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Swiss Officials Kill Country’s Lone Bear in Brutal Preemptive Strike

Photo by Lox

Photo by Lox

Swiss officials last month assassinated a brown bear who they determined posed a threat to the country’s human population. The preemptive strike was carried out on Tuesday, February 19, after the 2-year-old creature – insensitively identified by authorities as “M13” – had the audacity to stretch his legs after a period of hibernation and look around for a bite to eat.

A United Press International report indicated that the bear “followed a 14-year-old girl through part of the Swiss city of Poschiavo,” a secluded valley town near the Italian border.

The lede of an Agence France-Presse report explained that “Switzerland’s only recorded wild bear has been culled after fears that it could pose a threat to humans, the authorities announced.”

According to that Agence-France-Presse article, “the animal … had repeatedly headed into inhabited areas to look for food and had even taken to following people. In November 2012, the bear had already been considered problematic and placed on a behaviour-watch list, a step away from a cull order.”

And a Reuters story quoted local wildlife authorities as saying, “the bear’s behaviour couldn’t be changed.”

If there is a species whose behavior needs to change, it is ours.

In April 2006, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation reported on an effort by governmental officials to design “a strategy document to coordinate the peaceful co-existence of bears and humans.”

That 2006 Swiss Broadcasting Corporation report indicated that “Peppino Beffa, head of the Swiss Sheep Farmers Association, said there was simply no room for bears in heavily populated areas of the country.”

Apparently, there was not room for even one bear in a relatively remote part of Switzerland.

After ordering the 2-year-old bear’s assassination last month, Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment issued an infuriating statement that, as CNN reported, read, in part: “The bear M13 had certainly never showed any aggression toward man, but the risk that an accident might happen and that people might be badly injured or killed had become intolerable.”

What is “intolerable” is the obnoxious expectation that other species live by our mercilessly inhospitable rules.

In this case, the 2-year-old bear failed to obey the rules of peaceful coexistence when he dared to wander out of local residents’ nightmares and onto their streets.

What Swiss wildlife authorities (I hold my nose as I use that description) need to understand, if they’re at all capable, is that “the peaceful co-existence of bears and humans” will require the latter species to change its behavior.

Unfortunately, thanks to the above-mentioned wildlife “authorities,” there are currently no more bears in Switzerland with whom the country’s human residents can even attempt to peacefully coexist.

Vegan Fashion House Vaute Couture Shows There is “No Excuse Left to Wear Animals”

VAUTE- New York Fashion Week Solo Debut from Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart on Vimeo.

In a January 31 blog post, Vaute Couture owner and designer Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart announced that she’d be presenting her “first solo show at New York Fashion Week, as the first all vegan label to show at” the high-profile event. Following her success at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I reached out to Hilgart, via Facebook message, to learn more about her Brooklyn, New York-based company and the ethics on which her brand is based. What follows are the interview questions I sent Hilgart and her thoughtful responses thereto.

DB: Prior to joining Ford Models you were a college student pursuing a career in education. Given that teaching is part of your brand, what is your approach to cultivating new customers who might not have previously been part of your audience or thoughtful in terms of what they wear?

Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart. Photo by Dominic Neitz

Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart. Photo by Dominic Neitz

LH: Everyone has their own voice as an activist, and I realized that mine was to bring anyone who had raised a level of connection with animals on any level to reach greater levels of awareness to first the issues that face all animals of that species, and then to issues reaching all animals. For example, in college when I started the animal-rights group, I invited anyone who missed their companion dog or cat from home to join us in spending time with the homeless animals at the city shelter. Afterward over hot cocoa (in the winter we’d play in the snow with the dogs – the best time ever), we’d discuss the greater issues of overpopulation, relating it to the dogs and cats they were getting to know, and then from there, I’d invite them to assist in the Howard Lyman event I was putting together on campus, or the circus protest. Similarly, with Vaute Couture, I focus on two things: creating a welcome, warm environment where a connection to animals or the earth can be expanded upon and … creating fashion that is the next level of innovation in fabrics, so that even the girl who doesn’t allow themselves to care initially can fall in love with our pieces. And when that happens, and they learn that they are made without animal fibers, then I hope that they can start thinking of themselves as someone who would live a kinder lifestyle in little ways, and gradually over time gain confidence in their own purposeful participation with the world. I think more than anything, everyone has a kind heart, but they need to unlearn that they should not care or that it is silly, naive, or fruitless to care. This is the biggest thing I hope to teach.

