LETTERS [Dec 1996]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1996:

“I’ll cut you off!”
One of the gents I work with has raced cars for years.
He recently started anew with his racing partner, and began
bemoaning their lack of a sponsor. After hearing him for three
or four weeks, I considered the need to target my advertising to
young males, and asked him, “Jay, how much would it cost
me to put spay/neuter stuff all over your car?”
“Anything!” he said desperately. He mentioned how
much the car had cost thus far, and cautiously asked what I had
in mind.
“How about calling it The Lean, Mean, Neuterin’
Machine?” I asked.
“Wow! I like it!” he responded.
I thought to myself, “Oh dear. This poor guy is
going to have every macho dude on the Texas dirt track circuit
on his case.” He’s not very big, and is a real sweetheart.
I said, “Well, Jay, if anyone gives you any grief
about it, you can always tell them that your car can beat the
balls off anyone on the track.”
When we both stopped laughing long enough to say
something more, I added, “And if you want, you could put a
bumper sticker on the back that says, “If you’re behind me,
cross your legs.”

The more fun we had with this, the more I realized
how much a mind-set affects a person’s ability to solve a problem.
If we could take ourselves less seriously, perhaps we
would be in a much better position to make the world a better
So there sat Jay and I, getting sillier and sillier.
Finally someone suggested as a motto, “Pass me and I’ll cut
you off!”, and we started laughing again.
Six months and much work down the road, or the
track, The Lean, Mean, Neuterin’ Machine is racing, with a
clear side message: “Neuter Your Pets. It Stops The Killing!”
The Lean, Mean, Neuterin’ Machine name is meanwhile
being considered for a second car, which races the World
of Outlaws sprint circuit out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
I never imagined for one second that trying to stop
the needless slaughter of abandoned pets would be anything but
depressing––but when I opened my mind, I found these incredible
people of a different mind-set, who were still willing to do
something to help. What a delightful experience it has been!
––Kat Chaplin
Neuteress of the Night
Roanoke, Texas

Thanks for sending us your excellent Premarin information
to provide to an inquisitive Sarasota physician. Those
of us who work down in the trenches of the animal rights movement
appreciate your investigations and expertise on the issues.
It’s extremely vital for us to furnish truthful, complete information
to the uninformed public, and we couldn’t do that without
your services. We here at SDA certainly do appreciate
––Elise Matthes
Sarasota In Defense of Animals

Achieving a dramatic rescue in expeditiously quiet
style, SDA in August retrieved three Texas cougars from the
Jim Moore hunting ranch near Balmorhea, Texas, where
they’d ended up after the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission used them in a 1993-1994 test of Florida panther
habitat. The rescue and building care facilities for the cougars
at The Wild Animal Animal Orphanage in San Antonio cost
$39,000. The FGFWC refused to contribute even a cent from
the $5 million Florida Panther Recovery Trust Fund, so SDA
borrowed $14,000 to cover the difference between costs and
donations received. SDA welcomes help paying off the loan at
POB 15653, Sarasota, FL 34277-1653.

LaRussa & Casey
Great little essay on Tony LaRussa and Orrin
Robinson Casey! As a native Syracusan and lifelong fan of the
Syracuse Chiefs, recently renamed the “Skychiefs” after
native American protests, not even I knew of the humane
interests of the local player reputed by some as the original
“Casey at the Bat.”
––Franklin M. Loew
Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, N.Y.

As we recounted in November, Casey founded the
Humane Society of Central New York in 1891, and died while
doing a cruelty investigation in 1936, at age 77.

I was quoted in your November edition as saying that
Lolita the killer whale could not be returned to the wild because
she has been captive for too many years. I know Lolita could
be reacclimated back into the wild, but that is not practical or
feasible at this point in time. Retirement, however, is possible
right now.
The Miami Seaquarium loves to say how Lolita is
one of the longest-lived orcas in captivity. I contend she has
not lived but survived this long despite the Seaquarium, which
has the smallest tank holding an orca in the U.S.. It is time that
Lolita, the worst-kept killer whale in America, gets a real
chance to live. It is time to allow her to spend the rest of her
life in a much larger situation, wherever that may be.
––Russ Rector
Dolphin Freedom Foundation
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

