The social action site www.change.org has been a very strong supporter in the efforts to give Tony the home and life he deserves at an accredited big cat sanctuary.
Thanks to Stephanie Feldstein for including Tony in her post “Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Animal Activists of the Year” Tony is one of the three favorite causes chosen by Stephanie in 2010.
Please add your comments to the post at: http://ow.ly/3wL7b
“Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Animal Activists of the Year”
by Stephanie Feldstein December 31, 2010
Here’s what I love about animal activists: Even in the face of powerful lobbyists determined to keep the status quo (or worse), and the cultural hurdles of people seeing animals as nothing more than property, they do what it takes to give voice to the voiceless.
There are many amazing campaigns happening on behalf of other species, but here are three of my favorites from the past year:
Free Tony the Tiger: Tony lives a miserable life as the sideshow attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Louisiana. Somehow, the truck stop owner keeps getting exemption after exemption to keep Tony locked up. This year, advocates from around the country banded together to help Tony — many of them hadn’t previously been activists, but they just couldn’t stand to see a tiger live this way.
Through sheer determination to get his story out there, Tony’s plight became known around the country. Free Tony the Tiger now has over 13,000 fans on Facebook. Even more have spoken up for him, signing petitions on his behalf. The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a legal petition with the state. The activists have teamed up with Big Cat Rescue, lining up a new home for the day when Tony is freed.
Sadly, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries once again granted a permit to the truck stop earlier this month. But Tony’s advocates aren’t done roaring for him, and the campaign will continue until Tony the Tiger gets out of his box.
Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup: It started with a former General Motors employee who was sick of seeing puppy-mill-supporting pet shops popping up all around her. So, Pam Sordyl started a group to raise awareness about puppy mills and steer customers toward adoption. In the past two years, Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup has closed five puppy-peddling pet stores.
Now there’s only one Petland left in Michigan. And Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup has spent every weekend this holiday season, and most weekdays, outside that Petland (as well as a few other targeted pet shops), educating potential puppy buyers and pressuring store owners to switch from puppy mills to pet adoptions. That’s not just a serious time commitment — this is Michigan, and right now, it’s 29 degrees outside with snow on the ground.
This small, but dedicated pack of volunteers has become a force in the movement; advocates from other states look to them when organizing their own pet store demonstrations. The dogs are lucky to have these guys in their corner.
Anonymous for Animal Rights: This brilliant Israeli group took the undercover investigation model one step further. Instead of sending someone into a factory farm for a few weeks or months to capture video evidence, they installed a web camera at a battery cage egg production facility.
This campaign comes as Israel is developing a plan to revamp the infrastructure of their egg production industry. Anonymous for Animal Rights is trying to convince the country to go cage-free.
The footage is unedited and unending. The constant live-streamed cruelty is undeniable, and since these conditions are so prevalent in the industry (a fact which Big Ag tries to deny by claiming every undercover video is just an anomaly), the factory farmers still can’t find the camera.
These three campaigns, and the dedicated activists who make them happen, embody the compassion, commitment and creativity that always has, and always will, help our Davids beat the Goliaths intent on mistreating animals. And they’re living proof that anyone can make a difference.
Which campaigns this year have inspired you the most? Who would you name Activist of the Year?
Other Posts About Tony on www.change.org :
A Chance to Free the Real Tony the Tiger From His Box
by Stephanie Feldstein November 01, 2010
Animal Legal Defense Fund Files for Tony the Tiger’s Freedom
by Stephanie Feldstein November 23, 2010
Tigers Don’t Belong at Truck Stops
by Martin Matheny June 03, 2010