Anthony Marr’s CARE-7 tour blog #15
Arizona – New Mexico
After a 10 hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona, I’m now in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It could have been a couple of hours shorter, but I took my time. When I arrived at Mikkey’s place around 8 pm, it was blowing up a storm, and downright chilly, but now, it is still and warm.
The last week or so at the Andrias has bonded me to the family. By the last day, Chris had whipped me in every Risk game, but I checkmated him in the last game of Chess. These alone had made us new brothers, but on top of this he initiated a discussion with me on global warming, which in fact I had stay away from. But since he brought it up, I showed him an article from NASA titled “The Arctic summer could be ice-free by 2013”. He took it in, and we discussed a little about latent heat. Though he may not be totally convinced, I felt that his mind has opened, which proved gratifying to me. When I told Michelle about it, she seemed amazed. Later in the evening, Chris brought in his 7 year-old daughter Serena, who took to me at once.
Yesterday morning, before she went to school, about an hour before my own departure, she gave me not one, not two, but four rounds of hugs. When I told Nicholas that Chris have become my new brother, Michelle said he could now call me Uncle Tony. It is an extra privilege to be accepted by children. Hugs all around before the farewell.
May 10th, in Tucson, Cheena treated me to a sumptuous vegan dinner where I met Cindy Wines of “Free The Elephants”, with whom I “shared cake”, and who made some connections for me in Baton Rouge regarding Tony the Tiger for when I drive through on my way to New Orleans on May 24th, and contacted the Big Cat Rescue people in Tampa FL for June 5th. At the end of the dinner, a man came out from nowhere and said, “Mr. Marr, let me shake your hand.” We took a couple of pics together, and he was gone. To this day, I cannot remember who he is.
May 13, I had dinner with Jan McClellan, the lady who organized the Phoenix funeral motorcade, and learned that she was the lead singer and lead guitarist of the 60s/70s all-female band The Debutantes, which went to Vietnam to entertain the troops, and got their passports kept away by the rascal of an organizer – for 6 months – so that they could entertain to his heart’s content. All these talents I’ve discovered on this tour, including Catherine Garneau, who also used to be a band singer and guitarist. Good thing I too used to play in a rock band (“Beyond Nemesis”) in the late-60s/early-70s when I was a UBC student (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, back-up vocals, clarinet, some keyboard), or I’d feel totally out-classed.
On May 11, on the internet, our “band of brothers and sisters”, which includes Marla, Anthony D, Catherine, Paul Fusch, Tia and myself, hammered out a plan to March on Washington on July 19 right after the Animal Rights Conference. At first, I thought that it was towards passing bill HR 5092 only, which proposes banning crush videos while specifically exempting hunting videos. So, I wrote them an email as follows:
May 11, 2010
This is shared just with a few trusted friends for now. I’m writing on my own behalf, as well as that of the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition as its president. The primary purpose of this letter is to share my view. It is not a request, much less demand, that anyone should adopt it.
My dear friend Marla Stormwolf-Patty may recall that I confided in her a few days ago in a personal email that I was wrestling with a moral dilemma, about the outcome of which she may not be pleased. But I have done this wrestling for long enough. Now, the thread originated by the brilliant post by my dear friend Paul Fusch titled “Drink, blast off or march – pick one”, whose spirit of unity is exemplary, has forced the following conclusion:
As you all do, I abhor crush videos, and I will do anything within my power and conscience to assist in banning them; this goes without saying. On the other hand, I find hunting videos equally abhorrent. I do not find a video depicting a deer shot by an arrow in the eye or the gut or the rump or even accurately in the chest, or have its lower jaw blown off by a bullet, to be any more acceptable than a video depicting a kitten crushed by a bare foot or pierced by the heel of a stiletto pump, regardless of the legality of hunting. In fact, legality to me is subservient to morality, and therefore, I cannot accept, morally or legally, a law that specifically exempts hunting videos, which essentially condones hunting. This is the only position for the leadership of GAHC to take, if GAHC is to be strong, powerful and true to its founding principle. GAHC is a hard line anti-hunting coalition answerable to all anti-hunting member groups and individuals worldwide.
