Tag Archives: Animal

A Dog’s Purpose: Running into Hot, Troubled Waters


For one of my birthday celebrations, I invited my friends from Doyon school to go see My Dog Skip at Chunky’s.  My Dog Skip was about a 9-year-old kid named Willie Morris (played by Frankie Muniz) who was given a Jack Russell terrier for his birthday.  The story showcases how the dog fundamentally changes various aspects of Willie’s life.  It released on March 3rd, 2000 and featured Diane Lane, Kevin Bacon, Luke Wilson, Clint Howard, and other notable actors.

It was an incredible family drama that starred one of the coolest dogs as a cast.  When watching the film, I enjoyed watching Skip as the main character.  My Dog Skip was one of many heartfelt films featuring an animal as the main star.  There are a wide range of films where animals become the stars rather than the actual actors/actresses.  Most of these films broke major bank at the box office because human beings are compassionate towards animals.  One upcoming film has everyone in uproars after a disturbing video was released.

Last week TMZ released a video showing a frightened German shepherd being forced into the turbulent waters during the set of A Dog’s Purpose.  The video shows an animal handler grabbing the dog by the collar and forcing him into the water while the dog tries to scurry off from the set.  It goes on for about 40 seconds before cutting to a clip of a scene being filmed.  This video spread like wildfire, sparking outrage among the social media community.

Millions of people rallied to boycott the film and employees are scrambling to fix the PR nightmare that was created from the clip.  Just days before the film is released, several employees involved in the film are offering more details on what happened in the video.  Many of them are divided over condemning the actions and some insist that the treatment wasn’t as bad as it looked.  Whatever the case may be, this PR nightmare spread like wildfire and it isn’t ceasing anytime soon.

Dennis Quaid, who is one of the stars of the film, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss his thoughts on the controversial video.  He stated that, “the video does not tell the entire story,” and that the animals “were treated with the greatest respect and care and compassion.”  On that note, he also added that he wasn’t present when the scene was shot in October 2015.  Even though he wasn’t present for that video, it was interesting that he defended the video that sparked so much outrage.

Whatever the case may be about the provocative clip, it certainly sparked nationwide outrage with its audience.  The film is still set to release on January 27th even after all the backlash.  This is an interesting PR nightmare where social media provided a horrific glimpse of how films are really made when they involve animals.  But if social media wasn’t around, would there still have been backlash?  There’s been many films where live animals were used on the set, yet they never suffered the same PR nightmare that is going on today.

This is an interesting case where various factors were involved in this PR nightmare.  Social media started booming around 2010 and people stayed in tune with what’s really happening in the world.  But on another note, America’s social culture gradually evolved over the past 20-30 years.  So, the questions we have to ask ourselves is: did social media gradually shift our social culture over the years?  Or have people seen enough animal cruelty over time that we really started getting serious about this?  And if so, did social media play a part in enhancing people’s awareness of animal cruelty in society?

In this 21st century, we have to ask ourselves some hard questions about what is socially acceptable in our country.  What was once socially acceptable 20-30 years ago doesn’t sit well with the majority of Americans.  We have seen gay marriage become legal in all 50 states, recreational cannabis use legal in 1/5 of the country, and woman have become more proactive in standing up for their human rights.  Social media opened up a window of opportunities for us to explore, thus gradually shifting the social culture here in America.  It’s reasons like this why A Dog’s Purpose received so much backlash over the controversial video that was released a week ago.

This was an interesting PR nightmare to explore!  I am definitely against animal cruelty or abuse of any kind.  It really is an issue that we need to deplete in order to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all animals.  I love my cat Beavis and wouldn’t even think to abuse her ever!

While I stand against animal abuse, it was interesting to write about this controversial video that was released last week.  Animal abuse has no place here in America and animals deserve the same love that we give to our friends/family.  It’ll be interesting to see what kind of numbers show up on the box office for A Dog’s Purpose when it releases tomorrow.  Who knows, maybe the video could still hurt the film’s publicity in the long run.  For now, let’s take a moment to show some love to our amazing pets that we have in our lives.

