Saturday, July 11, 2009

Response to Walker Brothers Circus Comment

My previous post was about the Walker Brother Circus. I had a response from an anonymous poster, always welcome if you dare...I also had responses from fellow bloggers, which I do not copy here, but Thanks T and Warren for your nice comments!

I will re-post anonymous' comment here and follow with my reply. It was so lengthy I decided to dedicate a new post to it.

"Walker Brothers Circus"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but why on earth would you think that performing animals care about applause? That's a human thing. Performing animals care about the fact that they are forced to stay in cages, trucked around from pillar to post. Chimps roam large areas in the wild and stay in close family units. These were probably brought here as babies and have lived terrifying and unnatural lives ever since. Give some thought to what went into teaching a chimp to ride on a pony, and how terrifying it must have been for both of them. It sounds like you started out having a compassionate response and talked yourself out of it. I hope that in future you will go with your first instinct. WIld animals do not belong in the circus.

To Anon,

Certainly all those points went through my head, about how the chimps should be free in the wild. I feel the same about elephants. The sad truth and reality is LOSS OF HABITAT. The chimps we saw wouldn't exist at all if not for the time and caring their owners have put into them. Every chimps act ended with a kiss and hug from the trainer, and it was reciprocated.

Now, as to applause, have you ever had a pet of any kind? I play ball and fetch with my dog every day, and if he makes a spectacular catch, I clap and cheer, and his step quickens and his tail wags. If something unexpected happens and I laugh inadvertently at his expense, his attitude changes.

For a performing animal to go in front of a disapproving crowd, to suggest that the animal cannot sense animosity being directed at its performance, is as unfeeling and ignorant as you seem to claim my response to be. They are there, sad, yes, but I am glad I could clap LOUDLY and say, "Good Job!"

At least once, the trainer looked me in the eye, and mouthed, "Thank YOU." If my simple act could help the trainer relax, if you are one who subscribes to the thought that animals do not have feelings, creating a positive human response from the trainer might then be passed on to a more positive emotional response to the trained animal. Thus improving the quality of life for that animal.

As far as the travel, using the dog analogy again, some dogs love to ride in cars. Some get car sick. Any good trainer would not subject an animal to the travel if they could not thrive in it.

If the chimp was terrified of the horse, no trainer alive could get it to ride. Same with the horse, although I think it would be worse for the horse. Yet horses are raced, rodeo'd, and been trained for centuries. They don't all run free in the mountains, and if they did, I am sure BLM would round them up and slam them in a pen awaiting adoption.

And what of the awareness that the presence of the wild animal creates to individuals? Some people might become more aware that chimp habitat needs protecting, and discuss it with others. Some of the children might never have a chance to see an elephant or chimp in person for their whole lives. This is Maine.

People dominate animals. That is a truth. Caring humans can only help but act to provide animals they come into contact with with a loving, caring, compassionate attitude, even if we eat them. Animal abuse is rampant. Dogs are bred for fighting, mass produced poultry is beaten, abused, and confined to filthy conditions before being sent to a horrifying filthy death.

We have branches of government that regulate an annual slaughter of wild animals of various types-some have an open season and are openly persecuted. Don't think it is kinder to let Bambi run free until it is dropped with a painless clean shot. Many animals escape wounded to die a lingering and infected death of starvation, unless one of the persecuted predators is still alive to take it out quickly and cleanly.

These performing chimps were probably better off than a chimp in a zoo. Get over it.


Wood Mouse said...

While on the whole I disapprove of performing animals in the Circus, I fully respect that people have the right to visit them. Also a good Circus will treat the animals well, and it is the bad ones that need to be stopped.

It is similar to Zoos. Back in the 1970/80s there were many small zoos that kept animals in poor conditions. These fortunately have now gone and the good Zoos like London Zoo, Jersey Zoo, and others have their emphasis on conservation and the public viewing of animals is just part of the way that they raise the money to carry out that conservation work.

Via seeing creatures in zoos or the circus is probably the only way that most people will see some animals in the flesh. And if well looked after, seeing that animal may inspire the next generation of conservationists. A childhood trip to London Zoo did it for me.

I can not see the point in critiquing someone when they are giving an honest account of what they have seen. Ms Tree knows and understands domestic animals better than I do, I personally think that she should be called the Goat Whisperer, and because of that empathy I feel she was best placed to judge if the animals were being well treated. I can understand anyone having an objection to using animals, but far to often this “I am Right and you are Wrong” attitude seems to prevail, especially in the animal rights lobby. Even when I was a vegetarian I suffered abuse for not being Vegan. To me it is just like the different fundamentalist religious groups of what ever flavour, who seem to think that they are justified in killing people who don't share their bigotry.

While I do disapprove of performing animals in the Circus, I fully respect that people have the right to visit the circus and enjoy it, especially if they get soaked in the clowns tears too.

Coincidently in the US there are more Bengal Tigers in private hands, and that's without zoos, than exist in the wild. Therefore Zoos and the Circus could be the ark that prevents some species becoming extinct.

One final comment, I post and comment so that people know who I am. That way if someone wants to disagree they can direct that at me or enter a debate. As the comment section can be like an adventure playground for “mental” people I am wary of folks that post anonymously. Personally I feel that if I have something to say I would rather people know who the poster is.

Ms Tree and I have had our differences of opinion before, and we will again, but via open and honest debate we still remain friends.

tree ocean said...

Thanks Mouse, and it is comforting to feel that you know me well enough to sense my initial repulsion at the last act, and trust that if I felt the animal was being abused, I would have indeed gathered my children and immediately walked out in protest. You also make great additional points which I agree with wholeheartedly.

Your comment came in just under the wire. I have made a temporary decision to moderate all comments, so any further comments may well take a day or more to appear. I usually sign in once a day and I will have to sign in to moderate.

Anon criticisms have the feel of a heckler. I understand that I may be attacked for my viewpoints posted on my blog, but I will not tolerate that attack reaching across the board to my friends. I want my friends to feel free to comment here, in agreement or disagreement, without being attacked by others. This last is in reference to anon's last comment on the previous post, where they lashed out at another poster.

I have the urge to delete it, but I think as it stands it shows the poster to be rather nasty. We can all see for ourselves that the remark deserves no consideration, except to clarify why I am choosing to moderate future comments. :)

~Tonia said...

I agree with Wood mouse. Now if it wasnt for Zoos and other things of that nature we may not have some of the species we do have. they would be extinct. And as for signing my First name only well You can click on it and follow it back to my blog and find out how to contact me.. Unless of course you have been to my blog before and you are now blocked from viewing and of course I do moderate comments so it will never show either if you are nasty and critical. Disagreeing is one thing But being spiteful is another.. Tree you can delete this if you want..

tree ocean said...

Well said, Tonia! I feel the same way about the anon comments-

and your initial comment about them was to me and not an attack on the poster personally.

I do feel that my blog response may have been harsh with the last sentence, so I hope that I have not provoked trouble. That is another drawback to anon comments-it feels as if they are hiding to be rude and not called on it, and I don't care for that myself.

Hopefully we can move on and put this behind us...