At a loss
This is the first time I’ve ever been at a loss for a
place to start. I am an active member of our local humane
society, and have been for 26 years. I have 12 dogs and two
cats of my own, and I believe in going the last mile to save
an animal from death. Ours is one of the few humane societies
which do not euthanize; therefore, we must bust butt to
find loving permanent homes for all animals who cross our
path. In other words, to compress this bit of superfluous
information, I really do care about what is happening to animals,
and I get up and do something about it.
I live in a big medical community that is inundated
with money and researchers who have to justify their
research to keep the bucks rolling in. “Money is the root of
all evil,” and is certainlyu the reason endless animal
experiemnts are done here. The minute the money stopped,
the experiments would come to a screeching half. That puts
the morality of it in perfect perspective.
At least 14 states have passed legislation to end
pound seizure of animals for laboratory experimentation, but
I don’t care whather an animal has ever been anyone’s pet or
not: no animal should die for the dollar bill. We have the
knowhow to duplicate tests without animals, and most animal
experimentation is meaningless, redundant, and not
applicable to humans anyway. It simply has to stop, and the
money be channeled into non-animal-using research, so that
the researchers can keep their jobs while the animals keep
their lives, and those of us who know it’s wrong keep our
Do you have any idea what psychological language
I can use to end this barbarism, and to whom I can direct my
plea? I will be doing this as an individual, but I know an
individual can make a vast change if he or she pursues fervently,
methodically, and purposefully toward a moral goal.
––Carol Bullock Clemmons
Augusta, Georgia

The language that persuades particular people
varies greatly; thus the need for many voices in a cause
where multitudes must be persuaded.

Recently I saw an hour-long television documentary
on animal abuse for food production, religious ritual,
and scientific experimentation. It showed how animals are
tormented in Spanish festivals, Asian markets, and traditional
forms of slaughter that include strangling, scalding,
drowning, and live skinning.
More such videos are needed to explore and educate
the masses. Only these shock treatments will eliminate
this unnecessary suffering. ––Georgia Plaras
Montreal, Quebec

The public needs to see what goes on, but shock
treatments are easily overdone. The common belief that
shock sensitizes is belied by psychological research demon –
strating that repeated exposure to violence––whether anticruelty
videos, TV shows, or pornography––in truth desen –
sitizes, so that it takes increasing levels of atrocity to pro –
duce equal response in the viewer. Some become addicted to
atrocity; most, numbed, turn away, and never look again.
As our readers are for the most part already sensi –
tized to cruelty and actively working to stop it, A N I M A L
PEOPLE avoids publishing explicit photographs of cruelty,
and avoids reportage that dwells on details of suffering,
instead of the facts about who, what, where, when, why,
and how that can enable readers to effectively respond.

Commends Spira
I want to commend Henry Spira and A N I M A L
PEOPLE for Spira’s enlightening, informative and inspiring
views on the power of activism. We know we can make a
difference, but it’s heartening to read that our efforts are
noted. Spira recites individual actions and events staged by
local activists, who each target a specific local issue. Armed
with undeterred commitment, accurate information, and
with creative imagination, each of us can take up the challenge
of pro-animal activism.
Piled one on one, we become a power to be reckoned
––Susan Kalev
New York, N.Y.

Help Sasha

An American black bear named Sasha has spent the
entire 12 years of her life in a 10×20-foot cage at Munz’s
Outpost, a gas station and mini-mart in Hiles, Wisconsin.
Sasha is denied the basics of a normal existence for a black bear,
so that she can attract visitors, who observe her in a cage and
sometimes spend a quarter to feed her candy or Kool-Aid
through a pipe in the fencing.
Sasha can often be found sitting or pacing in her own
excrement. She often has feces in the only water she is provided
in her cage, which happens to be in an old rusted bathtub.
Sasha has never known the freedom to climb a tree.
She has never dipped her paws into a cold stream, or foraged for
berries in the forest. Sasha has been robbed of the dignity a bear
should possess by a man who claims to care for her, but in reality
could not possibly have Sasha’s best interests at heart.
Adult black bears in the wild have an individual territory
ranging in size from three to 50 square miles. Sasha has 200
square feet.
Recently our local group sought and found a sanctuary
that would take Sasha and provide her with a natural habitat for
the rest of her life––which could be another 20 years or more.
Her owner first said he would release Sasha to us for $4,000. He
later changed his mind and claimed he was deeply attracted to
Sasha, considered her a pet, and could not possibly part with
her. Never mind that the property is for sale, and Sasha is considered
part of the property!
We desperately need funds to help transport Sasha to
the Soul of the Wolf Sanctuary in the spring, if all goes as
planned, our efforts finally pay off, and Sasha is indeed
released as she should be. Please address the Sasha Fund, POB
131, Three Lakes, WI 54562.
––Dixie Olson
Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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