SHowing Animals Respect and KindnessSHARK
Driving Change: Creating the Tiger 2
It's been over six years since the Tiger video truck debuted in Las Vegas, Nevada during the 2000 National Finals Rodeo, and activism hasn't been the same since. Even Las Vegas, with all of its lights and glitzy attractions, was no match for the compelling images that brought animal issues alive when the Tiger's four movie screens first lit up the night.
The Tiger was born only after many months of planning and three more months of custom building. Between the intensive research before and oversight during the manufacturing, it was an intense and complex project. We sometimes wondered if the results could possibly be worth all the time and effort that went into it. Those doubts were completely allayed the very first night the truck lit up upon leaving the assembly bay. Everyone was shocked by the huge, vivid images. The effect on everyone, including those who were in no way animal activists, was enormous.
In the six years of the Tiger's existence SHARK has dealt with many issues. Rodeos have been our number one issue, but the Tiger also took on bullfighting, horse and other types of animal slaughter, circuses, factory farms, the Baylor Bears program, Korean dog torture/slaughter, the Canadian seal slaughter, fur, vivisection, whaling, dolphin slaughters, foie gras, gas chambers, the Australian kangaroo slaughter and more. Limited time, shortage of funding, and the fact that there is only one Tiger have prevented us from dealing with still more issues in more locations.
Although it was always intended that SHARK would have more than one Tiger truck, we had hoped that the rest of the movement would also build video vehicles that would bring the plight of nonhumans to the streets throughout North America, and that this would prompt European animal protection organizations to follow suit, followed by still other animal protectors around the rest of the globe. This hasn't happened.
The biggest disappointment SHARK has experienced with the Tiger is that, even given its incredible effectiveness, the animal protection movement has been profoundly slow to pick up on an obviously great thing. While some groups and individuals have undertaken mobile video projects, generally the vehicles have been too small. While these smaller vehicles play an important role in the effort to protect animals, there must be a fleet of large vehicles that can deal with the large targets - multinational corporations, government bodies and other entities with seemingly unlimited resources. Such targets can be extremely difficult to move. They need pressure from the public at large, and the way to turn the public is with irrefutable images of the abuses we wish to stop.
We have learned that the media is at best unreliable and at worst will side with lucrative animal abusers. In some issues, such as rodeos and bullfighting, the media protects and perpetuates "traditional" cruelty. As disgusting and unjournalistic as that is, we still have to deal with it. We still must strive to expose the truth to the public and bring relief to our nonhuman friends.
While some people have donated money specifically for the creation of another Tiger, it simply hasn't been enough to complete the project. Perhaps the biggest problem for SHARK is that we are probably the world's worst fundraisers. Because we are always working on a number of campaigns simultaneously, people think we are bigger than we are, and that we have far, far more funding than is the case. SHARK has less financial support than a lot of local organizations nationwide, and they don't have our video or Tiger operations. The fact is that SHARK has neither the staff nor equipment we should have for the major projects we take on and the amount of our victories.
Well, too bad. About a year ago we decided that come hell or high water, SHARK would build a second Tiger by the end of 2008, even if it meant financially stretching the organization to its limits. After all, SHARK was not founded to fight for animals, SHARK was started to win for them. That means taking on animal abuse is an ever expanding and growing effort. Now we're going forward anyway, even if it breaks us. We will rely on others in the movement that are equally committed and dedicated to ending animal abuse to help us succeed for the animals.
Our current Tiger is dedicated to video display, and it does it like no other vehicle on earth, but the fact is that we don't have a large, paid staff. Because it is set up purely for video display, the Tiger does not allow us to accomplish all the other things we also have to do for SHARK while on the road.
Therein lies the challenge of building the next-generation Tiger truck - to build a vehicle that surpasses the function of its predecessor, and allows us to continue to operate the rest of SHARK at the same time.
That means the Tiger 2 will be a rolling office and video production studio, so that SHARK communications and projects don't languish when we are on the road. Our volunteer crew will be able to do other work when the new Tiger is rolling down the highway, and even when the Tiger is on the streets displaying its video images. Additionally, the new Tiger will have even larger movie screens, will carry more fuel and have better security. It will also have a small sleeping quarter and compact area for food storage and preparation. Our volunteer crew will be well-fed and refreshed, so we won't have to stop as often, even on long trips.
Ideally the new Tiger will tow a small vehicle that we might quickly unhitch from the truck to investigate suspicious activities on the road, whether it be a rodeo, an advertisement for an exotic game ranch, a canned hunting club or whatever. These opportunities are often present on the road, but we can't exactly go waltzing in to a rodeo, canned hunt or roadside zoo with the Tiger!
Perhaps best of all, our plans even call for the next-generation Tiger to have larger movie screens than the original. In short, there won't be one thing that the new Tiger won't do better than the original, and it will do many things that the original Tiger doesn't do at all.
Of course, we don't intend to take the original Tiger off the streets. The original Tiger will be much better suited to long-term work that doesn't require using it as the only 'away-from-home' vehicle. Tiger 1 will still be perfect for exposing abuse that we can hit night after night-such as the foie gras ban, a fur store, or a captive animals issue.
Whether it's being used in the Chicago area, where SHARK is headquartered, or in any other city where activists can use the Tiger for an extended campaign, the Tiger 1 will still be a force on the streets for animals. However, six years of hard work across the country have taken a toll on our Tiger. This unique tool is in need of updating and some repairs. Please help us keep this magnificent machine working for the animals.
With your help, the dream of a Tiger fleet can become real. We are already on our way there. SHARK has $75,000 set aside as our Tiger 2 fund, and that is halfway to the goal. We are asking organizations and individuals to be as generous as they can because we need to double the Tiger 2 fund in order to put another, better Tiger to work. Please pledge your support today.
Our opposition will be desperately hoping that the movement will NOT support this project. They have seen the incredible persuasive power of the first Tiger. Starbucks Coffee, Campbell Soup, Hilary Duff, the corrupt folks at the Olympics, two Illinois governors as well as the governors of New Mexico and Massachusetts and many, many others know all too well what the Tiger can do. (You can learn about many of these campaigns at CorporateThugs.com.)
The thought of a second Tiger -- one that is even more effective than the first - will cause animal abusers throughout North America to lose a lot of sleep. But that alone means nothing to me. They must be put out of business by way of public outrage, dried up corporate and government support, and the way to do that is to build the Tiger fleet, starting with Tiger 2.
SHARK hopes that both individuals and organizations truly serious about ending animal abuse and exploitation will help with this effort. Millions of animals are suffering and dying daily and it needs to end NOW, and with more Tiger Trucks it can.
SHARK is a US registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity, which means your donation is tax deductible!
Send us an email: info@SHARKonline.org
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