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Berkeley, the “domesticated” grizzly bear

Wow, I’ve been able to mine a lot of information off the internet about stupid people and how they are harming animals. First, I was horrified to see two stupid people in South Africa keeping a tiger (named Enzo) as a “pet”, and now I am equally horrified to see that some stupid people much closer to home are keeping a grizzly bear (named Berkeley) as a “pet”.

Jesus. I don’t even know where to start with how utterly inane this is. I guess I’ll start by giving the link to the story so you can see what I am talking about: https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/province-investigates-after-grizzly-bear-fed-ice-cream-at-innisfail-fast-food-restaurant-1.3766618.

They are feeding the bear ice cream at a Dairy Queen. I mean, wow. Just…wow. The bear’s “keeper” insists that the video of the bear being fed ice cream is “a little bit of out-of-the-box, uniqueness” to “get people’s attention”. She goes on to say that Berkeley is “domesticated”.

Ho. Lee. Shit.

No. NO. A bear is NOT “domesticated”. No, words mean things. Domestication is a process that involves years of breeding generations of animals. Berkeley is a first-generation slave, so the word “domestication” does not apply.

Don’t get me wrong: domestication is a form of slavery and is NOT okay. But in this case, this animal is being called “domesticated” to make people feel okay about a non-domesticated animal being forced to live this way.

So Berkeley is most certainly not domesticated, as the article states she is “a year old and was taken in as a rescue by the wildlife facility in Innisfail”.

Look, I get that it may be difficult to rehab bear cubs to be reintegrated into their natural habitats, but if that is the case, at least let them live as naturally as possible in a sanctuary habitat. This does not include driving them around in cars and feeding them ice cream. There is also video footage of Berkeley eating cake for his birthday. Cake. Jesus, these people!

Bears don’t eat ice cream and cake!

Berkeley lives at Discovery Wildlife Park, which claims to provide permanent homes for “unfortunate” wildlife such as orphaned animals who can’t be released, exotic pets kept illegally, and unwanted pets.

But it’s a fucking zoo. It even calls itself a zoo. They say they don’t breed animals, but it’s still a place where animals are exploited to entertain visitors. And Berkeley the bear is being exploited too. They say they educate about “conservation”, but they are charging people money to come pet tigers and bears and other animals, so it’s basically a petting zoo. And I guarantee you there is no mention of veganism! If you want to talk about conservation, the FIRST thing you should talk to people about is how their consumer choices are destroying habitat for animals all over the globe. But nope, nothing. Yeah, conservation my ass.

And get this. They “train” these captive, enslaved animals so they can star in movies and TV shows. They claim the “training” is enrichment for the animals, which is a load of shit. You can enrich life for these animals without exploiting them for personal gain, as SANCTUARIES do.

Fuck these people. Fuck Discovery Wildlife Park. And fuck anyone who takes a bear cub in their car to go get fucking ice cream.

Disgusting.

 

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Horrible People Keeping Tiger as Pet

I came across this gem this morning:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2159103/Meet-couple-share-South-African-home-27-stone-Bengal-tiger.html

These horrible people, Michael Jamison and Jackie Smit, are keeping a Bengal tiger as a pet. The tiger’s name is Enzo.

The headline for the article reads, “He’s just a big pussycat”.

No, he’s a fucking tiger, and how is anyone even allowed to have a tiger as a pet? This is just…repulsive, on so many levels.

The article doesn’t say how they got the tiger, other than to say “they bought him as a nine-week-old cub”. Jesus, can tiger cubs even be away from their mothers at that age? And where the hell does one just buy a tiger?

Enzo’s “owners” also have 14 dogs and god only knows how many cats, and they posted a video on YouTube of Michael introducing kittens to Enzo! Like, who the hell puts baby kittens anywhere near a fucking tiger!?

Don’t get me wrong–I adore tigers and think they are enchanting. I also think they should not be forced to share a home with humans, particularly two humans as ridiculous as these two seem to be, because I just cannot see this ending well for anyone involved.

