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Anheuser-Busch Responds to Animal Person

As you may recall, I had to stop drinking Michelob Ultra, the only beer I drink (drank) because of their sponsoring of professional rodeos and because they own Sea World. I urged everyone to write or call and let Anheuser-Busch know that until they stopped sponsoring rodeos and sold or closed Sea World, I won’t be buying their products.

I wrote my tactful letter, praising them for making a beer for people who don’t drink beer, and expressing my regret that I’ll have to limit my alcohol consumption to organic wines and maybe some champagne.

Erin, "Your Friend at Anheuser-Busch," immediately responded with a kind, well-written e-mail explaining their position on both rodeos and Sea World. She also noted that A-B is a major contributor to various nonprofit organization (all of which happen to be pro-hunting conservation organizations).

Essentially, the culture of Anheuser-Busch is steeped in the idea that nonhuman animals exist for our entertainment. Clearly, A-B is interested in the welfare of the animals, to maintain their utility. They "receive ample exercise," Erin writes, although I wonder if the killer whales, which sometimes swim 75 miles a day, at up to 30 mph, in a range of 200-800 miles, consider their tanks "ample."

Attached is a world of information called the Marine Mammal Captivity Booklet, (created by The Humane Society of the United States and the World Society for the Protection of Animals), updated for 2006. On page 50, it states, "Almost all of the orcas [i.e., killer whales] in the United states, and more than half of the captive orcas kept worldwide, are owned by Sea World Incorporated." The booklet describes the myriad problems of capturing, trying to breed, exhibiting marine mammals, and keeping them captive. These problems include significant risk to humans (there’s an entire chapter devoted to those risks). The booklet is well-researched and includes over fifteen pages of sources.

Anyone who thinks that swimming with dolphins is a neat idea, and getting close to killer whales is cool, ought to get educated before taking the plunge.

And as for Michelob Ultra, I’m still boycotting. And so should anyone who doesn’t think animals are here for our entertainment.

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