Welcome to WMARA!


BIG E PROTESTS: 9/21-22, & 9/28-9/29, 1-3, Gate 4!
VIGIL FOR BEULAH: SUNDAY, 9/22, 6:30-8:00, Gate 4!

Beloved BeuBeulah - day before death at Big Elah suffering at The Big E the day before her death on Sunday, September 15, 2019. She was clearly ill, yet left to die there. She ended up collapsing THREE times the day of her death. She was 54 years old. Since she was torn from her family in the wild in Asia 52 years ago, she has been exploited and abused for human entertainment. Prior to her appearance at the Big E, Beulah hadn’t been seen for almost a year, only to be subjected to one final round of forced labor, her suffering apparent to anyone who truly cares about elephants and doesn’t have a vested interest in exploiting them as the Commerford Zoo and Big E do.

Big E flyer 2019_final draft PROPORTIONAL with Collin - JettNewBig E.back.leafletInstagram pic of Beulah 2 days before death

The beloved Beulah of Commerford Petting Zoo collapsed three times and then died at The Big E this past Sunday. This news is heartbreaking and enraging, as she was clearly in poor health in pictures here obtained Friday and Saturday. Both Animal Control and USDA were notified, yet no action was taken.

The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) stated this about poor Beulah: “Because of businesses like the Commerford Zoo and the Big E, she never had a chance to live. Under threat of a bullhook, the Commerford Zoo stole from Beulah her freedom and anything resembling a natural existence for an elephant. Prior to her appearance at the Big E, Beulah hadn’t been seen for almost a year, only to be subjected to one final round of forced labor, her suffering apparent to anyone who truly cares about elephants and doesn’t have a vested interest in exploiting them as the Commerford Zoo and Big E do.”

But some positive things are coming from this tragedy, including public outrage and media coverage about the cruelty of using wild animals at The Big E. Western Mass News has been doing an outstanding job covering this tragedy and will be at our vigil. Hopefully Beulah’s death will help get a state bill passed that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling exhibits – S. 2028, H. 2934: An Act relative to the use of elephants, big cats, primates, and bears in traveling exhibits and shows. We must use this tragedy to get this bill passed, so PLEASE URGE YOUR LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT IT! It will be up for hearing soon. Hopefully Beulah’s death will be the extra nudge needed to pass this bill. Find your state legislators’ contact info. here. And please share this with fellow residents. Thank you!!!

Please see Nonhuman Rights Project’s statement on Beulah’s death and info. about her here. Beulah’s sister Karen died recently, leaving poor Minnie all alone. And we are very concerned about her well-being now, as she hasn’t been seen in public since July 4th. She also looked very sickly at last year’s Big E, as you may recall.

Please join our candlelight VIGIL in loving memory of Beulah THIS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 6:30-8:00, AT GATE 4 OF BIG E! Candles, pins, and signs will be provided, but feel free to bring your own sign. Please try to wear black. And please share the FB event page. If you want a ride from Big Y parking lot, please let me know ASAP.

Thank you!

The Big E(xploitation of Animals) is back! Please read to see ways to take action.

So it’s time yet again for The Big E! Unfortunately, Commerford Petting Zoo will be back again, but GREAT news…they won’t be having elephant rides this year!!! And pig racing also won’t be back! Our hard work is paying off. Although, Commerford will still have one elephant for pictures ($$$) and “educational” presentations. And they will still have camel & pony rides, as well as their many exotic animals (kangaroo, lemurs, zebra, oryx, etc.). And I’m pretty sure Commerford’s trailers will also be back with a “Unicow”, “Porky the Giant Pig”, “World’s Largest Horse”, and “World’s Smallest Horse”. Bear Country trailer, Camel Kingdom, and Big E Circus (with at least camels and dogs) will definitely be back again. Scroll down for more info. about these exhibits and other ways you can take action.

