BOOKS: The Compassion of Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

The Compassion
of Animals:
True Stories of Animal
Courage and Kindness
by Kristin von Kreisler
Prima Publishing (POB 1260, Rocklin,
CA 95677-1260), 1997.
257 pages, hardcover. $22.95.

On December 28, 1997, in Marion
County, Arkansas, mongrel named Scotty
found Misty Harger, age 12, who was lost in
the woods, and kept her warm until police
found her 22 hours later.
That evening, in Chicago, a yearold
Belgian shepherd named Missy leaped in
front of a car to push Dashun McMiller, six,
to safety, at cost of her own life.

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OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

Howard Gilman, 73, patron of
the White Oak Conservation Center, at the
White Oak Plantation in Yulee, Florida, died
at the plantation of a heart attack on January
3. Gilman, grandson of Gilman Paper
Company founder Isaac Gilman, took over
the firm in 1973, building it into the largest
privately held producer of paper and building
products in the U.S. He formed the Howard
Gilman Foundation in 1981, becoming
known as a major patron of dance, the visual
arts, and cardiology and AIDS research––but
the Conservation Center, one of his first projects
and one of those of lowest profile, may
have had the most influence, showing
zookeepers the value of space, privacy, and
natural habitat in breeding endangered
species. The center has been instrumental in
breeding captive populations of highly endangered
African and Asian rhinos, cheetahs,
maned wolves, okapis, antelopes, and wild
cattle, and hosted efforts to save the Florida
panther via captive breeding. It also funds
habitat protection in the animals’ native countries.
The work continues under longtime
Conservation Center and plantation general
manager John Lukas, who is outspoken in his
belief that keeping animals in close confinement
is cruelty and should be seen as such.

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REVIEWS: Tiger books

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

Through The Tiger’s Eyes: A Chronicle of India’s Wildlife
by Stanley Breeden & Belinda Wright
Ten Speed Press (POB 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707), 1997. 193 pages, paperback, $24.95.

Fight For The Tiger:
One Man’s Battle To Save The Wild Tiger From Extinction
by Michael Day
Headline (Trafalgar Square, North Pomfret, VT 05053), 1998. 438 pages, paperback, $13.95.

Track Of The Tiger: Legend And Lore Of The Great Cat
Edited by Maurice Hornocker
Sierra Club Books (85 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94105), 1997.
120 pages, 75 color photos, hardcover, $30.00.

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Doing it all with nothing

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

BOMBAY––An American shelter worker, used to
stainless steel cages on vinyl floors, the din of barking dogs,
and a busy killing room, could easily be misled. The Bombay
SPCA has little or nothing of stainless steel, no vinyl floor covering,
the street-wise dogs keep their peace, and though the
shelter includes a new electric crematorium, used often in traditional
Hindu ceremonies by grieving petkeepers, there is no
killing room, nor any killing of healthy or recoverable animals.
Nor is the Bombay SPCA located, like most U.S.
shelters, at the edge of town, near the dump, or crammed into
a single cinder block building.
Indeed, the Bombay SPCA at a glance looks more
like a crumbling old army post or convent than an animal shelter,
until one sees the 250-odd animals of several dozen species
who occupy the premises at any given time: here a former carriage
horse with a broken leg and his ribs showing, there a
burro with a severely scarred face, to the left a walk-in cage of
songbirds recently confiscated from street vendors, to the right
an exercise yard full of humpbacked Brahmin cattle, and dog
and cat areas both ahead and behind.

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HELP IN SUFFERING

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

JAIPUR––The Indian view of animals, Help In
Suffering director Christine Townend admits, both morally
empowers her work and at times greatly complicates it.
“Many Brahmins, as well as Jains, cannot feed their
dogs meat due to their religious belief in vegetarianism,” she
explains, and do not feed cats at all. “This means cats and
dogs are often brought to us in advanced malnutrition.”
Euthanizing the animals is also difficult, Townend
adds, as many Brahmins and Jains also believe that they “may
not take the life of a dog even if the dog is suffering acutely and
is sure to die.”
Townend works in the shadow of paradox. The Help
In Suffering shelter is at the opposite end of Jaipur from the
Amber Fort, the palace-turned-tourist-trap of Akbar the Great,
a Charlemagne-like illiterate who consolidated the Mogul
empire, encouraged learning, protected wildlife, and abolished
suttee, the ancient custom of burning widows alive.

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General Chatterjee and the Animal Welfare Board

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

CHENNAI––Named for the Buddhist emperor Ashoke,
who issued the first Indian animal protection law circa 240 B.C.,
Lieutenant General Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee trained to head the
Animal Welfare Board of India by commanding first the Indian
peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka and then the United Nations peacekeeping
force in the Maldives.
A former polo player, Chatterjee won the attention of
Indian humaitarians in 1976-1977 when he mobilized troops to relocate
horses and cattle away from severe drought in Rajasthan and
Gujarat. Retiring in 1990, after 38 years in uniform, he was
promptly drafted to revitalize the AWB.
Created in 1960, actually convened in 1962, the AWB
exists to implement the two sections of the Indian
constitution––unique in the world––which mandate animal protection.

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Something in the air

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

CHENNAI––The hub of the Indian humane
movement is not Delhi, the national capital, but Chennai,
formerly called Madras, home of the Animal Welfare Board
of India, the Madras Pinjrapole, and the Blue Cross of
India––and point of origin, 30 years ago, of the Animal
Birth Control program.
Blue Cross of India-Madras vice chair S. Chinny
Krishna is quick to acknowledge that the many Chennai
activists still have their hands full. They are currently fighting
purges of street pigs and cattle, not to keep the animals
on the street but to prevent them from suffering cruel treatment
and slaughter.

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BOOKS: Heads & Tails

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

Heads & Tails
by Maneka Gandhi
People For Animals (A4 Maharani Bagh,
New Delhi 110 065, India), 1993.
184 pages, paperback; donate $20.

“I have always detested milk,”
Maneka opined in the first line of her first
syndicated column, entitled Milk, Meat and
Animal Violence. “My son too refused to
drink cow’s milk when he was weaned, and
was given, from the age of three months, a
liquidized mixture of lentil and vegetable,
which he loved. Most children hate milk,”
she continued. “As soon as a child reaches
the age to make decisions, the first thing to
go is that nauseating glass of milk.”

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