When I first saw this event, all I could think about was the fact that I wanted to go see it! I had seen a video of actual cats plinking guitar strings and banging on drums and keyboards, but after realizing that these are not just some local pets who have been trained, they are not only required to dress up and perform, but they must travel in order to do it. I was thinking that makes them a Circus. Maybe this example is pushing the definition a bit though. What do you think? It looks like what these kitties are put through (being trained to do tricks for treats – maybe it’s not that much different in their case than what anyone would with their pet). Making them travel? I don’t think that’s a good idea for a bunch of cats, but I guess it could be worse.
I am (obviously) in favor of keeping certain animals as pets (a.k.a. family members, a.k.a fur people) but am against using animals purely as workers or entertainers. Something that falls under the both categories is dog sledding. Now, I understand that, under primitive conditions, certain animals are utilized as the only possibly form of transportation, where transportation of a certain speed is required for survival. This might take the form of horses, camels, dogs...
Here is the horrible story of the slaughter of 100 sled dogs (out of 300). After the BC Olympics, tourism dropped and the dogs were no longer needed so they were sentenced to be shot and throats slashed. Many of them reportedly did not die quickly enough to be called humane, and that is the only part of this incident that broke the rules. It's not even clear that charges will be brought.
This is enough to shock just about anybody, but we don't give that much thought to racing horses or dogs, performing circus animals, or even those poor urban carriage horses who clip-clop you up and down the streets among the downtown traffic jam - endlessly. I always think they must be wondering when in hell they applied for that job.
Seems like the Olympics brings animal death as a matter of course, such as in China when they rounded up a half million cats (many of whom were pets) under the guise of a SARS scare but in reality a way to *clean* the streets for Olympic visitors, then they were beaten to death or sent to death cages out of town. Similarly, in Greece 2004, there was suspected activity of this kind to clean the streets of strays, although not in the same staggering volume.
Humans have it in their heads that we are in charge of the earth and all the things that live on it (and more)! The principle of Dominion is written in the Bible, but even if it weren't, it would still be accepted by most of mankind. That's what I think. People write down what they believe in their sacred books, and blame the writings on a god.
Getting back to the Acro-Cats/Rock-Cats... they are starting to seem not so bad. Apparently they are rescue kitties, which gets a gold star, and if they are well cared for, taken to the vet regularly, given enough days off, not overly stressed, never hurt, and really, really loved... I am OK with it. It has to be done for love, not just for money... or power.