Bears, monkeys and unicycling

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I agree with Chas Walton : forcing animals to learn a potentially dangerous and
certainly uncomfortable sport is totally skank. Basic animal training methods
include punishment as well as reward, and the animals shouldn’t be forced to go
hungry / be beaten or whatever to learn a skill that is not o use to the
animals, to amuse a crowd. I think people like Tammy Marsh who say that it is
cool should starve themselves a day for every day it took for them to learn to
unicycle, and see if they like it and enjoy unnicycling after that. Contrary to
appearences, I am not a fanatic, but it just really bugs me when people are
callous and don’t think.

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<DIV><FONT size=3D2>I agree with Chas Walton : forcing animals to learn a=
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potentially dangerous and certainly uncomfortable sport is totally skank. B=
asic=20 animal training methods include punishment as well as reward, and the
anima= ls=20 shouldn’t be forced to go hungry / be beaten or whatever to learn a
skill t= hat=20 is not o use to the animals, to amuse a crowd. I think people
like Tammy Ma= rsh=20 who say that it is cool should starve themselves a
day for every day i= t=20 took for them to learn to unicycle, and see if they
like it and enjoy=20 unnicycling after that.</FONT></DIV>
<DV><FONT size=3D2> Contrary to appearences, I am not a=
=20
fanatic, but it just really bugs me when people are callous and don’t=20
think.</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Greetings

In message “Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling”, Rick Bissell wrote…
>Melville the 4th spat:
>
>>I think people like Tammy Marsh who say that it is cool should starve
>themselves a day for every day it took for them to learn to unicycle, and see
>if they like it and enjoy unnicycling after that. Contrary to appearences, I
>am not a fanatic, but it just really bugs me when people are callous and
>don’t think.

You know, I suspect that the animals riding unicycles may actually be having
some fun? Who are we to say otherwise?

>
>Your comment is a good example of callous unthinking behavior. Doesn’t your
>philosophy of kindness and respect toward animals apply to humans as well?
>Tammy made an innocent comment about a good time that she had at the
>circus…she was not advocating animal cruelty…a more informative and less
>hostile reply (off-line) would have been a lot more approriate.
>
>Back to unicycling…
>
>Would someone tell me what a “slow race” is, and what the rules are?
>
>-Rick
>
>
>

Stay on top, Jack Halpern, IUF Vice President Website: http://www.kanji.org

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Melville the 4th spat:

>I think people like Tammy Marsh who say that it is cool should starve
themselves a day for every day it took for them to learn to unicycle, and see if
they like it and enjoy unnicycling after that. Contrary to appearences, I am not
a fanatic, but it just really bugs me when people are callous and don’t think.

Your comment is a good example of callous unthinking behavior. Doesn’t your
philosophy of kindness and respect toward animals apply to humans as well? Tammy
made an innocent comment about a good time that she had at the circus…she was
not advocating animal cruelty…a more informative and less hostile reply
(off-line) would have been a lot more approriate.

Back to unicycling…

Would someone tell me what a “slow race” is, and what the rules are?

-Rick

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Isn’t someone suppose to say, Hitler or Nazi now? Barb K.

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

> Melville the Fourth wrote:
>
> I agree with Chas Walton : forcing animals to learn a potentially dangerous
> and certainly uncomfortable sport is totally skank.

Um… I went to the zoo last weekend and the chimps there were doing FAR more
dangerous things as they played then riding a unicycle. Some of what they did
looked pretty uncomfortable to me. Who are we to say that learning something is
uncomfortable, unpleasant, unnatural, or otherwise undesirable for the animals?

If you’re to believe the material put out by unicycling advocates like Jack
Halpern, it’s no more dangerous then walking or running.

> Basic animal training methods include punishment as well as reward, and the
> animals shouldn’t be forced to go hungry / be beaten or whatever to learn a
> skill that is not o use to the animals, to amuse a crowd.

This is the second time someone’s made that statement and it contradicts
everything I’ve ever read or heard about animal training. Can you say that
training is done with punishment (especially with beatings and/or food
depravation) with any authority? Have you trained animals professionally or do
you personally know someone who does? If not, perhaps you’re making some
assumption. Just because John Doe next door kicks his dog to “train” him doesn’t
mean that’s how it’s commonly done.

Everything I’ve read or heard on the subject says that training by reward is by
far the most effective method. I believe that this is what’s almost always used.
I’ve seen documentaries on the training methods used at places like Sea World,
and they never FORCE the animals to do the tricks. They induce them through
rewards, not beatings, starving, or other punishments. If you do know otherwise,
I’m willing to accept that, but if you don’t definitively know, I’ll have to
discount your statement as blind presumption.