 

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Love Hemp’s Canine-Abis is the Cat’s Meow! Woof!


beavis

butthead

I’ve discussed some personal experiences at the end of some news that came out, but what some of you may not know is that I have a pet at home.  I have a grey tiger cat named Beavis who has been around my life since my junior year of high school.  Beavis has grown from a sweet, loveable kitten to a calm and friendly cat that loves company.  We originally got her and a black-and-white cat, that we named Butthead (yes, they were called Beavis & Butthead!), but she ran away while back in Ipswich.

Now as you know, I’ve been discussing a lot more news about the cannabis industry since question 4 passed in November (#Grassachusetts!).  I’ve always wondered if cannabis products have been specially made for pets.  We already have tons of products out made for human beings, but there are times that I wish Beavis would get the same satisfaction as I do.  I love my cat and it was then that I asked myself: Are there any safe cannabis products out there for Beavis to enjoy?

Well I just happened to stumble onto some ground-breaking products that recently came out. British hemp company Love Hemp released a product called ‘Canine-Abis’, a CBD extract oil for dogs and cats.  This product comes in either liquid drops or as atomizer sprays form.  The sprays can either be consumed straight or mixed with food/drinks.  Recommended dosage is set at four drops per 1kg of body weight at least two-three times a day.  And the best part?  It DOESN’T get your dog or cat stoned!

CBD (cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive chemical of cannabis, whereas THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) causes the ‘high’ from consuming the plant.  Cannabidiol is still a relatively new chemical and scientists are still studying the various benefits it provides.  Some benefits of consuming CBD include relieving anxiety, diabetes, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, and other medicinal benefits.

While this product does work for cats, Canine-Abis has already become pretty popular with the dog-owning audiences.  Tens of billions of dollars are spent on pets every year, with the pet industry growing as new products/services are released.  People really love their pets and these figures definitely show much they care for them.  In fact, some people spend more on their cat/dog than on regular expenses (I’ll never understand why people purchase an expensive small coat for their dog.  Hundreds of dollars on a coat…for their dog!).  As cannabis becomes much more mainstream in the next few years, more products/services will be geared towards audiences that enjoy having a cat or dog in their household.

Image result for Dogs getting high on weed gif

I’m so glad that there’s CBD products out for animals!  It’s great that we’re generating some cannabis-infused products geared towards giving our dog/cat a healthier life.  Before the years of mainstream cannabis, dogs and cats would just get stoned from second-hand smoke (and FYI, it’s TOTALLY healthy for your pets to take it in!).

Other than helping out our furry friends, it creates a new niche audiences of pet owners that are curious about the effects of CBD.  Most pet owners are compassionate about helping animals and this product would definitely fit their needs.  CBD oil is an astounding alternative for medicine and we should able to share the medicinal wealth with our furry friends as well.

In the end, I love my cat Beavis and would definitely think about purchasing this product for her.  She is friendly around company, but she does need to calm down a bit when she gets too excited!  If anyone is looking for healthier alternatives to helping their pets, I would definitely look into CBD oil extracts like the ones from Love Hemp.  Cause even pets need to chill with some 4/20 vibes as well!

 

RIP Ringling Brothers Circus: 1871-2017


Like most kids growing up in the 90s, I went to see the circus with my family.  The circus performance came with typical skits – the ringleader introducing the show, clowns running around playing pranks on each other, elephants playing with beach balls, and even tigers walking through a balance beam.  It was all part of good ol’ fashion fun for American families.  Circuses are still around these days, but one major circus performing company is pulling the curtains on their shows this year.

After 146 years of show business, The Ringling Brothers Circus is closing its doors this year.  The owner of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey announced that their final show will be on May.  Thirty shows will be performed between now and May with major stops including Washington, Philadelphia Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Boston.  A variety of factors caused a decline in attendance over the last decade.

