LETTERS [Jan/Feb 1996]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1996:
Who gets the money?
At last! The issue I’ve been waiting for! Too bad I didn’t
have this at my fingertips when I was sending all my waitressing tips
from two long shifts at a restaurant in Seattle and another in Bellevue
to fat steak-eating businessmen who ran animal protection groups to
get fatter on, while I starved. Then in the later years I was one who
fell for those direct mail appeals––until I saw some of the big groups
actually claiming victory and responsibility for a march, demo,
event, etcetera, which I had organized with local grassroots animal
rights activists or some small hardworking group like the Animal
Crusaders, run by three literal little old ladies and a handful of radical
students I’d recruited by my own tabling and conversations.
The ultimate slap in the face came when I put on a fundraiser
for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society at Pier 10 circa 1981.
The major humane society in the area decided they could not help in
any way due to their own local projects and priorities. They wouldn’t
even commit to sending a couple of volunteers down to shuttle crew
members to a local laundromat or to do some laundry for the small
Sea Shepherd staff. When I asked for volunteers at the fundraiser or
an endorsement, I was told by the whole board that the Sea
Shepherds would be gone in a few weeks, so they had to look out for
what was here, and would remain here––their group, their projects.
Fine. That made sense to me. Then, in their five-year report, 1980-
1985, they listed the event, which they practically boycotted, as one
of the huge successes they put on to “help the marine mammal
group.” So I learned the hard lesson of doing the work and letting the
big groups capitalize from it.
Further lessons were learned from getting ripped off by
people who work you to death and drop out of sight. More rude
awakenings. But enough sour grapes. The purpose of this note is to
finally get some money off to you with a photo of two of your most
loyal readers––but I’m asking to get a bulk box in return of your
December edition to help protect people from the financial drain and
disappointment I’ve had to endure since the mid-1960s.
Thank Goddess for the Watchdog! You’ve done your most
positive work to benefit the innocent who trust that people and
groups are what they present themselves to be.
Pearson, then a fashion model, was among the coordina –
tors of the March 1979 week of antifur protests in New York City, led
by Ethel Thurston of Beauty Without Cruelty, which furriers bitterly
recall as the beginning of antifur movement media succest.
Says whalers are humanitarians
In your December issue, I am identified as working for
Zimbabwe Trust, and am quoted as saying that I have been instructed
“To gather any and all information I can that may be used to discredit
the Humane Society of the U.S.”
Actually, I am currently employed by an affiliate of
Zimbabwe Trust, the Africa Resources Trust, but this is a very new
assignment, and I wish to clarify that my investigation of HSUS was
not on behalf of the Africa Resources Trust (or Zimbabwe Trust, as
your article implies.) In fact, I explicitly declined in our communications
to identify the source of funding for my investigation of HSUS.
I further wish to comment on your statement that “Ward
readily admitted interests directly opposed to those of the humane
movement, having previously worked for a decade for the Japanese
whaling industry.” I do so not out of personal vanity, but because I
am concerned that the suggestion I am opposed to the humane treatment
of animals may cause my new employer to be seen in an unfair
light. I actually worked for about five years in public relations for the
Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research, the nonprofit semi-governmental
organization responsible for, among other things, conducting
a controversial research program involving the lethal take of
minke whale samples. At the time I joined the Institute, the wrangle
between pro-and-anti-whaling forces was still involved with scientific
issues, not the ethical arguments which have now largely superceded
them. It was my function merely to assure that the public were supplied
with accurate scientific information to compare with the sensationalist
quasi-science being fed to them by, in particular,
Greenpeace. It is not in the remit of the institute to research more
humane ways of killing whales, though certainly some work has
been done in this area secondary to the main purpose of providing
data on population parameters to the International Whaling
As for the conflict between pro-whaling forces and the
humane movement, you are perhaps aware that whaling interests, in
particular Norway and the Faroe Islands, have been making great
efforts to reduce times to death for whales, and if truly humane organizations
are still not happy, this should be a question of degree.
There is, however, a direct conflict between whalers and the animal
rights movement, and if you wish to characterise me in any way, I
prefer it to be “Ward readily admitted interests directly opposed to
those of the animal rights movement.”
If I may take the libery of characterizing myself, it would
be as a conservationist with a profound interest in bringing honesty to
the debate over what constitutes good conservation, while striving to
accommodate the wishes of the humane movement and counter the
wish of extreme animal rightists to halt all use of animals. I may also
add that I used to spend my summer vacations working in an animal
shelter, and am a strong supporter of the humane treatment of animals––as
indeed are all of the whalers I have met over the years.