> I think people like Tammy Marsh who say that it is cool should starve
> themselves a day for every day it took for them to learn to unicycle, and see
> if they like it and enjoy unnicycling after that.

Pretty harsh recommendation, don’t you think? Perhaps Tammy’s just thinking that
since she enjoys unicycling, maybe an animal might too. It’s not beyond the
realm of reason, and it’s no more of an assumption then the assumption that they
DON’T like doing it.

Greg

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

the rules at eurocycle for slowrace were:

Slow balance driving: You drive on a board, length: 10 m, width: 15 cm, height
about 3 cm. It is counted as an error to: drive of the board, to jump, to ride
backwards or to turn the wheel more than 45 degrees either side. If an error is
made the time will not count, but the try has been used.If the judges disagree
on whether a error is made or not, the time will be noted and the driver wil
have a second try. The longest time of the two tries will be recorded. The game
is to be the longest time within the 10 m. There has to be two judges following
the driver at all times during the try. One on each side. You have three tries
in all. The longest time counts. You can choose to start in two different ways:
*Flying, you are already in motion before driving on the board.Time will start
when passing the start line. *Countdown,The driver is standing still, holding on
to something and starts when the judge makes a countdown.

Rick Bissell skrev i meddelelsen
<3..5.16.19990714090735.42ef4bee@pophost.tridelta.com>…
>Melville the 4th spat:
>
>>I think people like Tammy Marsh who say that it is cool should starve
>themselves a day for every day it took for them to learn to unicycle, and see
>if they like it and enjoy unnicycling after that. Contrary to appearences, I
>am not a fanatic, but it just really bugs me when people are callous and
>don’t think.
>
>
>Your comment is a good example of callous unthinking behavior. Doesn’t your
>philosophy of kindness and respect toward animals apply to humans as well?
>Tammy made an innocent comment about a good time that she had at the
>circus…she was not advocating animal cruelty…a more informative and less
>hostile reply (off-line) would have been a lot more approriate.
>
>Back to unicycling…
>
>Would someone tell me what a “slow race” is, and what the rules are?
>
>-Rick

RE: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Nobody mentioned Nazis yet…

> I agree with Chas Walton : forcing animals to learn a potentially dangerous
> and certainly uncomfortable sport is totally skank. Basic animal training
> methods include punishment as well as reward, and the animals shouldn’t be
> forced to go hungry / be beaten or whatever to learn a skill that is not o use
> to the animals, to amuse a crowd. I

Every day, people all over the world are subjected to punishment, starving,
beating, shooting, oppressing, etc. Intolerable. And most of us have to work for
a living too, whether we like it or not. As long as things are going on like
that, I don’t object to some animals working for a living also. They probably
don’t mind living longer by the way. You did know that about animals out of the
wild, I assume? I am not in favor of any adverse training methods though, for
animals or people.

> think people like Tammy Marsh who say that it is cool should starve themselves
> a day for every day it took for them to learn to unicycle, and see if they
> like it and enjoy unnicycling after that.

Obviously you don’t know how long it takes most animals to learn the things they
do in shows. If they were starved while learning, all we’d have is a bunch of
dead animals. Most training involves the food being used as a reward, but not
being witheld.

My 2 cents, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone


jfoss@unicycling.com http://www.unicycling.com

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Greg House wrote in message <378CE256.9AFE1CE2@SPAMMENOT.lsil.com>…
>Um… I went to the zoo last weekend and the chimps there were doing FAR more
>dangerous things as they played then riding a unicycle. Some of what they did
>looked pretty uncomfortable to me. Who are we to say that learning something is
>uncomfortable, unpleasant, unnatural, or otherwise undesirable for the animals?

I’m sorry to barge into this thread but you are missing the point. Whether or
not chimpanzees (or any other species) engage in dangerous leisure activities is
not the issue. The issue is whether it is acceptable to force the animals to
learn skills (dangerous or otherwise) which they would not otherwise choose
merely for the amusement of human spectators. IMO it is typical human arrogance
to reach any other conclusion than that it is unacceptable.

I’ve seen several examples of skateboarding dogs and such which clearly enjoy
the game and took to it in imitation of their owners. It would be interesting to
see whether an animal would attempt to learn unicycling in a similar manner.
Perhaps you could give one to those chimpanzees and ride around the enclosure
for a while to demonstrate…

>This is the second time someone’s made that statement and it contradicts
>everything I’ve ever read or heard about animal training.

There is plenty of evidence that circus trainers use cruelty as much as reward.
The simple fact is that performing animals are their livelihood. They don’t
appear to care HOW the animals learn, and use whatever measures seem most
expedient. They are careful to cover up those methods which would not meet
general public approval.

Even where no cruelty is involved I feel that there is some doubt over
acceptability, especially where the skill in question is dangerous. Do
show-jumping horses suffer greater risk of injury? Is it wise for elephants to
rear up onto their hind legs?

