Educate yourselves!!

You’ve all probably heard by now about Marius the giraffe that was ‘murdered’ and dismembered ‘in front of children’ in Copenhagen.

Instead of everyone calling for the resignations of the keepers and veterinarians at the Copenhagen Zoo, quit your knee-jerk reactions to the spinning of the details by some animal rights groups and random people on the internet and EDUCATE YOURSELVES so that you can form your own opinion and be able to answer more than ‘It’s just wrong.’ when someone asks you why.

As an example, just think back to the O.J. Simpson trial. that was a HUGE deal here in the U.S. (That may have been before some of you were born, damn, I’m old.) There were people physically fighting over the guilt or innocence of Mr. Simpson. My questions to people with such strong opinions were, ‘Where you there? Did you see it happen? Were you on the jury and presented with evidence? No? then where does your opinion come from? Oh, you have a feeling. He looks guilty. You watched the trial on T.V.’ The media only shows you what they want you to see, if you weren’t there, you don’t really know what happened.

Granted, it is sad to hear of any animals’ passing at the hand of humans, but we do more of it on a daily basis than most zoos will do in their entire operating lives, by overpopulating the planet, destroying habitats all over the world for our own use and various other human interferences with nature. Sport hunting, sport fishing, culls of various species, pollution, poisonous landscaping, etc. I think you are getting the picture.

Fact is that zoos are both good and bad and that is usually based on someones opinion, rather than fact. Some have saved many species from the brink of extinction with hopes of repopulating them in the wild, and they offer us a unique educational experience that we would not otherwise have. We can see species from all over the world that we wouldn’t even know existed if it weren’t for the local zoo.

Unfortunately, zoos are expensive to maintain and they tend to fall victim to corporatism and entertainment. CEO’s worship the currency gods, if the balance sheet doesn’t make sense and they aren’t seeing profits, they don’t want to hear that there’s another mouth to feed.

People don’t go to a zoo to learn for the most part, they want to be entertained. They want to ‘ooh and aah’ at the animals that are safely tucked away on display behind fences. They use ‘teaching the kids about animals’ as an excuse to go to the zoo themselves. Keep too many adult animals without the token baby for the ‘aww how cute’ factor and people will lose interest. Most kids don’t want to just look at animals being animals, sleeping cleaning, eating. They want the animals’ attention. They want to touch them, play with them, bang on the glass, rattle the cage, etc. Zoos are no place for that. If you are a responsible adult who really wants to teach a kid about animals, enroll them in a local wildlife program that will teach them the respect they so desperately need.

It is unfortunate that this event has gained the attention of the press. This was a huge educational experience that the Copenhagen zoo felt important to share. Should they have handled it differently? Yes, I feel they could have. I think it should have been a closed event, only open to people who were in university or to other zoological staff.

Maruis was not endangered, he was genetically deficient for breeding according to the zoo and was better off being used as an educational tool and a welcomed meal for the lions, who would have most likely eaten him in the wild anyway.

There are pros and cons to any way that you handle captive animals. There are sanctuaries closed to the public that protect and rehabilitate wildlife, there are zoos that basically do the same, but open their doors to the public. They wish to educate, not to entertain. Then there are the zoos that are in it for the money. They are basically there to make money at the expense of the animals. The latter being the ones that need to be shut down. Don’t even get me started on aquariums.

Captive animals and their treatment is a very touchy subject for a lot of people. Most of whom are not educated enough on the subject to make a determination either way. If you want to have an opinion and have it make a difference, learn what you are fighting for, don’t just point fingers because someone else showed you a graphic photo on Twitter. then do whatever you are capable of doing to make a difference.

Why don’t we start by looking in our own backyard? Maybe learn about the species that are native to where we live and do whatever we can to make them safe and comfortable in our presence. Put out a bird feeder, plant some flowers for the bees, etc. There are many other things we could be doing that would make a TANGIBLE difference, instead of arguing on the internet over a giraffe that we cannot bring back to life.

The information is out there people, don’t be sheep. Learn what is worth fighting for.

Stepping down from soap box now, you may resume your day.

A couple more links in case I’ve inspired you to learn something;

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140212-giraffe-death-denmark-copenhagen-zoo-breeding-europe/

http://endcap.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/EU-Zoo-Inquiry-Report-Findings-and-Recommendations.pdf

http://phys.org/news/2014-02-danish-animal-welfare-group-zoo.html

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwep16b.htm

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Celebrity & Activism

I think it is great that some celebrities are using their fame to try to enlighten their fans about current issues and encouraging them to take action to bring about change.
 
I wonder though, when the ones that jump on the bandwagon to try to get said celebrities attention, realize that said celebrity is never going to marry them or even meet them, do they take what they’ve learned and continue the fight, or do they quit because they feel rejected by said celebrity?
 
I have seen many times, people online, acting as if they are educated in a certain subject and tweeting the opinions and knowledge of the person whose attention they seek.
 
Sometimes they will post something that their ‘celebrity’ or fellow fans disagrees with (due to lack of education on the subject) and when they realize it, they either delete it or back pedal and claim to agree with said celebrity and or fans that pointed out the problem with their post.
 
I guess I am just seeing a lot of hypocrisy in the environmental/animal rights sect of social media.
Be yourselves people! Fight for what you believe in because it is right, not because you are trying to impress someone else.
 
Learn about the issues that you are sharing online so that you may have educated conversations with others about the causes and solutions.
 
People are so shallow.
 
Hmph :-/
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Free Tony The Tiger

Special Thanks to Ian Somerhalder and The ISF (Ian Somerhalder Foundation) Family for their great support of Tony’s petition today. Ian tweeted the link for Tony’s petition and his wonderful friends responded with resounding ROARS!

Please also visit Ian’s ISF website http://www.isfoundation.com to learn more about his organization. ISF’s Mission: “aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.”

No updates as to the August 6, 2012 hearing but will post when available.

Remaining positive for Tony and ROARING Our Way To 20K!

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Free Tony The Tiger

Please take actionfor big cats via this alert from The Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Via ALDF:

Many big cats such as Tony the truck stop tiger languish in deplorable conditions with no hope of freedom. Join us in urging Congressional representatives to support a new law to protect big cats from a similar fate.

Protect big cats and public safety!

In October 2011, sheriff’s deputies in Zanesville, Ohio responded to calls about a loose African lion and bear sighted by neighbors of an exotic animal “farm.” Officers soon discovered that the farm’s owner, Terry Thompson, had intentionally released over 50 exotic animals from his farm and then committed suicide. In the name of public safety, the deputies tracked down and shot the released animals. At the conclusion of the massacre, the pile of carcasses included 18 tigers, 17 African lions, and three mountain lions, as well as bears, wolves…

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Free Tony The Tiger

Update
June 27, 2012:

There is a hearing set for August 6 in Sandlin’s lawsuit against the State; the court will hear ALDF’s and the State’s exceptions, which seek to have Sandlin’s case dismissed. If we succeed, Sandlin may appeal. If we lose, the case will proceed to the preliminary injunction stage.

Sandlin’s appeal of our original law suit finally got a briefing schedule, so we’re expecting Sandlin’s opening brief in early July, with our response due later in July. No oral argument date has been set yet.

http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1675

More on Tony’s case: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=2053

Note:
Tony’s change.org petition remains active; please sign and share: http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

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