Chunee, Topsy and Tyke, three of countless lives taken by human insanity

Click on images to enlarge.

Chunee…

In the early 1800s the Strand in London exhibited a famous trained elephant, Chunee, who performed stunts for his owners’ profits. He was the star of numerous shows at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. He was male and huge…11 feet tall and nearly 7 tons or 14,000 pounds.

Chunee was bought by a Mr. Pidcock of the Exeter Exchange which had been part of the Strand. Pidcock exhibited Chunee as well as a two-headed cow, kangaroos, beavers, and exotic birds. After Pidcock died in 1810, the animals were sold and Chunee ended up owned by Edward Cross.

Sixteen years later, in February 1826, while Chunee was being exhibited at the Strand, he finally snapped and killed one of his keepers. From there on he became more and more determined to escape his miserable captivity and there were fears that he would break right out of his small cage. Edward Cross decided to have Chunee killed.

On March 1, his keeper tried to poison him, but Chunee refused to consume it. Then soldiers were ordered to shoot Chunee firing squad style. As the elephant knelt at the command of his keeper, he was hit by 152 musket balls, but lived through it. His keeper then stabbed him with a large spear. Chunee died in a prolonged agony.

The human vultures then put on a show of butchering and dissecting his remains for sale to various opportunists. His skeleton was paraded around the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly and then ended up at the Royal College of Surgeons until it was destroyed by German bombing in 1941.

Chunee’s death led to extreme outrage among the public. People wrote to newspapers complaining about the horrible caged existences of the animals, and more complained about the hideous murder of Chunee. People no longer wanted to patronize the animal shows and as a result the Exeter Exchange soon shut down around 1829. The remaining animals were transferred to a zoo in Surrey.

Topsy…

The year was 1903. Topsy the elephant was electrocuted to death on Coney Island on the US’s East Coast.

It’s commonly believed that Thomas Edison was responsible for Topsy’s execution, that he did it to discredit a competing form of electricity—alternating current (AC)—which was discovered by Nikola Tesla. Topsy’s murder was said to be one of many animal electrocutions conducted by Edison in this so-called “war of the currents.”

But others say Topsy was to be killed anyways because she had killed a man and became more and more desperate to escape her horrible existence after a trainer had tortured her with a pitchfork. The war of the currents had ended in the 1890s, while Topsy’s killing was in 1903.

The original plan was to hang Topsy, but animal welfarists objected to the cruelty. So they’d decided that electrocution by alternating current would be more humane.

Edison’s supporters were determined to show that Tesla’s alternating current was even more dangerous than direct current (DC), so they along with Edison had in the past electrocuted a number of animals, including dogs, to prove their claim.

Topsy balking at crossing bridge to her execution.

However, nobody had ever electrocuted an elephant before, so Topsy’s killers decided to poison, strangle and electrocute her.  She was fed cyanide-laced carrots and her feet were strapped into conductive copper sandals so she could be electrocuted.

It’s unclear if Edison was a direct part of Topsy’s murder. His presence isn’t mentioned in newspaper accounts of the execution, and none of Edison’s writings mention Topsy in any way.

Topsy’s terrible death can be seen on video here …and is said by author Michael Daly to represent “the culmination of an intensively personal and private drama” for Edison.

But the war of the currents had already been lost by Edison, and Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse had won, as their AC became dominant in the electric power industry.

Needless to say, Topsy should have had a life filled with adventure and traveling with her herd, not existing and dying as she did.

Tyke…

Tyke the elephant was murdered in Honolulu on August 20, 1994. She was 20 years old (usual lifespan would be about 65), an African elephant, and was owned by Circus International.

On this day as she entered the ring at the Blaisdell Arena, circus patrons believed she was kicking around a dummy. But it was instead her groomer and he was severely injured. The audience became panicked and ran for the exits. Tyke’s trainer then intervened and was crushed to death by her and then she made a break for it, fleeing the arena desperately, to be anywhere but there any longer.

For a half hour, Tyke ran through the streets of the nearby business district amid heavy car traffic. Circus promoter Steve Hirano tried to fence her in but she trampled him. The Honolulu police ended up shooting her 87 times before she finally expired due to nerve damage and brain hemorrhages. Many horrified people witnessed the awful spectacle.

Video can be seen here without age restriction.

