UPDATE: Decision on Elephants Postponed

Channel 15 news in Madison spoke with circus promoter Bob Sands. Watch full video here:

“We will have a Shrine Circus and it will be in Dane County whether we have to put a tent out at the Shrine Center or find somewhere else to put it,” said Bob Sands, the promotional director for Zor Shrine, shortly before the committee meeting Tuesday evening. “This proposal says on county owned facilities. We will have a Shrine Circus and we will have elephants.”

via UPDATE: Decision on Elephants Postponed.

Baby Elephants Tied Up and Electro-Shocked by Trainers

At last night’s Public Works and Transportation meeting circus promoter Bob Sands was quoted as saying,

“I don’t know how you mistreat an elephant other than starve them to death, and they’re certainly not going to do that.”

We realize these photos are not from the George Carden circus, with whom the Shriners contract, but these pictures are typical examples of how elephants are broken in order for them to be ready to face the public.

Sands also said that George Carden told him he treats his elephants better than he treats family members. Here you can see Carden’s record. See photos and read entire article here:

Ringling's Baby Elephants Tied Up and Electro-Shocked by Trainers | RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.

County proposal would ban elephant performances

The Dane County Board’s public works and transportation committee will consider a ban on performing elephants at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Mendota Room 1 of Exhibition Hall, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way.

It is important for you to attend tonight’s meeting and sign “in favor” of the ban to put an end to this cruel and archaic form of “entertainment.”

Eight-thousand-pound elephants balancing on tiny balls or circling trunk-to-tail under the big top could become a thing of the past in Madison.

A proposal to ban performing elephants at the Alliant Energy Center — on the grounds the practice is cruel and archaic — is set for a Dane County Board committee vote Tuesday night.

If approved by the full board in January, the measure could mean the end of the long-running Zor Shrine Circus, which has included elephant performances every February at the Dane County Coliseum.

County Board Chairman Scott McDonell noted the county has a multi-year contract with the Zor Shriners.

Alliant Energy Center Executive Director Bill DiCarlo said Monday he didn’t know how the county would get out of those obligations, which run through 2020, if the measure were approved. Circus operators and the Zor Shriners didn’t return repeated calls for comment. Read entire article here:

via County proposal would ban elephant performances.

Whoopie cookies and more among Madison’s vegan sweets – Isthmus | The Daily Page

Thank you Cheryl Breuer for this informative and mouth watering article on Madison’s vegan goodies.

When vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli won Cupcake Wars on Food Network last year, I did a fist pump of victory for fellow vegans everywhere. The judges marveled at Coscarelli’s moist, delicious creations baked without eggs or butter and frosted without cream cheese, validating on national television what many vegans already know. Done well, vegan cakes, pies and desserts are every bit as complex and flavorful as their non-vegan counterparts.

Fortunately for Isthmus readers with a vegan sweet tooth, there are a growing number of choices available in the Madison area. Here are some of my favorites. Read the entire article here:

Whoopie cookies and more among Madison's vegan sweets – Isthmus | The Daily Page.

Cagebreak! Rats Will Work To Free A Trapped Pal : NPR

To quote our friend Jeremy Beckham,

New groundbreaking experiment simultaneously demonstrates that rats have the capacity for empathy and humans do not.” Well said.

by Nell Greenfieldboyce

Calling someone a “rat” is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap.

Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there’s a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.

“To me that’s absolutely stunning,” says neurobiologist Peggy Mason of the University of Chicago. “The fact that the rat does that is really amazing.”

Read full story/see video here:

Cagebreak! Rats Will Work To Free A Trapped Pal : NPR.

USDA Fines Ringling Circus Owner $270,000 Over Animal Treatment

By Chase Purdy
Published: Monday, November 28, 2011 at 6:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 28, 2011 at 6:15 p.m.

LAKELAND | The USDA on Monday announced a $270,000 fine against the company that owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and an elephant breeding facility in Polk County over its treatment and housing of animals.

The United States Department of Agriculture reached an agreement with Feld Entertainment Inc. in which the company would be penalized for violating portions of the Animal Welfare Act between June 2007 and August 2011.

The citations included ones for animal mistreatment and facility problems. The USDA reported only facility problems at the Polk City site, not animal mistreatment. Read full article here:

USDA Fines Ringling Circus Owner $270,000 Over Animal Treatment | TheLedger.com.