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22 June 2013


Michael Anderson

George, there are a lot of 4-H people who are completely pissed off about this whole thing. It is a completely unnecessary conflict, and my prediction is that there will be no elephants at the fair come August.

Bottom line, PETA is going to be targeting businesses who support the fair with calls for boycotts. There is going to be contention and ennui, and why would any business want to paint their logo onto that bandwagon?

I will support the fair board's decision to continue their contractual relationship with Have Trunk Will Travel if they become super aggressive about countering the so-far extremely negative commentary. But if they are passive and just hope it will all blow over? That is not going to happen, and this whole thing will be a slow-motion car accident with lots of innocent casualties.

What a shame.

George Rebane

MichaelA 652pm - I can't predict about how the elephant rides will turn out, I'll just stand with my commentary and enthusiastically share my attribution of CAPE with PETA.

BTW, I and thousands of Nevada County residents will throw a little extra business to the outfits that have the balls to stand up to PETA, CAPE, ... should they make an issue of it.

Russ Steele


I am with you. If they stand up, I am sending business their way. My bet is that others will do the same. I hope that CABPRO and TEA Party take notice.

Bill Tozer

Remember when the animals rights activists protested the Fur Traders back when? It was fun. The news cameras were there and the Fur Traders owners got their mugs on camera giving out the address of their business and business shot up 10% instantly. All that free PR and advertising. Priceless.

Don't think they protested there since. Kinda did not get the desired results the big hearted protesters were seeking.

With that said, there was been an increase of Elephants Gone Wild videos the past few years. This can be traced back to about the time temperatures on Earth started to level off and cool. A direct cause of Global cooling. Elephants aren't dumb and have loooonnnnngggg memories. They remember what happened to the Wooly Mammoths when Climate Change messed up a good thing.

Michael Anderson

George wrote: "BTW, I and thousands of Nevada County residents will throw a little extra business to the outfits that have the balls to stand up to PETA, CAPE"

Sorry to tell ya, this is meaningless. The 4-H folks I know are not in any way shape or form wanting to attach their businesses to this embroglio

Bill Tozer

Well, this is like an elephant who had diarehha. Its all over town. The good news is there is still the rodeo to protest and, of course, the livestock auction. As day follows night, there will be letters to the editor decrying the harsh treatment of little ponies in the rodeo and cute little piggies sold to some meat eater. Men are such beasts I tell ya.

A word of caution: Elephants have big appetites. If, per chance, you get swallowed by an elephant at the fair, stay calm and just run around inside till you are all pooped out. Epileptics should not venture too close to the pachyderms. Elephants have been known to use epileptics as vibrators.

Got to go. I am late for my sensitivity training. Our instructor has a nice rack which I don't want to miss.

Ben Emery

Just because we want it and can doesn't mean we should. Elephants weren't put on this earth to be abused for our amusement. My brother was the President of FFA Northern CA, my relatives are ranchers, and we raise livestock at work so this isn't coming from a person hasn't raised and slaughtered plenty of animals in this life.

I had a basketball team that had a bunch of athletes on it and we won our league and lost in the championship game by three points. There was a 50 foot shot made at the buzzer at half. That team I explained to them what strength is and I guess it needs to be done here as well.

"Strength is being able to take something but leaving it for somebody else who needs it more"

RR is page full of very weak individuals who want to bring elephants to a county fair to prove that they can. For the record I think it would be pretty fun to ride an elephant but cannot support the way they are kept and abused.

Lastly just because it is tradition doesn't mean we should continue it. I can give a list of things that weren't something we are proud of today but were tradition of yesterday.

Bill Tozer

Good morning Mr. Ben. Take it from me, elephants rides are not a barrel of monkeys. They move slow and their walking motions toss you to and fro and may be painful if you got a bad back. Their hair is just like touching a wire brush. Not petting zoo soft and cuddly. Once the novelty wears off, there are better rides than elephants at the fair.

Ben Emery

Just being on top of such a huge and powerful animal would be fun. Much like you say probably for about 30 seconds or so. The ride itself isn't what people and myself are protesting, it is the treatment of the animals outside their public appearances. We all have personal responsibility to promote humane treatment of all life Support 4H and FFA along with local ranchers who treat their animals humanely.

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals"
Immanuel Kant

George Rebane

Is there any evidence that Have Trunk Will Travel mistreats its elephants? If so, why then are they still in business? Is there something beyond naked charges from the Left on which we can hang this allegation?

Ben Emery

To train a massive wild animal from the other side of the planet takes extreme measures no matter who is doing the training.

