Day: January 6, 2022

Tennessee in 1916- the execution of Mary, the elephant

Today we commemorate the grizzly death of Mary the elephant.
Mary was a member of Sparks Bro. Circus, paying a visit to East Tennessee in 1916, when she attacked and killed her handler.

It was September 13, 1916, when the world that existed in tiny little Erwin, Tenn., changed forever.
It was a peaceful time on Main Street in Erwin.
The world was at war, but America wasn’t.

People were watching silent films, and King Lear was one of the most popular films of the year. Talking pictures were almost a decade away, and most people were seeking entertainment where they could find it.
It was a good time for the circus to come to town.

The Sparks Brothers Circus came to the area and brought with it all the wonders of any circus. This included entertaining sea lions, clowns, a man who walked on his head and of course, elephants.

These five-ton creatures were the stars of the circus, and Sparks Brothers was proud to have five of them.
Mary was the star among stars as she was billed to be the largest land animal in the world.
Sparks Brothers even said that she was larger by two inches than Jumbo, a giant elephant owned by P.T. Barnum and his circus.

To drum up business, Sparks Brothers billed Mary as one of the most dangerous animals in the world, having killed from two to 20 men.

No doubt this part of the story is pure myth, and it is highly doubtful that Mary had ever killed anyone before.
On September 11, 1916, Sparks Brothers made it to Kingsport, Tenn., and set up camp.
Drifter Red Eldridge was traveling with them and worked as a janitor and an elephant handler.

He had no formal training as an elephant handler and had just gotten this job to pass the time and make a few dollars before he hopped on a train and moved on to the next town on the line.

The story goes that Eldridge was told to take all five of the elephants to a large ditch that ran down the town to let them splash in the water.

On the way back, Eldridge drove her by using a stick.

Here is where the story takes on some controversy.

One version has Mary reaching over for a watermelon rind, and Eldridge jerked her chain to make her keep moving. It is said Mary picked Eldridge up with her trunk and threw him against a drink stand.
She then walked over to the already lifeless body and stepped on his head, mashing the poor man’s head flat.
Another version has Mary throwing Eldridge 10 feet in the air, slamming him to the ground, running her tusks through him and then stepping on his head.
Still another version says she swiped her tail at Eldridge. Her tail struck him in his head killing him instantly.

The final version says she had two abscessed teeth and was in extreme pain. When Eldridge pulled on her chain or struck her with the stick, she got mad and went for Eldridge, eventually killing him.

Regardless of the reason, Mary had killed a man, and she was going to have to pay a price.
As valuable as Mary was, she had to go.

The problem was how do they execute her?
No one had a gun large enough to execute her quickly and humanely. A local blacksmith shot her with his 32-20 rifle, and it had little effect. A local sheriff shot her with his .45 handgun and only “knocked chips out of her.”

They thought about electrocuting her, but that seemed too cruel.
Then someone had an idea that they would hang her. The result was one of most famous events in east Tennessee history and an event that put one quiet little community on the map.

Mary didn’t perform for the matinee performance the day she died. She was chained outside the circus tent, and folks say she spent the entire performance time swaying nervously.

The crowd’s dissatisfaction with her absence was mollified by the announcement that Mary would be hung in the Clinchfield Railyards later in the afternoon — with no additional charge for admission.

Despite the close emotional bond, the two had shared for years, Sparks severed the relationship in a way that would at least save his business’ life: he staged a public execution.

More than 2,500 people gathered to watch Mary swing near the turn-table and powerhouse on that drizzly afternoon; perhaps the number of eyewitnesses, as well as the unforgettable, sad spectacle of the event, explains the consensus on this part of the story.

The next day, Sparks World Famous Shows entered the town of Erwin, ready to hang their star pupil from a 100-ton crane located on the railroad tracks.

Followed by four other elephants, walking trunk-to-tail as they did in countless shows, Mary entered the “gallows,” where circus employees fitted a chain around her neck.

The chain, which was attached to a crane, would hoist her into the air.

