My first pup - Peaches, a beautiful Sheltie mix, started me on the road to Animal
Rights. I loved her to bits for this because it gave a wonderful purpose to my life.
I got her in 1975 and ever since then she has been my guiding light and inspiration.
Not too bad a legacy for this beautiful and sweet dog.
This past Saturday with my sign which showed a dog and a cat with a caption which
read "PLEASE DON'T EAT ME" seems so fittingly proper as this may well be my
last animal rights protest. We were participating in an international protest against
the eating of dogs and cats in S.Korea.
Dr. Eliot Katz of In Defense of Animals clued us into this horror way back in the 80's.
In a flyer he sent then, I distinctly remember seeing a dog hung by his neck and a man
with a club beating him to death. The beating and the suffering supposedly caused
the dog meat to be more tender. Of course, anyone viewing this cruelty will never
ever get it out of their mind.
They tell us who object to their practice of eating dogs that we also kill farm animals
for food. So - why do we object to their killing dogs? An easy response. While I cannot
not boast that we in the U.S. treat our farm animals compassionately in Cafos, the way
they treat their dogs in Korea is much more cruel.
In that earlier flyer I had received years ago I saw images of dogs destined for slaughter
in tight cages. Some vendors put hollowed out cans over the dogs' snouts so they
wouldn't bark in pain and frustration. I believe that some of them were even trussed -
unable to move for the hours or days before they were dispatched. The cages were
often in the hot sun and the dogs were given no food or water until mercifully, they
were brutally killed.
So, Peaches, I was glad that this probably last animal rights protest for me was about
dogs and cats. I'm not sure that S. Korea engages in the horrible cruel deaths of some
cats in a certain area of China where they are skinned alive and boiled by the women
who see special medicinal value in this cruelty. But I do believe that cats are also eaten
in some parts of S. Korea.
This protest brought to mind a few other protests I participated in since the 80's. The
number is not great but I derived a great deal of satisfaction in being a part of each of
CAT INTUBATION protest of Metro General Hospital. A group of us paraded outside
this West side hospital in Cleveland with our signs signaling the cruelty involved with
intubating cats as practice for the nurses who had to do it on live patients. Absolutely
cruel and indefensible in our opinion. Certainly the hospitals could have devised
mannequins for this purpose, but to subject innocent cats to continued intubations
which obviously must cause a gagging reflex each time the tube is inserted is cruel. And
after numerous intubations, the esophagus must have become inflamed and painful.
RODEO PROTEST. How anyone could subject horses, bulls, and calves to this suffering
is tragic to people like me. Some traditions like this and bull fighting in Spain should have
been long gone by a society which cares about animal suffering. In the case of rodeos,
how can an audience find enjoyment in seeing a calf being pursued and running for his
life and then being abruptly halted with a lasso, brought viciously down and trussed is
beyond sad. This roping not only translates into much fear and suffering for the calf,
but he may even have suffered some broken bones as a result.
Someone noted that it's too bad that the cheering crowd isn't invited to go behind the
scenes when the rodeo is over to see the bleeding, suffering animals there-some of
whom will have to be put down because of their painful wounds.
FUR PROTEST. One day in the 90's I was pleasantly surprised to see a billboard close
to home showing a large raccoon and a message from him which said - FUR LOOKS
BEST ON ITS ORIGINAL OWNER. I agree.
Then in the new millenium, PETA sent us a message about protesting in front of a small
furrier close to us. About six of us showed up on the designated Saturday and we were
given signs to carry and flyers to pass out. The flyers painted in graphic detail how
animals are caught or raised for their fur. In the 70's Ohio had a chance to ban the
horrible leg-hold traps, but not surprisingly didn't. These traps not only cruelly caught
fur-bearing animals, but sometimes an innocent cat or dog would lose a limb to them
FUNERAL PROCESSION FOR ANIMALS WHO DIED IN RESEARCH. Our animal rights
group got a permit from the City of Cleveland to hold a mock funeral procession for the
countless animals who are and were being used for animal research. I was told by a
food inspector that the Cleveland Clinic had a whole floor devoted to this type of
animal research. Recently I read that this period of biomedical research will be looked
upon as cruel and barbaric. Animals are sufficiently different from us to make any
positive results dervived from their use as unlikely to be helpful to the human condition.
And how can the protoculs of blinding, irridiating, starving, enforced running, etc. of
captive dogs, cats, primates, rats and mice be ever justified? Yes, I guess in some
minds they are, but not in ours.
So, my sister and I with large signs showing animal suffering afixed to our car
doors joined the procession of cars which wended its way slowly around Public Square.
We had a police escort which added to the solemnity of the parade of cars. Later
we made our way on foot to the Tom Johnson statue to hear Cleveland Armory
speak about the cruelty of animal experimentation. He brought with him tapes
of the University of Pennsylvania which showed technicians in the labs laughingly
bashing in the heads of some of the primates for a wound study. I believe that I
read later that the then Secretary of of Health, Margaret Heckler, upon viewing
them, found nothing amusing in the cavalier and cruel treatment of the primates
and promptly had their grant suspended. She was one special lady in my opinion.
MADISON, WI PRIMATE CENTER PROTEST. This protest took Gr. Clevelanders
to Wisconsin on a bus during a beautiful April week-end to protest primate cruelty.
Three other major Primate Centers in the US were also targeted for protesting what
we felt were the terrible and needless experimentations on primates.
One protocul -placing a lone monkey in a cavernous hole to be able to observe him
after a long period of time without any companionship was suppose to reveal new
things about the effects on his psyche. That's legitimate use of taxpayer's funds?
Didn't we learn anything from prisoners of war who suffered almost this same type
of deprivation? Then giving a newborn chimp a rug-covered block of wood to
cling to in lieu of its mother to study its effects on him. Cruelty - pure and simple,
and in our opinion, the deprivation pain to the baby chimp was completely unnecessary
for the advancement of medicine.
Thank you Peaches for being there with me at each of these protests. I smiled remembering
you at this last one EATING DOGS AND CATS IN S.KOREA because when we were shunted
off to a park, I saw this young man sitting there with a huge, beautiful Mastiff dog. Whenever
I took you to Edgewater Park by Lake Erie, I always brought along a thermos of cold water
for you. I saw that the young man had fortified himself with a cold drink but worried that his
dog was thirsty as well.