Think about 28 pigeons in varying states of distress, many dying after they’ve been shot for fun, flipping and squirming on the ground in pain all so U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe can raise political money. It just happened here in Oklahoma.This has been widely reported in the news over the past couple of days.
— SHARK Online (@sharkonline) September 11, 2016
Think about Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who accepted so-called “campaign” money from a right-wing extremist who bizarrely claims animal welfare advocates want to do away with the concept of having pets, an absurd self-interested claim made to obfuscate and hide the truth beyond his pro-corporate vision. Pruitt’s own record on animal, human and environmental rights represents a quintessential, immoral right-wing extremist agenda. Pruitt doesn’t have an office he’s running for, but he’s collecting money, anyway, to advance an extreme political agenda.
One more. Think about Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and his at least implicit support for keeping a distressed elephant, Bamboo, in her tiny OKC Zoo enclosure despite a national outcry. Cornett is on the OKC Zoo Trust. He could speak out. He may well be the “biggest” animal offender here. Sorry for the wordplay, but he could simply insist the zoo place Bamboo in a sanctuary, and it would probably happen or at least it would kickstart a real debate here.
— Leen Neus (@Leentje_7) September 3, 2016
Welcome to Oklahoma, where our leaders are not so nice to animals and not so nice to humans. Animals and teachers and, well, any halfway intelligent people, if you can, need to get out of here as soon as possible. This has become the nation’s cesspool of cruelty and ignorance to animals and humans. We lead the nation in our female incarceration rate on a per capita basis. We’ve cut eduction funding on a per capita basis the most of any state since 2008.
Here’s how sick and disgusting this place is right now: The type of people—Inhofe is the case in point—who get honored and feted here are people who leave wildlife animals to die in agony after they shoot them up for fun. I’ve never seen it this bad after all the decades I’ve lived here.
The three men I’m writing about in this post, Inhofe, Pruitt and Cornett, have damaged this state’s and Oklahoma City’s reputations and images.
So I’m tying this all together with these three politicians because there are obvious connections. These are three white male Republicans, of course, who are extremely conservative to the point of absurdity to much of the rest of world, and that includes Cornett. Watch this right-wing extremist video starring Cornett back in 2006.
Here’s the brief rundown on the wildlife and pet situation:
Inhofe has an annual pigeon or dove shoot in which people gather and just shoot birds to death for no apparent reason but good ol’ Okie fun and to give the senator money. Why? Because they can. The organization Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (Shark) has protested this incredibly cruel event for a few years now. This year, the organization tried to save 28 pigeons still alive that the cruel, despicable participants just left dying in pain after the big shootout. This event is about as sick as you can get when it comes to wildlife conservation and practices even if it is “traditional” as the Inhofe camp as contended in the past. What type of people just shoot birds for no reason but fun and then leave them to suffer and die. Even responsible Oklahoma Republican hunters should be able to see it. Can they? Will they?
Even The Oklahoman has recently reported on Pruitt’s questionable campaign contributions that seem extremely unethical to me. One of his big supporters is Forrest Lucas, who founded Lucas Oil Products. Lucas is also the founder of a group called Protect The Harvest, which has made the bizarre, sweeping claim on its website that animal welfare groups, such as The Humane Society of the United States, want to “outlaw” the entire concept of “pet ownership”, according to the The Oklahoman article. This isn’t true. Lucas is simply against people who stand up for the rights and welfare of animals, and Pruitt took his money.
Here’s another paragraph from the Protect The Harvest site:
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) would like you to think that they’re different than infamous animal rights radicals like PETA and that they’re ok with animal agriculture, as long as it fits their definition of “humane.” But in reality, HSUS is just as radical an organization as PETA, and they ultimately want to see all animal agriculture, hunting and fishing, and animal ownership brought to an end.
Bamboo, the older female elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo, has had problems integrating with the other elephants in her small exhibit. She came from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Two elephants, including Chai also from Seattle, have recently died in the OKC Zoo. There’s now a petition signed by more than 175,000 people that want Bamboo sent to a sanctuary. But Cornett has remained publicly silent on the issue as far as I know, and the media isn’t pressing him here enough.
My critics can accuse me of conflating issues all they want, but it all seems part of the same dynamic, the calculus of mediocrity defining “is this a great state or what” of Oklahoma. (You have to be a local to get the last sentence, and, really, it’s not worth the trouble.) Throw in Inhofe’s and Pruitt’s absolute complete lack of concern with the environmental problems here in Oklahoma and all our earthquakes because the oil and gas industry can do anything it wants, even to the point of destroying our property and threatening our safety on a daily basis, and it’s a fairly clear picture.
Birds killed in an act of immense slaughter and cruelty. Tacit support for a rich, right-wing extremist, who distorts the truth and says animal welfare advocates want to do away with domestic pet ownership. The sad plight of the zoo elephant Bamboo ignored by a mayor of a metropolitan American city. A 5.8-magnitude earthquake caused by oil and gas industry injection wells that wake you up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning and you think you’re going to die this time around.
Inhofe, Pruitt and Cornett apparently lack empathy for animals and the environment, and they want you to believe this is somehow patriotic and good for Oklahoma. Their ideology or philosophy or opportunism, as well as their lack of concern for the state’s viability in the future, is highly questionable. To quote the British poet Stevie Smith, we are in Oklahoma “not waving but drowning” at this point. Oklahoma’s economic problems, and all this bad publicity about abused animals, unethical campaign contributions, earthquakes and the lack of concern here for the environment is beyond a major crisis at this point.
These three people are not worthy to be leaders here or anywhere.
"I was much too far out all of my life
And not waving but drowning"
Stevie Smith pic.twitter.com/jTRff2a3Wr
— Ciaran Quinn (@c1aranquinn) September 5, 2016