Tag Archives: animal rights

Lioness Removed From Cricket Hollow Zoo After Federal Lawsuit

Submitted photo/Animal Legal Defense Fund Jonwah, a lioness at Cricket Hollow Zoo, is shown July 25 after a federal judge ordered zoo owners, Pam and Tom Sellner of Manchester, to allow an Animal Legal Defense Fund veterinarian to examine the cat. The defense fund is claiming the lion was emaciated and is asking Delaware County officials to investigate the Sellners for alleged animal cruelty.

Group charges lion was starved at Cricket Hollow Zoo, asks Delaware County to investigate


MANCHESTER — The Delaware County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it is investigating a claim by a California animal rights group, which won two lawsuits against the Cricket Hollow Zoo this year, that one of zoo’s lions was subjected to animal cruelty before being transferred to a Colorado sanctuary.

The lioness, Jonwah, had signs of emaciation — visible bones and vertebrae — likely caused by extreme hunger and dehydration, the Animal Legal Defense Fund said in a statement last month.

Jonwah was transferred from Cricket Hollow in August to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado after the zoo’s owners, Tom and Pam Sellner of Manchester, settled the second endangered species lawsuit.

The defense fund believes the poor treatment of the animal violates Iowa’s animal neglect law, according to Jeff Pierce, an attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The organization contacted the sheriff’s office in October and urged it to investigate. A sanctuary veterinarian’s medical evaluation of Jonwah, along with photographs of the lion, were sent to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff John LeClere said this month he has forwarded evidence of the alleged neglect to the Delaware County Attorney’s Office to see if charges are warranted against the Sellners. LeClere said the county prosecutor has asked him to gather further information.

The Sellners and their attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

The defense fund said in the statement that Jonwah resorted to eating the hay in her enclosure as a result of not being fed and being without water.

The lion, after being removed from Cricket Hollow, required emergency veterinary treatment because the hay, which is used for bedding and can’t be digested property, caused a “severe” intestinal blockage. The treatment saved her life, the group said in the statement.

Iowa law states that animal neglect occurs when a person confines an animal and fails to supply the animal with sufficient food or water; fails to provide a confined dog or cat with adequate shelter; or tortures, deprives of necessary sustenance, mutilates, beats or kills an animal “by any means that cause unjustified pain, distress or suffering.”

A person can be charged with a simple misdemeanor for animal neglect or a serious misdemeanor if the neglect causes an animal’s death or serious injury.

“Jonwah and Njjarra (another rescued lion) are in good hands now, but what happened at Cricket Hollow is clearly against the law,” Stephen Wells, executive director of the defense fund group said in a statement. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund is hopeful that law enforcement will take this evidence seriously and hold Cricket Hollow to the standards of Iowa law.

Pierce, the defense fund’s lawyer, said the veterinarian that treated Jonwah “has offered to cooperate in the investigation and, if necessary, to testify at trial, although her preference at this point is to remain unnamed in the press.”

In July, the animal group settled its second lawsuit against Cricket Hollow. A federal judge ordered the Sellners to permit a qualified veterinarian to examine Jonwah and Njjarra, and the settlement followed that examination. On Aug. 1, the lions were transferred to the Colorado sanctuary.

The group also won a previous lawsuit against the zoo over the treatment of lemurs and tigers. The Sellners were ordered by a federal judge to transfer their lemurs and tigers to other Midwest facilities, which could provide better care.

Originally posted on Dec 25, 2016



Why Shaming Is Bad Activism

Confessions of a Speciesist

Where do nonhuman mammals fit in our moral hierarchy?

The case for exploiting animals for food, clothing and entertainment often relies on our superior intelligence, language and self-awareness: the rights of the superior being trump those of the inferior. A poignant counterargument is Mark Devries’s Speciesism: The Movie, which I saw at the premiere in September 2013. The animal advocates who filled the Los Angeles theater cheered wildly for Princeton University ethicist Peter Singer.

In the film, Singer and Devries argue that some animals have the mental upper hand over certain humans, such as infants, people in comas, and the severely mentally handicapped. The argument for our moral superiority thus breaks down, Devries told me: “The presumption that nonhuman animals’ interests are less important than human interests could be merely a prejudice— similar in kind to prejudices against groups of humans such as racism—termed speciesism.”

I guess I am a speciesist. I find few foods more pleasurable than a lean cut of meat. I relish the feel of leather. And I laughed out loud at the joke about the farmer who castrates his horses with two bricks: “Does it hurt?” “Not if you keep your thumbs out of the way.” I am also troubled by an analogy made by rights activists that animals are undergoing a “holocaust.” Historian Charles Patterson draws the analogy in his 2002 book Eternal Treblinka, and Devries makes visual reference to it by comparing the layout of factory-farm buildings to that of prisoner barracks at Auschwitz.

The flaw in the analogy is in the motivation of the perpetrators. As someone who has written a book on the Holocaust (Denying History, University of California Press, revised edition, 2009), I see a vast moral gulf between farmers and Nazis. Even factory-farm corporate suits motivated by profits are still far down the moral ladder from Adolf Eichmann and Heinrich Himmler. There are no signs at factory farms reading “Arbeit Macht Frei.”