Check out the video

Ben Emery

Compare the previous video with this one

BBC The Secret Life of Elephants episode 1 of 3 (part1/5) 2011

George Rebane

BenE 817pm - Have no idea what that argument has to do with elephant rides at the fair. But it does seem that some people hereabouts have forgotten that elephants have been used as domestic and domesticated beasts of burden for thousands of years, and continue to be so used to this day. To now hoist an allegation of their mistreatment seems to many of us beyond bizarre.

(Under the same logic I submit that some horses have been more miserably mistreated throughout the ages. Proscribing their use for pulling wagons and being ridden must then not be far off for the same deep thinking crowd.)

Ben Emery

The argument is as a county we shouldn't be encouraging the abuse of animals by purchasing the services of an outfit that does in fact abuse the animals used in their services. If you want to rent the outfit for your personal use the morality of it is on your conscience. The county fair represents all of the residents of the county.

We used to use human beings as beasts of burden and property as well. Luckily we have progressed and evolved to understand right from wrong on the treatment and enslavement of our fellow inhabitants on our precious planet.

George Rebane

BenE 1013am - I take it from this that your response to my 810am is in the negative.

However, your citing the use of human beings as beasts of burden (and even their ownership) to buttress your case against elephant rides at the fair is most revealing yet consistent with your logic in such matters throughout these pages. You would be distressed to hear that I often used my children as beasts of burden and continue the practice with my wife - she often reciprocates.

Ben Emery

So you see no problem with the way the elephants were being trained in video? You think it is just fine that they are subject to that life over the life of the second video supplied. Since you will try and make this about whether a born in captivity animal could survive in the wild next I will save you the typing, most likely not but it still doesn't justify abusing a living creature that has a fully developed limbic system and even a creature that doesn't have a fully limbic system the way they do.

I will be protesting the NC Fair this year and hopefully will get some organizations with booths to not show up. For those of us who have booths at the fair we know how much they do not like open spaces.

Not in my name will I have the mistreatment of animals be represented at the county fair.

Todd Juvinall

I expect a whole lot of friends and family for the fair this year. I think I will take a elephant ride if they are here. Or maybe a zebra ride. Then I am going to the overpass to protest the stupid people who think riding am animal is a bad thing. Funny, those people think driving a gasoline fired car is a bad thing too. Hmmm. What to do, what to do?

Bill Tozer

I have not been a fair goer for years so my absence will not be noticed. Each time I click on the Cruelty to Elephants cartoon by Mr. Crabb, I see more and more in it. Thank you Mr. Crabb.

Dr. Rebane is 100% correct. "Much food for thought". Although Nancy Pelosi declared "pay go" as the most important and proudest piece of legislation passed by a former session of Congress (which I love to remind readers), how do we compete with free rides? Poor elephant, poor poor lonely elephant. Us mean cold stone hearted conservatives don't pass out 1.9 billion in Obamaphones.

Saddled with school loan debt? Now worries. Opps, that only applies to future students, lol. Guess that is what meant as pay as you go. Nevermind, off topic. Stand in line cause the rides are free. Everything in life is free. No strings attached. Just don't get caught in those sticky webs, but still, no strings attached!


Does it concern you that the board is being completely non-transparent? That at the June 20th meeting they refused to utter a single word of explanation or discussion of the issue that was on their own meeting agenda? I am sick of government ignoring the people who they represent. Even the fairground board of directors appears to feel safe behind their tiny doors of power.


m Its also very painfull for elephants to have people on their backs u probably cant imagine that because u see it alot but it is a fact. and i cant believe this heartless comments of people. The elephants that are gonna be at the fair have a life full of pain. They get abused every day to learn stupid circus tricks and also when they has to do elephant rides. people should be ashamed supporting this. makes me sick

Bill Tozer

Dear m. If it make you sick, perhaps I can mail you a case of those airline barf bags. We must think of others in this world.

Paul Emery

Better to ride them than to cook them I say. It is an agricultural fair you know. Check out the porkers in the FFA bins headed for the bacon factory right after the fair. the question at hand is whether the handlers at this event use more severe methods than other trainers. Are these folks opposed to training animals for entertainment in general or just this company?

Pat Cuviello

Well if the elephant rides are part of an American tradition which will create another memory of fun time with family and friends then by all means elephants should be beaten and electro-shocked to get them to participate in this wonderful of traditions. George, your question "[i]s there any evidence that Have Trunk Will Travel mistreats elephants," is laughable as it illustrates that you wrote the opinion prior to researching the issue. However, your lack of research and knowledge also illustrates that you just don't care that elephants need to be beaten and electro-shocked to get them to provide rides and "fond memories," which renders the intimation of concern in your question disingenuous. "Simply because a thing exists does not justify its continuance." George Bernard Shaw.

