I feel so gross, right now. I ate some ice cream earlier. Why do I do that? I try to eat healthy, and to avoid dairy. I firmly believe that a vegan lifestyle is the right one for me. But, alas… I still screw up. I need to make sure I keep vegan comfort food around. I know there' vegan ice cream, but my freezer is screwing up, and until I get the landlord to fix it, there will be no vegan ice cream for me. Ugh… I feel so gross.
At least I got a few things accomplished today, two of which were REALLY important. I really needed to pick up my meds, and go somewhere with a printer to get my credit report, so I can consolidate my student loans (to begin the process of getting back into school).
I'm not sure where I'm headed in life, but I know I need to finish my degree to get anywhere worth going. It's also something I've always wanted, just for the sake of getting it accomplished.
As of this week, I am leaving behind some things that I probably should've left behind a long time ago. It feels like the right move. It's time to move on. I've got more important things to do, like focusing on my art, and possibly starting an animal rights website.
Speaking of which… I've decided that the animal of the day is the tiger. Instead of giving you a bunch of facts about tigers (one of the most important of which is that there are fewer than 3,500 left in the wild – possibly as few as 1,500), I am going to share with you the text of a petition about a Tiger named Tony (not the Kellog's mascot). His story is tragic, and his plight is heartbreaking, but this tiger can be saved. You can help save him.
The following petition can be found on change.org:
"Dear Louisiana Officials,
I am writing this letter to urge you not to renew Michael Sandlin’s permit in December 2010 which would allow him to continue exploiting Tony the Tiger in the parking lot of Tiger Truck Stop.
I realize there are varied opinions on what is best for Tony, so let me start off by stating a few facts on the history of Tiger Truck Stop that seem to have been overlooked. The buying, breeding, selling and exploiting of tigers for what they call “conservation” has been going on for 30 plus years with Mr. Sandlin and his father before him.
There is no conservation in hand raising wild animals which then can never be released back into the wild, but instead must live out their lives confined in cages.
On November 6, 1989 Tiger Truck Stop raffled off an 11-month-old 350-pound Bengal tiger named Gloria who was living in a 16”x7”x7” cage attached to a flatbed trailer. The entry forms informed potential winners that they could “donate [her] to a zoo, sell [her], or give [her] to a friend” in the event that the winner did not want to keep the cub.
On December 14, 1993 according to The New Orleans Times- Picayune, Tiger Truck Stop was evacuated for five hours after a tanker truck ruptured, spilling 400 gallons of highly flammable aviation fuel at the truck stop.
On September 12, 1997 Tiger Truck Stop sold two tiger cubs for $2,500 to a couple passing through on a camping trip. One of the cubs suffered from fluid collection around the joints in her front legs, a condition linked to living on concrete.
November 5, 1997 The USDA cited Tiger Truck Stop for failure to provide shelter from inclement weather.
August 23, 1999 The USDA cited Tiger Truck Stop for unsanitary feeding practices, algae growth in the water receptacles, and poor housekeeping.
November 28, 2000 Tiger Truck Stop was cited again by the USDA for failure to correct previously identified violations of not providing veterinary care and mishandling tigers.
Baby tigers were being housed in a cage behind the counter in the store and used for pictures.
Two 60lb white tigers were being housed in a 5”x 5” chain-link dog run, and Tony was tied up behind the counter in the store by a dog collar and leash.
In October 2001 two tiger cubs were taken in for declawing. The first evening at the veterinarian’s office, the male cub died.
Another tiger named Selena died mysteriously at the age of four and is now stuffed and mounted over the restaurant salad bar.
In April of 2003 after repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act three of the four remaining tigers were removed from the facility, but Tony was left behind.
These are ONLY a handful of the many violations and citations over the years, yet Tony still remains at the truck stop.
Michael Sandlin has threatened a lawsuit if anyone tries to take Tony, but it is the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ job both legally and ethically to do what is best for Tony.
His cage sits within feet of the gas pumps. He breathes in toxic fumes from cars and trucks all day long, not to mention the aggravation he must feel with sightseers continually crowding around his cage and flashing lights in his face.
Tony also must endure the deafening noise from the big trucks and cars passing through 24 hours a day, flood lights on him at night, living on concrete which is damaging to his joints and pads of his paws.
He is living alone with no enrichments or animals of his kind. People taunt him, yell at him, and even throw things at him.
Michael Sandlin calls Tony his pet and part of the family, but he stated in a recent article that “thanks to all of the animal rights activists, business is better than ever”. He also stated that “he plans to exhibit “the tiger” until he is too old or too sick to be exhibited anymore”.
Clearly Tony is nothing more than a commodity to him. Please do what is right for Tony and let him live out his sunset years in peace at a sanctuary where he will get the love, attention and enrichment he so greatly deserves.
He has done his time at The Truck Stop.
I ask you not to renew Michael Sandlin’s annual permit to keep Tony at Tiger Truck Stop.
Tony is now 10 years old. Captive tigers with the proper care, diet, habitat, enrichment and medical care live 15 to 20 years.
How many years does Tony have left after living in the detrimental conditions at the truck stop?
Accredited big cat sanctuaries stand ready to give Tony the home, care and life he deserves.
Please allow this magnificent cat the chance to live in peace and dignity."