Over two decades later, witnesses still remember it clearly, and in Honolulu animal circuses are no longer popular. No elephants have performed in circuses there since Tyke’s killing, even though using circus elephants remains legal.

In 2014, Moscow International Circus wanted to exhibit “wild animals” in Honolulu, so PETA circulated a petition against it. As a result the circus told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that animals would no longer be used in their shows, so PETA said in a press release:

“As the world saw 20 years ago when Tyke lashed out and died bellowing on the street, forcing frustrated animals to perform in circuses can have deadly consequences. PETA supporters and kind people around the world will be relieved to hear that the Moscow International Circus is putting safety and kindness first and going animal-free in Hawaii.”

Despite it all, many circuses still use exotic animals, including elephants, in their shows today.

PETA provides a list of animal-free circuses here: http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/pdf/Animal-Free-Circuses-pdf.pdf

Promotional poster from 1899

Advertisements

How the heck do you know when someone’s quit being vegan?

Not to worry…

They’ll tell you anywhere, anytime, using any loony excuse. If you’re in line at the DMV they’ll come up behind you and trumpet, “I’m not vegan anymore!” and expect kudos and back pats. Out for a walk? A wild-eyed ex-vegan will shout to you from a passing hybrid car, “I listened to my body and am eating animals again!” Shopping for veggies? Some no-longer-plant-based harridan with a cart chock full of meat, eggs and milk will sidle up and warn you about the devastating dangers of all that fiber! The crazy constipated gleam of “I’m one of the normal acceptable people again!” will glimmer dimly from their jaundiced eyes. Those are exaggerations, but not too much.

On the web and want to look up “loud-mouthed boasting ex-vegans alleviating their guilt”? You’ll get nothing but tragic ex-vegan stories full of hate for vegans and overflowing with lavish praise for the ex-vegans from the usual suspects. You know, those same people who vociferously hate it more than anything when a vegan mentions he/she is vegan to avoid awkward food situations and such. Well, suddenly those people can’t get enough of “what I eat” talk and can settle in for a full day & night of “well ain’t those vegans terrible!” Vegan-hating is so much fun for them. So much more so than facing the truth about themselves, about the world, about morals and ethics, humanity, animals, about life itself.

But (with quavering voice) they’re out to save human lives!

These poor folks who blare and splash their ex-vegan stories all over the place almost died by faithfully following that dangerous diet craze…that malicious cult…and by God they’re going to warn others about it! Never mind the fact that their stories are totally fabricated or that they thought they could live on corn chips and soda or that they only needed some adjustments to their diets to accommodate any special needs or that they simply were never vegan or even vegetarian to begin with. Forget all that…just let your emotions and that old standby—smug complacency, as well as your base appetites, rule your thinking. Hop onto the nearest vegan-hating bandwagon or shout and chest pound along with some torch carrying mob: “Death to all diehard vegans!” Now there’s how you achieve real self-worth and happiness in life. Oh yeah?

Reality check…

Bragging ex-vegans were never vegan to begin with…they toyed with a trendy plant-based diet because they may have had a twinge of guilt over some slaughter footage; but they found going against society’s grain too hard to stick with, and they quit and made a huge vegan-hating stink about it like the shiftless betrayers they are. To blame their failure on anything/anyone other than themselves, they turned their scathing eyes and pointy fingers onto vegans, and they employed their hypochondria to its fullest to prove their points about the dangers of eating vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. So with full backing of a society largely into inventing and employing sociopathic excuses for purely evil practices, these ex-“vegans” now bask in the sorely missed comfort of fitting back in with that very sick society.

Fact: Anyone with access to plant produce and food markets can be vegan and very healthy. And that means the vast majority of the human race, even in the poorest of nations.

By Loupiote on Flickr

There’s enough variety of plant foods and enough technology to accommodate anyone’s particular restrictions or needs. But as long as they’re giving in to societal pressures and still eating animals, and they’re feeling guilt tugging at them for pretending it’s acceptable, they will do and say whatever they must to alleviate that guilt. And truth be damned.

Living comfy in a carefully constructed house of cards…

That’s how people like it. And wow, do they despise any upstart who comes along to upset their carefully crafted little world with something so rude as the truth about animals, breeding farms, slaughterhouses, all that stuff people love to pretend is acceptable behavior for human beings.

