A LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
The purpose of this letter is really two-fold, lest anyone feel misled in a few sentences. I feel moved, as the holiday season approaches, to encourage residents and readers to shop locally. While I am sure you will hear this message countless times in the next few weeks, my interest in it is of a more compassionate nature. For example, the Delta Plaza Mall is apparently so very strapped for resources that they are resorting to promoting animal abuse as a form of entertainment with the latest appearance of Joe “Exotic”, a man who’s ‘rescue sanctuary’ in Oklahoma has been fined $25,000 by the United States Department of Agriculture for animal abuse and neglect violations. This very ‘Mystic Magic of the Endangered’ farce that he puts on has been suspended numerous times. Don’t believe our mall would promote such shameless exploitation?
Last year, I wrote to all the mall merchants and mall management begging them to refuse this guy a venue. I was told they needed it to support business at the mall. I offered to help find something less disgusting, more family friendly, and better for our community. What about non-animal magic shows? What about puppet shows? What about any number of travelling children’s shows?
I personally boycotted the Delta Plaza all through the last holiday season because of it, but that doesn’t solve the problem and it hurts the people who work there. If the mall needs that much money, this year I beg you, Delta County, to forego the Internet and trips to Green Bay and give the Delta Plaza the best season it’s had in years so that they will stop the exploitation of animals for profit.
Joe ‘Exotic’ is a known abuser. He breeds babies for you to handle in malls and then when they get too big for him to handle, he gives them away to collectors through Animal Finder’s Guide, a trade publication that peddles exotic animals to breeders, dealers, and the pet trade. Even though Joe promotes himself as providing a refuge for “rescued” animals, by breeding animals to ensure a steady supply of cute babies to serve as stage props, he is in fact directly contributing to the exotic-animal trade that he purports to abhor. A true sanctuary and animal lover would never haul animals around the country in an unventilated, windowless trailer for days to display in a mall.
Look into your heart and take a good look at this guy. Find the videos on the internet of the abuse, if you can stand it. You know it’s wrong to have tigers in a mall. You know it.
Research as much as you can, and then make the decision to shop locally this holiday season. Buy something from the Delta Plaza Mall every day until Valentine’s Day, if you can. It’s much better than looking at babies in cages. After all, that’s truly in the spirit of the season, right?