George Rebane

It's hard to summarize a dissertation on animal training, especially the training of large animals, in a short comment space. Looking at BenE's 625am, I saw nothing that was cruel to the animals being trained. None of the animals behaved or responded as if they had been mistreated. All of them were calm in the training situations, and we can be sure that this propaganda video was spliced to show the contractor in its worst light to those unfamiliar with animal training. The 'hook' used to direct and whack the animals may look like an instrument of medieval torture, but given the size of the elephants and the thickness of their hide, it is hard to believe that they even felt pain in their handlers' efforts to get their attention.

Mistreated animals, especially elephants, behave quite differently and become dangerous to their handlers. But I do understand that in today's politically correct world, the use of anything other than positive reinforcement to elicit desired behaviors rubs most people the wrong way.


I cannot understand why safety is not THE issue. Those riding frames, and it is only a flimsy frame, are completely insecure. If the elephant bolts, and bolt they have according to Google (one at a rabbit), the children will be thrown to the ground. A trainer and guests were killed in Africa. The danger to humans outweighs the abuse issue, even though looking at the undercover video of Have Trunk Will Travel hitting & tazing while hearing the elephants scream, brings back too many memories of my abusive father. Abuse is ALWAYS behind closed doors and everyone tries to hide it, including the abused. It is the Stockholm Syndrome like Elizabeth Smart brought out into the open. I also understand that the elephants are like Pavlov dogs just seeing the bullhook, it is an ever lasting threat of abuse to come and that is what keeps them "quiet." Just my father coming home kept us, like Pavlov dogs, quiet while praying he wasn't drunk. I can understand that about bullhooks = stark freezing terror = my father.

Ben Emery

I oppose training these animals for entertainment purposes when it involves constant abuse.

Bill Tozer

Excellent update Dr. Rebane. 189 residents of Nevada County signed the anti-elephant petition.

Without a law suit, this just will not have the legs the opossum story had. Perhaps we will see some enthusiastic demonstrators on the Brighten Street over crossing and a group chained together in black near a cotton candy booth. This story will have legs, but not the good old fashioned marathoner's legs the Ode to Mr. Possum had.

I hope those animal rights ladies from Berlin show up. They have taken to removing their tops in public to make their point. The shot seen around the world. Not sure what their point was when they crashed the walkway during some fashion show in Europe, but I certainly do remember their protest and fashion statement. Perhaps the State Department can expiate their visas and make this an international affair.

Bill Tozer

Mr. Ben, can't watch the video. The piano music is unbearable. Can't you find a video with better music? Just a friendly suggestion.

Ben Emery

Turn on music on your radio and hit mute. Sound isn't needed.

George Rebane

OnelanguageUSA 718pm - Do you have any numbers that substantiate your safety concerns, something that might make your fear palpable to the rest of us?

BillT 846pm - Mr Tozer, please consider yourself fully commissioned, through no less than my good offices, to represent RR and its more hopeful readers in the pursuit of this mission through all necessary channels. Keep us apprised of progress, preferably by posting photographs of what we may expect to see when the fair opens. Your success will surely have a salutary impact on attendance this year, especially if the ladies can be induced "to make their point" on a daily scheduled basis.

Ben Emery

Here is a facebook page that doesn't amount to anything actually happening but the number in two days has reached 551. I have volunteered at multiple booths every year I have lived here and attended Nevada County Fair many times as a kid when we came up from Yuba City to visit relatives. I will not be setting foot inside the fair this year and will need to find people to cover my shifts. I will be encouraging as many people to do the same but this is a small town/ county and I know ruffling feathers on such issues is a no no. Without our convictions and principals we are hollow empty shells of human beings.


wow alot of animal abusers here

Bill the Beater Tozer

animal abusers need love too! Never slept better in my life than last night. Life is grand.

George Rebane

I am somewhat amazed at the organization, intensity, and persistence of the, for lack of a better name, animal rights crowd. Life's meaning comes from all kinds of pursuits, I suppose. And minding other people's business has been a very popular one. I hope they stay lawful.


Yeah, no one could accuse any of the regular posters here of minding other peoples business :)

Bill Tozer

Mr. Ben's link to the FB crowd is great. Made my morning. I was waiting for someone to point our the sad faces of the abused ponies at the pony rides for the little tots at the fair. Poor abused ponies made to walk in circles. You can see the sadness and pain in their eyes. A life of sorrow.

