During their brief sorties in West Virginia last year, somehow a high ranking official of “Carey Nation” (aka Grey2K) wound up having his name included on a complaint lodged by federal authorities against an alleged extortionist.
“The Tomblin campaign has called on Maloney to release all emails from staffers, consultants and advisers to/from Rae and Carey Theil, an anti-greyhound racing activist who endorsed Maloney and is also mentioned in the federal complaint against Rae.”—-National Journal, 10/02/11
Apparently the accused individual, Marshall Rae, is alleged to have attempted to extort money from certain greyhound racing business owners in WV, who supported the campaign of Governor Tomblin, rather than that of his challenger, Mr. Maloney, who Grey2K had endorsed. Word on the street is that Rae possessed a video which may have cast a harsh light on several individuals involved with greyhound racing. Tomblin’s family is also involved in racing.
The mind simply boggles at the possibilities of how the insufferably judgmental and self-righteous Carey Nation came to have one of their officers mentioned in this federal complaint. Particularly so, if one had donated money to Grey2K to “help the greyhounds”, as they are so fond of promising to do. It’s unclear, at this time, as to how having one’s name appear on a federal complaint against an alleged extortionist actually helps greyhounds, but it certainly has been no less of a help than anything Carey Nation has done in the past to physically or materially “help the greyhounds”.
Which brings us to today’s subject. There is a national network of activist, extremist, animal rights, anti-racing businesses (yes, I said businesses, because in reality, that’s what they are). All of these businesses subscribe to the following basic premise. Racing Greyhounds would have been better off not having ever been born, than having been made to endure the ceaseless and incalculable cruelties they are forced to suffer at the hands of their greedy, exploitative, and abusive breeders, owners and trainers.
This powerful and well-funded network of extremist animal rights, anti-racing businesses, which includes the infamous and deeply deranged PETA, the newly radicalized ASPCA, the diabolically, deceptively-named Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) as well as Grey2K, do not believe in the concept of promoting, supporting, assisting and enabling positive change. They all believe, instead, in the tyranny of prohibition. That’s why we refer to Grey2K and their cohorts as “Carey Nation”, after the axe-wielding, barroom-smashing icon of the temperance movement. “Carrie Nation” prosecuted her agenda not by rational, reasoned, empathetic and constructive compromise and negotiation, but by trampling the rights and literally vandalizing and destroying the property of others, namely barroom owners and their patrons, and the actual barrooms.
Now Grey2K does not actively promote, engage in or perform acts of violence or vandalism, to my knowledge. They seem far too clever and smug for that.
What they do, however, is to skillfully use the new and old media to call attention to themselves at every opportunity that arises, to impel donations by propagandizing greyhound racing and by negatively stereotyping racing professionals as cruel and mercenary greyhound abusers.
Recently, the Skechers footwear company provided them just such an opportunity, by having the unmitigated gall and insensitivity to include Racing Greyhounds in a commercial they are going to run during the Super Bowl television broadcast. The yowls of Carey Nation’s discontent shrieked and reverberated across the communications universe. The visceral outrage, condemnation and hatred was shrill and palpable as fingernails raked down a black board, and couldn’t have been more vitriolic in its expression than if Skechers had announced that it was going to boil King Charles’ own Cavilier Spaniels alive, in a sneaker-shaped cauldron, smack on the 50 yard line, during the halftime show.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the WE HATE SKECHERS demonstrations that were planned by Carey Nation and friends, to heap disrepute upon Skechers in their outlets and stores, cross-country. Many true advocates and lovers of greyhounds and the Greyhound breed, they being the ones who actually caretake and provide for them, or those who have come to know and love them by adoption, apparently saw through this little hate-mongering and donation-cultivating ruse. They realized that Skechers was about to give our beautiful, elegant, graceful and loveable Racing Greyhounds a priceless gift of positive exposure and publicity that would reach hundreds of millions of potential breed enthusiasts and potential adopters of retired racers. Skechers, to their notable credit, has so far stood strong against the onslaught of hateful rhetoric and physical occupation of their store’s venues.