DB: While working with Ford Models, did you have a say about which designs and garments you’d model? Do you work with vegan models? And which cosmetics lines/products do you use when presenting your collections?

LH: My agents definitely knew that I was vegan and respected that. I could tell them what I didn’t want to audition for or jobs I wouldn’t take. I try to work with as many vegan models as I can – it’s much easier in New York City than it was in Chicago, and most of our editorial models are vegan. We work with a few cosmetics companies for shoots and shows who use only vegan and cruelty-free makeup when working with us, like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Christopher Drummond Beauty, and DeVita.

The Vaute Couture show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Photo by Joshua Katcher

The Vaute Couture show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Photo by Joshua Katcher

DB: Your primary motivation for launching Vaute Couture was to communicate, through your work, that there is “no excuse left to wear animals,” according to language on your website. The same argument has been made with regard to eating animals. In your experience, what motivates the unconvinced to wear the body parts of slain animals? And what roles do convenience and peer pressure play in the decisions people make about the fashions they wear?

LH: I don’t think anything motivates the unconvinced to wear animals or eat animals. I think they are unknowing participants in a large profit-minded machine that doesn’t care about animals, and that they either … don’t know yet about how animal fibers are made and/or … that what they wear and purchase even makes a difference. Most people I meet don’t even consider what they wear to be even a moral question (unless it’s something as obvious as fur), until I pose it to them. It seems that art and business (of which fashion is both) often believe they are exempt from ethics, when to me, business is the most important arena for ethics, because it has the ability to create so much good or so much bad through every aspect of the production process as well as their interaction with society.

DB: I’ve read that fur is once again popular among fashion designers. If this is the case, is its popularity rooted in the same kind of defiant attitude we see in our politics?

LH: I think fur is popular among designers (though the numbers show, thankfully, that it is actually on the decline for the actual sales of fur, according to the Humane Society of the United States), because the fur industry is spending a lot of money to make it appear popular and cool by buying designers and magazines. Also, I often wonder if by knowing that lives had to die for a material like fur, that it makes fur feel more valuable to them, like by wearing or designing with it they are saying they must be pretty important to have something that cost 40 lives … I think there’s an elitism inherent there that some designers value because it makes them feel more important, whether they consciously realize it or not. I think the defiance is interesting, too – because yes, for someone to choose to do something that they know others might see as “wrong” such as designing with fur is … to say, “I don’t care, this is my art!” and to suggest they are on a higher realm of intelligence because they put their art above doing something they might see as “nice.” But what I find so laughable is that in the end, they are just doing exactly what the fur industry wants them to do, and by designing with fur, they are not being defiant in any way, they are being the biggest followers of all and playing the pawn for the fur industry.

DB: Celebrity seems to drive the success of many fashion designers. Even if fur is enjoying a renewed popularity, are you optimistic that we’ll eventually reach a tipping point with regard to celebrity-driven consumer ethics?

Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart (left) backstage during her show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Photo by Gregory Vaughan

Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart (left) backstage during her show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Photo by Gregory Vaughan

LH: I think there’s a split going on, where some celebrities are recognizing that the megaphone of their stardom can be used for good, and they are being even more careful about how they live and what they promote, so that they can be doing even more good in the world by setting a good example. And then of course, there are those who focus on elitism and want to appear the most luxurious and have the most rare expensive things, and in fashion those things sometimes are animal fibers (like elephant-skin shoes). But, really, the fabrics that are on the cutting edge – the 3D printed fabrics, the high-tech materials, those are nearly all vegan and those are the future. So as we start to see more innovation in fabrics and materials, hopefully we will start to see that become the new symbol of elite status in fashion even for the second set of celebrities.

DB: In addition to producing garments made exclusively from vegan materials, your website indicates that the Vaute Couture “line is also made of recyclable and recycled fibers, and produced locally in NYC’s garment district.” Is it by design that this ethical and responsible approach challenges, explicitly, the notion that coveted fashions need to be derived from “rare” or “exotic” materials – including those derived from animals?

LH: Well, our fabrics actually are rare. … They are at the cutting edge of sustainability and weatherproof innovation, and are often custom made for my line, taking months to produce.

DB: Why do you think fashions made from fur elicit a more visceral reaction from many people than clothes made from leather and other animal-derived materials?