It seems to me that this tiger is a status symbol. And I am wondering how the hell they are going to live with him and not get injured. Did they have his claws removed?  Because no claws are visible in any of the pictures.

The best part is when they talk about how Enzo no longer fits into their yellow Lamborghini.

Jesus.

These people seem really full of self-importance and are obviously really, really wealthy. I would have been more impressed if these lunatics had donated their money generously to a big cat rescue/sanctuary if they care so much about tigers.

Obviously, they don’t care about tigers. Or anything but themselves.

Gross. And really disturbing, because this kind of crap just fuels the “exotic pet” trade, which is disgusting and reprehensible.

Thanks for ruining my day, Michael and Jackie. You are awful.

Also, if you are concerned about Enzo’s plight, living with these two dummies, please consider going vegan. All animals matter, including those you eat, wear, and use for entertainment. www.abolitionistapproach.com, www.howdoigovegan.com

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Clever Horses!

I am posting this video of horses not loving cold weather because A) I sympathize with them completely, and B) because if I don’t post something positive and happy, I run the risk of being called “joyless”. So enjoy these clever horses!

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Cougar Hunt Debate in Alberta

(Edited to add that I am a vegan and against killing any animals. My purpose in writing this was to ridicule it and the people interviewed because not a damn one of them cares about animals.)

Reading this article was an exercise in frustration:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/cougar-hunt-alberta-1.4476780

Apparently, in Alberta (that’s in Canada), up to 155 cougars can be killed each year. Some people think the cougar population must be managed because cougars will kill people and livestock.

You know what else kills people and livestock? People. In much larger numbers than all carnivores combined, but I digress.

Then we have Wayne Lowry, who is nobody of any particular importance, babbling about how he enjoyed killing a cougar: “You see the dogs get excited and you get excited as well”.

Thanks, Poster Boy for Sociopathy! It’s great to know you get excited at the prospect of killing. Awesome <sarcasm>.

Chris Darimont, “who hunts one elk or deer a year for food”, says that people kill carnivores “not to feed their families but to feed their egos”.

I hate to break it to you, Chris, but no one needs to kill animals for food. When people kill animals, it is ALWAYS about ego, and human privilege, and the belief we have the right to kill other sentient beings. AKA, speciesism.

All in all, I’d say this article was pretty underwhelming, given the fairly significant public outrage over Steve Ecklund’s recent murder of a cougar. Then again, what can I expect when people get upset over someone killing a cougar but then have a hamburger for lunch? Or  hunt deer and elk for food but then say killing carnivores is an ego thing because they aren’t tasty.

I just can’t even.

 

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Plant-based foods to become more popular in 2018

Heh. Good news, I guess. According to an article on Huffpost, plant-based eating is a trend that will get stronger this year. Here’s the link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/01/09/food-trends-2018_a_23327293/?utm_campaign=canada_newsletter

I wish VEGANISM was getting more popular. According to the Huffpost article, “Veganism and plant-based eating continue to become more popular, for example, even for people who don’t avoid animal products 100% of the time” and “chefs known for their meat dishes are looking for a new challenge”.

It’s not a challenge, it’s not a trend, and how the eff can veganism be getting more popular if people are not avoiding animal products 100% of the time?! Then that’s not veganism, is it? I find this kind of thing disheartening, honestly. Nothing about animal rights or people finally realizing that veganism is the only ethical stance if one thinks animals matter morally, or anything. Just…trends and challenges. And people using the word vegan to describe mostly cutting out animal products but not 100%.

I saw “Veganuary” popping up a lot around the holidays in social media, and that shit just frustrates me. I GET IT, we want to gently get people to start thinking that maybe they could possibly manage a month of plant-based dieting…..but that’s not what veganism is.

