREELAND said the man is believed to be part of a far-reaching animal trafficking network…

Goldfish Racing…

April 24, 2011

 – – Not to be confused with cat juggling, dwarf bowling, or submarine races, goldfish racing is one of those strange pseudo-sports activities that bars seem to be host to, alcohol making such things just that much more amusing.

In goldfish racing, cheap “feeder”-type goldfish normally sold to be fed to other pets are guided and encouraged by bar patrons to swim down water troughs the length and general width of plastic gutters with bottles and water guns.  This practice has brought complaints from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who contend that the loud noises and bright lights used during the practice scare the bejesus out of the fish.  In addition, some fish have reportedly been impaled with soda straws or even swallowed alive by the same notorious bar patrons.

PETA’s protests have caused one Tacoma, Washington bar to cancel its weekly goldfish races, while other similar establishments are still having fish start their engines…

Jakarta’s Monkeys

December 24, 2010

– – In Jakarta, Indonesia trained monkeys perform skits on the street of the capital city using props such as toy motor bikes, wooden rifles, and doll masks.  Unfortunately, the macaques are kept on chain leashes which are jerked to keep the trained simians on task; they are conscripted and trained beginning as young as one month of age.  The performances are believed to have originated in the port cities of northern Java in the late 1800’s when entertainers from Europe introduced monkey and dog shows. Forced to perform unnatural acts in a stressful, abnormal environment, the forced performances may easily be seen as a form of animal exploitation or abuse.

Such monkey business is diminishing, however, owing at least in part to the depressed economy…


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