(ANIMAL CRUELTY) Cruelty to animals comes in many forms—from imprisoning wildlife, sport hunting, factory farming, or using fur products as a fashion accessory. Too many rich companies and individuals think they can get away with killing or exploiting animals without any ramifications. What to do with these cretins? Put them in an Animal Cruelty Hall Of Shame!
In the past few years, we’ve encountered and written about some truly heinous characters. But to end up in our ‘Hall of Shame’ you have to have a combination of egotistical pride, general cluelessness, entitled greed, and a complete lack of empathy. We hope mass exposure of these people’s actions will help put an end to their reprehensible treatment of animals. Or maybe activate a sense of shame in them, although because it’s often about money or publicity, they probably won’t be stopped without pressure—your pressure. Here’s a list of the worst offenders. Spread the word! — Global Animal
1. Walter Palmer
Cecil the lion was considered the most famous wild animal in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park before he was shot and killed by American trophy hunter Walter James Palmer. The cowardly dentist from Minnesota not only has a criminal poaching history, but he paid over $50,000 to lure the legendary lion out of his sanctuary, shoot him with a bow and arrow, and eventually–after 40 hours of suffering–a rifle, before beheading and skinning the national icon. In response to grand public backlash, Cecil’s killer is currently in hiding (like the coward that he is). But the chances of him facing any legal consequences for his heinous actions in either Zimbabwe or the U.S. may be slim. A White House petition demanding Palmer be extradited to Zimbabwe has gained nearly 150,000 signatures–surpassing its signature goal of 100,00 in just one day, which requires the White House to respond. Another Care2 petition has accrued nearly 500,000 signatures, asking the Zimbabwean government “to stop issuing hunting permits to kill endangered animals.”
SeaWorld horrified the world when one of its trainers was killed by an orca in 2012 (the third person in 13 years.) They defended the death as random and took no responsibility for the tragedy. One year later, the documentary Blackfish exposed how cruel it is to keep these intelligent, feeling marine mammals captive in tiny concrete tanks. The film revealed how SeaWorld heartlessly steals orcas from their families to live out their lives performing circus-like tricks for food. In the wild, orcas swim as many as one hundred miles each day with their pods, but in captivity they’re forced to swim in continual circles. It’s this constant deprivation that causes the orcas to lash out. It’s not “an extraordinary way for people to make connections with marine animals,” as SeaWorld would like you to believe. It’s about money, pure and simple; so much money that it has blinded the company that its entire economic model is based on an obvious and inherent cruelty. Some day we will look back at this practice in the same way we look back at the barbarism of slavery. In the meantime, boycott, boycott, boycott.
3. Ringling Bros.
Shame on Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus for continuing to treat elephants so cruelly. These iconic animals are forced to live a life of abuse and pain for the sole purpose of “entertainment.” They’re denied everything that is natural, kept on chains for most of their lives and brutally disciplined with bullhooks—a sharp, metal rod trainers use to beat and prod elephants into performing tricks. Even though some cities have banned bullhooks, Ringling Bros. continues to abuse elephants, arguing that the training device is simply “an extension of the handlers hand.” Yeah, like a bat is just an extension of a baseball player’s arm. This treatment is inhumane and needs to be banned universally. Help protect these innocent elephants by calling your city council. Inspire them to ban the bullhook and refuse to take your children to Ringling Bros. circuses. Let’s put this circus in the dung heap of history. For real wonder and awe, take your kids to Cirque D Soleil, a cruelty-free circus.
4. Melissa Bachman
Melissa Bachman, better known as TV’s hardcore huntress, mortified thousands when pictures of her happily posing with her wild animal kills went viral. Bachman prides herself on killing lions, bears, and zebras just for a Kodak moment. With wild animal numbers rapidly declining, and some species even going extinct, it’s absolutely crucial to stop Bachman and others like her. Thankfully, readers quickly stepped in with a petition to get her cruel show removed from air. Sign the petition, here. What is it about the name Bachman? Is it always synonymous for clueless?
5. Katinka Simonse (Tinkebell)
Katinka Simonse, also known as Tinkebell, is an artist from the Netherlands who has little to no respect for animals. Her blatant disrespect for life and cruel “art installations” are disturbing and disgusting. Several of these installations involve either torturing or killing animals. Simonse takes the saying “art for the sake of art” to a whole new, diabolical level. She claims to be fighting for animal rights with her performance art. Hurting animals in order to help them? Yeah right. Simonse has received thousands of well-deserved hate letters in the mail, and many petitions have circulated to stop the artist who sadly is still making art to this day. Katinka, you’re not an artist. You’re a publicity hound trading on shocking cruelty to get your name out. You know what would be really shocking? A real piece of art that uplifts instead of degrades our humanity. Try it, we dare you.