And to summarize as briefly as I can the interest of the conservation
community in HSUS, it is that HSUS is considered by
many parties to be making a negative contribution, and indeed is seen
as actively trying to undermine sound conservation efforts in the
name of animal welfare, but with a hidden animal rights agenda.
Africa Resources Trust
ANIMAL PEOPLE finds much of the above fascinatingly surreal.
It’s time for me to touch base. Reading ANIMAL PEOP
L E has opened my eyes to a ot of behind-the-scenes information
regarding abuse of funds in the animal groups. What’s this I read
about Helen Jones of the International Society for Animal Rights
being an alcoholic and this Dave Sickles? Then there is this disagreement
between Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Farming Association
over California’s Downed Animal Bill.
So far I haven’t read any bad reports on the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society. Thank goodness for that, because I am a supporter.
Do you have investigators who check out these groups and
have witnesses who come to you with these incidents? So far I have
been putting my faith in your newspaper because it acts as a guide for
what direction I should go. Right now your paper is the only guidance
I have to help me get the information I need.
Are there a lot of other horror stories out there?
––Jennifer E. Holmes
I just got a mailing which
reproduced your October article entitled
“Is it time for Helen Jones of ISAR to
retire?” I was sorry to find that the article
included the highly inaccurate statement
that, “Jones and the National
Catholic Society for Animal Welfare
were instrumental in securing passage of
the 1966 Laboratory Animal Welfare
Act, forerunner of today’s Animal
Helen Jones was strongly
opposed to the bill that became the
Laboratory Animal Welfare Act. She
led a picket line in front of the White
House in an attempt to prevent its enactment.
This was, indeed, the first
protest I know of at the White House
relating to animal protective legislation,
but the protest was against, not for, the
first federal bill on laboratory animal
Animal Welfare Institute
Wild horse story
Your November article on wild horses leaves the impression that
the betrayal of these tragic animals by the Bureau of Land Management has
been at the hands of a few renegades. The truth is that along with western
ranchers and their friends in Congress, the BLM has always been an enemy
of the wild horses. This is graphically revealed in an article by Nancy
Whitaker in the fall 1995 issue of M a i n s t r e a m, the Animal Protection
Institute’s magazine. In reference to Cy Jamison, the new BLM boss, she
says, “He convened an advisory board to develop a monitoring program,
then without them wrote a Strategic Plan for the Management of Wild
Horses. This Strategic Plan manipulates field data in such a way that not
only do wild horses always take the reduction in numbers, but also the
1964-1965 forage allocation gets carried over another decade on the 10-
year permits being issued in 1994-1995. The Strategic Plan is purposely
designed to destroy the harem bands and do as much damage to the integrity
of wild horses as possible.” The BLM top man can hardly be described
as a renegade! Wild horses need to be protected from the BLM itself.
St. Petersburg, Florida
The Editor replies:
Cy Jamison was a 1981 Ronald Reagan administration appointee
and a 1990 George Bush administration appointee, who hasn’t held a BLM
executive job since January 1993. The present head of the BLM is Mike
Dombeck. And the BLM wild horse program is not budgeted in current
versions of the Interior Department budget bill. Wild horses have been
protected from the BLM, all right. Now who’s going to protect them at all?
Setting the floor for horse haulers
Thank you for giving S 1283/HR 2433, the Safe Commercial
Transportation of Horses for Slaughter Act, the attention it deserves.
One comment. Under the six amendments we require to reform
this bill, you imply that horses should not be hauled in double-decked vehicles
because they defecate and urinate on one another. Actually, horses
should not be hauled in double-decked vehicles first because the center of
balance of a horse is two feet higher than that of cattle, and double-decked
cattle trucks were not designed, built, or safety-tested for horses.
Therefore, they are top-heavy and a public safety hazard. As one trucker
told me, “Thank God I’ve never been pulled over, because I’d flip for sure.
Second, requiring that equine transport vehicles be one level will
automatically eliminate the use of double-decked cattle trucks.
If we are going to regulate the commercial transport of horses,
whether to slaughter or the Kentucky Derby, we should require them to be
transported in vehicles designed, built, and safety-tested for horses.
The California Equine Council
Studio City, California
I was reading the paper the
other day and came across the information
that the first person in the Bible
to drink wine and the first drunkard
was Noah. I now understand why so
many people who deal directly with
animals are considered drunkards.
Perhaps this comes with the territory.
God must understand that after shoveling
animal poop eight hours a day, it
is okay to have a few beers. The next
time someone calls me a drunkard, I
am going to explain that I am following
in the tradition of the greatest animal
keeper ever known.
––Stephen Rene Tello
San Antonio, Texas