More good news…Westfield Bank listened to our complaints and is no longer sponsoring Camel Kingdom! Thanks to all who complained to them! Please thank Westfield Bank for not sponsoring Camel Kingdom again this year at customerservice@westfieldbank.com! Post on their FB page too. And please complain to the NEW sponsor, asking them not to sponsor this cruel exhibit again: Uncommon USA – sales@uncommonusa.com. Thank you!

Please try to attend at least one protest and scroll down to see how else you can help! Thank you!!! We’ll likely get press coverage again, thanks to last year’s outrage about some disturbing footage of one of Commerford’s elephants and a camel that went viral. Western Mass. News did an excellent job covering the outrage and interviewed us, as did WWLP. We were even on the Bax & O’Brien show (WAQY)! And other media sources throughout New England covered it too.

9/14-15, 1:00-3:00
9/21-22, 1:00-3:00
9/28-29, 1:00-3:00

***Please leave at LEAST 40 minutes early to prepare for traffic!!! It may be worse this year, due to work on the Morgan/Sullivan Bridge.

***Rain or shine, except in the case of heavy rain or thunderstorms! Check for a cancellation email, FB post, or call 413-374-1921 the day of protest.

***Please join & share our FB event page too, even if you can’t attend! It too includes “other ways to take action”.

***Signs will be provided, but as always, feel free to bring your own.

WHERE: Outside Gate 4 (see map here). We’ll be across from Latitudes.


* DETOURS listed here

* Please prepare for heavy traffic and bring $10 in cash for parking if you don’t carpool or take public transportation. Or just put your walking shoes on! If you don’t mind walking a little less than a mile, you can park for free at Big Y on Memorial Ave. (in Century Plaza, which is on the way).


*CARPOOLING can often be arranged. Please let me know if you need a ride or are willing to give one. And if on FB, post on the FB event page. Folks in Easthampton, Pittsfield, and RI are looking to carpool, so if interested, please post or let me know. Thanks! Carpools are a HUGE help, so PLEASE offer to carpool, if possible! And on the 14th, 15th and 29th I can take folks from my place, which is very close to the protest site.

* BIG E FREE SHUTTLES: See here for details – https://www.thebige.com/p/generalinfo/shuttles. These shuttles will be from MGM parking garage, Union Station (Springfield), Holyoke Community College, and Enfield Square.
And CT folks, you can take Amtrak’s Hartford Line to Union Station in downtown Springfield, where there will be free shuttles to the Fair.

* And if you’d like to CARPOOL FROM BIG Y LOT on Memorial Ave., West Springfield (free), just let me know. “The Big E Protest Shuttle Bus” will be leaving there each protest day at 12:15 on the dot! But I will not be there unless folks request a ride! Please let me know if you’d like to reserve seat.
* I recommend reading this excellent article by the amazing Abby Power, a college student from Central MA, about the animals suffering at The Big E is a must-see! Some pics of us are at the bottom. Thank you SO very much, Abby, for exposing the facts about the animals in entertainment at The Big E and getting such great pics!


1. Commerford & Sons Petting Zoo – Camel & pony rides, zebra, kangaroo, lemurs, and other exotic animals. Also has animals on display in trailers (“Unicow”, “Porky the Giant Pig”, “Giant Horse”, & “Smallest Horse”) – Animals are kept in tiny isolated trailers to be gawked at. It’s extremely cruel and degrading.

***See Commerford’s long list of AWA violations & accidents/incidents
***See my pics of Commerford Petting Zoo

* As you may recall, at last year’s Big E some attendees (not animal rights advocates and not together) got disturbing footage of one of Commerford’s elephants looking sickly, exhausted, and limping, and one of their exhausted camels in distress, unable to stand being forcefully yanked by the neck. See Western Mass. News stories here: https://www.westernmassnews.com/news/call-to-end-wild-animal-acts-at-the-big-e/article_e5e6db6e-c066-11e8-b5b3-7f9b485dbdd1.html & https://www.westernmassnews.com/news/exotic-animal-exhibits-continue-to-outrage-big-e-audiences/article_b723ad66-c106-11e8-a67d-533c0e40dabf.html. The videos went viral, sparking nationwide outrage and our protests received news coverage from media outlets throughout New England. But we must now tell The Big E that Commerford Petting Zoo is not welcome back to The Big E!

