Could Steve Hindi be Zorro?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1998:

CHICAGO––Chicago Animal
Rights Coalition founder Steve Hindi, 43,
“pioneers a new brand of brass-knuckled
activism,” Jonathan Eig warned hunters and
fishers in the August edition of Outside magazine.
Under the headline “Put that Bunny
Down, or I’ll Kick Your Butt,” Eig described
Hindi’s recent public challenge to Mexican
matadors to meet him in the ring for a Zorrostyle
sword-and-cape fight with someone
who’ll fight back with a chance of success.
While awaiting a response (and not
holding his breath in expectation of getting
one), Hindi called a boycott of Pepsi Cola
over Pepsi subsidies to bullfighting via prominent
advertising in Mexican bull rings.
Replied Pepsi group manager for
customer relations Christine Jones, “Although
some arenas in Mexico may carry Pepsi signage
because our soft drinks are sold there,
this should not be construed as an endorsement
of bullfighting. We do not contribute funding
nor do we sponsor bullfighting events.” The
Pepsi banners appearing in the background of
many of Hindi’s photos and videos of bullfights,
Jones said, “remain in place for all
activities held at these venues.”

Returned Hindi, “Since these places
are usually called Plaza del Toros, Pepsi
knows very well what usually goes on there,
and what they’d walk in if they went there.”
Jones said she would “forward your
letters and comments directly to our local
independent franchise bottlers in Mexico to
make them aware of your feelings,” as “it’s
important for them to understand how their
actions are being interpreted.”
Having “a great summer,” Hindi
told ANIMAL PEOPLE, he and other
CHARC volunteers also collected another
year’s worth of video evidence of alleged animal
abuse at the Wauconda Chamber of
Commerce rodeo, DuPage County Fair rodeo,
and Kane County Fair rodeo. When the Kane
County Fair tried to exclude the CHARCs
from the rodeo arena to prevent videotaping,
they mounted video cameras on poles instead
and documented the proceedings from outside.
At the DuPage County Fair, Hindi
established that the promoters had not remedied
several problems they had been warned to
fix by assistant state’s attorney Alison I. Abel,
and obtained footage “of a man whose apparent
job is to go from chute to chute sticking
animals to cause pain and torment, in order to
extract an acceptable wild performance from
them. It should be noted,” he added in a letter
to DuPage County state’s attorney Jospeh E.
Birkett, “that the man doing this is the same
man who was documented last year using an
electric prod to force the animals to perform.”
Hindi on several occasions offered
rodeo officials and fans $20 to take a jolt from
an electric prod similar to those used by the
rodeo personnel, but got no takers.
At Wauconda, the CHARCs again
used poles to get video of horses with bloody
red flank sores, apparently from bucking
straps, which Latting Rodeo Productions boss
Thyril Latting of Robbins, Illinois, insisted
were burns, rather than wounds, as if that
made a difference.
International Professional Rodeo
Association humane investigator Sheila
Lehrke told Chris Heidenrich of the Wauconda
Daily Herald that the alleged burns were so
minor that she probably wouldn’t report them.
Neither did Hindi get much support
from the Illinois animal welfare establishment.
Hooved Animal Humane Society president
Donna Ewing, whom Hindi has criticized for
associating herself with fundraising pig roasts,
told the Lake Zurich News that “The cruelty
we see makes that look like a Sunday school
Peoria Animal Welfare Shelter
director Lauren Malmberg meanwhile apologized
to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s
office because at a June seminar on humane
law enforcement, Hindi demanded to know
why DuPage County refused to prosecute a
rodeo performer who was videotaped in the act
of kicking a bull in the head.

Aldo Giampolo, executive vice
president of entertainment at the Molson
Centre arena in Montreal, said on August 6
that the Centre cancelled several Portuguesestyle
“bloodless” bullfights that were supposed
to have been held on September 5 and 6, not
due to public protest, but rather because L a
Feria de Montreal, the Latin cultural festival
sponsoring the bullfights, hadn’t secured permits
to bring fighting bulls into Canada from
Mexico. The festival reportedly couldn’t find
a federally approved slaughterhouse to kill the
bulls after the fight and, wrote Stella Tzintzis
of the Montreal Gazette, “did not have a container
to quarantine the animals’ manure.”
Phoenix promoter Phil Immord
i n o, 40, said he lost $8,000 in staging a
Pamplona-style running-of-the-bulls on July
11 in Mesquite, Nevada. He was also
arraigned afterward for doing it without a
Mohave County events permit, but the run did
attract between 600 and 700 runners, at $50
each––almost twice the turnout Immordino
predicted––and at last word he was negotiating
with the Mesquite town council in hopes of
getting a five-year contract to do it annually.
A horse named Deuce, ridden by
Tony Desautel of Omak, was killed during a
preliminary heat during this year’s O m a k
Stampede Suicide Race, held annually since
1936 in Omak, Washington. Deuce was the
third horse to die on the course in the past
three years. The race consists of repeated gallops
down a steep cliff to cross the Okanogan
River. Stampede director Jack Miller said the
death was just “a weird occurrence.”
Janet Huckabee, wife of Arkansas
governor Mike Huckabee, and Cathy
Keating, wife of Oklahoma governor Frank
K e a t i n g, appeared in the July 27 edition of
Sports Illustrated as participants in the
Mangum Rattlesnake Derby, a so-called “rattlesnake
roundup” held each April since 1965
in Mangum, Oklahoma.

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