Those caged lives in the petting zoo are another example of white man's degradation of Mother Earth and all her creatures great and small. I hope someone frees the critters from the petting zoo and let them roam free. Born Free, as free as the wind blows.....

I do respect everyone's right to attend or not attend the Nevada County Fair and to patronize or not patronize any establishment or booth they choose. I personally do not attend cock fights or bear wrestling events, but that is just me. Nor have I ever participated in the midget throwing events Down Under. I think we should free Big Bird from the confines of the TV studio stage. Those bright lights pointing directly at Oscar and the Cookie Monster are reminiscent of torture tactics used by evil doers since the light bulb was first invented. Its not natural and not how Mother Earth intended us to behave. However a rampaging Emu or Sidewinder is no laughing matter I can assure you. Hope nobody gets hurt freeing Dumbo from the shackles of exploitation. Fly Dumbo fly.

Russ Steele

I am wondering if the issue is just the lack of “fairness”. The Fair Board is not offering Jackass rides for Democrat lefty photo ops, only Elephant ride for conservative Republican photo ops. If the Fair Board rounds some Jackasses, some the energy of the protest may just drain away. I am sure we are all for fairness.


I really don't think the point that the elephant is the symbol of a conflicted, self-immolating, dying political party is the issue Russ, but if you choose to continue to think so, I will look forward to a majority in the House of Representatives in 2018.

Bill Tozer

If memory serves me correctly, the fair is now a State run organization. Boycotting Job's Daughters corn dogs and the Lyon's club tacos will hurt these local non profits. They are evil and deserve to be punished. Smokey Bear should not walk around the fairgrounds either, being escorted by those heartless CDF personnel.

In a show of solidarity with PETA, we all should be pleased when KVMR and the Briar Patch announce the removal of their booths at a fair hideously named "Under the Big Top". I am certain that some of the 'green energy" booths will soon withdraw along with the Bee Keepers, the Democrat Party booth, The quiet place, and all them evil capitalists peddling coffee and wood pellet stoves. The quilting ladies should simply eat their deposit (along with all the non profits) and not attend. Sure, some will miss the canning exhibits along with the art and photography exhibits and the old railroad display. But it is worth the price of standing up for one's convictions.

Russ will have to miss welcoming home our young vets returning from their duty across the globe. If everyone stands together on this, I just might go to the fair. I have never been one too comfortable in crowds, so this might work out perfectly for me. Boycott Now. Earth First! Fight Animal Cruelty.

Some of the boycotters can stay home and get an early start on oiling their murdered redwood tree decks or simply save up for the World Fest. Peace out bro, will miss your fro. Might see ya at the Draft Horse Classic where beasts of burden are shamelessly put on display to entertain the masses. The Draft Horse reprehensible Classic is akin to throwing Christians to the lions to satisfy the blood thirsty spectators.


Have trunk will travel are elephant abusers. They use bulhooks and thats against the law.


Russ Steele

6bs, why are you hiding? Stand up and be counted!

Ben Emery


" Boycotting Job's Daughters corn dogs and the Lyon's club tacos will hurt these local non profits. They are evil and deserve to be punished. Smokey Bear should not walk around the fairgrounds either, being escorted by those heartless CDF personnel"

Taking this angle is like blaming Edward Snowden for breaking the law instead of being upset the NSA shredding 4th amendment.

These local non profits would be hurt by the fair board allowing an abusive animal outfit to participate int he fair. Have Trunk Will Travel has never been part of the fair in years past and shouldn't be this year. No HTWT no problems.

In General
Making the comparison of fair animals and the elephants along with PETA is ludicrous. I cannot remember animals rights groups overtly opposed to the Nevada County Fair in years past for the treatment of 4H and FFA livestock.

George Rebane

BenE 134pm - Yes, but I think Mr Tozer's 943am point is that these animal rights groups are planning on foisting their beliefs on the rest of us through the use of destructive means - i.e. attempting to reduce fair attendance by various militant ways and annoy those who will attend. And in the process everyone will be punished, even those not wishing to be foisted upon, and also those just minding their own business (e.g. operating their own display or booth) and not wanting to be involved or impacted by someone else's ideological nostrums. Elephant rides at fairs are not an outlandish foreign custom against which we should be protected, and the imposition of the protestors' definitions of humane treatment does not contribute to social harmony at an otherwise harmonious event.

