Wednesday, July 30, 2008



There's going to be a rodeo at this year's Canadian National Exhibition and already a few of the usual suspects have complained.
The Ex, of course, knowing that humane activists are quick to protest everything from the death of earthworms in fishing to pet food that isn't of gourmet quality has ensured that the rodeo will be run by experts in the business who are sensitive to the automatic protests from people who love animals more than their neighbours.
The terrible truth is that animals get a better deal from many people than other humans do. Have you not noticed that as movies grew more violent, with dozens of people being chopped up and burned or mutilated, that the producers ensured that at the end of the movie there would be a note that no animals were hurt or mistreated during the making.
Oh yes, they may have lost a stuntman or two, or put them in a hospital bed, but the animals only appeared to be damaged.
It's amazing how far the activists go. For example, they think fish have the same nerves etc. as humans, although that is refuted by experts.
So when we catch fish, we are pulling creatures out of the water who feel just like a human baby would in the same situation.
What nonsense!
I often have written about fishing, so the activists know that I'm a jerk. After all, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which is probably the richest and largest of the humane groups, says that fishing is evil and the famous fisherman known as Jesus didn't fish or eat fish. How they know this 2,000 years later baffles me but then much of the humane movement baffles me.
Of course we should be as humane as possible with animals, whether they are pets or food, but I refuse to think that they have the same nerves, brains, feelings etc. as humans do.
Yes, I have had cats, dogs, birds and turtles as pets. I didn't mistreat them. I love the pleading eyes of a dog. I think we should be tough on the mental cripples who inflict unnecessary pain on animals. But I'll eat just about anything, although endangered species and creatures which have lived the equivalent of a hundred years in human terms (say a giant lobster) are safe from me.
As the Editor of the Toronto Sun, I have experienced how illogical the protesters can be. We ran a Page One picture of a dog trapped under a streetcar that prompted so many angry calls that our phone system collapsed. Yet when we ran the picture of an elderly woman trapped under a streetcar, there was no fire storm of calls and letters.
Our pictures prompted a councillor, Esther Shiner (mother of David, a veteran councillor on the current council) to propose a cage or baffle to prevent such accidents. (It was called the Shiner Skirt, although it was basically an adaptation of the cowcatcher on rail locomotives which meant that cows, deer and other creatures were not crushed underneath.)
I returned from China in 1985 with two pages of pictures and a number of columns. There was one shot of dead dogs being hung like dressed hogs in a Canton market.
I never mentioned in any column that Chinese doctors recommended meat from dogs (raised not as pets but for food) as a tonic in winter for the ailing. We got 200 calls of protest in the first hour of business, and then it got worse. Readers wanted to gut and hang me when all I did was take the picture.
So I realize that bulls buck because their testicles are pinched and that horses and calves may not like what the cowboys are doing to them but I am more concerned about the hungry in the world, and all the refugees and orphans, and the elderly living in crummy surroundings. So complain if you want about the Ex having a mild rodeo, which won't rival the violence of the Stampede, but I will only listen to you if you can demonstrate that you have been just as concerned publicly about man's inhumanity to man.


Tim G, said...


I am so glad to find u here in blogland. To discover you MIA from the now empty Sun was a shock.

Can you please do an entry on the now endangered Gardiner?

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