Arnold the Aardvark

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Arnold the Aardvark wrote:

> I’m sorry to barge into this thread but you are missing the point. Whether or
> not chimpanzees (or any other species) engage in dangerous leisure activities
> is not the issue. The issue is whether it is acceptable to force the animals
> to learn skills (dangerous or otherwise) which they would not otherwise choose
> merely for the amusement of human spectators. IMO it is typical human
> arrogance to reach any other conclusion than that it is unacceptable.

I’m not going to argue about animal training very vigorously, since I don’t
really have strong feelings on it. I do have strong feelings about leaping to
conclusions and treating people like dirt in the process, which is what I felt
like was happening in this thread.

But I don’t honestly think I’ve missed the point. What you’re suggesting above
is basically that no human should have or train an animal. If that’s the premise
you’re coming from then it’d be hard to convince you anything about training.

On the other hand, if we can believe it’s ok for us to keep animals, and even to
display them, then the question becomes whether it’s cruel to teach an animal
tricks. As you said in another paragraph, is one sort of trick more acceptable
then another? At what point do you draw the line? I might extend the argument to
say; is one sort of animal more acceptable then another. Is it ok for me to own
a dog and train it? A dog used to herd cattle is probably at considerable risk
of being trampled if the cattle don’t respond. Is it cruel to use the dog for
that? Is it any less cruel to teach a dog to catch a frisbee? If we can accept
that it’s ok to keep and train a dog, why is it not ok to keep and train a
monkey, or a bear, or whatever?

>> >This is the second time someone’s made that statement and it contradicts
>> >everything I’ve ever read or heard about animal training.
>>
>> There is plenty of evidence that circus trainers use cruelty as much as
>> reward.

Ok, if you say so. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. I have read articles and
seen television documentaries that would make me believe otherwise. Your
argument would be a lot more compelling if you provided a knowledgeable source
rather then just saying it occurs.

Here’s an example; Someone could say that most of the apples in Paraguay are
blue. Now, I could probably accept that, given that I’ve never been to Paraguay
to see apples there and don’t know much about the country. But if I’d seen a
documentary on Paraguay where the talked about apples, red and green there,
there’d be a question in my mind.

Likewise, it’s not beyond my imagination that there are people who’d use mean
training methods on animals. To my shame, I myself tried to do that when
training my dog years go. It didn’t work very well with him and I wouldn’t
expect it to work with other animals either. Why would a professional trainer
use methods that don’t work?

> The simple fact is that performing animals are their livelihood.

All the more reason for them to take good care of them, especially the ones
that can do cool tricks. I’d guess that not every animal can learn to do
interesting tricks.

Greg

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

> >> There is plenty of evidence that circus trainers use cruelty as
much as reward.
>
> Ok, if you say so. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. I have read articles
> and seen television documentaries that would make me believe otherwise. Your
> argument would be a lot more compelling if you
provided a knowledgeable source rather then just saying it occurs.
>

One of the UK’s best known circus trainers was convicted in January of 12 counts
of crulety to animals.

(See : “Circus Trainers fined for cruelty” at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_315000/315146.stm)

Of course, it would be completely wrong to infer from this that all or even any
other animal trainers use such methods, but it is a “knowledgable source”.

My personal feeling is that like most things, this is not an absolute issue,
more a matter of degree :

I’m sure most people would condemn the kind of treatment given by the convicted
circus trainers, but I also think that not so many people would object to
encouraging a pet dog to sit by rewarding it with chocolate drops, or tickling
its tummy when it fetches a stick.

RE: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

I am trying to teach my 3 year old to ride a unicycle. Although I neither
beat him nor give him chocolate, I fear that I now risk being labeled as a
child abuser.

Also I assume that everyone in this discussion is a vegan?

> -----Original Message----- From: Mick.Whitehead@nmp.nokia.com
> [SMTP:Mick.Whitehead@nmp.nokia.com] Sent: Thursday, July 15, 1999 10:10 AM To:
> unicycling@winternet.com Subject: Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling
>
>
> > >> There is plenty of evidence that circus trainers use cruelty as
> much as reward.
> >
> > Ok, if you say so. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. I have read articles
> > and seen television documentaries that would make me believe otherwise. Your
> > argument would be a lot more compelling if you
> provided a knowledgeable source rather then just saying it occurs.
> >
>
> One of the UK’s best known circus trainers was convicted in January of 12
> counts of crulety to animals.
>
> (See : “Circus Trainers fined for cruelty” at
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_315000/315146.stm)
>
> Of course, it would be completely wrong to infer from this that all or even
> any other animal trainers use such methods, but it is a “knowledgable source”.
>
> My personal feeling is that like most things, this is not an absolute issue,
> more a matter of degree :
>
> I’m sure most people would condemn the kind of treatment given by the
> convicted circus trainers, but I also think that not so many people would
> object to encouraging a pet dog to sit by rewarding it with chocolate drops,
> or tickling its tummy when it fetches a stick.

