New exhibit at MMoCA explores human and animal connections

ONE MUST KNOW THE ANIMALS

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St.

Runs through Sunday, August, 19; open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, noon-5 p.m., Fridays noon-8 p.m., Saturdays

10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Gallery talk with curator Richard Axsom Thursday, June 14, 12:30-1 p.m.; talk with Axsom and international animal expert Patricia McConnell Thursday, June 21, 12:30-1:15 p.m.

FREE

After a long day, that furry, four-legged friend that offers unconditional love can be a welcome sight.

“Part of their charm is (pets) have no sense of the past. They have no sense of time,” said Madison Museum of Contemporary Art curator Richard Axsom, who owns four dogs and four cats. “They remember who you are, but essentially a dog is in the eternal present. When you come home and you see your animal, they don’t care about a bad day at work, they don’t care about your exam the next day, they just love you.”

That role of best friend is just one facet of the connection between humans and animals explored in MMoCA’s new exhibit, “one must know the animals,” which runs through Sunday, Aug. 19. Animals can be predators and prey, spectacles or sources of humor.

Read more:

New exhibit at MMoCA explores human and animal connections : 77-square.

How Did Your Supervisor Vote?

Below is a list of the voting breakdown on the amendment to ban elephant acts from Dane County. Please take the time to thank the Supervisors who helped to pass this groundbreaking measure!

Scott McDonell, District 1
mcdonell@countyofdane.com
In Support

Heidi Wegleitner, District 2
wegleitner.heidi@countyofdane.com
In Support

Nick Zweifel, District 3
zweifel.nick@countyofdane.com
Abstained

Kyle Richmond, District 4
richmond.kyle@countyofdane.com
In Support

Leland Pan, District 5
pan.leland@countyofdane.com
In Support

John Hendrick, District 6
hendrick@countyofdane.com
In Support

Matt Veldran, District 7
veldran@countyofdane.com
In Support

Carousel Andrea Bayrd, District 8
bayrd@countyofdane.com
In Support

Dianne Hesselbein, District 9
hesselbein@countyofdane.com
In Support

Jeremy Levin, District 10
levin.jeremy@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Al Matano, District 11
matano@countyofdane.com
In Support

Paul Rusk, District 12
rusk@countyofdane.com
In Support

Chuck Erickson, District 13
erickson.chuck@countyofdane.com
In Support

Melanie Hampton, District 14
hampton.melanie@countyofdane.com
Absent

Ronn Ferrell, District 15
ronnferrell15@charter.net
Opposed

Dave de Felice, District 16
defelice@countyofdane.com
In Support

Jeff Pertl, District 17
pertl.jeff@countyofdane.com
In Support

Melissa Agard Sargent, District 18
sargent@countyofdane.com
In Support

Bill Clausius, District 19
clausius@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Dennis O’Loughlin, District 20
Oloughlin@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Dave Wiganowsky, District 21
wiganowsky@countyofdane.com
Absent

Maureen McCarville, District 22
mccarville.maureen@countyofdane.com
In Support

Shelia Stubbs, District 23
stubbs@countyofdane.com
In Support

Robin Schmidt, District 24
schmidt.robin@countyofdane.com
In Support

Tim Kiefer, District 25
kiefer.timothy@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Sharon Corrigan, District 26
corrigan@countyofdane.com
In Support

Dorothy Krause, District 27
krause.dorothy@countyofdane.com
In Support

Kurt Schlicht, District 28
schlicht.kurt@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Dave Ripp, District 29
ripp.david@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Patrick Downing, District 30
downing@countyofdane.com
In Support

Jerome Bollig, District 31
bollig.jerry@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Erika Hotchkiss, District 32
hotchkiss.erika@countyofdane.com
In Support

Jenni Dye, District 33
dye.jennifer@countyofdane.com
Absent

Patrick Miles, District 34
miles@countyofdane.com
In Support

Carl Chenoweth, District 35
chenoweth.carl@countyofdane.com
In Support

Cynda Solberg, District 36
solberg@countyofdane.com
Absent

Bob Salov, District 37
salov@countyofdane.com
Opposed

Dane County Board Votes to Ban Elephant Acts

Last night, June 7, 2012, Dane County became the first Wisconsin community to ban the exhibition of elephants for amusement or entertainment. The County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance amendment banning such exhibitions by a vote of 23 to 9.

No new elephant acts shall be allowed at the county’s auditorium or exhibition center. Current county contracts with the Zor Shriners, who bring the George Carden circus to Madison every year, however, shall be honored until the final contract runs out in 2020.

Opposition for the ban, which came largely from circus supporters outside of Wisconsin, were greatly overshadowed by local public support.

Last night’s passage of this ban marks the end of an era which included many years of AFA-organized public protests, educational leafleting, USDA complaints, and vigilant monitoring of elephants at the county’s Alliant Energy Center when the circus came to town. The legislative effort was initiated in February of 2011 when AFA representatives presented the case for an elephant ban to the general membership of Progressive Dane and received a unanimous vote in favor of an immediate ban on elephant performances.

