Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tippi Hedren for Look to the Stars. Some of you know her as the actress from Hitchcocks ‘The Birds,’ other might know her as Melanie Griffith’s mother, I however, have been a lifelong fan of this woman for different reasons.
No, she’s not an athlete. But today I deviate because it’s important and it’s from the heart.
Years ago she wrote a book, ‘The Cats of Shambala.’ It’s a book that’s been the subject of many conversations in my family. At a very young age, my father instilled a love for Africa in me, a love for the people, the culture and animals.
Ms. Hedren’s book is about the cats at her Shambala Preserve in California. Shambala is a nonprofit animal sanctuary that is home to almost seventy animals including African lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, leopards, servals, mountain lions, bobcats, and lynx.
She has dedicated her life to saving, protecting, rescuing and fighting for the humane treatment of all big cats and exotic animals. We spoke at length about this and the passion in her voice when she explained what’s been happening almost brought me to tears.
You can read the entire interview HERE, however, I want to impress the importance of what she is doing and how YOU can help-if you so choose.
Hedren has sponsored a Bill to prevent the breeding and selling of big cats for financial gain.
- H.R. 4122 the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act”
- Target: People who are interested in the prevention of breeding and selling big cats (exotic animals, such as lions, tigers, etc.) for financial gain.
- Sponsored by: Tippi Hedren
- H.R. 4122 should be passed for public safety reasons and because it is the right thing to do! These are Apex Predators, top of the food chain, one of four of the most dangerous animals in the world maiming and killing humans…We must stop demeaning the life of wild, dangerous animals by confining them to small cages to be used for financial gain and protect human life as well as the humane treatment of the wild animals.
Now here’s the big picture. If H.R. 4122 were to be approved and became a Federal Law, the circus would go out of business. You’ve seen the protests outside Ringling Brothers circus’s claiming animal abuse and cruelty, but what you don’t hear about it WHY it’s still happening.
The CEO is-for lack of a better word-a demon. His name is Kenneth Feld. While researching this guy, I found an uninformed blog post from someone about how awesome the circus is and how crazy protesters are…the only credible thing about the article was ONE, well-informed comment:
- The overwhelming evidence and documentation of the abuse animals endure in Ringling Bros. service, as well as the $270,000 settlement fine paid by Ringling Bros. for violations of the Animal Welfare Act – the largest ever assessed to an animal exhibitor by the USDA – is irrefutable. http://www.ad-international.org/adi_usa/go.php?id=2493 Ringling Bros. dismissed this “settlement” as “the cost of doing business.” Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, testified under oath that his trainers routinely hit elephants with bullhooks, whip them, and use electric prods on them. He even admitted to witnessing this. http://motherjones.com/environment/2011/10/ringling-bros-elephant-abuse
Hedren has been told that some members of Congress don’t want to pass the Bill because it would put the circus out of business, and if this happened-the big bucks made from Feld’s easily paid fines would vanish.
Kenneth Jeffrey Feld is the CEO of Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice!, Doodlebops Live!, Disney Live!, Monster Jam, International Hot Rod Association, and AMA Supercross Championship.
Feld’s ‘camp’ has, point-blank- threatened Hedren’s people, telling them to back off. Her life has also been seriously threatened while trying to protect these animals-and the public. It’s not JUST about the abuse, its about people who think its okay to keep a lion as a pet, or those who purchase a baby tiger cub because its cute and eventually get mauled by the animals. It’s a huge public safety issue.
But the most troubling aspect is the long-arm of Kenneth Feld, his special interest groups, and his ability to influence Congress.
I like to think that death threats-in this situation-are an indicator that Hedren is making progress, she has hit a nerve. And she feels alone in this quest against Kenneth Feld. But she’s not. I promised her I would take a public stand against this guy and I will continue to do so. We, the people, are waking up and realizing WE can change things. It doesn’t matter how much money Feld has to pay off members of Congress if we ALL stand behind her and HR 4122 for the protection of these animals, the trafficking of them, the abuse, the maulings, the insanity of it all.
Please, I encourage all of you to sign the petition in support of ‘H.R. 4122 the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.”
I encourage you to check out her Roar Foundation and Shambala Preserve. Did you know you can go on a Safari there or camp overnight among the animals? Far better than going to the circus. Shambala has numerous celebrity supporters-including my home-girl Betty White.
In the end, the only thing I can do is encourage you to get informed, educate yourself and others, read about this Feld character, and take action. If not for you, lets do it for the next generation. A signature can sometimes be much more powerful than money.
On Sept 20th, Ms. Hedren will appear before Congress on behalf of be the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act” and on Sept 24th, she will be a key note speaker at the CALIFORNIA WOMEN”S CONFERENCE, appearing on two panels – “Ladies influencing Legislation” and ” Legendary Ladies of Stage and Screen.”
As always, thanks for reading,