It’s not, oh I’ll go vegan for January and then if it’s too hard then I’ll quit. It’s, we go vegan now because animals matter, and yes we screw up but we remain committed to veganism and animal rights. But few people seem able to do that.

And I’ll state the obvious here, that veganism is not just about what we eat.

The problem with trends is that inevitably they end. Veganism should not be a trend. It’s the only way we can live ethically if we think animals matter, and it’s the only way this planet is going to survive.

I don’t know, call me negative if you want, and I am sure all the Veganuary-loving vegans will shit all over me, but I honestly don’t care. I think Veganuary is stupid and just furthers the notion of veganism as some cute and trendy thing that’s all the rage right now but will be dropped later this year.

Ugh.  But many vegans will be celebrating and cheering this headline.  😦

 

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Quebec judge says girl who was sexually assaulted was “probably a bit flattered” by her assault

A judge in the Canadian province of Quebec has proven that one does not have to be particularly intelligent to become a judge.

Judge Jean-Paul Braun made some horrid comments earlier this year during the trial of a taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl by licking her face and grabbing her.

Judge Braun said, “We can say she is a little overweight, but she has a pretty face, huh?” He indicated that the girl was “flattered” at the attention she received, and that trying to kiss someone is an acceptable gesture.

giphy

Fortunately, the provincial Justice Minister, Stephanie Vallee, is not going to tolerate that shit and is going to file a complaint about Braun.

Here is a link to the full article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/10/25/quebec-judge-jean-paul-braun-said-sex-assault-victim-probably-a-little-flattered-by-attention_a_23255840/?utm_campaign=canada_newsletter.

 

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More geese in the news

This time, the headline reads “Memorial Planned for Dartmouth Geese Killed This Week” (http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2017/08/11/memorial-planned-for-dartmouth-geese-killed-this-week.html)

Unlike the Canada geese I posted about recently, these geese are not considered pests. In fact, the people in the area seem to cherish them as pets. So since three of these geese were hit by a car and two of them died, the community has been in an uproar that the person who hit them wasn’t charged.

These two events serve to clearly underscore what Gary Francione calls our “moral schizophrenia”, or confused thinking, about animals. On the one hand, we value some animals, like the Dartmouth geese, seeing them as worthy of our consideration and protection. Indeed, people might view them almost as friends. On the other hand, the Canada geese in Washington Park are just a nuisance, noisy and messy, and they are inconveniencing people by being too abundant. So we kill those geese and feed their corpses to homeless people and school children.

This boggles my mind, but it shows how we are able to shower love and affection on dogs and cats or any other animals we keep or regard as pets, while simultaneously paying other people to torture and kill other animals so we can needlessly consume their bodies.

Melanie Joy says that this phenomenon is “invisible”, that we are all just poor, brainwashed victims who have been tricked into thinking like this. But I don’t buy that at all. WE are not the victims.

The reality is that it’s a very conscious and deliberate choice on our part to love some animals while brutally and needlessly killing others. The root of it is speciesism, the belief that the lives of other sentient beings are of less value than human life and that somehow this justifies using them in whatever ways we please.

Geese are neither inherently good nor inherently bad—they simply are what they are. It is nothing more than people’s perceptions of them that decide whether their lives are commemorated with candlelight vigils and outrage at their deaths, or whether they are considered pests and served as dinner.

The life of each sentient being has an inherent worth; that is, it has value in and of itself, not for what it can do for us or how we can exploit it. Each subject of a life values their own life and wants to keep living. For example, your life means nothing to me at all, but it sure does have value to you, and you probably want to keep living!

Geese, and other animals, are no different. As sentient beings, they experience life, they have thoughts and feelings. They are subjects of a life, and they wish for their lives to continue. We have no right, therefore, to arbitrarily decide which animals live and which die.

And while it is very touching that people were upset about the geese being killed by a motorist, I am fairly certain every one of them went home and had a dinner consisting of some kind of animal parts.

Moral schizophrenia indeed!