Right now I’m in Arizona on my tour, and the newly signed up GAHC members have asked me to return in October to assist in winning a ballot slated for November 8 which will decide on whether hunting should be entrenched in Arizona as a constitutional right. It would be hypocritical of me if meanwhile I support a bill that condones hunting, even if it opposes crush.
I have observed from the start that the whole thing, from the striking down, by the Supreme Court, of the law banning all videos depicting animal cruelty, to the proposal of a new bill to ban only crush videos while specifically exempting hunting videos, to be a clever maneuver motivated by the hunting lobby itself and supported by a prohunting court and congress. If we successfully push for this anti-crush but pro-hunting law, and further proclaim victory, the hunters would laugh all the way to the forest while snickering about us being a ship of fools. And the anti-hunting movement would have been dealt a heavy blow.
I understand the eagerness on everyone’s part, including my own, to have crush videos banned immediately or sooner. On the other hand, unity and solidarity do not mean sacrificing one AR movement (anti-hunting) for another (anti-crush). From the anti-hunting point of view, we would be doing the hunters’ bidding to support the pittance of a bill which legitimizes the production and marketing of hunting videos with impunity. Pardon me for this analogy, but to over-eagerly fall for this bill without question is tantamount to a child eagerly accepting a piece of candy from a villain while handing over his whole piggy bank.
Ideally, what we should do is to counter-challenge the court decision to have it overturned. I understand that this will make the anti-crush campaign more difficult and prolonged, but if the anti-crush movement truly seeks solidarity with the rest of the AR community, it cannot sacrifice another movement to attain a quick fix for itself.
I have a feeling that the whole thing hasn’t been carefully thought through, and the Big Picture has not been looked at. At first sight of a bill proposing to ban crush videos, and we fall for it, line, hook and sinker. I entreaty everyone to at least analyze the situation thoroughly before taking this crucial step.
In response, Marla, Anthony D and Paul F explained that the exemption clause in HR 5092 was not to legitimize hunting videos, but to clarify that the bill refers to banning crush videos only, and not for banning hunting videos, towards which other bills could be launched. Thereupon I wrote another email as follows:
May 11, 2010
I’m glad we had our discussion. I think the whole situation is a lot clearer for all concerned, both about the nature of the beast and my concern about hunting videos.
My new understanding, correct me if I’m wrong, is that the new bill HR 5092 deals with crush videos only, and the hunting video exemption clause is to clarify that this bill does not refer to hunting videos, and not a blanket protection for hunting videos against all future attacks.
If this is true, I will throw the full support of GAHC into your fight for HR 5092, with the understanding that if and when GAHC forces a new similar bill to ban hunting videos, the anti-crush forces will rally behind GAHC. I will likely have many speeches to make at the conference, and will plug the March on Washington, but will also make clear that an attack against hunting videos are in the stars. And, as Marla pointed out, the March will be not confined to crush, but all animal abuse. Therefore, I will also make a large banner saying “BAN HUNTING VIDEOS!”
So, all who read this blog, please do join us in the March on Washington, and let your voice – for the voiceless – be heard, whichever animal(s) you wish to champion, and pass the invitation on far and wide.
On the drive yesterday, I took a detour to visit Sedona – well worth the extra time. A stunningly beautiful place to the eyes, and supposedly to the spirit.
I also drove to the meteorite crater near Flagstaff.
I was there a few years ago, so did not spend the $15 to go back in to see it again, but did take a picture of its external profile.
Here are some old pics, but the crater is timeless.
This evening I will give a potluck speech in Albuquerque organized by Adriana who heard my speech at the Animal Rights Forum in Long Beach and was impressed, seemingly an eternity ago. Tomorrow, I will drive to El Paso, Texas, for my early afternoon speech and funeral motorcade. I will have a few busy days in Texas before venturing into the deep south.
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)
http://www.facebook.com (search for “Anthony Marr Heal Our Planet Earth”)
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