LH: It’s interesting, because wool is actually just as, if not more cruel, than fur. Sheep raised for wool are first of all slaughtered after they are done being “productive,” oftentimes at the end of a grueling cruel live-export journey. But it’s during their lives that they endure a cruel factory-farmed existence, with repeated careless shearing that slices slabs of skin off on a regular basis. And so, an animal whose fiber is repeatedly taken from them while they’re alive is often enduring even more cruelty altogether than one killed for their fur at the end, because in addition to being killed, they endure this terribly cruel process over and over until they are slaughtered in the end. Most people don’t think about this. The problem isn’t if the cruelty is necessary – certainly, it is not the intention of a factory farm to be cruel. But, it is the intention of a factory farm to be efficient and to be as productive as possible, and the well-being of animals involved only get in the way of the bottom line, resulting in incredibly cruel living conditions, production conditions, and painful slaughter. This is why animals don’t belong in business; their needs and well-being aren’t part of the equation. But none of this is obvious to the public. Most people think that sheep get a haircut and that’s what wool is. So, unless it’s for fur – where we can so clearly see that an animal died for someone to wear their skin, there isn’t the same kind of reaction. And for leather, I’m not sure, but I think perhaps because people have desensitized themselves to eating meat, and since leather comes from cows, they tell themselves, “If we are OK with one we must be OK with the other.” People are funny, myself included, with what stories we tell ourselves, the blanks we fill in. It’s interesting to stop and ask yourself, “Why do I think this?” because often the answer isn’t there. I ask myself that a lot, until I really look at what has brought me to that conclusion.

DB: Talk about the “special programs” page of your website, through which you’re planning to offer discounts to “students, teachers, (and) nonprofits,” fundraising partnerships, and other opportunities.

LH: Yes! I love to work with nonprofits, and I used to be a teacher and a student – I know that it doesn’t leave a lot of income to be creating a wardrobe with, so I’m creating some programs and discounts just for them. I can’t say much else until they’re fully fleshed out, but I’m working on it now, so please stay tuned!

DB: Your website encourages visitors to “love our hood” and recommends vegan-friendly neighborhood businesses. How important to your store’s continued success and growth – and to any vegan-focused start-up – is a local community of like-minded entrepreneurs?

LH: I’m lucky that Williamsburg (Brooklyn), the neighborhood my flagship store is in, is super vegan friendly and I love suggesting lovely places for visitors to go nearby to support some really amazing people! I don’t really know these people personally very well, but I do have many friends in the vegan community who have dedicated themselves to spreading awareness for animals and making it easier to live compassionately, and yes, this has made all the difference in my life. There’s a great blog post from Seth Godin where he says, “The easiest way to thrive as an outlier … is to avoid being one. At least among your most treasured peers. Surround yourself with people in at least as much of a hurry, at least as inquisitive, at least as focused as you are. Surround yourself by people who encourage and experience productive failure, and who are driven to make a difference. What’s contagious: standards, ethics, culture, expectations and most of all, the bar for achievement.” And I completely agree. It is incredibly nourishing to talk to people who get it who are also taking risks and putting their all in, to spread awareness for animals. It doesn’t mean you need to only have vegan entrepreneur friends (and that would be counterproductive because then how would you spread awareness to anyone else, as well as learn new perspectives?) but to have a few people who get you, in all the different ways you are truly you, is a beautiful thing.

Learn more about Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart and Vaute Couture at vautecouture.com.

New Zealand Filmmaker, Great White Killed in Shark Attack

Despite everything we know about the infrequency with which fatal shark “attacks” occur, we just can’t help reacting like vengeful ocean police when such an incident does take place.

Such was the case last Wednesday, when Adam Strange, a New Zealand-based filmmaker, inadvertently swam into the path of sharks who were looking for a meal in waters off Muriwai, on the west coast of the country’s North Island.

The New Zealand Herald reported today that while Strange’s “death was almost instant …   police fired 12 shots at the shark, as it was still ‘harassing the body.’”

Strange was training for an upcoming athletic competition and had reentered the surf for a second time when the encounter occurred.

Tim Jago, the chairman of the Auckland-based Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service, was quoted in The New Zealand Herald report as saying, “Almost immediately Adam was subjected to the first of two shark attacks by what we now know to have been a bronze whaler shark. … Within a very short space of time … Adam was subjected to a second and fatal shark attack; this time by a white pointer.”