“This is a step in the right direction – the direction of ending cruelty against elephants at Dane County facilities,” said Supervisor Al Matano, who introduced the amendment.

He also stated that the work does not end today. “Members of the Dane County Board have pledged to monitor compliance with the contracts, by attending the circuses to observe the conditions the elephants experience.”

AFA thanks everyone who took the time to come out and speak for the elephants and to all 23 Supervisors who voted in favor of the elephant ban. Eloquent oral testimony came from citizens of Dane County, members of the County Board, and members of Alliance for Animals.

AFA thanks everyone who took the time to come out and speak for the elephants and to all 23 Supervisors who voted in favor of the elephant ban. Eloquent oral testimony came from citizens of Dane County, members of the County Board, and members of Alliance for Animals.

We especially wish to thank Supervisor Al Matano for his courage in introducing the ban and for his steady efforts to see it passed. Many people worked toward this landmark change in county policy; we thank them all. The animals are fortunate to have them working on their behalf.

Ban elephant acts in Dane County. | One Shared Planet

Once again, the Dane County Board of Supervisors has a decision to make that requires empathy and courage. A ban on elephant acts at Dane County venues has gone through committee and been passed on to the full County Board for a vote on June 7th. Based on what we know about elephants and the treatment of them in circuses, banning elephants acts is obviously the right thing to do. At least one County Board committee has agreed.

An expected amendment to the ban would defer the ban until the current contract with the Zor Shrine Circus expires in 2020. The argument will be that Dane County should not break contracts, and that it may face lawsuits if it does.

The argument makes little sense to me. Imagine that you own a gun shop in Madison and that you have a long-term contract with a supplier of hand-guns. Imagine that Madison passes a law banning the sale of hand-guns. Do you continue to sell hand-guns in Madison because you do not want to break a contract and because you fear a lawsuit from your supplier? Obviously not.

Read the full article here:

Ban elephant acts in Dane County. | One Shared Planet.

Where is Zor Shrine leadership?

On Thursday the Dane County Board will address a problem that the Zor Shriners should have handled long ago — the abuse of elephants in their Madison circuses.

In the wild and in sanctuaries, elephants roam up to 50 miles a day, form close-knit social bonds, love their young, grieve their dead.

But circus elephants are chained in place for much of their lives, hauled in truck trailers across the country. Their chained, isolated confinement is punctuated only by the bright lights, amplified hoopla, and bullhook jabs of the circus ring.

Zor leadership claims elephants don’t mind chains, truck trailers, and bullhooks. Their spokesman suggested on Ch. 3 (WISC-TV) news last December that there’s no way to mistreat an elephant, other than to starve it to death (http://tinyurl.com/86arhrt).

Regarding the use of circus profit for charitable purposes, tickets to the Zor Shrine circus state “proceeds benefit Shrine Center. Payments are not deductible as charitable contributions.”

Other county fraternal groups do not rely on animal cruelty to fund their operations. Zor leadership could promote and bring a circus here without elephants, offering family entertainment that’s truly wholesome. Instead, it’s needlessly mistreating elephants, misusing the time of supervisors and dishonoring the Shriners’ heritage of compassionate public service.

— Charles Talbert, Monona

Read more: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/mailbag/article_b1029c30-af3d-11e1-b88c-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz1x16l3aVD

Where is Zor Shrine leadership?.

Ellen Kanner: Meatless Monday: Hearts, Minds And James McWilliams

Nice mention of Madison Wisconsin’s very own Mad City Vegan Fest!

McWilliams, who speaks this Saturday at Mad City Vegan Festin Madison, WI, takes a two-pronged approach to his advocacy — sociological and intellectual. It’s embodied in his two books in progress, one, a study of factory farming in America and the other addressing our “unthinking decision to eat animals.” McWilliams wants you to think. He likens our treatment of animals — 10 billion raised in factory farming conditions and killed annually for food — historically akin to our acceptance of slavery. “Two hundred years from now, we’re going to look back at this time with absolute horror,” he says.

Ellen Kanner: Meatless Monday: Hearts, Minds And James McWilliams.

URGENT: Wisconsin Wolf Hunting/Trapping Plan Needs Your Voice

Photo by Deanna Deppen and Mike Melin

In the absence of a legal challenge and court ordered injunction, the Wisconsin Wolf Hunting/Trapping season will begin on 10/15/2012 and continue through the month of February – which includes wolf breeding season. Most aspects of this wolf hunt season are being dictated by legislation and not by science; proposed measures, such as hunting with dogs and night hunting, are considered particularly inhumane, as well. Wisconsin’s DNR does have the authority to create the rules and regulations for the hunt and the agency is seeking comments. Read full article here:

URGENT: Wisconsin Wolf Hunting/Trapping Plan Needs Your Voice.