Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
Michael Vick has a pet parrot.
Yes, that Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback who spent 18 months in federal prison on dog-fighting charges. The same Michael Vick who admitted he drowned or electrocuted dogs who lost in the ring. The man who gives many animal lovers the shivers with the mere mention of his name.
Exotic animals should live in the wild, not be exploited in profit-motivated zoos — or worse — as "pets" or backyard oddities by people who have a deeply misguided sense of dominion or ownership.
Tom Venesky wrote last Sunday in The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, PA, that:
- Trapping keeps animals from being hit by vehicles.
- Traps are “the best tool to manage furbearer populations.”
- Trappers were misrepresented by Born Free USA in its recent undercover investigation.
- He knows best.
It doesn’t, they aren’t, they weren’t, and he doesn’t.
If you were told that you would live to be 95 years old, you might very well be pleased.
If you also were told that your entire life would be spent in one small house, with no excursions anywhere for any reason, and if you have mates you’ll have no say in who they are or how long you will be together, and you’ll be ordered around and punished by members of an entirely different species, and tourists will pay to stare at you every day, you might very well be discouraged.
The idea that bears are being farm-raised and permanently embedded with devices that remove their bile, until they die young, perhaps gratefully because of their horribly painful and restricted lives, just so that some person with an ailment fancies it will make him feel better, appalls me to no end.
To have a wild bear shot for fun seems … if not worse, no better.
If a video were to be filmed of me after watching the YouTube video “I Just Swam with a Siberian Tiger Cub,” it would be titled, “I Just Got Nauseated Watching Animal Mistreatment.”
On Monday in Southern California, at the end of a seven-hour meeting that lasted well into the wee hours, the West Hollywood City Council agreed unanimously to ban the sale of fur clothing — news that, in light of the unspeakable suffering and slaughter caused by trapping for the fur industry and coldly dispatched at so-called fur farms, makes me say:
About “bloody” time.
Though we’ve innately known it for some time, scientists are now declaring the harmful effects of using chimpanzees in movies and television — not just for the chimpanzees, but for humans, too. When chimps are anthropomorphized and depicted as engaging in human behaviors (buying insurance, eating sandwiches, driving cars, etc.), people are more likely to believe that chimpanzees are not endangered and that wild populations are steady and healthy. They also may start to think that chimpanzees are suitable “pets.”