An Associated Press report published by The Huffington Post quoted Jago as saying, “We are quite comfortable the beast is dead.”

Mr. Jago’s satisfaction betrays the arrogance on which has been built man’s unsophisticated and insulting insistence that other species live by our rules or not at all.

If there is a “beast” without whose presence other species could live more comfortably, it is Homo sapiens.

Holley “Squirrel Slam” is a Neanderthal Custom of Evangelical Barbarism

Earlier this month, in the backwoods village of Holley, New York, bloodlust-full hillbillies of all ages paid $10 apiece to participate in a squirrel-slaughtering contest whose prizes included cash and guns.

The competitive killing spree drew attention from far beyond the now-bloodstained streets of Holley, thanks in part to a protest organized by the nonprofit animal-advocacy organization Friends of Animals – and because of the prideful defiance of the local savages, who basked like unrepentant Nazis in their all-too revealing 15 minutes.

It should be pointed out that the purpose of “Squirrel Slam” was to raise money for the Holley Fire Department, for which “saving lives through slaughter” would be an apt slogan.

As the sanctioned slaughter unfolded on February 16, one local subhuman was caught on video (see above) telling protestors that without the protection of one another and village police, “somebody’s going to shoot you.”

Edita Birnkrant, Friends of Animals’ New York director, told me during a recent telephone conversation that the protest in Holley was “definitely the most disturbing event I’ve done of that sort.”

Birnkrant said her organization made an offer to town officials, prior to the start of the family friendly competitive slaughter, to take over the fundraising effort – that is, to keep the fire department’s coffers full, but free of blood money – but that the offer “was completely rejected.”

“So it became not about the money,” Birnkrant said.

Clearly, it was about a savage civic culture being threatened, or, as Birnkrant put it, an “unwillingness to embrace – or even consider – new ideas.”

Indeed, many of Holley’s thuggish locals wore that stubbornness like a badge, even in the face of what Birnkrant described as “national – even international – outcry.”

“They are notorious now,” Birnkrant said of the defiant locals.

These are folks who, on one hand, are proud of their way of life, but, on the other, don’t want outsiders to bear witness to that unchecked barbarism.

This is essentially the attitude to which then-Sen. Barack Obama was referring when he said, during a 2008 presidential-campaign stop, “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

Such anti-intellectualism was later championed by the remarkably vapid narcissist Sarah Palin as she developed aspirations to rule over the drooling class.

Birnkrant and other protestors who traveled to the backwoods of upstate New York on February 16 saw firsthand what it looks like when unsophisticated rednecks “cling to guns or religion” (to borrow then-Sen. Obama’s words) – the dominant religion in Holley, New York, being a form of Evangelical Barbarism whose Neanderthal customs include swinging dead squirrels in the faces of those who don’t seek spiritual or financial reward through the murder of other species.

The since-disgraced former Sen. John Edwards was right about there being “Two Americas,” although he wasn’t (unfortunately) referring specifically to the drooling class and the more evolved among us.

And while I’m certainly not an apologist for President Obama, John Edwards, or any other so-called “liberal politician,” it is fair to point out that Holley’s proud savages are predictably following the drooling class’ primitive playbook.

To borrow applicable language from my February 19 commentary, Holley’s Neanderthal population has planted “yet another bloodstained flag in the primordial ooze that the drooling class calls home” and in doing so has shown that its knuckle-dragging members “have no interest in claiming a place on the moral high ground.”

Call for Submissions Open to Vegan Musicians

Photo by Cheryl Albaine

Photo by Cheryl Albaine

The Daily Maul’s David Brensilver wants to hear from musicians whose original work reflects a commitment to animal advocacy and champions the vegan lifestyle.

Brensilver (left), a classically trained percussionist who has music degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (BM, 1992) and The Juilliard School (MM, 1994) and has worked with numerous ensembles in this country and abroad, encourages submissions from musicians working in all genres.

Interested artists should send samples of their work (links to high-quality audio and/or video are preferred) and letters of introduction, via e-mail (with “Maul Music” in the subject line), to maul@thedailymaul.com. All will soon be revealed.

Kentucky Pastor Demands Return of Confiscated Snakes

Photo by Russell Lee

Photo by Russell Lee

A creepy faith-salesman named Jamie Coots is demanding from officials in Tennessee the immediate return of potentially dangerous prisoners who were removed from his custody during a routine traffic stop.

