Following talks between soft drink giant Coca-Cola and
SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness), as well as other animal
advocates over a period of weeks, Coke today [November 16] announced
that it has severed ties with the world's largest rodeo organization,
the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).
In a letter dated today, addressed to Steve Hindi of
SHARK, and Eric Mills of Action for Animals, Coke states:
"While our products may be available at some arenas
where rodeos may take place, we are no longer a corporate sponsor of
rodeos or any affiliated organizations, including the Professional Rodeo
Cowboys Association (PRCA)."
A Coke representative announced the decision after
viewing a documentary by French public television station ARTE. ARTE and
SHARK worked together in October to obtain video footage of three PRCA
stock contractors abusing animals and violating even the PRCA's loose
humane regulations. ARTE's subsequent documentary was aired to over 33
million viewers in Europe.
Coke went out of its way to identify PRCA as an
organization with which it no longer associates. This is a huge
development, which will send shock waves through the corporate world.
Coke's withdrawal poses a major public relations blow to the rodeo
industry, as well as a financial loss. SHARK will reveal its next step
in the campaign to end rodeo cruelty within a couple weeks.
On behalf of SHARK, I want to extend gratitude to
Coca-Cola for its compassionate decision. Also deserving of gratitude
and recognition for enabling this wonderful development is Simon
Billiness, Senior Analyst for Trillium Asset Management Corporation, and
Animal People Editor Merritt Clifton.
Mr. Clifton facilitated communication between Mr.
Billiness and me. Mr. Billiness then sparked talks between Coke and
SHARK. Coke's withdrawal from rodeos came about as a result of dialogue
as opposed to demonstrations, based on building mutual respect and
Dr. Peggy Larson also gave invaluable assistance, giving
a veterinary point of view to Coke regarding the inherent cruelty to
animals at the hands of the rodeo industry.
Coke's withdrawal is especially impressive given the
reluctance of even some "humane" organizations to deal with the issue of
rodeos, and the outright refusal of governmental agencies such as the
Illinois Department of Agriculture to prosecute rodeo animal abuse.
Please give Coca-Cola a quick call to express your
appreciation by calling 404-676-2121 during eastern business hours.
SHARK also encourages letters of appreciation to the
Merritt Clifton, Editor, Animal People firstname.lastname@example.org
(Mr. Clifton can also forward your appreciation to Simon Billiness)
Uwe Muller, producer of the ARTE documentary exposing
Dr. Peggy Larson <
Source: Steve Hindi - SHARK
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- When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals
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