Stephen Guy Hardin / June 13, 2011

Bull Hook Politics

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Georgia Animal Rights and Protection (GARP) scored a major propaganda victory Wednesday as the Fulton County Commission banned the use of elephant bull hooks in circuses, after months of threats and intimation…I mean lobbying, from these extremist animal rights groups.

This loose cadre of animal rights activists had protested against the use of elephant bull hooks by the Ringling Brothers Circus, when the circus had performed earlier this year at Phillips Arena in downtown Atlanta. Activists were also concerned about the habit of making elephants perform for peanuts, stating that since the circus elephants were not unionized they were being under paid and thus being oppressed by circus management.

But, I digress.

As part of their planned protest pogrom three young women were arrested during a protest at Atlanta City Hall in February 2011, when they blocked the main entrance to City Hall in an act of civil disobedience. The primary goal of their protest was to increase awareness to the plight of circus elephants and also to hopefully meet some young, unattached S.E.I.U. activists. A fourth individual dressed in an elephant costume, who also blocked the doors, was not arrested due to the fact that Atlanta Police officers arriving at the scene thought it was an actual elephant and not a human in disguise, which goes a long way to explaining Atlanta’s burgeoning crime rate.

Delcianna Winders, PETA’s Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, presented her manifesto which was written in fake blood on recycled pieces of cardboard.

“Bull hooks are weapons that are used to force elephants to perform tricks they’d never do in the wild. By passing this ban, the commissioners have sent the clear message that elephant abuse will not be tolerated in Fulton County.”

In response, Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, who appears to be the only voice of sanity on the commission, voted no to the proposition.

“I felt like we already had sufficient animal cruelty laws in place. We wouldn’t have tolerated mistreatment of any animal that comes to town,” Commissioner Hausmann said.

“And the area Fulton County regulates does not have any circuses that visit. I know it sends a message, but I thought it just doesn’t apply to us. Coupled with the fact, Ringling Brothers could choose not to come to Fulton County because of this. We just lost the Thrashers. I don’t know how many events we could stand to lose. I’m not a heartless Republican. I’ve had animals my whole life,” the commissioner said.

Heartless Republican, indeed.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s position has been that the City does not have the authority to ban bull hooks. Speaking at length off the record, Mayor Reed stated that he is more concerned about job creation, crime, drug use in the inner city and Atlanta’s struggling school system than whether or not PETA needs another cause célèbre.

But Mayor Reed, recognizing that while he is a liberal, African-American Democrat, he still must humble himself before the mercurial whims of the various lunatic animal rights activists in order to access future campaign funds and favorable left wing press. In a voice resigned to the reality of Democrat Party politics said, “Well, this is just another example of useless bull hook politics.”

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