Coots was transporting five newly purchased slaves from Alabama to Kentucky when law-enforcement officers in Tennessee placed the captives in a local jail.

An Associated Press report published in The Washington Post explains that “Coots handles snakes as part of worship services at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro. In this case, the five snakes confiscated last month by Tennessee wildlife officials were bought in Alabama for $800 … Coots wants the state to return the three rattlesnakes and two copperheads he purchased.”

According to the Associated Press report, “the five snakes are being cared for at the Rainforest Adventure Zoo in Sevierville, Tenn.”

The prison in which the snakes are being held boasts on its website: “The majority of the animals at RainForest Adventures zoo have been born, or hatched in captivity.”

The prison’s website also tells us that “the zoo began as the brainchild of businessman William Lucey” and that “RainForest is proud to be affiliated with several trade organizations including the Zoo and Aquarium Buyers Group … and the ZAA (Zoological Association of America),” whose website identifies Lucey as a director.

According to its website, “the goals of ZAG are to increase and improve communication between buyers, and to raise awareness and professionalism of the field within the zoo and aquarium industry.”

And according to language on its website, “the Zoological Association of America was formed in February 2005 to promote responsible ownership, management, conservation, and propagation of animals in both the private and public domains through professional standards in husbandry, animal care, safety and ethics.”

Lucey’s bio on the ZAA website reads, in part: “Bill has over 20 year’s (sic) retail experience in the big box home improvement industry at both the retail management level, as well as corporate headquarters. Areas of operational focus for Bill include innovative retail merchandising in the zoological arena with an eye towards combining his skills at mass merchandising with the boutique look and feel of the historical zoo gift shop.”

Needless to say, the imprisoned snakes deserve better and should not have been kidnapped from their natural habitats in the first place.

It’s quite possible that we’ll read someday of Coots’ untimely death – that he was spewing his ridiculous gibberish when one of his reptilian slaves decided he’d had enough of life as a biblical prop. (Hopefully, the execution will be captured on high-definition video.)

If Coots and his dim-witted ilk want to rant like methamphetamine-addicted lunatics in some unintelligible patois while acting out their favorite fairy tales, they should go right ahead. What they shouldn’t do is forcibly cast other species in their childish dramatizations.

At some point, a patient social anthropologist needs to help these unsophisticated hillbillies understand that snakes don’t believe in magic any more than I do. Until that happens, I’m willing to make the following deal: If the above-mentioned Sevierville, Tennessee-based wildlife prison will permit a compassionate herpetologist to oversee the snakes’ liberation, and if Coots will stop enslaving other species for his silly faith-based productions, I’ll encourage my readers to send Coots fake, rubber snakes purchased through (obviously) fakerubbersnakes.com.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Guarantee Hoosiers “Right to Hunt”

Illustration by Awanda 737

Illustration by Awanda 737

On February 11, the Indiana Senate voted 38-10 in favor of a constitutional amendment that would guarantee residents the “right to hunt and fish.” A joint resolution (SJR 7) authored by Indiana state Sen. Brent Steele “provides that the people have a right to hunt, fish, harvest game, or engage in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products … (and) that hunting and fishing are the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.”

If approved by Indiana’s House of Representatives, the proposed constitutional amendment would be put to the state’s voters during the 2014 elections. Similar ballot measures, about which I wrote in my November 6, 2012, commentary, were approved during the 2012 elections by voters in Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

The Post-Tribune reported that “Steele worries the ability to hunt, fish and raise animals on farms is under threat from creeping influence of animal rights organizations” and quoted Steele as saying, “fishing, hunting and farming are parts of our heritage in Indiana, and all are under attack.”

An Associated Press report published in The Courier-Journal indicated that state “Sen. Greg Taylor … voted against the proposed amendment, saying it was unnecessary because hunting and farming are already protected by state law and that no one is trying to change that.”

Taylor was quoted in the Associated Press report as saying, “I just wonder why we’re doing these things … There hasn’t been one state in the country to make it illegal to hunt and fish.”

Steele’s proposed constitutional amendment is little more than an attempt to plant yet another bloodstained flag in the primordial ooze that the drooling class calls home. Steele and his knuckle-dragging ilk have no interest in claiming a place on the moral high ground. Unfortunately, the bastards are just too shamelessly lazy to extricate themselves from the fetid muck.

Ultimately, what the Indiana Senate overwhelmingly approved was a pact to remain unevolved.

