Friday, October 23, 2009

The deceptive assault of Animal People

Only the names have been changed to protect both the innocent and guilty.
Not that I'm judging. You read it and you decide.

-----Original Message-----
On Sep 28, 2009, at 8:35 PM, Animal Trainer wrote:

My name is Animal Trainer and I am an Animal Trainer with a Circus. My Unsuspecting Friend wrote me that you were interested in performing animals?
Animal Trainer

-----Original Message-----
From: Self-absorbed deceptive human
To: Animal Trainer
Sent: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 2:04 am
Subject: Re: performing animals

I am, thank you for contacting me, Animal Trainer. And thank Unsuspecting Friend, too, for connecting us.

It's an honor to speak with you directly. I've found the best way to learn is to do it yourself or to ask an expert!

You, as my perceived expert, are probably well aware of the controversy surrounding the topic of performing circus animals world wide. Entire countries have banned performing animals, dozens of British Columbian municipalities have placed restrictions on the industry, and numerous communities in the US even, won't allow the circus to operate in their locale. I'm sure you yourself probably directly interacted with concerned people ranging from animal compassionates to frightening extremists.

I have never been to a circus myself. Not as a supporter nor as a protester. I do hear indirectly that many trainers (hopefully yourself included!) feel that these bans and concerns are unwarranted. And only you know the reality of what you and the animals you train, care for, and perform with go through every day. Only you know know their health, their enrichment, and their challenges. You, better than anyone know how budgets might affect your choice in care methods, supplies, tools or time. Only you know the character of other trainers and circus management.

Would you be open to me asking you some questions about your experience training animals and performing with them in the Circus? My focus would be to discover how it feels to be a trainer responding to the controversy, to hear the good stories and the rough stories about living with captive wildlife on the road, and to find out, in your expert opinion, where what the real risks lie for performing circus animals and what you would do to improve your industry for everyone.
Self-absorbed deceptive human

-----Original Message-----
On Sep 29, 2009, at 7:00 AM, Animal Trainer wrote:

I would be open to answering questions. I enter this skeptically as I have been interviewed before only to see my words changed with no recourse after the fact. From your opening letter I sense the angle of your story is, at this point, leaning towards the "activists". You make no mention of the numerous studies showing that performing animals live longer and have more opportunities for "enrichment "
Animal Trainer

-----Original Message-----
From: Self-absorbed deceptive human
To: Animal Trainer
Sent: Fri, Oct 2, 2009 3:10 pm
Subject: Re: performing animals

Animal Trainer, thank you for having an open mind. That is my goal too.

Yes, conflict sells, but diplomacy inspires change. It's not good journalism to present only one extreme point of view from either side, but rather to discover where even opposite views can see each other's perspective.

I wish to convey your intelligence and experience as an Animal Trainer in a way that would make an otherwise closed-minded burn-the-circus extremist consider that there is hope to work with instead of against. And conversely, I would like to convey the public animal concern perspective so well that even the most insulted and defensive trainer or employer would be inspired to work for transparent solutions. It's the middle ground that interests me most. And yes, you have to search the extremes to find that middle. Hopefully I find a middle. That will depend on my ability to communicate with everyone, I guess, and ask thought provoking questions of quality interviewees.

Thank you so much. There is no rush on this, thank goodness. Would you prefer I call, or email my conversation? I tend to be good in writing:-) Yes, I will edit everything into a piece at the end, but I will never change a quote, rest assured. Everything you say or write is a quote after we begin. My goal in speaking with you, which you are already revealing thank goodness, is the hope that you are the "open minded expert" on touring performing animals. But that always depends on you!

Self-absorbed deceptive human

-----Original Message-----
On Oct 2, 2009, at 4:27 PM, Animal Trainer wrote:

Yes, writing would suit me as well. I may have some other animal people interested in an intelligent discussion on captive and performing animals if you are interested.
Animal Trainer

-----Original Message-----
From: Self-absorbed deceptive human
To: Animal Trainer
Sent: Sat, Oct 3, 2009 3:40 pm
Subject: Re: performing animals

Thanks for suggesting other interviewees, Animal Trainer. I believe you train elephants, if I am not mistaken? What animals do your associates train? Do they work with you at a circus as well?