Ringling Brothers Circus has been an American staple of entertainment since performing their first show on 1871.  Phineas Taylor Barnum was a showman/businessman who founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus.  Before diving into the circus, Barnum was known as a showman who promoted celebrated hoaxes for his audience.  He wasn’t shy of entertainers/vendors utilizing hype (or in his own words, “humbug”) in promoting materials as long as the public was getting their value for money.

P.T. Barnum was so strategic as a publicist that he was considered a master of PR manipulation in the 19th century.  Public Relations didn’t gain its popularity until the early 20th century, but Barnum was actually utilizing PR before it was even a thing!  Phineas Barnum is considered a legend within the PR world.

Surprisingly enough, Phineas didn’t enter the circus business until he was 60 years old.  His first gig was in Delavan, Wisconsin in 1870 where established “P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome”, a traveling circus featuring menagerie and a museum of “freaks”.  It went through multiple name changes until an 1881 merger with James Bailey and James L. Hutchinson shortened the business title to “Barnum and Bailey’s”.  Barnum and Bailey split up for a bit in 1885, but reunited in 1888 to form “Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth”.

Other than being a legendary figure of public relations, Barnum also became known as the Shakespeare of Advertising because of his innovative and impressive ideas.  He figured out how to draw in the patrons, giving them a short glimpse of something they have never seen before.  His advertising strategy revolves around indulging in the truth and making it seem more appealing.

It’s been decades since his traveling circus took off and now it’s being geared off the rails by May.  Many PR problems caused attendance to drop like flies, but one unfortunate reality that led to the closing is what initially drew millions of spectators in the first place: the animals.  After a costly and long legal battle in May 2016, Ringling Brothers removed the elephants from their shows and sent them to live on a conservation farm in Florida.  Animals have always been the main symbol of the circus since Barnum bought the Asian elephant named Jumbo to America in 1882.

Even after the battle in May 2016, public opinion was still shifting.  Los Angeles and Oakland prohibited the use of bull-hooks by elephant trainers/handlers.  Asheville, North Carolina dropped wild or exotic animals from performing at the U.S. Cellular Center.  As a side note, just go home and watch Disney’s Dumbo if you want to know how bad animal cruelty wasIt’s a classic children’s film that will give you a glimpse of how horrifying elephant captivity was decades ago.

These events mirror off of similar actions that happened after Blackfish was released back in 2013 (read more about Blackfish here).  Attendance has always been dropping the past 10 years (with audiences favoring digital entertainment more than performances), but attendance dropped dramatically after the elephants left.  Case in point: the animals served as the main drive for Barnum & Bailey, but trending shifts towards animal activism in the 21st century caused the circus to take a serious nosedive.

Make no mistake, Ringling Brothers DID try to remain relevant in the digital age.  Actions such as hiring its first African-American ringmaster or launching an interactive app were interesting strategies to keep up with the current trends.  But these strategies were no match for games like Pokémon GO and a generation of kids that looked up to YouTube celebrities.

And with that, it was the end of a glorious era of performance entertainment for Ringling Brothers.  What was once a spectacle showcasing mystery and curiosity has now been replaced by iPads and VR games.  This goes beyond just the death of a company: it’s the death of timeless entertainment for the United States.  Gone are the days of kids being enthralled by elephants balancing on a beach ball for a few minutes.

This was sad news to hear!  I remember going to the circus a few times with my family and it was fun to watch the animals perform.  On the plus side, it’s great that the animals will finally be released back in the wild after all those years of performing.  Blackfish basically ruined the reputation of animal performances for Orcas, as well as elephants.

Time played a factor for the cultural shift against animal cruelty.  Before the age of social media, we were naïve about how the animals were treated after the performances were over.  Social media provided us a window to the bleak truth of companies conducting animal cruelty towards their animals.  We are now informed of these controversies, forcing us to act upon these problems to create a better world for our future generation.  Our history won’t ever be erased, but we can definitely learn from our mistakes and create meaningful entertainment that doesn’t endanger animals’ lives.

5 Nominations From the Silver Screen


In less than a month, we will decide between two candidates on who will become the next President of the United States.  Tensions have been flaring between two parties, with both parties calling each other out over controversial events.  The thing that most people would agree on is that both candidates received the lowest rating of approval in this year’s election.  There is even a petition calling for both candidates to be scrapped from the ballot to vote for new candidates this year.