Mankind Deserves Karmic Retribution for Animal Testing During Space Race

NASA Photo

NASA Photo

According to NASA’s website, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 will cruise past our planet this afternoon at “a remarkably close distance, but the asteroid’s path is understood well enough that there is no chance of a collision with the Earth.”

That the asteroid is not expected to collide with our planet is something of a disappointment, since mankind deserves every bit of space-related karmic retribution the universe can muster.

The pain of that disappointment was somewhat mitigated earlier today by what astronomer Alan Fitzsimmons, of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queens University (Belfast), described to the BBC News as “a cosmic coincidence, although a spectacular one.”

A report in The New York Times explains that “bright objects, apparently debris from a meteor, streaked through the sky in western Siberia early Friday, accompanied by a thunderous shock wave that damaged buildings across a vast territory. Russia’s Interior Ministry said more than 1,000 people were injured, 200 of them children, mostly from shards of glass that shattered when the meteor entered the atmosphere.”

According to the BBC News report, “the Russian Academy of Sciences estimates that the meteor weighed about 10 tonnes and entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 km/h (33,000mph). It would have shattered about 30-50km (18-32 miles) above ground, with most of the meteor burning up.”

I’d like to think that the cosmic wake-up call was the universe’s attempt to add a measure of karma to the balance. With regard to asteroid 2012 DA14, I’m still hoping that NASA’s assurance that “there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth” is based on faulty calculations.

NASA’s website tells us that “if another asteroid of a size similar to that of 2012 DA14 (about 150 feet across) were to impact Earth, it would release approximately 2.5 megatons of energy in the atmosphere and would be expected to cause regional devastation.”

We could only be so lucky.

A blog post by University of British Columbia doctoral candidate Eric Michael Johnson on the Scientific American website provides a useful overview of an American Cold-War initiative called “Project Discoverer, a series of research space launches that were actually a front for covert espionage.”

In his piece, Johnson writes: “In all, 31 rhesus monkeys were involved with the program and trained in a series of psychomotor tests to be performed while in orbit. … All of the monkeys used in the program either died in subsequent experimental failures or were sent to various government labs for a range of biomedical testing. Their involvement, as it is with all of the animals sacrificed during the space race, remain (sic) a largely forgotten chapter in our history of scientific discovery.”

According to its website, “Virgin Galactic has been making it possible for aspiring astronauts to pay a deposit to reserve a place on SpaceShipTwo since 2005 and several hundred people from around the globe have now booked their place in space. … The starting price for flights is $200,000 with refundable deposits starting from $20,000.”

Even decades ago, plenty of Americans (and those from Russia and elsewhere) would have been willing to risk their lives for a chance to travel into space.

That our scientists and government officials didn’t offer such extravagant opportunities to interested humans – from the adventurous to the terminally ill – and chose instead to enslave another species betrays an arrogance that continues to metastasize.

For that reason, I’m doing the asteroid dance.

Festival Seeks Volunteers for Public Executions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHÂTEAU SCHADENFREUDE – February 14, 2013

Contact: Monty Gelstein
monty.gelstein@gmail.com

Festival Seeks Volunteers for Public Executions

Were you left hideously disfigured or disabled after being mauled by another species while hunting? Was your career as a matador cut short as a result of being beautifully gored by a prideful bull? Have these setbacks sapped your will to live? If so, we’d like to invite you to The Daily Maul’s inaugural Karmic Balance Festival, during which animal advocates from all over the world will gather at the opulent Château Schadenfreude, in the French Alps, to celebrate the measures of karma that were added to the balance over the past year.

The Daily Maul is looking for three uniquely qualified members of the drooling class who tortured and murdered countless nonhuman species before suffering the above-mentioned killing-spree-ending injuries.

The most qualified applicant will be served a vegan meal fit for a king before being placed in a cage, paraded around the Château Schadenfreude’s immaculately manicured grounds, and *butchered alive for the entertainment of schadenfreude-addicted festivalgoers.

“The butchering event was modeled after a savage custom in the village of Nem Thuong, Vietnam, during which a live pig is sacrificed in the same brutal manner,” Monty Gelstein, the festival’s events coordinator, said in an e-mail.

