Animal cruelty is more than a ‘fluff piece’

In response to “Between the Lines: Animal rights is the elephant in the room for the Big E,” published Sept. 26 – Oct. 2, 2019.

I read your editorial on Beulah’s death at the Big E and was so touched by your thoughtful words. I live in New Jersey and became aware of the animal exhibition industry and the Big E from an old friend who, unfortunately, is a part of this exploitative business. It’s time for the media to start treating these kinds of horrible stories as more than “fluff” pieces and fillers, and start treating them as the important news stories that they are. If the truth about the animal “educational” exhibition business was uncovered, it might put an end to this deceptive, dishonest hustle. I hope your editorial is the beginning.

Some of these businesses present themselves as “rescuing” their animals; none of that is true. One or two have formed nonprofits to “care” for the animals as an additional source of income, but continue to take them on the fair circuit under their for-profit, CASH business names. These people are carnival hustlers of the worst kind. When someone plays a game of chance at a fair, most people know there’s a level of dishonesty that goes on and that the odds are in favor of the vendor. People must be made aware that there is an even greater level of dishonesty perpetrated by the businesses that exhibit animals at these fairs. Their level of deceit is of the worst kind; they don’t play fair either. They use living, breathing animals that do not belong in trailers in small pens and cages, and walking on hot concrete for weeks on end to work their scams on the fairgoer, pulling at people’s heartstrings, making people think that the price of admission is “going to a good cause.” And if the plight of these animals isn’t enough to move people and lawmakers to change things, how about this: They not only cheat these animals out of a natural life, they cheat the public twice: first by taking money from them for the price of admission, and then cheating the state and federal tax agencies by underreporting their income from their cash businesses. We all lose.

There is a big and important story here, and people like me, and small grass roots animal activist groups are not enough; the news media has to tell the story for all the animals like Beulah, who have died while earning a living for their owners. Each and every one of these unscrupulous people has something to hide. There’s not an honest one in the bunch. Perhaps poor Beulah’s death can be the impetus for change. Please, please do what the media is supposed to do, uncover and expose the truth and report it to the world.

— Margaret Perricelli, Paterson, N.J.

How big does an animal have to be before people notice animal cruelty? Answer: at least 5 tons.

I have attended various local fairs over the years, but I never do anymore. The reason is because of the frog jumping contests.

For these contests, parents arrive with their children and a bucket in tow. Invariably a number of contestants open their buckets and are dismayed that the frog has died apparently from asphyxiation.

I have also never encountered any flyers for these fairs that state they require a ventilated carrier for the amphibian in the frog jumping contest, although they have rigid requirements for other contests.

News flash: frogs are living, breathing entities just like any other animal.

Even if no one cares about the poor frog, at least care about the children who end up bawling their eyes out because things went haywire.

— Caroline Kuzia, Hardwick

Thanks for writing about elephants at The Big E. I have never gone to that event so was unaware of this cruelty so close to home. I fully agree it must end.

— Chas Stevenson, email

More public bathrooms, please!

In response to “Clueless Parent: My son is ready for potty training. I may not be,” published Sept. 26 – Oct. 2.

We really need more accessible public restrooms in general! I definitely found this to be true as being a pregnant lady and a parent. That and public water fountains. We shouldn’t have to rely on private businesses to pee while out in public.

— Michelle Vigeant, Facebook comment