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Sunday, April 11, 2010

P.E.T.A. (People For the Untimely Death of Humans)

Every year the Irem Shrine Circus makes an appearance at the Kingston armory. And every year, a handful of protestors appear and make not much noise about how circus animals are abused and the like.

Excuse me whilst I yawn.

It’s the same thing year-in and year-out. You get the P.E.T.A. types, plus a few locals standing there with their poorly crafted signs, while thousands of wide-eyed kids are treated to the visiting circus, animals and all.

Generally, I have a very low tolerance for these sorts of protests, simply because it seems kind of redundant to be “increasing awareness” of an issue that’s basically old news. Really old.

Yes, the circus is in town with “wild” animals in tow. And, yes, we know, a half dozen or so girls will appear and make us aware of the fact that they don’t like it. Yes, we know. We got it. We got the message years ago. Now, go find something productive to do, will you?

Grow a Chia Pet or something.

But this year, that front page Times Leader photo of the two protesting girls holding up signs reading “Trainer just killed by elephant” really put me off my tuna hoagie and beer breakfast. My immediate thought was, I’ll bet they were happy.

And after scrolling through the reader’s comments attached to a follow up story about the trainer’s untimely death, I found the following…

Janet Weeks said...
If you zoom in on the photo, you will see the bull hook being used as a visual cue of intimidation. Also, the elephant wears "decorated" leg irons, also as a reminder that he is a slave, in bondage, and helpless. I am glad this elephant took revenge on that trainer. Wild animals are wild and they do not belong in captivity. The trainer got what he deserved and I hope he's happy in hell.
April 10, 2010 at 1:21 AM


So I was correct. Some people really are happy that the elephant went and killed her longtime trainer. Insensitive? Overzealous? Or just plain hateful? You make the call.

And then, I found this…

Circus fatal blamed on wire sparks

Anderton cared very much for Dumbo, Richards said, noting the pair had a strong relationship.

“They lived together for the last 15 years. Before that they worked together for five years. It was a very close family relationship as far as the animal was concerned,” Richards said.

Anderton had sleeping quarters on his truck, but instead would take an air mattress and sleeping bag to sleep on the floor near Dumbo each night, said Richards.

Now, if I was one of those protestors, this is the part where I’d start feeling really, really stupid. But, as is usually the case with these sorts of folks, I doubt that anything could deter them from their life’s work, whatever the hell it is.

Hey, that reminds me, the Ringling Brothers crew should be here in about 8 weeks unloading the yearly parade of elephants right behind this modest adobe.

I can’t wait.


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