August 11, 2009

Why PETA brought in Barker

PETA has tried for years to help Cherokee bears

By Alan BergerFor many years, local animal advocates tried to raise awareness about the inhumane bear exhibits in Cherokee. Their efforts attracted virtually no attention from the AC-T. Then, Bob Barker and PETA came to town to shine a spotlight on this issue and the AC-T gave their visit extensive coverage. Then, in subsequent opinion pieces, “Barker, PETA right, but their aim could have been better,” and “Column: Barker and PETA arrogant, tone-deaf—and correct,” AC-T writers had the nerve to wonder why advocates resort to using national celebrities to help spread the word about important topics.

The writers seemed determined to focus on PETA's and Barker's arguably poor choice of words and neglected to mention that Cherokee officials have consistently ignored complaints from tourists and others about the exhibits. If the writers had done their homework, they would've discovered that before going public, PETA representatives tried to work privately with Cherokee officials but were snubbed.
Comment:  The "AC-T" is the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper.

None of these articles has included pictures of the Cherokee bears' living conditions. But here's a slide show on Bob Barker and the bears:

You can judge for yourself how inhumane the conditions are, but I'd say they could be better, could be worse.

For more on the subject, see Hicks:  Cherokee Bears Are Fine and Parachuting into "Barbaric" Cherokee Land.

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