Ben Emery

Yes, I know what Bill was trying to convey. What you are missing is the fair board are the ones who allowed this organization to participate without doing their due diligence that will attract the animal rights group to make it a bit uncomfortable at the fair (hopefully). Women made it a bit uncomfortable for those in capital cities to get the reform they wanted. Abolitionists made it uncomfortable until the practice of slavery was ended. Labor movement made it uncomfortable and they gained the right to organize and strike. Civil Rights movement made it uncomfortable for most Americans until the Voting/ Civil Rights Acts were passed.

That is the point, to make it uncomfortable with impact to bring awareness to an unjust issue.

Bill Tozer

How about the awareness of an unjust issue such as killing an unborn child. Yes, Ben, fetus is Latin for "unborn child." And you get your mangina all riled up cause an animal is abused while the killing fields continue as we speak?

The point is I ain't out there protesting and shaming and boycotting nothing, yet I am just as concerned as murdering a child with 10 little fingers and 10 little toes with a good strong heartbeat and a penis as you are about animals. You say its a woman's body and I say "What? Since when does a woman's body have a penis in it?"

We will never, ever agree on these issue. I feel passionately and you fell passionately. You will point to some wack job that blew up an abortion clinic or shot at a doctor preforming the murder (as you guys ALWAYS ALWAYS do) and I will point out your side blowing up car dealerships and burning down new housing tracts under construction. Neither you or I commit these violent acts, but we are held responsible, yet not accountable for the deeds.

I don't go to the fair since I discovered I could give the girls a wad of cash and they were more than happy to leave their Dad at home and not be seen in public with him. Funner for them and me. But, this year I might make an exception just to rub it in your collective noses. At the very least I hope the abortion issue makes you feel uncomfortable.

George Rebane

BenE 208am - Ah yes, the "unjust issue". Well, what I really wanted to know was the rules of your game so that we can all play it as long as everyone gets to define unjust issues.

BTW, from all that I and probably most local folks can tell is that the fair board did indeed do their due diligence.


Activists: do you think Elephant pasties would be more or less ethical than the rides?

I won't be riding atop the elephants, just don't see the point. I also won't be paying to ride the ponies (and wouldn't be even if I was sized correctly) that go in a perpetual circle, who probably live a more pointless life than the elephants do.

California is probably not a state you'd choose if you wanted to operate an above board business that depends on animal cruelty. If anyone has evidence that Have Trunk has criminally mistreated the animals, they should report them and get a restraining order against their exhibition at the Fair.

Of course, that's more expensive and less fun than the current campaign.

George Rebane

re Gregory's 430pm - when I asked the same question at 810am a couple of days ago, only crickets responded. And these critters were again called into service when I posed another query at 902pm.


Not quite the same Q, George... I asked about the ethics of elephant pasties (I couldn't find a recipe), and didn't ask if anyone had evidence. I did suggest that if someone thought they had evidence, that they take it to authorities who could evaluate it fairly and do something about it if it pans out, rather than the usual suspects here, who have no way to evaluate it.

That way, your readers, including me, are spared wading through what the elephants will be leaving behind.

Ben Emery

Having a discussion with you there are no rules. Once again you are siding with those who have power (trainers) over others and I am siding with those who are the victims (elephants) of that power.

Hiring a company that was found not guilty but in a very public divisive lawsuit is not doing their due diligence. Unless they wanted to make a statement that they are in control of the fair and embraced a controversial decision to show off this power. Protests would have been expected.

Possibly we won't agree on the issue but somebody who might read RR could be swayed one way or another so I make my passionate pleas.


Ah, the old "not guilty but y'all know they really are" verdict. You see those a lot, Ben?

Ben, there is a Chihuahua sitting between protesters at the link you posted... can you imagine what had to be done to Grey Wolves (canis lupus) to turn them into a canis lupus familiaris that looks like that? Shocking.

IIRC, some Aztecs used those doggies for food... easier to herd than elephants, that's for sure.

Bill Tozer

Head 'em up, move 'em out....(drum beat please)......Rolling, rolling, rolling...keep those doggies rollin', Rawhide!

Bill Tozer

Here is something PETA can sink their teeth into:

Ben Emery

My wife sent me this petition tonight. 95,000 people have signed it encouraging the Nevada County Fair to drop the Have Trunk Will Travel Elephant Ride. As usual I left a personal comment

"The Nevada County Fair represents all the citizens of Nevada County. A very large segment of the county residents oppose the treatment of the elephants at Have Trunk Will Travel and I bet a whole lot more would oppose it as well if they knew how these living creatures were abused. Animals shouldn't be abused and tortured for the entertainment of human beings."

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