Image result for trump vs. clinton

While this idea wouldn’t be happening any time soon, it’s shocking to see such low approval ratings between the democratic and republican nomination.  What’s even more staggering is the slew of negative responses of this year’s republican candidate from the republican party.  If there was a decision to scrap both candidates, it would be interesting to see what candidates would be placed on the ballot.

MakeSandcastlesNotWar presents topics within the entertainment industry, especially with what plays out on the silver screen.  The silver screen has graced us with some colorful characters that we will never forget.  Some of these characters could be a better choice to be nominated for President.  Here are some interesting choices for presidential nomination from MakeSandcastlesNotWar:

Frank Underwood, House of Cards

Before Hillary and Trump were campaigning for their nominations, there was a colorful president that we just had to binge-watch on Netflix: Frank Underwood.  Played by Kevin Spacey in House of Cards, Frank Underwood is a no-nonsense political figure who conducted every underhanded tactic to get what he wanted.  He wasn’t satisfied with being a senator, so he worked his ass off to climb all the way to the top as President.

Cutting off ties with old friends was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Frank’s corrupted tactics in the White House.   Frank Underwood is one selfish and self-centered to watch (his initials are F.U., so that should say a lot about him!).  It’s already been a dirty game the past few years and Frank Underwood would fit right in with the political atmosphere.

Olivia Pope, Scandal

People say politics is about spinning the story towards their favor and no one knows better than about spinning stories than Olivia Pope.  Kerry Washington stars as Olivia Pope, a crisis manager of her firm Pope & Associates.  Pope works with her co-workers, a.k.a her “gladiators”, who work to solve crises within the White House.

We could really use someone who would solve the most complex crises here in America and Olivia Pope would be just the right fit.  If Pope ever thinks about retiring from Pope & Associates, she could always try to land a spot solving crises as President!

Don Draper, Mad Men

During this time of anxiety and confusion, we could really use someone who keeps himself calm and collected in times of chaos.  Don Draper would be just the right man who can keep Americans relaxed when things start to get tough.  Jon Hamm won numerous awards as Don Draper, a creative director for Sterling Cooper who later became a founding partner of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  He worked on various ad campaigns that sold thousands of products to customers.

As a mad man in Manhattan, Don knows the trick in selling products in a way that appeal to all audiences.  Not only would Don Draper make a calm and collective President, but he would be a whiz in creating political ads for his campaigns.  If you ever need someone to create appealing political advertising, Don Draper would be the mad man for you!

Nancy Botwin, Weeds

Various states are aiming to legalize cannabis this year and what better President to lead the cannabis culture than Nancy Botwin?  Mary-Louise Parker stars as Nancy Botwin, a weed dealing suburban mother who does anything she can to support her sons Silas and Shane.  From slinging weed to marrying the mayor of Tijuana, Nancy Botwin has pulled every trick in her web of lies during her crazy escapades.

At one point she worked at a department store where a tunnel was built underground connected to Tijuana (which actually became a REAL thing!).  Many Americans now favor the idea of legalizing cannabis, so Nancy Botwin would be the ideal candidate for leading America to a greener world.  Silas and Shane could also have important roles in cannabis regulations within each state.

Frank Gallagher, Shameless

People are becoming so fed up with the amount of problems we face this year: a shrinking middle class, more unknown diseases crossing into the country, universal healthcare with skyrocketing costs, and a huge surge of heroin use that has quadrupled since the 1990s.  It just seems as though America has become so shameless the past few years.  If we want to continue this shameless path, we will need Frank Gallagher to lead the way.  William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, father of six kids in Chicago.  Even as a shameless alcoholic, Frank usually spouts his political and social concerns about the country.  His political slogan? Frank Gallagher: Make America Shameless Again.  A vote for Frank is a vote for a shameless four years.