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Greg House <greg.house@SPAMMENOT.lsil.com> wrote in article
<378DFF73.29CD4FD0@SPAMMENOT.lsil.com>… Arnold the Aardvark wrote:
>>> But I don’t honestly think I’ve missed the point. What you’re
suggesting above is basically that no human should have or train an animal. If
that’s the premise you’re coming from then it’d be hard to convince you anything
about training.

I’m not so hardline as that! My feelings are more a rejection of the widely held
view that the Earth and everything in it are our personal playthings to do with
as we will by divine right. I put my point too strongly.

Animals should IMV be respected and treated with some dignity - we are not so
far removed from them as some people appear to believe. This is merely the same
position as is commonly espoused in respect of the environment in general and
does not require a total ban on usage as zealots

usually claim at this point.

I thought there was some sense in what John Foss said about earning a living,
though I would put it differently.

Returning to the unicycling, I suspect that it is a very difficult and
potentially painful/dangerous skill for a chimp or a bear to master. I will
retain my reservations about this pending more evidence.

Personally I own four cats. We have made no attempt to train them to do anything
at all. However, they have successfully trained us to do their bidding and have
no respect at all for our feelings :slight_smile:

>>> Your argument would be a lot more compelling if you provided
a knowledgeable source rather then just saying it occurs.

I was going to refer to a video concerning Chipperfield’s circus as a for
instance but didn’t think you would have heard of it. Despite what I said, I
suspect trainers tend to find it more profitable/expedient to use kindness than
cruelty. My point is that it is the profit/expedience which is uppermost in
their minds, rather than the welfare of the animals.

I think from your other comments that we basically hold similar views, though
experience with the RSPCA and people in general has perhaps led me to be much
more cynical of the way trainers are likely to treat their animals.

Arnold the Aardvark

http://www.foxholly.demon.co.uk ICQ# 30592054

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

< (snip)…but I also think that not so many people would < object to encouraging
a pet dog to sit by rewarding it < with chocolate drops, or tickling its tummy
when it < fetches a stick. I object to feeding chocolate to dogs!! “It is not
chocolate itself that is poisonous to dogs, it is the theobromine, a naturally
occuring compound found in chocolate. Theobromine causes different reactions to
different dogs: dogs with health problems, especially epilepsy, are more
affected by theobromine than healthy dogs. Theobromine can trigger epileptic
seizures in dogs prone to or at risk of epilepsy. Furthermore, theobromine can
cause cardiac irregularity, especially if the dog becomes excited. Cardiac
arythmia can precipitate a myocardial infarct which can kill the dog.
Theobromine also irritates the GI tract and in some dogs can cause internal
bleeding which in some cases kills them a day or so later.”
(www.k9haven.org/poison_plant.html) “Chocolate Drops made specifically for dogs
should, of course, contain little or no theobromine but one has to wonder
whether the quality control procedures of all manufacturers of dog chocolates
are adequate to guarantee the absence of theobromine and the most prudent policy
may well be to avoid giving chocolate of any kind to dogs.”
(http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/willchapman/dogchoc.htm)


Ted Howe TedLHowe@compuserve.com

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

Greg House wrote:
> Likewise, it’s not beyond my imagination that there are people who’d use mean
> training methods on animals. To my shame, I myself tried to do that when
> training my dog years ago. It didn’t work very well with him and I wouldn’t
> expect it to work with other animals either. Why would a professional trainer
> use methods that don’t work?
Traumatic Bonding?
>From "When Men Batter Women–New Insights into Ending Abusive
Relationships" by Neil Jacobson, Ph.D. and John Gottman, Ph.D (New York: Simon
and Schuster, 1998), pp. 166-167. “Another part of what makes it difficult to
leave [abusive] marriages is what psychologist Donald Dutton (“The Batterer” New
York: Basic Books, 1995) has called “traumatic bonding.” This is a bizarre
phenomenon that happens when love and violence are combined. It turns out that
if dogs are trained with a mixture of love and violence, they become more
attached to their trainers than if only love is used. This appears to be true in
many other species as well. There is a very strong bond created by the violence
being paired with love that we do not understand very well, but it is likely to
be operating in some of these marriages, and it makes leaving very difficult.”


Ted Howe TedLHowe@compuserve.com

Re: Bears, monkeys and unicycling

In a message dated 7/15/99 11:31:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
John.Dibble@luxfercylinders.com writes:

<< Also I assume that everyone in this discussion is a vegan? >>

…and Pro Life!