Don’t Go There – NOT! (From Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Yep, we’re going there.

Every now and then, we are mentioned or referenced on social media in such a quick, random way, that if we weren’t on the ball on social media, we wouldn’t see it.

And occasionally, it’s those silly, random posts, which come from a very uneducated place, that makes one wonder – WTF are you thinking.

Today, we’re going to devote our blog to Twitter account @AGislife1584.  

It started with @AGislife1584’s reply in early January 2017 to one of our posts from 2015:

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Aside: If you do your research, you will see that @BigCatCarrie is part of the DeYoung Family Zoo. 

And then, @AGislife1584 went one step farther, and made the decision to create an original tweet, related to that posting, that is currently pinned to this profile:

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur

If you take the time to scroll through @AGislife1584’s account, you will see that the majority of postings coming from this account are unoriginal. Mostly retweet’ing others, without seemingly much thought about meaningful content.

In addition, there are some contradictions in these retweets, starting with supporting one political party, and then ramping up to support the opposing side later on.  

In between, we spotted some Animal Welfare supportive retweets, which actually surprised us, based on the above reply to our November 2015 posting – but we are happy to see.

That’s the quick recap of this account. Now, let’s talk about Tommy and Louie.

Tommy has spent his entire life in captivity. This means concrete, steel, and knowing no others like him. Tommy was shipped to the roadside zoo from New York, when his previous handlers were accused of mistreating him.  But things did not improve for Tommy upon his arrival to this roadside zoo, as his new living conditions were isolating, size-reduced and mainly indoors.  We hope you have heard of the documentary called “Unlocking the Cage“, which Tommy’s plight and life are based on. 

In mid-2016, Tommy (approx. age 29) suddenly “disappeared” from his roadside zoo cage, without explanation.  Meaning, no-one was talking.  But this is because only cowards are silent.

Interestingly, since Tommy’s disappearance, this roadside zoo now states they have two captive chimpanzees: Louie and Chimpanzee #2. Really? Chimpazee #2, LOL. Not even a name. OMG.

Onto Louie; a captive and confined chimpanzee, who has been part of a Roadside Zoo since infancy.  As of this writing, there are only five chimpanzees across the continental USA that are known to be confined in a roadside zoo in solitary confinement. By solitary confinement, this means NOT in a healthy environment with any other same-kind species and subject to only human interaction by the roadside zoo staff and those visitors that come to stare through a confined space. 

Louie is one of them.

Louie’s start to life was a poor one from the beginning. Soon after he was born, he was deliberately taken from his mother, as a baby, and used as a “cute prop” in pictures as a money making avenue to attract tourists and visitors to visit the roadside zoo.  But, as Louie grew up, he became less cute for pictures (and too big to handle), so they put him in a cage and added him as one of their animals behind bars for visitors to stare at.

Because Louie and Tommy were taken from their natural environment and their mothers, they never learned how to be natural, normal, wild chimpanzees. This means, for the rest of their lives, Louie (and Tommy) are dependent upon humans for their very survival – for their food, their health and their protection. Louie (and Tommy) would never be able to be released into the wild – they would never survive due to human interference and impact – and only for those reasons.

Yep, @AGisLife1584, that sounds like the PERFECT life for a wild animal.  So perfect in fact, that you pinning your original post about how we all should just stop whining about this issue is as apropo as your misspelling in that tweet. OMG.

Anyone can argue that people who runs zoos “take care” of their animals. But I think you are missing the entire point. It’s about quality of life, and it’s about living as an animal is supposed to live – not how the animal is currently being forced to live and what these animals are used for.  No matter how you try to sugar-coat it, zoo animals are used for human entertainment. They are exploited animals the moment they are captured, bred and put in cages. Humans made zoos, decided what animals would live in them, decided how they would capture and breed those animals, and then determined how these animals would live out their lives in man-made cages. 

Does that really sound like any kind of life for any living animal? Chimpanzees can live an average of 40 – 50 years. That’s a long time to live on concrete behind bars, don’t you think?

What do YOU think zoos are for?

When you replied back stating “lol stop he is fine”. How do YOU define “fine”? By YOUR standards, or by Louie’s?  Do you honestly feel that Louie’s life has been fair, untarnished, and well, fine? Silly, stupid, naive you.

And by the way, this is NO laughing matter. There is no “LOL” when it comes to the welfare of animals. But a mature person would know that.

So, when you hashtag #ZooLivesMatter, exactly what matters to you, here? Zoo animals are in cages for humans. NOT for them. Given the option, any wild animal would prefer freedom and natural life to concrete, steel and confinement. Don’t you think?

Do you even think?

And, when you hashtag #PrivateOwnersSaveSpecies, what exactly are you referring to? Breeding for profit (puppy mills, dog fighting, canned hunting), or maybe human entertainment (exotic wildlife trade comes to mind), or simply making a buck at the expense of animal freedom (zoos, roadside zoos, game hunting). You are aware, we hope, that many private owners EXPLOIT species, rather than actually save them. 

You do know what exploit means, right?

Again (nice sing-song voice here), education and information are key to understanding and ultimately supporting animal welfare. How far along are you in your education on these related subjects? We are thinking that you need to read a little more before you start posting only half of what you think you know. 

As we mentioned earlier, we are happy to see that in between all the other non-essential items you have carefully chosen to retweet and tweet about, that you do throw in the occasional animal welfare supporting post.  Even the occasional supportive posts help spread awareness on the plight of animals in need. However, for someone like you @AGisLife1584, you need to know that true animal advocates are informed animal advocates.  It’s a responsibility of EVERYONE to be informed and educated, and then help those worthy causes along. Otherwise, you are just doing damage, and we have enough to do to help animals in need without the added roadblock of doing damage control from someone who truly does not understand the impact of what you are posting.

Sadly, there are many, many Louie and Tommy’s out there. And not all of them are chimpanzees. 

Sadly, there are many, many random social media account holders that don’t realize or recognize that.

And there are many, many good people and organizations doing great works on behalf of animals in need. But unless you get educated on what it really means to advocate, you have no business posting less than accurate information. But that’s only OUR opinion of your uneducated posts. Because everyone – and we do mean everyone – is entitled to their very own opinion. Regardless of age, intellect, race, religion, animal lover or not – everyone has the right to shout their opinion to the world. 

Just a suggestion here, but going forward, maybe you need to stop and think before you post, or at least take time to really read up on a situation before you globally hashtag something you haven’t got a clue about. Because even you have the power to help, rather than be a roadblock.

Oh, and @AGisLife1584, being such a fan of Ariana Grande, I would think you are highly aware of her passion for (in her words) Animal Rights: I wonder what she would really think about some of your negative, non-supportive pro-zoo posts.


Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Animal Advocacy logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur





Share for Awareness ~ it matters!
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Pin on Pinterest
Email this to someone
Print this page


View more posts from this author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »