Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This matters a lot to me

If it matters to you as well, I encourage you to visit their website.

Tom’s Story: A Gentle Giant

With gray hair, a freckled face, and a large body, Tom is a likeable fellow. His caregivers describe him as a gentle giant, and say that he is likely to remind you of a dear old uncle.

Born in Africa, Tom was ripped from his family and spent 30 years in labs where he was infected with HIV. He endured over 369 knockdowns, 56 punch liver biopsies, one open liver wedge biopsy, and three lymph node and three bone marrow biopsies. In the lab, Tom was plagued by intestinal parasites, and often had diarrhea and no appetite. When he had strength, he banged constantly on his cage.

Today, Tom lives at Fauna Foundation, but is limited in the social skills necessary to be a part of a group - skills he would have learned from his mother and family in Africa. Instead, he lived alone in barren laboratory cages with little opportunity to be a real chimpanzee among his own kind. However, Tom’s social skills have greatly improved, and he spends time during his days with one or two chimpanzee friends at a time, including Jethro.

(Tom's Story is located at this site: http://www.releasechimps.org)


  1. >>With gray hair, a freckled face, and a large body<<

    omg i thought you were describing me in the future

    Stuff like that is really sad, i don't think people realize what a social bond some animals create with their family or group. That's why i do not go to zoo's or the circus, i think those are just acceptable ways of inhumane ways to let animals live.

    Good to say tom has a friend.

  2. Thanks for the links Chris.. I read up on it and its all so bloody incedibly cruel :(

  3. Thank you both for your comments!

    Muse, I'm with you in the not going to zoos or circuses thing. As a kid, and even a teenager I loved the zoo. But one day, it just sort of hit me that these animals could not possibly be happy. At least, not as happy as they should be. I haven't been back since.

    A'Jay, I'm glad you checked out the link. And I'm sorry, also. It really is sad stuff, and there are definitely days, sometimes weeks where I have to keep myself from viewing these types of things, otherwise I can end up letting it really affect my day-to-day happiness. But at the same time, I don't want to ignore it. It's a delicate balance for me.

    Unfortunately, the majority of people are either unaware of the suffering we have subjected animals to, or have bought into the idea that it's justified by our needs. One of the most frustrating things for me is to have an otherwise compassionate, intelligent person try and explain to me why animal testing is okay to do. It all boils down to greed and lack of respect for life. Our civilization has a long way to go before it's civilized.

  4. i think the circus could be just as good without the animal show. Kids would love to see the clowns and trapeze acts and humans blasting through canons or maybe even dogs doing tricks. But after watching documentaries about elephants in the wild, they simply were not meant to be in a giant room surrounded by screaming kids and wearing a funny hat while balancing on a leg. It's just demeaning. Coincidentally my brother took my nephew to the circus this past weekend.

    The only thing he mentioned is that he saw wonder woman, and was in awe as he said he didn't realize superheroes were actually real people. Apparently the elephants had no lasting impact on him. So why bother, if we push wild animals out of their habitat to where the only ones remaining are those in captivity what a sad world it will be. I even saw a show on wild mustangs and WOW was that amazing to see how horses are in the wild. And sad at how they had to limit how many were in the wild by roping some in every year away from their families and breaking them.

  5. ohh
    my heart
    so many emotions from that story.
    anger, hatred, saddness and helplessness
    thanks for the link and sharing the story.

  6. Victoria - you're welcome. And thank you for sharing your thoughts. Animal rights is a passion of mine, and I have a special sadness/hatred over the use of animals for experiments. I read these things and I view the videos and the pictures, and my heart breaks over and over. But I have to do it. Once I saw what we were doing to animals all over the world, every single day, I couldn't stop looking. For me, to stop paying attention would be a silent agreement with all that is done to them in the name of science, or entertainment. And I simply do not agree, can never agree with that. If they must suffer throughout their lives, for the sake of people just like you or I, then the least I can do is to pay attention...to not turn my head to look the other way. In one of my earlier posts, I argue that it does not matter that we benefit from the use of animals, it's just plain wrong. Scientific experiments prove over and over that animals have many more emotions than science ever thought, yet they continue on with their experiments. It sickens me to realize that most people have no problem with this stuff, based on the idea that it benefits us. Experimenting on humans would benefit us so much more, but that idea makes people recoil (and rightfully so). And what is so sad is that because we have the power to do this to animals, and because the animals can't tell us in our own language how much pain they're in or how much they miss their family, we say it's okay. It's justified. To me, it's just barbaric.

    Muse, I couldn't agree more. And to prove the point, the Cirque du Soleil, which uses no animals and is comprised entirely of amazing acrobats, etc., is wildly successful, at least in this country. Elephants in particular are known - with no opposition to the fact - to be extremely emotional animals that form amazingly strong bonds with their families. I would have to think, based on all we've discovered about elephants, that to take them from their homes and families would be no less devastating to them than it would be to us to be ripped from our homes and used for entertaining another species against our will. The videos I've seen of Ringling Bros. trainers, using all of their might to stick large, sharp hooks into the legs of elephants in order to make them obey their commands are stomach-turning. In one video, a trainer is teaching others how to make the elephants obey, and the way he treats the elephant, the things he says, it's just so hateful. I never want to know someone who could be capable of that type of behavior. I'm not a violent person in the least, but if I had just a few moments alone with that trainer, and the use of his hook...he would quickly obey me.

    Horses are another matter, no less sad. We've taken control of so many species, all for our own selfish purposes. I think if you watch any documentary on any species of animal that is used by humans, it would be heartbreaking. In that respect, humans are equal opportunity abusers, causing misery equally in all of the animals that we use. Much of it will continue long after I'm gone, but I do hold out hope that in my lifetime, and maybe even in the next 20 years, we will see an end to animal experiments. However, I've also read numerous quotes from famous thinkers long-since dead who openly opposed such things, and yet it continues today.

    Thank you both again for your thoughts. Most of the posts I put here are just for fun, but the things I write about animals, that stuff is so important to me, and it's my hope that people like you will take the time to read them and think about it some. So I really, truly appreciate your comments.

  7. I agree with you 100% and it really encourages me to see someone else as passionate as I. It makes me know im not alone out there telling people and showing people what is going on.

    Thanks Chris :)

  8. also i too hope it happens in my lifetime aswell...

  9. Well said Victoria! It can often times feel very lonely as a person who wants to speak out about this stuff, and sharing thoughts/ideas with others who feel the same way helps give me the strength to continue on. Having passion is one thing, but having people like yourself around that support the message makes it all the easier to stick with it.

    Thanks again!