17

The Animal Rights Coalition – Part 3

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Where we are: The Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) tried to take a petition to a human council meeting, but were barred from entering. ARC wanted the humans to stop using animal names as insults. A guard took the petition and said that he would give it to council.

Two weeks went by before the animals received a letter from W. Charles Smith, President of the Council on Human/Animal Relations:

Dear Animals

We have received your petition listing your concerns about us using your names as insults. We appreciate your bringing this matter to our attention. I have assigned a committee to look into the matter.

Sincerely

W.C. Smith

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Julie Giraffe: Those rotten rutabagas! They’re just trying to get rid of us.

Roni Baboon: You’re right, Julie. They’re not going to do anything.

Chester Rabbit: I’m afraid you’re right. We’ll have to try something else.

Ralph Badger: Let’s dig under their building and let it collapse.

Benny Buffalo: No, let’s stampede them.

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Simon Skunk: No, we should sabotage their air filtration.

Chester: Calm down, everyone. That’s not going to make anyone happy. We need to work together.

Chrissy Calico: I don’t know what we can do. They don’t respect us at all. Remember what he called us? “Cute.” Humans don’t pay attention to “cute”.

Gregg Bear: OK, let me talk to them. They won’t think I’m cute and cuddly. I’m over 500 pounds of muscle and fur.

Ivan Tiger: I’ll go too. I can growl loud enough to scare any human.

Ralph: I guess that will work. But be polite. Otherwise, they’ll call you animals.

Chrissy: They are animals.

Ralph: I know. But humans use it as an insult.

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Gregg and Ivan walked over to the Council Hall and went in the front door. The receptionist looked up and asked if she could help them.

Ivan: Yes, thank you. We would like to see Mr. Smith, please.

Receptionist: Do you have an appointment?

Ivan: No, we don’t. Please tell him we’re from ARC.

Receptionist (knowing there would be trouble if she let a bear and a tiger into the building): Mr. Smith doesn’t see anyone without an appointment.

Ivan: Please tell him that we won’t take up much of his time.

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Receptionist (beginning to get nervous): I’m sorry, but you’ll have to make an appointment.

Ivan: Please just ask.

Receptionist: All right. Let me check.

She called someone and said that there was a bear and a tiger to see Charles. No, they weren’t threatening. They were very polite. She listened, then hung up the phone.

Receptionist: Someone will be out shortly.

Ivan: Thank you.

Ivan and Gregg moved to the side of the lobby and waited. Before long, two security guards arrived.

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Security Guard: What seems to be the problem?

Ivan: There isn’t a problem. We just want to see Mr. Smith.

Security Guard: Didn’t the lady tell you you’d need an appointment?

Ivan: Yes, she did. We just need a minute of his time.

Guard: He won’t see you. You need to leave.

Ivan: Why won’t he see us?

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The guard didn’t want to tell them that Mr. Smith was afraid of large animals.

Guard: He can see whoever he wants.

Gregg: That’s ridiculous. Just let us past. We’ll find him ourselves.

Guard (nervously): You need to go now.

Ivan was getting irritated. He let out a low growl. Gregg took a step toward the guard.

Gregg: Now see here…

Guard: Leave this minute or I’ll call the police.

Gregg: Let us past you.

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The guard picked up the phone.

Guard: Yes, we need you at the Council Hall. There’s a bear and a tiger here. We need you to get them out of here. They’re meaner than grizzlies.

Gregg: I AM a grizzly.

Guard: I mean they’re madder than wet hens.

Gregg and Ivan looked at each other in disgust and stalked out the door.

Ivan: I guess we’ll have to get a lawyer.

He took out his phone and entered the number.

Voice: Sharkfin and Sharkfin, Attorneys-at-Law. How may I help you?

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11

Sharks Protest Human Stereotypes

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Our correspondent, Maurice Mako, is off the coast of Australia attending the annual Sharkmania Festival. The festival is a celebration of all things shark. All types of sharks are welcome. Intermingling between sub-species is encouraged. However, there is a rule against eating or intimidating fellow attendees. Even if he takes the last shrimp canape that you had your eye on.

Maurice filed this report:

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As usual, the attendees are having a wonderful time. Much of the early part of the day is spent in seminars and roundtables with the evenings being reserved for socialization. Some of the more popular presentations have been:

Oral Hygiene: Just Because You Can Replace Your Teeth Doesn’t Mean You Should Abuse the Privilege

Following the Scent of Blood Doesn’t Always Lead to a Tasty Meal

Standardized Testing: Don’t Worry if Your Child Doesn’t Score Well on the Shark Intelligence Metric (SIM)

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However, there was one seminar that was full to overflowing and the topic of extensive conversation at the dinner tables. The Preservation of Shark Society presented the provocatively titled

Why are Humans So Ignorant About Sharks After All these Years?

The talk addressed three major topics:

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Sharks are bloodthirsty predators who seek out humans to kill them.

Totally untrue. There are more than 400 types of sharks. Do humans focus on that? No! All they want to talk about are the great whites and hammerheads. And do they ever talk about invading our space? No!

How many of them ever focus on the dwarf lantern shark? Only 21 cm long. Or how about the whale shark? Forty feet long and only eats plankton.

Besides, who would want to hunt down a human anyway? Most of them are fatty and full of unhealthy chemicals. Anyway, we’re seafood lovers.

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Sharks are stupid.

If we’re so stupid, why are they worried about us catching and killing them?

Shark brains are size-appropriate to the shark. Their favorite shark, the great white, has a brain that’s two feet long and extremely well-developed.

It’s true that shark brains mainly focus on smell, but that’s what important to us. It’s how we find food and keep from being food.

And which species spends a LOT of time in front of a box full of make-believe humans rather than enjoying their environment? Clue: not the sharks.

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Sharks have to keep moving to stay alive.

Nope. Most of us have cheek muscles we use to filter water into our mouths and over our gills. We are not as good as humans at being “couch potatoes.” (We don’t have couches or boxes of humans to watch.)

The humans may be confused by the “glamour sharks.” Their favorite great whites, the whale shark, and the mako sharks as well as a few others do have to move to pass water over their gills.

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Humans need to get to know us to love us!

And how to we do that? We make pictures to go into those boxes the people spend so much time with!

Our next project is to find out how to be as interesting as those fake people or kittens.

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pictures courtesy of Google Images