“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”
Abraham Lincoln’s cat, Tabby, was the first of several White House cats. Source.
Here’s a bit more about Lincoln and his love of animals:
Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth President, loved cats and could play with them for hours. When asked if her husband had a hobby, Mary Todd Lincoln replied, “cats.” President Lincoln visited General Grant at City Point, Virginia in March of 1865. The civil war was drawing to a close and the enormous task of reuniting the country lay ahead, yet the President made time to care for three orphaned kittens. Abraham Lincoln noticed three stray kittens in the telegraph hut. Picking them up and placing them in his lap, he asked about their mother. When the President learned that the kittens’ mother was dead, he made sure the kittens would be fed and a good home found for them.
President Lincoln’s compassion extended to turkeys, too. Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation on October 3, 1863, setting aside the last Thursday of November, “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” A turkey was sent to the White House for Thanksgiving dinner in 1863, and Tad, Lincoln’s son, named him Tom. Tad befriended the turkey and pleaded with his father to grant “Tom” a stay of execution. Abraham Lincoln took time out from a cabinet meeting to issue “an order of reprieve,” sparing the turkey’s life.
Mr. Lincoln’s compassion extended to dogs, too. Fido was a mixed breed with floppy ears and a yellowish coat. When fireworks and cannons announced Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the Presidential election of 1860, poor Fido was terrified. The Lincolns were worried that the long train trip to Washington,DC, combined with loud noises, would terrify Fido. John and Frank Roll, two neighborhood boys, promised to take good care of Fido. Mr. Lincoln made them promise to let Fido inside the house whenever he scratched at the front door, never scold Fido for entering the house with muddy paws, and feed him if he came to the dinner table. The Lincolns gave the Rolls their sofa so Fido would feel at home! Did you know “Fido” is Latin? Fido is from “Fidelitas” which translates as “faithful.”
Nanny and Nanko were White House goats. Tad and Willie liked to hitch the goats to carts or kitchen chairs and have the goats pull them through the White House. Both Nanny and Nanko liked to chew things. Nanny got in trouble for chewing up the flowers at the Old Soldier’s Home. Nanko got in trouble for chewing the bulbs planted by White House Gardener, John Watt.
The Lincolns also had rabbits and cats. Mr. Lincoln named his horse Old Bob. Old Bob was the rider-less horse with a pair of boots turned backward in the stirrups in Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession.
While researching Joaquin Phoenix for a blog post I discovered that he had narrated a film called “Earthlings” back in 2007.
Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, EARTHLINGS chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.
This powerful movie currently has a rating of 8.4 out of 10 starts over at IMDb.
And, I just found out yesterday, this movie is being made available for free at the web site earthlings.com. If you care about how animals are treated on this planet it is a movie I highly recommend.
DISCLAIMER: The film is extremely graphic and contains a lot of footage depicting the killing of animals. This is an important film but may be too upsetting for some viewers.
If you are willing to take a look, visit the earthlings.com, click “Watch Now” near the top-right corner, then scroll down to the bottom and click the thumbnail image labeled “Full video.”
File this one in the, “Wow. All I can say is, wow!” department.
When we last heard from our hero The Vick he was courageously accepting an award from his teammates recognizing his tremendous “courage.”
On Feb. 10th Vick told an Atlanta radio station that during his time with the Atlanta Falcons he had been “complacent” and “lazy” and that he “settled for mediocrity.”
Game, set, match. Or touchdown. Or whatever. Take that, Atlanta. Your move, creep. While Vick was supposed to be the “future” of the franchise he was complacent, lazy and mediocre. Nicely done. I guess the animal cruelty stuff was just the sprinkles on top.
Also, Vick’s reality TV show premiered earlier this month on Feb. 2nd. “The Michael Vick Project,” a 10-episode docu-series, is airing every Tuesday at 10 p.m. on BET. If you are simply too busy to go through the hassle of selling your soul to the devil then be sure to tune in. The show is an method of arranging your own self-service purgatory before cashing your ticket for a bus ride to Hell. Personally I’d at least attempt to leverage a fiddle made of gold out of the deal, but that’s just me.
Michael Vick (who I’ve written about before) was back in the news this week.