As with the bullets, the first chain failed to work on Mary. After lifting her five feet, the chain snapped, sending the elephant falling to the ground and breaking her hip in the process.

Circus employees had the time getting the chain around her neck. Then they hooked the boom to the neck chain, and when they began to lift her up, one could hear the bones and ligaments cracking in her foot.

They lifted her once more, where she shrieked and thrashed about until going limp.. this way they did that.

A remaining elephant who had worked with Mary for years escaped his pen later that night, running toward the railway yard where Mary took her last, pained breaths.

Perhaps it is mimicking the behavior of wild elephants back bone of fallen members of the family for many years. Or maybe it was just looking for Mary.

This elephant, too, was captured and returned to the circus which killed his companion.

We’re not blaming Mary for what happened.
We blame those who have put her against their will in the circus for years and made her docile through torture.
It’s their fault.

My best regards to all, Venus

USA: The Upcoming Trial Of Matt Exposing Pig Farming Animal Cruelty Could Be The National Opportunity To Challenge The Constitutionality Of Ag-Gag Laws.

USA: Pigs To The Slaughter – What Man Will Do To Intelligent, Sentient Beings. – World Animals Voice

“I’m heading to Iowa later this week to visit my family for possibly the last time in a while. Later this month, I start a felony trial where I’m facing up to 8 years in prison for investigating Iowa’s largest “pork” producer and rescuing a sick piglet named Gilly.

It happened in the spring of last year amid widespread COVID outbreaks at slaughterhouses nationwide. An employee whistleblower tipped us off about Iowa Select Farms — unable to send pigs to slaughter — using a gruesome mass kill method called “ventilation shutdown” or VSD. Thousands of pigs were loaded into a shed, the vents were sealed off, and heat and steam were pumped inside to kill them in an agonizing, slow death. With a team of investigators, I helped capture the horrific process on camera and sent it to the media.

The exposé garnered support from millions of people, but the authorities in Iowa decided to prosecute me instead of the animal-abusing company. And Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds stood by the factory farms too. Less than 2 weeks after the investigation was publicized, Governor Reynolds signed Iowa’s third ag-gag law, creating a new crime called “food operation trespass” which I was later charged under.

But you know what? I consider it a blessing in disguise.

My trial now has the opportunity to challenge the constitutionality of ag-gag laws and establish a precedent for a new wave of anti-ag-gag legislation.

Imagine if instead of covering up animal cruelty, our laws gave ordinary people the right to see inside these places, and even the right to rescue sick and suffering animals. That’s what is at stake in this trial.

And that’s why I want to ask you…

Will you join me in Iowa for this groundbreaking trial?

Sign up here to register for court support during my trial and get important updates about the event.
Whether you’re supporting in person or online, stay tuned for more updates and ways you can help.

Thank you for your support.


Further links to read on this case:

After Pork Giant’s Cruel Killings Exposed, FBI Pursued Critics (

Breaking: Gruesome Footage Shows Pigs Roasted Alive At Iowa’s Leading Pork Supplier Amid Coronavirus Crisis (

(9) Matt Johnson (@DxE_Matt) / Twitter

(20+) Watch | Facebook

Matt Johnson & DxE Protest Smithfield Foods Planning Commission Meeting – Sh*tt*ist Company Awards – YouTube

Direct Action Everywhere – Wikipedia

Animal Rights Extremists Take Their Cause to the Courtroom | Pork Business

Pigs to the Slaughter – Tablet Magazine

USA: DxE investigator Matt Johnson was just arrested in Iowa. He’s in jail right now charged with three felonies for documenting factory farms roasting pigs alive. – World Animals Voice

USA: Full Solidarity From Us (at WAV) To Matt – Re Iowa Factory Farms Roasting Pigs Alive. – World Animals Voice

USA: After pork giant was exposed for cruel killings, the FBI pursued its critics. – World Animals Voice

Regards Mark

Finland proceeds with plans to kill wolves.

Photo – Act

6 January 2022


In December, the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced a proposal to kill 20 wolves from 4 packs outside the reindeer herding area this winter, with the supposed purpose of “regulating the growth of the wolf population, preventing damage and promoting the acceptability of the wolf”.

This proposal goes against Finland’s legal obligation to prohibit the deliberate killing of wolves as specimens of a strictly protected species listed under the Annex IV(a) of the Habitats Directive.

Members of the European Parliament from the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals recently sent a letter to Minister Jari Leppä, calling for withdrawal of the Ministry’s proposal.


Letter from the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals RE: Call to withdraw the proposal to kill twenty wolves698.84 KB

Our member organisation Luonto-Liiton Susiryhmä also took action to stand against the plans, highlighting the fragility of Finland’s endangered wolf population, and the public’s support for the protection of wolves.

Despite these efforts, the Finnish Ministry has not withdrawn the plans.

The actions from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry under Minister Jari Leppä are promoting wolf persecution and conflict. The decision from the Ministry to kill 20 wolves next winter goes against EU legislation which Finland has the legal obligation to comply with. The wolf is a highly endangered and strictly protected species in Finland and according to the rulings of the CJEU, this protection applies not only in its natural habitat but also near human settlements. In this time of crisis for nature, Finland should be a role model for protecting it´s endangered species according to the law instead of focusing on finding the legal “loopholes” to make it easier to kill these animals. Quota-based wolf hunting is not a measure that promotes tolerance or coexistence with wolves, but quite the opposite. Preventing conflicts with large carnivores is possible – as shown in many European countries with much bigger wolf populations – by the effective use of preventive measures. Killing a wolf should always be an exceptional and last resort, used when no other option exists and after all other alternative means have been exhausted.

Francisco Sánchez Molina, Luonto-Liiton Susiryhmä

Eurogroup for Animals, along with Luonto-Liiton Susiryhmä, strongly condemns this action and encourages humane alternatives to be employed in order to encourage successful coexistence with large carnivores, and to protect this highly endangered species. 

Read more at source

Luonto-Liiton lausunto maa- ja metsätalousministeriön luonnokseen koskien suden…

Regards Mark

EU: The new Common Agricultural Policy: One small step for agriculture policy, one giant leap for animal welfare.

WAV Comment: Phil Hogan is Irish; and has, although not legally permitted in his position as EU Commissioner, been a very vocal supporter of the Irish agriculture industry. This should not be permitted by the EU of ‘their’ Commissioners; but hey, we all know the EU and how it operates. Phil Hogan has been a big voice for Irish Agriculture and probably not much else – full stop !

5 January 2022

On 2 December, the Slovenian Minister of Infrastructure and the President of the European Parliament formally signed into law three new regulations that, taken together, form the basis of the new Common Agricultural Policy for 2023 — 2027 (and possibly beyond).

This new CAP has been derided, disparaged and denigrated by environmental groups and agricultural producers alike, and not without good cause from the former. At a time when Europe aspires to lead the world in a green revolution, we have a policy that, whilst a big improvement on the current CAP, still fails to live up to the lofty ambition of the von der Leyen Commission’s Green Deal.

In a large part, this can be blamed on the fact that the proposals were not born of the current Commission at all, but were legacies of the Juncker Commission, and in particular of an Agriculture Commissioner (Phil Hogan) who was more interested in agricultural orthodoxy than environmental originality. Blame should also be levelled at the doors of Member States. In order for any legislative package to be adopted, it needed support from a minimum of 15 countries, representing 65% of the Union’s total population. Politics is still, ultimately, the art of the possible, and sometimes there is no point in reaching for the stars when you can only get as far as the moon.

EU Ag Commissioner Phil Hogan – A Promotional Voice for Irish Agriculture.

And so to the detail. Ultimately we needed a CAP that rewards a new set of environmental and animal welfare provisions: cleaner water, better soil quality, higher biodiversity, better grazing and housing standards. Farmers are custodians of our landscape; more of them need to be encouraged to follow best practice and behave as such. We needed a shift to rewarding the outcome, not the activity. Did we get this?

