Monday, January 4, 2010

Why you should care about the care of elephants

Radical animal activists are crying for the poor abused elephants from Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. They say these poor animals are the victims of injustice because a judge ruled against an animal activist and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

A suit which had drug on for 9 years, was brought by the ASPCA and a former Ringling employee, Tom Rider. A federal district court found that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit do not have standing to bring the suit and did not show that they had suffered an “injury in fact.”

Plaintiffs claimed that Ringling Bros.' use of bullhooks and chains constituted abuse and a "take" of the elephants, in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Rider worked for the circus and claimed that he formed an emotional attachment to the elephants and that he had seen a variety of abuse in his time with the circus. Rider filed that he had been “injured” through his employment because of the abuse.

The court didn’t buy it. The court papers are definitely worth reading.

I‘m not an attorney, but even I could follow the language and there‘s a lot of insight that those of us in ag can glean from arguments these groups make. And the curtain is pulled back to show some of their tactics.

Beginning about page 19 the court discredit’s the claims made by Mr. Rider. For a guy who claimed he wanted to keep the animals from being abused he did nothing to stop or expose the abuse. He also didn’t quit his job when he was “forced” to do things he didn’t want to do. And he didn’t try to get a new job in a capacity that could help these elephants once they retired.

Beginning on page 26, the court papers show that Mr. Rider received $122,000 from animal activist organizations. He had no other source of income after leaving Ringling. The documents show that there was a fundraiser held to benefit the elephants and the funds collected were instead disbursed to Mr. Rider.

How does helping Mr. Rider help the elephants? And how shady does it seem that he was paid throughout the course of this suit.

I have often heard about these groups employing the people who take undercover footage of farming and other operations. I had no idea how much the total could really be.

In this economy, how many people would sell their soul for $122,000?

The activists are rallying around the point that the judge didn’t go so far as to say the animals weren’t abused so the issue isn’t fully decided.

If you look at what the radical activists are saying they’re insulting the judge’s intelligence rather than getting to the bottom of why the ruling went against them.

But name calling is a favorite tactic of theirs.


  1. Good post--I don't know enough about the issue to know if circus animals are abused or not. Like most things, it probably comes down to who takes care of the animals. What I DO know is you can't build a case on biased evidence. Paying someone like Rider to file a suit is almost as bad as paying off the judge.

  2. It will be great to watch Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Circus ,i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.