Even Carey Nation seems to have done a bit of a juke-step, not suprisingly, in light of what looks to be some inhibitive feedback from real greyhound welfare providers, and I would imagine, from some of the donation-giving public. They now claim, if I’m inferring correctly, that the reason they have taken part in orchestrating a national boycott and campaign of disrepute upon Skechers, is only because the commercial was filmed at the racetrack in Tuscon, Arizona. President of Grey2K, Christine Dorchak, posted the following on the Mlive.com blog, 1/29/12.
“Skechers has turned a blind eye to the cruelty of dog racing. By filming its ad at Tucson Greyhound Park, it is glamorizing one of the most notorious dog tracks in the country…..”
So does this mean that Christine would have volunteered to be the leadout for Mr. Quiggley, the French Bulldog star of the Skechers commercial, had it been filmed at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, or at Southland, in West Memphis?
Let’s have a moment of silence to ponder that one. OK—moment’s up. What it probably means is that donations were significantly down, and that they realized they had made a foolish, tactical error in selfishly, churlishly and childishly trying to deprive racing greyhounds of unprecedented, positive national TV exposure. This publicity would be of untold benefit to those who actually do the exhausting, welfare-giving, adoption work, and to the dogs themselves. Real greyhound advocates, and most greyhound professionals—whose earnings are dependent upon their greyhounds’ well-being, instinctively realize that “it’s all about the dogs”. Carey Nation, invariably, seems to think that “it’s all about them and their agenda.” Could people actually be starting to catch on?
Carey Nation, sadly, remains steadfast in its relentless, non-negotiable campaign to criminalize pari-mutuel greyhound racing at any cost, anywhere and everywhere it exists. Even, it would seem, at the risk of sticky, messy entanglements, like that unfortunate little escapade in West Virginia….whatever the heck that was all about.
Collateral damage in their war on greyhound racing and greyhound racing professionals, in addition to the loss of thousands of jobs and careers, the disenfranchisement and displacement of hundreds of families, the scorn of a dis-informed public heaped upon them, would also include our dearly beloved Racing Greyhound himself.
For those who haven’t taken the time to reason through it, greyhound racing, whether one approves of it or not, is the only vehicle that supports the Racing Greyhound. It is the only viable, self and state-regulated structure that allows the existence of a vibrant, athletically endowed, genetically diverse greyhound population. When racing is gone, given the enormous costs of raising them, what greyhounds are left will certainly follow. There won’t be 200,000 happy, retired racing greyhounds living with their charmed and bemused families throughout the country. Those people who have come to know and love the Racing Greyhound as adoptive owners will no longer have access to these remarkable and beguiling creatures, because they simply will have ceased, for all intents and purposes, to exist.
That will be some of the fruit of those organizations and individuals who recklessly and ruthlessly choose to outlaw and destroy, rather than to work cooperatively to enhance and to try to perfect. Greyhound lovers of any stripe, who support and enable these destructive forces are no less guilty of having betrayed the breed, than are those greyhound owners who still refuse to do right by their own dogs, who willingly and enthusiastically served them to the best of their abilities.
The Greyhound has existed since before recorded history. In every era, in every country where he took root, he always had a job to do. He has been a hunter, a provider of food, a courser of vermin, and a racer of unthinkable beauty, athletic prowess and swiftness. The last one is the only job he has left to do in our modern world and culture. It is what he has been bred to do for some 30-odd generations. Our modern greyhound has evolved and adapted to the inputs and feedbacks of racing alone. The greyhound we know, respect and love, is from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, the embodiment and canine expression of competitive racing, his race-breeding, his race-raising, his race-training, his race-handling, his racing environment and his racing experiences. The anti-racing networks say that he and his job are “outmoded”. They would offer him up on the altar of their own myopic arrogance and sanctimony. They advocate for him by making his breeder’s, his owner’s and his handler’s jobs of care-taking him, a criminal activity. It is, when you strip away all the fallacious, non-contextual and ignorant anti-racing rhetoric, nothing less than “advocacy by extinction”. And that, brothers and sisters, is not now, nor has it ever been, a rational, reasonable, defensible or humane concept.