Animal Rights Collective Blog

Circus Elephant Kills Trainer in Pennsylvania by christine
April 10, 2010, 3:23 pm
Filed under: AR News | Tags: , ,

by Stephanie Feldstein for April 10, 2010 12:37 PM (PT)

Dumbo, an elephant with the Irem Shrine Circus, stomped on his groomer, causing fatal injuries just a few hours before Friday’s performance in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Early reports said that Dumbo had been startled, perhaps by some electrical wires.

The investigation is in the hands of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Personally, I think it should be turned over to the humane society.

It was only six weeks ago that a SeaWorld trainer was killed by an orca. In both of these cases, the people were experienced, caring professionals. And, in both cases, the animals were animals. These incidents are passed off as “accidents,” but they’re no more an accident than a drunk driver running a red light and crashing into another car. Sure, the animals didn’t premeditate the murder of their caretakers, but they were set up from the day they were enlisted as performers.

Unlike SeaWorld, the circus doesn’t even bother with the pretense that the animals are there for any reason other entertainment. There is nothing about life under the Big Top that would make an animal want to run away with the circus. They’re taught to do unnatural tricks for human amusement, they endure abusive training practices, they’re kept in small enclosures and exposed to the overstimulation of crowds and spotlights, they travel around the country, through all kinds of climates, and like Dumbo, are often isolated from others of their species.

Putting wild animals under this level of stress in close quarters with humans is putting the drunk guy behind the wheel of the car. He might get lucky and make it home okay, but when disaster ensues, it’s really not that surprising.

The Irem Shrine Circus still performed last night. A spokesman said, “We’ve asked the circus if they wanted to perform tonight and as true performers they wanted the show to go on.” I’m betting that they didn’t ask the 11 tigers and one lion how they felt about continuing to perform.

The U.K. just banned the use of wild animals in circuses after learning that 95 percent of the population thought it was cruel. Even Nabisco has uncaged its animal crackers; this month, they’re doing away with the old red box with circus animals behind bars in favor of a more humane design by Lilly Pulitzer of free animals. The company is also making a $100,000 donation to WWF (now they just need to ditch the “Barnum” name on the package).

The Shrine Circus reduced their animal acts this year to keep costs down. So, keeping wild animals for entertainment is unprofitable, unpopular, and inhumane. And, as recent news shows, it can be deadly for employees. What will it take for the industry to change?

CNN – Elephant Kills Trainer at Pennsylvania Circus

Petitions Galore. DO Something! by christine
November 10, 2009, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Animal Rights Petition, Petition/Letter Writing, Use Your Voice! | Tags:

Here are some current petitions at…Let the armchair activism commence!

Urge President Obama to Pardon ALL Turkeys This Holiday Season

Help Retire Over 200 Chimpanzees from Testing In Alamogorado, NM To a Sanctuary

Tell Congress to Provide Vegetarian and Vegan Meal Options in Public Schools

Speak Up for Southwest Wolves!

Pet Safety and Protection Act (H.R. 3907)-Class B dealers selling companion pets for experiments

Help Retire the 26 Elderly, Wild-caught Chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center

Reintroduce S2439: FBI database Tracking Animal Cruelty Crimes Act

Tell Xerox and Staples to Stop Supporting Animal Cruelty and Vivisection


Help Retire Over 200 Chimpanzees from NIH Testing by christine

To: Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Sen. Tom Udall (NM) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM), see more…

Over 200 government owned Chimps languish in the Alamogordo Primate Facility on New Mexico Hollman Air Force Base under a $42.8 million 10 year contract between Charles River and the National Institute of Health. Many of the chimps have been there since the 1950’s. The Chimps are not being used for medical testing.

 A wonderful sanctuary in Alamogordo wants to see the chimpanzees be set free! The sanctuary, Save The Chimps, rescued 266 Chimps, and 61 monkeys from their lives as test subjects in 2002. Urge  NM  to release the Chimps from unnecessary testing and to send them to a  sanctuary to live out their lives in a safe, secure, and loving environment.

Sign the petition at


Transitioning from testing labs to sanctuary, “Saving the Chimps” film clip:

Urge Dunkin’ Donuts to Stop Using Eggs and Dairy by christine

In August 2009, a Compassion Over Killing investigator worked inside an egg factory farm in Minnesota owned by Michael Foods, one of the nation’s largest egg producers. While employed there, the investigator used a hidden camera to document horrific abuses including:

  • Hens immobilized in the wires of their cages, unable to access food or water
  • Decomposing and “mummified” corpses left in cages with live birds
  • A Michael Foods employee decapitating a hen
  • Birds suffering from overcrowding, severe feather loss, and untreated injuries.

Minnesota-based Michael Foods supplies eggs to several national restaurant chains, including Dunkin’ Donuts. Compassion Over Killing has reached out to Dunkin Donuts numerous times to inquire about the treatment of hens in its supply chain and to encourage the company to make meaningful changes for hens–and consumers–by making vegan donuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts is the world’s largest coffee and baked goods chain serving more than 3 million customers daily. There are an estimated 6,400 stores in the U.S. alone, offering more than 52 varieties of donuts–and every single donut served contains both egg and dairy products from animals forced to endure miserable conditions on farms.

Switching to vegan donuts is easy and cruelty-free. Not only will items be healthier for consumers because they will not contain cholesterol and have less fat, they will also create less suffering for animals. Many other companies such as Morningstar Farms, Lightlife Foods, and Boca have addressed this issue and have promised to phase out egg and dairy ingredients from their products. Your voice as a consumer speaks volumes and determines the products that companies supply, please take a few minutes today to use your voice for the animals.

Please share your concerns, letting the company know you want it to stop using eggs and dairy in its donuts and offer vegan menu items to meet the growing demand for healthier and more compassionate foods:

Email Dunkin’ Donuts Now!

Call the Company: 800-859-5339
Send a Letter to the CEO:
Dunkin Brands
Attn: Nigel Travis
130 Royall Street
Canton, MA 02021 

Sign the Pledge at!

Tips for Letter Writing.