The April 9th meeting of the Tuesday Club was held at Tricia Stacey's home with Dona Masters as the Co-Hostess. President Pam Maryjanowski called the meeting to order at 7:15. There were 15 members in attendance.
Pat Kennedy, the nominating chair presented the following slate of officers for the 2019-2020 program year: Pam Maryjanowski - president; Lois Donnavan - vice president; Sally Grimm - treasurer and Ann McElwee - secretary. The secretary casted the required vote.
The May Banquet will be held on May 11, 2019. The group will be taking a guided tour of the Buffalo Zoo and enjoying lunch at Parkside Meadows.
Tricia introduced Pat Payne who shared the book "Death at SeaWorld" by David Kirby, published in 2012. Pat began by sharing her beliefs regarding animals in captivity. Her beliefs mirror the author's conviction as well. Kirby is against captive programs. He asks us to consider the questions: 1. Is it good for the whales? 2. Is it good for society? The answer to both is no. The killer whale is a social, intelligent and charismatic animal. These animals have a large brain, have been around for million of years and have complex language. In the wild the animal's life span is 50 to 70 years. In captivity these animals live to about age 20 and have a high infant mortality rate.
These whales live in three types of groups: resident pods, offshore pods, and transient pods, often living in the same pod from birth. When the whale is taken captive, it is removed from its family. Often the animal takes out its emotions on other whales and sometimes people.
Pat shared the story of Tilikum. He was captured at age 2. He lived with other whales not of his type. He was frustrated, abused, bored, stressed, dangerous and disturbed. He eventually killed 3 people.
Captive whales cannot be released into the wild but can be released to whale sanctuaries which gives them a natural, safe environment to live as they should.
Nelda Toussaint shared the book "The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son" by Rubert Isaacson published in 2009.
Rupert Isaacson's son, Rowan was diagnosed with autism. Rupert was devastated, fearing that he would never be able to communicate with his son. Rowan did respond to horses and when he rode with his dad, showed improvement.
Rupert attended a healing ceremony with the Khomani Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. While there he learned of a place in Mongolia where horses and shamanic healing interconnected. The family takes the arduous journey to Mongolia enduring hardships caused by Rowan's autism, travel, film crew and the uniqueness of other cultures. The trip was a success and while Rowan is still autistic, he has improved his language and social skills. He was exposed to many interesting and new experiences in a quiet environment that did not overload his sensory system.
A side note: not all children are able to go to Mongolia, but they can benefit from Rowan's experience. He was able to learn in a quiet, interesting place away from crowds, florescent lights, traffic and noise with appropriate stimulation. This benefits autistic children.
Both presentations were well received and left us with much to ponder.