Lori begins with the sad news of the death of Lolita (also known as Tokitae and Toki), an orca who has lived nearly her entire life in the small tank at the Miami Seaquarium. Even though there were discussions and reports about plans to transport her to a seaside sanctuary, Lori was skeptical that was in the cards when she discussed the situation in 2022, which is replayed in this episode. Animals Today listeners probably do not need reminding, but we will take the opportunity to state that cetaceans, being highly intelligent and requiring large open areas of ocean to thrive, do not belong in captivity in marine parks. We encourage people to make their voices heard by not buying tickets to such facilities.
Lori continues with veterinarian Evelyn Mackay from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, who tells us about the ins and outs of pigs as pets. Pigs are smart, inquisitive, and loyal, they enjoy belly rubs, and some even like to take walks. But even the smallest pet pigs are going to weigh 60 to 80 lbs., so be diligent in your research!
Peter then welcomes Dan Paden Vice President of Evidence Analysis at PETA, to learn about their undercover investigation of Pennsylvania turkey producer, Plainville Farms. Wearing hidden video cameras, PETA’s daring agent gained employment and began working in the facility, quickly obtaining footage demonstrating illegal acts of animal cruelty. This evidence led to several prosecutions and thus far a few guilty pleas. Listen in to how the story unfolds, including the almost unbelievable procedure to round up the birds for transport for slaughter.
Dan also explains that PETA regularly receives animal cruelty reports by concerned individuals and has a dedicated team to handle these calls. We conclude with Dan’s thoughtful reflections on the value of such operations.