In that unconscionable tradition, as described in a February 2, 2012, article by Clare Richardson (now Reuters’ world editor) in The Huffington Post, “a live pig is shuttled around the village before being placed on the ground on its back. Assistants hold ropes attached to the pig’s legs, spreading the animal’s appendages apart to expose its belly. A man wielding a large blade then chops the pig in half, and the villagers rush to smear the blood on bank notes, hoping for good luck in the new year.”

To whet the appetites of schadenfreude-addicted festivalgoers, the other two members of the drooling class chosen to be publicly executed will endure the same barbaric treatment as the victims of Peruvian Yawar festivals, during which mouth-breathing revelers are entertained by a knuckle-dragging **Neanderthal who oversees the panicked suffering of two tortured creatures.

In a January 29, 2013, report, The Guardian’s Latin American correspondent, Jonathan Watts, explained that “the bindings for the condor are sewn into the hide of the bull. Agitated by the stitches in its back, the beat of wings above its head and the matador’s provocations in front of its eyes, the enraged bull storms around the ring with the condor lolling from side to side.”

Watts tells us in his article that “the bulls are often slaughtered” and that “there are no definitive figures on the mortality rate of condors at Yawar festivals, but environmentalists estimate 10% to 20% are killed during the fights, while others break or dislocate bones and are likely to struggle to survive after their release.”

In his e-mail, Gelstein said, “For the piggyback persecution, one subhuman will be stapled to the back of another, and the two of them will be tormented by a torch-wielding festivalgoer. … While both savages will likely survive the exhibition, they’ll be fed soon thereafter to festival-attending pigs.”

Members of the drooling class who are interested in being tortured and executed during the inaugural Karmic Balance Festival should submit their qualifications in the comments section of this commentary.

The inaugural Karmic Balance Festival is scheduled for June 26, 2013, at the Château Schadenfreude, directions to which will be sent, via e-mail, to The Daily Maul subscribers.

* Don Parnell will serve as butcher-in-chief at the inaugural Karmic Balance Festival.

** The first The Daily Maul subscriber to RSVP for the inaugural Karmic Balance Festival will serve as the torch-wielding Neanderthal during the piggyback persecution.

Use Eminent Domain to Take South Carolina Hunting Grounds

Robert Burton/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Robert Burton/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A sadistic lawmaker in South Carolina is doing all he can to make sure that his mouth-breathing constituents can kill anytime they feel the urge. Naturally, the bastard doesn’t have the stones to describe his bloodlust-full legislative efforts in that honest a way. Instead, he’s suggesting that property owners in his state have hitherto been unfairly restricted in terms of when they can sate their bloodthirst.

I’m referring here to South Carolina state Sen. George “Chip” Campsen III, who recently introduced an odious piece of legislation that’s reminiscent of Florida’s barbarous “Stand Your Ground” law.

According to a February 12 report by Allison Stice in The Island Packet (South Carolina), “the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee has forwarded a bill to the full Senate that would allow hunters who commit violations – such as shooting game out of season or at night – a way to claim self-defense or defense of another person, hunting dogs or house pets.”

The bill, S 223, complements (if that’s the right word) a heinous piece of legislation (S 165, which is being co-sponsored by Campsen) that would extend the season during which property owners could murder alligators.

As the South Carolina Radio Network’s Matt Long reported on January 16, “right now, landowners can apply for ‘tags’ to kill a certain amount of gators on their property from September 1 to October 15. A bill sponsored by Charleston Republican Chip Campsen would expand the season through May 31 on private property only. … Campsen … says the current season is too short and falls during a time when most land managers are busy with other things.”

As I pointed out in my November 6, 2012, commentary, “so-called ‘wildlife management’ is a rather uninspired euphemism for ‘sanctioned slaughter.’”

Long’s January 16 South Carolina Radio Network article tells us that “opponents of the new idea say some of those landowners want to change the law so they’ll have more time to sell safari-style alligator hunts to guests” and identifies Campsen as being “a property manager himself.”

What we’re talking about here are laws designed to satisfy the bloodthirst of the drooling class and put money in the pockets of those whose properties are home to their unfortunate victims.

If we can’t cure these murderous thugs of their savagery, perhaps we should try appealing to their unchecked greed by electing to the South Carolina General Assembly evolved legislators who are willing, in the interests of all their constituents, to take the privately owned killing fields by eminent domain.

At least in that scenario Campsen and his Neanderthal ilk would be forced to admit that the dominion they believe they’re entitled to hold over other species can’t be bought for fair-market value or any other price.