6. Eric Trump & Donald Trump Jr.
In 2012, Donald Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, received their five minutes of fame after pictures surfaced of the two posing with dead wild animals. Among the animals killed were an elephant, kudu, civet cat, crocodile, and waterbuck. When activists voiced their outrage, Don Jr. pretentiously replied that his kills were feeding a village. For someone who considers himself a businessman—meaning he works at daddy’s firm—Don seemed to be missing the bigger picture. For example, villagers would have been better served with resources to set up non-hunting wild safaris that would not only help their economy for years, but also assist in preserving their most precious resource, the wildlife—instead of only feeding villagers for a few days. This is a case of two entitled apples not falling far from the moronic tree. Hey boys, here’s an idea: spend daddy’s money on something helpful instead of destroying the world’s natural heritage.
7. Go Daddy CEO
GoDaddy’s CEO Bob Parsons considers himself to be a humanitarian. His most humanitarian action? Killing an elephant in Zimbabwe and letting villagers hack the animal carcass to bloody pieces while dressed in GoDaddy t-shirts. He said it was “the most rewarding” experience for him. In fact, Parsons was so proud of his manly feat that he videotaped the event and set it to The Scorpions hair metal anthem, “Rock You Like A Hurricane.” The effect was disturbing and almost pornographic in its inappropriateness. But if a filthy rich individual really wanted to help these people, there are several more effective ways of doing so (i.e. setting up game reserves for tourism, employing local villagers, and protecting their habitat). The bottom line: even if you think you’re helping by killing a wayward elephant, it’s not something to be celebrated or used as a macho publicity stunt. Bob, real men don’t kill endangered species.
8. Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not particularly known for his warm personality, and it comes as no surprise that he is no friend to animals either—though his PR campaigns attempt to say otherwise. In fact, his treatment of animals is far from what’s actually portrayed in the staged photo-ops. For instance, Putin led endangered Siberian cranes on a flying expedition in 2012, which left two birds dead, despite the focus of his expedition on species protection. In 2011, Putin was photographed alongside a rare snow leopard in Siberia—another media opportunity to improve his tough guy image and self-proclaimed love of animals. But a closer look reveals the leopard was seized from a nature reserve 160 kilometers away and held in captivity for a week. The leopard was eventually flown back to his place of capture, but not without suffering facial injuries by the scientists who kept him imprisoned for the president. While these deaths and injuries often go unreported in Russia, it is our job to discourage President Putin from trying any more of his animal stunts. Another ‘macho’ man using animals as props for elaborately staged PR campaigns. Cool it, Vlad.
9. Joe Schreibvogel
Joe Schreibvogel, owner of the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Oklahoma, is so unhinged he threatened to create another Waco at his park if anyone tried to take his exotic animals away from him. His cruel craziness is supported by a video shot by a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) undercover agent exposing the horrible conditions and treatment the animals at his so-called ‘zoological park.’ The footage shows both animals and humans in danger, including a young tiger attacking a toddler. At least twenty-three tiger cubs have also died under “Joe Exotic’s” care. He uses these animals as mall attractions with no concern for their well-being or safety, taking baby tigers from their mothers and exploiting them for money at your local mall. Yep, despite his protestations and threats to sue Global Animal for reporting on him, it’s all about the money for Joe and his mullet. This man and his company must be stopped.
Far too many undercover videos have surfaced documenting sickening cruelty to animals at one of Walmart’s pork suppliers. These factory farms not only abuse, neglect, and torture pigs, but they also confine pregnant pigs in gestation crates—narrow metal cages so small the animals can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably. Costco, Safeway, Kmart, and virtually every other retailer in the U.S. is taking a stand against inherently cruel gestation crates. When will Wal-mart stop find their humanity? Sign the petition calling on Wal-mart to stop supporting inhumane pork suppliers. Who knows, maybe if Wal-mart can find some empathy for the animals it sells as food, it might then gain some for its underpaid employees who have to resort to food stamps to survive.
11. Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
Although many fashion companies like Stella McCartney and Betsey Johnson offer cruelty-free products, some are set in their antiquated, cruel ways. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, or “The Trollsens” as they’re recognized by PETA, have become infamous for their cruel fashion line that includes fur and exotic skins. But their most abhorrent offense to date was making an outrageously expensive $55,000 black patent leather backpack, made of Nile crocodile skin. Fortunately, many refuse to support their ruthless line, The Row, and pledged to boycott their collection. Mary-Kate and Ashley, you are end-of-times vacuous ghouls feasting on the carcasses of disappearing wildlife while thinking its cool. It’s not, you’re not. Stop it. (You know who seems cool, and a damn fine actress? Your sister Elizabeth. Take note).