But that’s no way for any human to live, not if one values good morals and ethics and wants to make this world better. Only if one is happy being a parasite who habitually contributes to the unfairness and unspeakable suffering in this world can one be content in living that lie. But is such a human being meeting his/her great potential? For most, who are basically decent people, that happiness is a cushy nest made of lies. So of course many react with fury and no holds barred when some do-gooder comes by and topples and scatters that flimsy shelter of theirs with a mere:

“Animals matter…let’s all be vegan.”

 

LIVESTOCK

The word “livestock” is chock full of meaning, none of it good.

Stock is material goods kept on hand for use and/or available for sale, i.e. things. Not lives, things. Live stock are, of course, sentient lives held captive for use and/or available for sale. In other words, slaves, to be used for whatever purpose you like, including to be knifed to death and turned into unhealthy food. Or to be kept in hellishly abysmal breeding mills as with dogs for the puppy market. The shameful list goes on, all the stuff of the worst nightmares. But somehow deemed okay by the complacent masses.

“Only people can be said to be murdered or enslaved, not animals.”

People like to differentiate between people and animals, believing it’s okay to keep animals as slaves and sell them, slaughter them, and so forth…but not humans.

Well, except for our violent offenders and murderers who obviously do think it’s (more than) okay to kidnap and slaughter people. They almost always train themselves on animals before finally getting at the real targets of their rage. Now, what does that say for those who abuse and slaughter animals legally, for normal people’s wants?

Why do otherwise decent people suddenly become monstrously cruel when it comes to what they like to eat?

With me, it was purely and simply a habit, a holdover from generations upon generations past. And of course denial plays a big part in the sham; people love to pretend animals enjoy their lots in life and that being ineffectively stunned (or the more popular these days, fully conscious) and knifed to death is a pleasant way to die. And like everyone else, I used to believe: It’s all absolutely necessary! Otherwise, how will we survive? Without animal meat/eggs/milk, we cannot be healthy! (Which of course is a big load of nonsense.)

“It doesn’t get any better than us!”

A popular belief goes something like: Well, using and slaughtering animals got us to this stage of development so it must be good to use and slaughter animals. Yet at this stage of development, we’re anything but a peaceful, nonviolent, truly intelligent and consistently admirable species.

We hear accounts almost daily of some new horrific case where a child has been kidnapped, raped, murdered, and all variety of crimes against each other, from global crimes like what’s going on with North Korea and the terrorism problem, to one-on-one robberies, gangs of thugs menacing or harming people, etc., ad nauseam. There’s plenty else that doesn’t inspire pride either—anything but. The slaughterhouse, et al, are at the big old, deep root of all of that.

Anyone beaming with pride over humanity’s current state, thinking there’s no better way for humanity to conduct itself, has to be quite deranged. Derangement often seems to be the overwhelming state of mind among people. Those who are well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society are indeed profoundly sick people.

“Have a steak and fit in, weirdo.”

But as long as it’s the majority and “everyone’s doing it,” it’s okay, people believe. Being different is one of the things people fear the most. People are creatures of conformity, fitting in with the crowd, not being weird in any unhip way. Go with the flow, don’t make waves. Live your life the normal way, and aggressively push that normalcy on others. Well, aggressively normal people are repulsive to me. Really, I cannot stand it. Aggressively normal people love the concept of livestock, since normal people well-adjusted to a sick society have always used livestock.

Normal people seem totally oblivious to the harm the livestock mindset visits upon all of us. Believing in livestock allows every form of human-on-human cruelty out there. Since, when we lie to each other to excuse sadistic abuse of the innocent, because of their “inferior” status, deep down we know it’s all lies and that we’re thereby a species of liars. That leads to a simmering dislike of each other, then overblown denial of that dislike and the happy “I love all people!” proclamations. A perfect recipe for the collective insanity we all can admit to when being brutally honest. However…

Millions of lightbulb moments

Thankfully, these days more and more people are realizing the importance of our treatment of animals, realizing they are not stock, they’re highly sensitive beings with as much right to their own lives as we have to ours. So I sincerely hope hordes and hordes of people will continue recruiting everyone they can to the cause and the health benefits of being vegan and opposing all use of animals as livestock.

Then, someday that concept, that vile word and all the horrors that stem from it, will become obsolete, to be remembered by the vast majority only in shame and disbelief.