Self-absorbed deceptive human

-----Original Message-----
On Oct 3, 2009, at 4:12 PM, Animal Trainer wrote:

I have animal acts on a circus We have had elephants in the past, along with dogs, ponies, hippos, giraffes, zebras, big cats, camels, ostriches, goats, and primates. Most circus Animal Trainers have experience with many different species.
Animal Trainer

-----Original Message-----
From: Self-absorbed deceptive human
To: Animal Trainer
Sent: Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:42 pm
Subject: Re: performing animals

Thank you, Animal Trainer! I've had a birthday and some out of state travel since we've spoken last. I am compiling a short list of questions now I hope you will feel inspired to expand upon and bring your intellect, passion and compassion to. Thank you so much again for offering your voice.
Self-absorbed deceptive human

-----Original Message-----
From: Animal Trainer
To: Animal Caretaker
What do you think? Do you want in? Check out her website

-----Original Message-----
From: Animal Caretaker
To: Animal Trainer

Hmmm, wary, very wary. Sad that eh?
She totally controls the outcome. Interesting she at least wants to converse.
I recently responded to several editorials. One can only take so much.

She does have an interesting viewpoint on stuff. And she's done lots of very cool stuff. Could be a great in to the 'natural' crowd, after all isn't that what animal training really is about? Speaking a natural language we've nearly lost.

Send me the list of questions when you get them. Still wary, yet curious.

Very disturbing thing happened at the little Circus. We went to the shows in little bitty home town Sunday. It's coming along nicely.
Next day this popped up on the internet. Like a stalker ~ rather disturbing to know they were out there and wonder who they are making the videos for. Other than that not a word in print or elsewhere really.

*link to youtube video of animal act on show*

Ooooh, they added the exploitative title and description since it was first posted. Dang, they must be getting paid for this. . .

Animal Caretaker

-----Original Message-----
From: Animal Caretaker
To: Animal Trainer


"Support your favorite cruelty-free/non-animal circus act and watch *Self-absorbed deceptive human* this Thursday!"
Found here: *link to TV show*
Whoa! No really, I'm thinking she's reeling you in. She's very self centered if you know what I mean. This is about her agenda, not animals, and def not us.

----Original Message-----
From: Self absorbed deceptive human
To: Animal Trainer
Sent: Tue, Oct 20, 2009 6:29 pm
Subject: Questions

Animal Trainer, attached are my interview questions for you. You are welcome to answer the questions quick and short, or if you feel compelled to expand, I would encourage you. There is no deadline on this, but I'd appreciate it if you return your answers before mid-November.

Generously offering your perspective on this passionate subject certainly helps and I want to thank you again, Animal Trainer. I know you are secure, intelligent and with opinion, so feel free to let me know what it is. Again, my respect and thanks to you on this subject.

Respect ...

Self absorbed deceptive human

-----Original Message-----
From: Animal Caretaker
To: Animal Trainer

Where do you think this self absorbed deceptive human got these questions????
Yeah, she was outta town all right, getting briefed at Peta.
Show her some of your intelligence and let her know you're not falling for it.

Wow, they are getting more and more underhanded. . .

Wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole methinks. And you?

-----Original Message-----
From: Animal Trainer
To: Self absorbed deceptive human
Sent: Thu, Oct 22, 2009 10:30 am
Subject: Re: Questions

"Support your favorite cruelty-free/non-animal circus act and watch *Self-absorbed deceptive human* this Thursday!"
And to think I almost fell for your, "Middle-ground". So much for " diplomacy" and " transparent solutions". Obviously "your" questions were written by PETA. Guess I'll go back to my amoral animals, my four legged friends incapable of deception. No wonder trainers don't interviews.
Animal Trainer

-----Original Message-----
From: Animal Caretaker
To: Animal Trainer

You think these are the answers self-absorbed deceptive human is looking for?

1. How long have you been training performing animals? How did you get your start?
1. How long have you been complimenting and falsely representing yourself to befriend people?

2. What companies and venues have your animals performed in? Which was your favorite and why?
2. What difference does this make? The question really is, "Why do seemingly intelligent people like yourself, choose to judge those of us that work with animals, without ever having met us or even seen a circus?"

3. What company do you work with now? How long have you been with them?
3. Been brainwashed have you? Think about it. Who put those thoughts in your head? Did you make them up yourself? If not, where did they come from?

4. What animal species have you trained?
4. What human species are you?

5. What animal species has been your favorite to work with and why? Share a fond story of working with this species.
5. Seemingly genuine question so as not to arouse suspicion of your true agenda. Nope, see right through this.

6. What species has presented the most challenges and why? Is there a species you do not wish to work with in the future? Share a story of how challenging animal training can be.
6. Have to say the HUMAN species. Only it has the biggest ego and desire to put those of us that deal honestly with animals out of work.

7. Have you ever encountered concerns from animal compassionates or activists? What form do these concerns come to you in (letters, protest, violence, ect?)?
7. Have you ever picked up shit? Real, stinky animal shit? Day after day, fed, watered, and cared for someone or something, other than yourself?