Yet I cannot fully rebuke those who equate factory farms with concentration camps. While working as a graduate student in an experimental psychology animal laboratory in 1978 at California State University, Fullerton, it was my job to dispose of lab rats that had outlived our experiments.

I was instructed to euthanize them with chloroform, but I hesitated. I wanted to take them up into the local hills and let them go, figuring that death by predation or starvation was better than gassing. But releasing lab animals was illegal. So I exterminated them … with gas. It was one of the most dreadful things I ever had to do.

Just writing those words saddens me, but nothing like a video clip posted at freefromharm.org. Appropriately entitled “saddest slaughterhouse footage ever,” the clip shows a bull waiting in line to die. He hears his mates in front of him being killed, backs up into the rear wall of the metal chute, and turns his head around seeking an escape. He looks scared. A worker then zaps him with a cattle prod.

The bull shuffles forward far enough for the final death wall to come down behind him. His rear legs try one last time to exit the trap and then … Thug! … down he goes in a heap. Dead. Am I projecting human emotions into a head of cattle? Maybe, but as one meat plant worker told an undercover usda inspector, who inquired about the waste stench: “They’re scared. They don’t want to die.”

Mammals are sentient beings that want to live and are afraid to die. Evolution vouchsafed us all with an instinct to survive, reproduce and flourish. Our genealogical connectedness, demonstrated through evolutionary biology, provides a scientific foundation from which to expand the moral sphere to include not just all humans—as rights revolutions of the past two centuries have done—but all nonhuman sentient beings as well.


Note: I have more links for reference compared to original copy. 

Also see:


Once You Come to Terms, You Begin to Understand


More Images Here

(If anyone knows the source for this photo,  please let me know)


iAnimal – Changing minds for factory animals

Cruelty Free


I recently found out about iAnimal, a truly amazing technology that allows a 360 degree immersive experience which takes people into the lives of animals trapped on factory farms and slaughterhouses to see how they live, suffer and die.


iAnimal is run by Animal Equality, an international animal protection organisation that works in 8 countries within Europe, America and Asia that investigates and exposes the truth of the lives of animals raised and killed for food. They hope to expose the truth and ultimately change the way people feel and approach animals for food. The footage used is from 18 month investigations within Mexico, the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy within factory farms and slaughterhouses.


Please take a moment to visit their website here and experience the reality of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses. It may change the way you view these places, and the animals inside them.



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Russell Simmons Says He Won’t Apologize for Comparing Animal Abuse to the Holocaust

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05: Russell Simmons talks about his new book, "Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple" at Barnes & Noble Tribeca on March 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 05: Russell Simmons talks about his new book, “Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple” at Barnes & Noble Tribeca on March 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)


This post is in response to The Daily Post: Hyperbole


Russell Simmons Says He Won’t Apologize for Comparing Animal Abuse to the Holocaust


Additional support on this controversial issue:


*I do not support PETA, though I am a former supporter of many years.


Halloween Horrors are SOP

Mercy for all Animals


I love Halloween, and I know most people love it, too.

Maybe it’s the fact that on this one night we can let our freak out. 😀

We dress up to become someone or something entirely different than our usual selves and we gorge on candy and scare ourselves with tales of torture, scenes of horror, and images of death and darkness.

We do this as humans, of course, because it’s all harmless fun and it also allows us to face our worst fears and laugh them off.

Not so for the animals we raise for food, fur and entertainment.

These animals face horrors every single day of their miserable lives.

It’s standard operating procedure in the animal exploitation business.

They are beaten, intensely confined, violently slaughtered.

Factory farms and abattoirs are true houses of horror.

Don’t take my word for it–do the research yourself. My films section is a…

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An Industry That Needs to Prevent Empathy

Mercy for all Animals

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Just about every human being has–or is capable of–empathy.

Those humans who are without empathy–who can’t feel mercy or compassion–are defined separately from the rest of humanity.

We call them sociopaths.

In fact, they are probably more accurately described as psychopaths.*

But the meat and dairy industries are masters at getting people to override their natural impulse to want to avoid harm to other feeling, thinking creatures.

These industries pour billions of dollars into advertising that promotes the consumption of animal products and makes it all seem harmless and normal, making sure to not show what really goes on behind closed factory farm and slaughterhouse doors.

Whenever I see a commercial that promotes meat and dairy, I think to myself: can you imagine if they showed images of suffering and dying animals?

Oops–there goes the business.

If every human who walked the earth was a Charles Manson or a Ted…

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Rudy: Pigs Don’t Want to be Bacon!

by Barbara Thumann-Calderaro

Rudy is a pig, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t loving, intelligent, or clean. In fact, he’s all of those things and more! But despite his impressive qualities, he and his best friend Carole are forced to go to a fattening farm and leave their families behind.

Intended to teach children the importance of being kind to animals,
Rudy: Pigs Don’t Want to Be Bacon gently shares the reality of meat production along with interesting facts about pigs.

Barbara states on Twitter that when you buy through Mascot Books, they will donate 15% to an animal rights group of her choice; she says the funds will go to support animal sanctuaries in NJ/NY area.

Also see her other book, Innocent Beings


Blending careful argument with intense moral concern

This post is in response to The Daily Post: Careful



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