Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time


Backlash Against Politician’s Plan to Import Pandas and Put Them on Display in NYC

September 20, 2017 by Leave a Comment

The News

Carolyn Maloney, a U.S. Congresswoman from New York, is working to import a pair of giant pandas from China and display them in New York City.  

In a YouTube video, “The Pandas are Coming to NYC,” Maloney cites several ways in which this endeavor will benefit humans, including education, entertainment, increased tourism, and improved relations with China. She makes no mention, however, of the welfare of the pandas, who, like other wild animals, suffer in captivity.

U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney hosted a “Panda Ball” in NYC to raise money to import pandas from China to NYC.

Pandas are wild animals, not objects for display. In the forests of China, they have rich lives, gathering food, roaming freely and raising their young.  In captivity, they languish in their exhibit spaces while people take selfies through sheets of glass.

In 2012, the Director of Conservation Education at China’s largest panda breeding facility described captive-bred pandas as a “caricature” of the real thing. People who are genuinely interested in learning about pandas can watch nature shows that document their behavior in the wild. Observing pandas in an artificial enclosure will only teach people that wild animals can be imprisoned for our amusement. Furthermore, it will do nothing to help conserve pandas in the wild.

Animal rights activists say pandas are wild animals with instinctual needs that can not be met in captivity.

If Congresswoman Maloney moves forward with her plan to rent pandas from China, she will not only fuel the market for captive pandas but also help to perpetuate the abuse that exists in China’s panda breeding facilities. Undercover video released in July, 2017 showed workers using excessive force on two babies. This disturbing footage reinforces what we already know — that panda breeding facilities are panda mills in disguise. Indeed, the pandas born in captivity are rented out, like commodities, for $1 million/year to zoos.

Wild animal captivity is already losing favor in the mainstream, as evidenced by the closure of Ringling Bros., plummeting attendance at SeaWorld and the newly passed NYC law banning wild animals in circuses. Indeed, public attitudes are already shifting in favor of freedom.

Your Turn

Please sign the Care2 petition asking Carolyn Maloney to call off her plan to import pandas into NYC for display.

Follow No Panda Prison NYC on Facebook.

Filed under: Entertainment, WIldlife
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Circus Tiger Kills Girl

November 3, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

A tiger at a Chinese amusement park dragged an eight-year-old girl into his enclosure and mauled her to death. The amusement park owners withheld the information from the press, but rumors forced them to admit that the event occurred.

Tiger show at Leheledu Amusement Park in China

Tiger show at Leheledu Amusement Park in China

The tragedy took place just one month after a tiger killed zoo visitor in India in an incident that was captured on camera. That victim was 20 years old.

Tiger at India zoo kills patron

Tiger at New Delhi Zoo kills man who fell into his enclosure

Your Turn

Both tragedies were entirely preventable, as the victims – the tigers and their human prey – should never have been in a zoo or circus in the first place.

In their natural habitat, tigers hunt for prey, raise their cubs, swim long distances, establish territories and forge relationships. In circuses and zoos, they pace back and forth, unable to perform any of the activities that make their lives worth living.  Zoos and circuses are cruel and exploitive, and they teach children that kidnapping and putting animals behind bars for entertainment are acceptable behaviors.

Please learn more about why holding wild animals captive is cruel; boycott zoos and circuses; and speak out.

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Miami Herald Readers Hear Another Point of View about Zoos

August 27, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

On August 18, we asked people to submit letters to the Miami Herald in response to their story  about animal-loving philanthropists who, unfortunately, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Miami Zoo. We hoped that letters, if published, would serve opportunity to educate Miami Herald readers about the inherent cruelty of zoos. A letter from at least one TheirTurn subscriber, Mickey Kramer from NYC, was published. In it, he writes, “Zoo animals, despite any talk of education and conservation, are kept captive for life . . . For those with disposable income and who care for animals, may I suggest donating” to a sanctuary where the animals are not “used as exhibits.”


Thank you, Mickey, for being a voice for those who don’t have one:

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Good Intentions Gone Awry

August 18, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

The Miami Herald has published a heartwarming article about a Florida couple who lived modestly but donated lavishly. Among the many things that make this couple appealing was that they gave anonymously, requiring charities to withhold their identities until after they died. You simply cannot read this article and not fall in love with the generous and humble Winnie and Al Sami. But there is a catch.

The Samis loved animals and donated at least $800,000 to help them. Unfortunately, they directed their charitable giving to a zoo, which doesn’t help animals but instead holds them captive for life – unable to do what would come naturally to them in the wild and treated like an exhibit.

I don’t begrudge the Samis for donating to a zoo. They were kind people who simply didn’t know better. Had they been educated about the inherent cruelty of zoos, perhaps they would have directed their millions to liberating animals instead of helping to keep them imprisoned. The lesson for me here is that education will lead to liberation. I believe that million, of well-intended people like the Samis would change their behavior if they had the information. But the burden falls on us to educate the good guys.

Please use this article as an opportunity to submit a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald expressing your point of view about zoos.

Winni & Al Sami (Photo: Zoo Miami)

Winni & Al Sami (Photo: Zoo Miami)


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Video of Kids Shooting Lions in Zoo With Pellet Guns Sparks Outrage

August 6, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

The zookeeper at the Giza Zoo in Cairo, Egypt didn’t intervene when teenagers used a pellet gun to shoot at lions in a small cage.  According to news reports, the zookeeper himself has taunted the caged animals to get a rise out of them in exchange for tips from zoo visitors.

News & Opinion

I don’t know what’s worse: teen bullies shooting lions at the zoo or the fact that the cages are so small that the lions have virtually no space to move. Even in the best of circumstances, zoos are prisons for animals because they are unable to do anything that comes naturally to them, such as hunting, traveling long distances, teaching their children how to survive and thrive in the wild. They are bored, listless, lethargic, stressed and often lonely.  Please learn more about the inherent cruelty of zoos and what you can do to help.

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