8. Do all circus trainers adhere to the same training techniques? Do you agree with all other animal training methods?
8. Do you have a lifetime to learn this? That's what is takes, not some 60 second sound bite, 20 minute video or one page blog.
No, I'm not falling for your ploy and allowing my ego to judge other trainers either.

9. Do you feel the Circus Animal Care Policy on paper is specific and assures performing animals' well being? Do you go beyond what is written in the guidelines?
9. What difference does any paperwork make if there are no more animals? Better we spend the time we can in their presence. We can fill out all the paperwork we want when they're gone.

10. After years of working with many different performing animal species, in many different venues, what is your animal care policy? What care specifics have you found to be essential and unwavering?
10. If you had even a clue of what it takes to work with animals you would be embarrassed to be asking these questions.

11. *XYZ Circus* for animal abuse charges. What comments do you have regarding this case?
11. Actually that is not what the case is about. Do your research and get back to me.

12. Are the Circus animal handling techniques provided as video evidence to the court by PETA representative of industry standards? Do you feel this court case places unjustified scrutiny on your training?
12. Can you say deceptively edited video? How about huge sums of money wasted while elephants disappear before our very eyes? Again, you have nowhere near the time to begin to understand any of this. Now go exercise and wash your dreads.

13. Do assistants or performers come into physical contact with your animals in your current venue? What type of training do assistants and human performers go through before contact? Have you encountered safety issues and how could they be prevented next time, if so?
13. Done exercising and self promoting yet?

14. Does the public come into physical contact with your animals? Has there been any issues and how could they be prevented next time, if so?
14. Hopefully you will never come in contact with my animals. Nope, don't think you deserve to enjoy the bliss of true animal communion and communication. Maybe in your next life.

15. Have you worked with any endangered species? How does the Endangered Species Act allow for circuses to work with endangered species?
15. Like I said, maybe in your next life. That is of course, unless you have your way and elephants no longer exist then. Fewer, is fewer, period.

16. There is conflict between animal compassionates/activists and circus producers/animal trainers. How can they communicate with you better?
16. Conflict? More like harassment and deception as you have well proved. Pick up shit for 10 years, then maybe we can talk.

17. Has there ever been a concern, well presented, that you too agreed with and initiated an improvement on?
17. Done exercising yet? Oops isn’t it time to espouse your personal hygiene methods and blog about them again?

18. How can circuses and your present employer communicate better with animal compassionates/activists? Does transparency in animal handling and care improve public relations?
18. Yes, the brainwashing has been very successful. Every self absorbed deceptive human I meet has an opinion based on useless facts, TV shows and knows it all. Soon they'll have everyone brainwashed and there will no longer be elephants in the circus, or anywhere else.

19. As an expert in your field, what is your advice to each side?
19. Side? I thought you said middle. Nope, not falling for it. You have proven yourself to be deceptive and ego centric. Go back to undress, throw some knives and exercise some more. We'll still be caring for animals in the real world, on their terms, 24/7 until we're no longer allowed to.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's not the Great Pumpkin, it's BIG APPLE CIRCUS!

Although it's still hot and steamy in FL,
fall is here and that means some of my favorite circus days are ahead.
The Big Apple Circus opens in NYC soon!
Don't wait until the last minute to get tickets
~ ~ I've got a great deal for you! ~ ~
Scroll down for more info.

The awesomely beautiful Christine Zerbini and equine friend.

"Bello is Back" is the title of this year's show.
Opening Thursday, October 22 for its Lincoln Center run until January 18, 2010.
The Big Apple Circus is Broadway meets European style one-ring show.
So close the dirt flies up from the hooves of the horses into your laps and the aerialists put a kink in your neck, the show sets the standard for circus in a way only New York can.

Not to worry, Grandma will be there too!
Ok, so I'm partial, Barry is one of my favorite clowns, EVER!

Here's info on a promo code that can save you $$$$$$.

To purchase your discounted tickets to the Big Apple Circus:

Online: and submit the code POP10 in the Promotional Codes box

By Phone: CALL 888-541-3750 and mention code POP10

In Person: Big Top Box Office 10AM–6PM daily. No service fee.

Bring a copy of this blog post

*Offer good on select seat locations and performances. Must present this blog post to receive discount at the box office. Performance schedule subject to change. Offer is subject to availability; not valid on prior purchases; cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions. This offer can be revoked at any time. Discount amount varies. Limit 8 tickets per order. No refunds or exchanges. Telephone and Internet orders are subject to standard service fees.

Tickets for performances at upcoming venues are currently on sale to Big Apple Circus members only. In addition to knowing your membership helps kids in need; benefits include discounted tickets, VIP seats, invitations to exclusive member-only events, and more! For full details, check out:

And here's a glimpse of Bello doing his death defying skywalking thing.
Don't know about you, but just watching this video made my palms sweat.