Written by PETA
The following is a cross-post from IngridNewkirk.com.
I receive new books every day—many wonderful books, such as Jason Hribal's Fear of the Animal Planet and Marc Bekoff's The Animal Manifesto—books that make you think and act, and that are great gifts to pass along. Today, God's Country: The New Zealand Factor launches. In it, authors Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison (two longtime, extraordinarily thoughtful and clever friends of PETA and animals) ask, "What if a relatively small number of human beings decided that they were powerful enough to stop the destruction of the world?"
God's Country is thoughtful, impeccably researched, and deeply moving. In the foreword, I describe it as bursting at its seams "with enough data to fill any reader's head with provocative reflection for years to come, hopefully for life. It should be seen as a lifeline that can be used to pull Earthlings out of the self-destructive waves of a turbulent sea—a sea that we have churned up as a species, but have the power to calm, if only we think clearly, look through a moral glass, and act quickly before we go under for what could be the last time."
In true PETA style, Michael and Jane "make short shrift of the disturbing and macho idea that caring—for others, the Earth, your own health—is a sign of weakness. With plain and honest arguments and stunning clarity, they show … that to care is a sign of true strength, character, and much more," I wrote. "The authors expose the 'survivalist' approach for the anachronism that it is," and they "lift the lid on what goes on in places most of us will never enter, from the very bowels of slaughterhouses, to those countless factory farms where animals are raised in pitiful conditions to be slaughtered. Their vivid, even clinical descriptions make it clear that Attila the Hun himself might be moved to shame if he were to consider what our species does to the others in this, the 21st century."
You can download the book, and I hope that you will do so and share it widely. This book is a blueprint for action for any person who has ever given even a passing thought to what counts in life, including the Earth we live on. It should be nominated for a Pulitzer!
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Eyebrows are shooting up in the animal protection world, as SeaWorld has hired professional animal entertainer Jack Hanna to sing its praises in public. Given his own record of responsibility for numerous animal attacks (including an incident in which a chimpanzee he was using in a public display bit off a 5-year-old girl’s finger) and his history of using underage animals who should be with their mothers instead of in noisy crowds and under bright lights, Hanna seems a good fit for SeaWorld. Despite its heavy public relations efforts, the marine park has a long history of getting away with murder while turning a fast buck. For example, the statements from SeaWorld about what a surprise, shock, and accident it was that the orca Tilly had drowned and pounded a seasoned trainer to death in Orlando deserve careful scrutiny. It was the third time that that particular orca had killed a human being (Tilly’s son also killed a trainer last year in Spain), both other deaths having also been dismissed by the amusement park as "accidental" when they were likely anything but. The marine amusement park environment is rife with deaths, close calls, and injuries.
As Jason Hribal writes in his soon-to-be-released book, Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance, Tilly and two of the other orcas came from Sealand of the Pacific in Canada, a facility that closed shortly after all three whales were involved in a fatal attack on a trainer. That attack, "carried out by Nootka, Haida, and Tilikum left the park in a public relations freefall. Administrators promised changes. New safety procedures would be initiated. Physical contact between the trainers and whales will no longer be allowed. Guardrails will be installed along the poolside to prevent slips or bites." All the same things that SeaWorld is saying as it hopes for the story of the trainer’s death to go away. But in Canada, back then, public pressure did not let up. As Hribal writes, "Between the daily protests at the park's front gates, national demands that the orcas be released back to the ocean, and the city council's entrance into the debate, Sealand’s will crumbled. In August of 1991, the park reached a startling decision. 'After a lot of thought and discussion,' the director clarified, 'it was decided killer whales should be phased out.' … The twenty-nine year old institution had closed permanently."
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.