A year ago, a bullhook could not be used in Atlanta. A year ago, it was illegal in Atlanta to hit or jab an elephant with a bullhook.
I just want to say it again: a year ago, a bullhook could not be used in the City of Atlanta, Georgia, to “guide” elephants to stand on their heads, to step on a cutely painted stool, or even to support The Lovely Viola.
Now, due to a joint effort of the usual suspects – Ringling Brothers Circus, Feld Entertainment, Universoul Circus, Mayor Kasim Reed and the Public Safety City Council Committee, et al., circuses are on the verge of, once again, being able to bullhook elephants in Atlanta to their very little hearts’ delight.
Unless you do something about it. Like, now.
Here’s the City Council’s email address, if you’ve heard enough and want to start pounding your keyboard to tell the Atlanta City Council and Mayor Reed that we want our city to stand in a public policy that is based in more than a blood-soaked revenue stream: firstname.lastname@example.org.
But, lest you want more info, I’ll keep pounding mine. So to speak.
The Public Safety Committee of the Atlanta City Council met today to consider an ordinance in which the bullhook ban will be removed. The use of a bullhook in Atlanta has been, since June 1, 2011, outlawed, when Fulton County passed the ban. Because of the contract between the City of Atlanta and Fulton County in which the County provided the City’s animal welfare services, the City was bound by the Fulton County ordinance.
As was Universoul Circus when they performed this past February. That little factoid couldn’t seem to quell the enthusiasm with which Mr. Benjamin Johnson, a representative of Universoul, proclaimed that Universoul used the bullhook during its February 2012 performance, despite that little detail of its apparently being illegal.
While Ringling had the savvy, and the deep pockets with which to hire legal counsel from Troutman Sanders to put a temporary restraining order on implementation of the lawfully-executed ordinance so that Ringling could bullhook its elephants as much as it felt it needed to, Universoul must not have caught that little legal technicality. Or perhaps they felt they had cover under the TRO.
But this isn’t meant to focus on Universoul. I only mean to point out that the deep pockets of Ringling are here to preserve its right to bullhook. No surprise there. Most of the proponents of the bullhook, no, wait, ALL of the proponents of the bullhook who spoke at the microphone were from out of town. The Atlanta residents who spoke were all, to a person, opposed. The Public Works Committee doesn’t seem to have noticed that. Well, except for C.T. Martin and Joyce Sheperd, who voted against the current draft of the ordinance.
Time out to let you watch some video by PETA of how the bullhook is wielded against elephants by Ringling.
So, I’ve finished pounding mine, and would like very much for you to Tweet (using the hashtag #bullhook would be good), share on Facebook, or write an email to the Atlanta City Council to urge the City to add the words “use a bullhook” to proposed City Ordinance Section 18-123(a). A good place might be after the words “cruelly treat” and before “maim”. Or maybe before “bruise.” Putting a specific reference to bullhooking is just clearer that way. Even though we know that the elephants are, in fact, bruised by use of the bullhook. Otherwise, why use a bullhook. The sole intention of a bullhook is to inflict pain.
No, that’s wrong. There are two intentions.
The first intention is to inflict pain. The second is to instill a fear of imminent pain. That’s how this “guiding” works. The bruising is secondary to the pain and the fear of pain.
Go on. Write your email. If you’re feeling chatty, call Mayor Reed at (404) 330-6100. Tell him to put Atlanta on the map for a policy based in a clear statement of ethics. While bruising is good to prohibit, saying the City is against bruising, but won’t specifically call out the bullhook, is hypocrisy at its finest.
You can’t bullhook a hooker. Or something like that.