By Steve Hindi
February 14, 2017
The effort to ban the brutally cruel practice of use bow and arrow to slaughter cownose rays continues to move forward. That’s the good news. On February 13, the Associated Press ran a story that included the following:
"Animal rights organizations, including the Humane Society and the Save the Rays coalition, say the contests are inhumane and harmful to the environment." (LINK)
One thing needs to be made perfectly clear. The Humane Society of the United States has never participated in documenting the ray slaughter. Two groups were involved in documenting the slaughter - SHARK and Fish Feel. It was SHARK cameras that filmed the slaughter from a rented boat the first year, with SHARK and Fish Feel personnel at the weigh stations where more images of gore were shot.
By Steve Hindi
December 30, 2016
In early December, SHARK investigator Mike Kobliska and I joined water protectors at the Standing Rock Native American Reservation in North Dakota for what was anticipated to be the imminent showdown between the protectors and police working for corporate interests connected to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Media reports had shown dogs used by pipeline security personnel, who set them against people and horses. We were told that one horse had died. There was a strange story of buffalo being penned up by the government in cruel conditions. We saw reprehensible behavior by law enforcement - something with which we are all too familiar in our own animal protection efforts.
Every day I thought about the scope of change that would occur if the animal protection movement had one-tenth the dedication of Standing Rock’s water protectors.
A serious confrontation was inevitable, and with inadequate coverage by the corporate media, Mike and I headed to North Dakota to use our high-powered video and still cameras, as well as our Angel drones and other equipment to document and expose bully tactics by the authorities. We arrived a few days before the arrival of military veterans who also supported the water protectors.
Aerial view of Oceti Sakowin Camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation
from SHARK's Angel drone (click to enlarge)
There were perhaps a couple thousand people in camp when we got there. Some of these folks had been there for months, living in conditions that would be difficult in the best of times - something a North Dakota winter is not. Nevertheless, and in spite of being a very diverse group, people worked and lived together in a way that was both remarkable and admirable.
By Steve Hindi
November 25, 2016
We’re Winning! It was phrased a few different ways, but that was the claim from the Hillary Clinton camp in the weeks before her stunning loss to Donald Trump. Now we can look forward to four years with a habitually lying, racist, tax evading, cheating, misogynistic, bullying sexual predator in the White House. Trump’s tenure will make the disaster of the George W. Bush presidency look like the good old days.
While Hillary Clinton is no hero for animals, she lacks Trumps massive character flaws that will forever diminish both the presidency, and our standing as a nation. Like any candidate, Clinton is imperfect, but she doesn’t have offspring who qualify for animal serial killer status like Donald Trump’s sons, who have been only half-comedically been compared by comedian Bill Maher to Uday and Qusay Hussein, the murderous, psychopathic sons of the late Saddam Hussein.
As vice president-elect Mike Pence said, “Buckle Up.” What Pence didn’t say is that the ride we will all be forced to endure only goes down. Welcome to our new position on the world stage - that of a laughingstock.
What has this to do with the animal protection movement? The premature declarations of “We’re Winning” from the Clinton camp was hauntingly similar to what I’ve heard for the past two years at the national animal rights convention sponsored by the Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM). “We’re Winning!” was in fact the title of the closing plenaries for 2015 and 2016.
In the more than twenty years that SHARK has investigated and exposed the cruelty of rodeo, we have seen a great many editorials and columns against rodeo animal abuse, which is typically cloaked as “Western American Tradition” by unethical corporate sponsors and clueless “reporters" looking for an easy story that won’t stress their limited abilities.
Rarely have we seen a more truthful column than this piece by Naomi Lakritz, a columnist for the Calgary Herald. The obvious truths of Ms. Lakritz’s column will be utterly lost on the narcissistic rodeo crowd, as their world is all about benefiting themselves, no matter the cost to the nonhuman victims. For those striving to do the right thing, however, Ms. Lakritz has crafted a thought-provoking piece well-worthy of consideration by any enlightened person.
From the article:
... the bottom line is these animals are still being used for sheer entertainment in events that can cause them traumatic injuries and death — and it is unnecessary for them to be subjected to this. Are we humans so hard up for entertainment that we must amuse ourselves by watching events that can cause animals to suffer and die?
July 3, 2014
Randy Santucci, president of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, poses a loaded question in his editorial to Chambersburg Public Opinion. He asks, “what are the factual, substantive, societal or economic benefits of not shooting pigeons?” And along with his contempt for those “animal rights zealots” among us, he also doubts the relevance of a Pennsylvania House Bill banning the consumption of cats and dogs. A bill that would only seem irrelevant to someone who doesn’t keep up with current events in Pennsylvania.
Much like the issue of eating dogs and cats, the need to pass a law explicitly banning pigeon shoots arose because people treating pigeons inhumanely have failed to be held accountable under Pennsylvania’s existing animal cruelty statues. That’s what the amendment attached to House Bill 1750 is all about.
July 3, 2014
Randy Santucci supports live pigeon shoots but fails to describe what a live pigeon shoot is. This is not an accident. I am sure Mr. Santucci knows that the reason why so many people are opposed to pigeon shooting, including hunters and members of the NRA, is because of how obscene, immoral and cruel pigeon shoots are. As someone who has been on the ground at numerous shoots, allow me to tell you what Mr. Santucci doesn’t want you to know.
The cruelty begins long before any shots are fired. No matter what the originating source the pigeons come from, whether they are sold by pest control companies, bred for shoots or trapped off the street, these animals are starved and deprived of water for days leading up to the shoot. We know this because every pigeon we have rescued has been on the verge of starvation and are desperate for a drink of water.
August 1, 2013
Recently, I blogged on the Underbelly of Rodeos: Busting the American Myth and feel the need for an update as here we are in early August, and already the horrific occurrences of abuse, injuries and deaths are significant. I've read a lot about "freak accidents" at rodeos, and how shocked and horrified rodeo people are when... sigh... that gosh darn animal got his neck snapped -- who would have thought roping a calf or steer around his neck and violently jerking him off his feet may break his neck! Certainly, it would appear not the "cowboys" who have caused it and seen it happen time and time again, and yet still remain bemused by the apparent "freak accident."