Yes, and no. Voluntary coupled support, which allows Member States to target ‘aid’ to a specific agricultural sector, survives. Although capped at 13% of the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (otherwise known as the “first pillar”) — i.e. those funds that go straight to farms to support their incomes — this remains to be a remnant of the original CAP that is neither just nor justifiable. The use of voluntary coupled support in 2018, for instance, totalled €3.99 billion, of which 40% went to support beef production and a further 21% to support milk production. Furthermore, new “good agricultural and environmental conditions” (known as GAECs) — standards for environmental protection which directly impact on habitat protection — were watered down by Member States and MEPs.

However, it’s also not all bad. A full 25% of the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund will, for the first time, be composed of new incentives for farmers, obliging them to deliver outcomes that go above and beyond minimum requirements. Crucially, thanks to our efforts and collaboration with both European Parliamentarians and Member State diplomats, these new ‘eco-schemes’ also include measures to drive improvements in animal welfare. On top of this, the wholly discretionary European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development — the so-called “pillar II” — also remains available to improve animal welfare.

We should not underestimate the impact that these eco-schemes can have for millions of animals. For the first time in the history of the CAP, animal welfare can now be incentivised through direct payments, providing farmers with a pot of money worth over €10 billion per annum. Eco-schemes, which ultimately must be used, have already been identified as a key mechanism to enable farmers, for instance, to transition to cage-free systems. Several Member States have already identified their use to support pasture-based grazing for their cattle herds.

Indeed, under the new CAP, it is now over to Member States to make the best use of this new funding, and to ensure that animal welfare is prioritised. However, governments can no longer point fingers at Brussels and complain about a lack of funding for higher animal welfare. The money is there. Now it must be used.

The new CAP, taken as a whole, is certainly not perfect. The challenges for the next reform will be to do away with coupled support entirely, to ensure eco-schemes form the backbone of the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, and to oblige all Member States to use some of the funds available to drive animal welfare forward.

However, this CAP still has the power to improve the lives of millions of animals across our European Union. It’s a big step in the right direction. We are not where we need to be yet, but we are, at least, on the right path. 

Regards Mark

Photo – Mark (WAV)

Dogs and cats instead of babies – Pope Francis criticizes childless couples

From the Vatican there is sharp criticism that many couples keep dogs and cats instead of children
“So many couples don’t have children because they don’t want one,” said Pope Francis.
– He criticized the fact that in many families pets would take the place of children.

At his first general audience in 2022, Pope Francis found clear words about the falling birth rate in Italy and general childlessness.
The decision to adopt is a commitment to the highest form of love, he said.

In his first general audience in 2022 on Boxing Day, the head of the Roman Catholic Church had already spoken of a “demographic winter” when the Italian birth rate, which had fallen again, was published.
According to media reports, the number of births in Italy has fallen by 29.8 percent since 2009.

Civilization is getting older and older and it lacks humanity because one loses the wealth of parenting, warned Francis on Wednesday.
A country without children suffers.

He is quoted as saying:
“Many couples don’t have children because they don’t want to, or they only have one because they don’t want to anymore, but they have two dogs, two cats … Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children.”

Civilization is getting older and older and it lacks humanity because one loses the wealth of parenting”, warned Francis on Wednesday.

He understands that this would make people laugh, but “that’s the reality,” said Pope Francis.
In this context also belongs the social criticism in connection with animals, “which are received like real ‘children’ and are often treated as such”.
He also stated: “The denial of motherhood and fatherhood makes us small, it takes away humanity.”
The Catholic leader emphasized: “Having children is the fullness of a person’s life.”

“A country without children suffers”, emphasized the pontiff in his general audience: “Whoever lives and marries in the world must remember to have children”.

And I mean…The representative of God on earth has to define exactly in which corner of the world the population should grow.
Because a child in Europe is, because of its high consumption, much more harmful to the climate than a child who is now growing up in Kenya or Tanzania.

But … If Dad is interested in children, then we would know a better field of activity.

My best regards to all, Venus