Honorable Mentions: Harambe

JUSTICE FOR HARAMBE!  But in all seriousness, Harambe could be the animal candidate since human beings haven’t been getting their act together.  After being fatally shot in the Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe’s legacy still lives on to this day.  A group of baboons happens to be called a Congress, so Harambe would have a shot in the political world.

His stance would involve more bananas to be harvested and less cruelty towards gorillas all across the country.  Voting for Harambe would do justice for him and the other gorillas who wish to be free.

Honorable Mentions: Ken Bone

Ken Bone isn’t a fictional character, but he became an internet sensation after being on TV.  His Izod red sweater just oozes with innocence and his question was just absolutely amazing.  The best part about him?  Watching him take pictures of the debate…with a disposable camera!  If we really could scrap both candidates, my vote would go towards Ken Bone.  With all of the complex problems we are dealing with, we really could use an innocent man like Ken Bone for president.

Kings of The Jungles


Here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar the main focus is spreading news to our fans about things within the entertainment industry.  I find joy in writing about the latest happenings in a celebrity’s life, what new shows are premiering, movies that are released, and random PR stunts from businesses.  It’s always a party in Hollywood and everyone love receiving the scoop about the world of entertainment!

Once in a while we shift away from La-La Land to read about what’s happening in the other necks of the woods.  There are shocking stories happening all around this country.  Some stories make us gasp at the excitement of something big, while some of them make us bow our heads in disappointment.  One controversial PR nightmare has swept audiences into a rage of fury and it all happened at a zoo in Cincinnati.

So here’s the story: The 3-year-old boy slipped into the fence and fell into the gorilla exhibit at Cincinnati Zoo.  A 450-pound gorilla named Harambe noticed the child fell over and came over to him.  As the mother panicked over the sight of her child, the zoo keeper took charge and shot Harambe.  The child climbed back into his mother’s arms and Harambe was dead, laying around her caged “habitat” created for her.

This is not the first time something like this happened. A similar event happened 20 years ago in Brookfield, Illinois in where a 3-year-old climbed through the barriers over at the Western Lowland Gorilla Pit.  Binti Jua, the female gorilla in the exhibit, cradled the young boy after watching her fall.  No tranquilizers or guns were used during the event and the boy returned safely into her mother’s arms.  What was interesting was that no gorillas were harmed or killed during this incident.

A petition titled ‘Justice for Harambe’ was created on Change.org, calling for the parents to be charged for Harambe’s death.  Over hundreds of thousands of users signed the petition and it has been spread all across the internet.  Here was the message:

 

This heartbreaking decision was made in the best interests of keeping the child and the public safe. This beautiful gorilla lost his life because the boy’s parents did not keep a closer watch on the child. We the undersigned believe that the child would not have been able to enter the enclosure under proper parental supervision…It is believed that the situation was caused by parental negligence and the zoo is not responsible for the child’s injuries and possible trauma. We the undersigned want the parents to be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life.”

 

It’s clear that sides are already being drawn up in this epic battle between man vs. animal.  Celebrities have already drawn up their side on the whole issue.  Famed primatologist Jane Goodall weighed in on the situation, writing an upsetting email to the zoo director the day after it happened.  The blame game has been spread across different angles ever since the story spun around social media.

At the end of the day, this controversial PR nightmare has so many angles.  Who is to blame for this shocking incident? The parents?  The zookeeper?  The bystanders wandering near the exhibit?  We can’t put any blame on Harambe, since gorillas and human beings are different species.  If this and the Brookfield Zoo incident were the similar, then why were two different outcomes?  Have we become so dehumanized from nature that we are scared of all animals?  Either way, I must say I am appalled at the outcome of the situation.  This was a PR nightmare waiting to happen once Harambe was shot.  The zoo should’ve thought of a better plan to an incident like this.  It wasn’t necessary to exterminate another member of an endangered species.  Human beings are killed by animals every year, but the damage we do towards animals pose a much bigger problem for our country.  Animals of all species are not safe from the perils that human beings conjure up.  The battle of man vs. nature still rages on and human beings continue to dehumanize themselves from the natural environment.