First, it seems some comments he made about his new team, the Philadelphia Eagles, have been interpreted by some as Vick saying he is “disgruntled” with his situation with the Eagles. Keep in mind that this is the same team that gave him a chance to get back in the game after he spent 18 months in jail for bankrolling a dogfighting ring.
Regarding the prospects of returning to play for the Philadelphia Eagles next year, Vick had this to say:
“It would be hard. It would be an everyday struggle. But I would have to take that time to hone my skills and get better. I’m excited about the opportunity I have moving forward whether it’s with Philadelphia or another team.”
Not exactly what you would call enthusiasm for your employer, eh? Especially when the current season is only about half-way done. And keep in mind that he’s being paid $1.6 million for 2009 and the Eagles have the option of picking him up in 2010 for $5.2 million. He has the balls to poop on that? Wow.
Of course when interviewed later he back-peddled from his earlier comments in true NFL quarterback/dog enthusiast style, saying that his only concern right now is helping the Eagles win a Super Bowl and not on where he’ll be playing next year. Right.
The Eagles want Vick to play out of something called the Wildcat formation. (I have no clue what that is.) Think of this situation as an employer telling an employee, “I’ll pay you money and this is what I want you to do.” Vick’s response? “I won’t be a Wildcat guy. I can’t. It’s a different style of play. It’s almost like a hit-or-miss type of thing. My position is quarterback. That’s what I was born to do.”
You just can’t fake true class like that. Thanks for giving me a job but I won’t do it, won’t like it, I’ll bitch about it to the press, and I’ll undermine my teammates while the current season is still underway. I mean, come on! Who wouldn’t want this guy on their team?
The second bit of Vick news is that a federal court ruled that Vick can keep $16 million in bonuses from his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, even though he wasn’t available to play and earn those bonuses because his ass was in jail. I’ve got to try that sometime. Spend two years in jail, get out, then tell my boss I want the Christmas bonuses I missed paid in full. That would be a nice gig.
Lastly, I haven’t seen anything new about Vick’s reality TV show to air on BET that will document has “trials” and “tribulations.” I’m keeping my ear to the ground on that one. Maybe we’ll learn more soon.
I have found a tenuous shred of commonality between myself and Michael Vick:
… Vick [has] not served one minute in prison for animal cruelty …
Yep. It’s true. I’ve never been in prison for animal cruelty. And neither has Vick, the man that the NFL has seen fit to reinstate.
Of course, the commonalities end there. I’m a decent human being.
Some people think Vick did his time for “dogfighting” but I don’t know if they realize that the scope of his actions went a little beyond that.
In the words of one woman who responded to Vick’s property to assess and help 47 dogs:
The details that got to me then and stay with me today involve the swimming pool that was used to kill some of the dogs. Jumper cables were clipped onto the ears of under performing dogs, then, just like with a car, the cables were connected to the terminals of car batteries before lifting and tossing the shamed dogs into the water. Most of Vick’s dogs were small – 40 lbs or so – so tossing them in would’ve been fast and easy work for thick athlete arms. We don’t know how many suffered this premeditated murder, but the damage to the pool walls tells a story. It seems that while they were scrambling to escape, they scratched and clawed at the pool liner and bit at the dented aluminum sides like a hungry dog on a tin can.
Wow. That is fucking gruesome.
According to eye-witness testimony, Vick laughed as he watched pets being mauled by animals from his “Bad Newz Kennels”:
The witness said Vick and co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips “thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”
It is true that Vick served 18 months in prison, but that was for “bankrolling a dogfighting conspiracy,” not animal cruelty. Charges of animal cruelty were dropped in exchange for a plea bargain.
Now he’s back in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles where he’s seen play time in five games so far this season.
Meanwhile, it was reported on October 9th by the Washington Post that BET has picked up the rights to a reality TV show scheduled for 2010 that will document the “trials and tribulations” of Vick. BET won’t say how much Vick is to be paid, but he is listed as one of the executive producers of the series.
BET hopes the series “will give viewers a glimpse of how he is rebuilding his life and moving forward as a human being and not just another sports figure.”
I just decided to boycott the NFL and BET. I’m sure they’ll miss me.