2. “Camel Kingdom”This cruel camel show is co-owned by an owner of Garden Bros. Circus (has long history of serious violations) and the trainer is from Ringling Bros. It is very demeaning and the camels are forced to do unnatural things. It isn’t even very educational! And the music and speakers are blaring for about a half hour before and after. There was a baby camel and another young one in a separate pen, as they hadn’t been trained yet. Afterwards they sold pictures with the camels for $20 each. It’s all about the $$$!

* See my videos of Camel Kingdom from 2017.

3. “Bear Country” trailer – Bear exhibit with 4 adult bears in one trailer 24/7 with no fresh air or daylight. An employee told me they actually live in a trailer 24/7 most of the year, being shipped from venue to venue.

4. Big E Circus – There will be at LEAST camels and dogs.


1. COMPLAIN TO BIG E CEO, Eugene Cassidy, at ecassidy@TheBigE.com and to THE BIG E at info@TheBigE.com!

Cassidy was quoted in this 2015 article in The Republican: “PETA calls on Big E to drop elephant show, petting zoo; fair president says Eastern States Exposition won’t be bullied”. He “dismissed the complaints, calling them politically motivated and intellectually dishonest” and “called it a ‘sterling operation,’ and one of the best he has seen in North America. Anyone who says that animals there are not properly cared for, he said, ‘doesn’t know what he’s talking about.'” Sounds like he has it all backwards. He’s either in denial or isn’t facing the facts documented by the USDA.

***Tell them how upsetting it is to see Commerford Petting Zoo back, especially after last year’s disturbing footage of one of their elderly elephants and a camel that went viral. A photo of a suffering elephant forced to give rides went viral—followed by a horrifying video showing a handler violently jerking a seemingly exhausted camel that was struggling to stand. The elephant, which is elderly, looked sickly, exhausted, and was limping. Mention how you are glad the elephants are not giving rides this year, but how it is STILL very cruel having elephants back at The Big E. They do not belong on the road constantly, but rather in a sanctuary. The travel alone if extremely stressful and unnatural for elephants, and they are from tropical climates where they travel an average of 50 mi./day. They should not be forced to suffer for mere profit. And people do not have to see them in person to learn about them.

***Please complain about the camel and pony rides too! They are forced like slaves to work 12 hours a day, are very poorly cared for, and the ponies’ heads are chained to the revolving wheel. They can barely move their heads. See here.



* Please urge the new sponsor of Camel Kingdom this year to not sponsor this cruel exhibit again. Contact Uncommon USA at sales@uncommonusa.com

* And send complaints to Coca-Cola, Big E Circus sponsor, at https://us.coca-cola.com/help/message/. Urge them to only sponsor an animal-free circus!

4. COMPLAIN TO USDA here. Urge them to do an inspection!
* And send pics/videos that may be a violation of Animal Welfare Act to them at aceast@aphis.usda.gov!

5. WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR! We must educate folks to keep them from supporting cruelty at The Big E. Please try to send a letter to all sources below before The Big E, but letters can also be sent afterwards if you don’t have time or your first letter wasn’t printed.

* Here are some letters sent to the editor (including mine) about The Big E, Commerford Petting Zoo, and animals in entertainment as a whole. Feel free to use them as templates.

The Republican – letters@repub.com (Include name, address, email address, & phone #. Should be brief).

The Hampshire Gazette – http://www.gazettenet.com/Opinion/Submit-a-Letter
The Valley Advocate – deisen@valleyadvocate.com (No more than 250 words)
The Reminder – News@ReminderPublications.com

6. CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS about S. 2028, H. 2934: An Act relative to the use of elephants, big cats, primates, and bears in traveling exhibits and shows. Read more and contact your state senator and state representative to make sure they support this bill. See who represents you here.

7. DONATE BLOOD FOR BIG E PASS TO HELP US GET FOOTAGE OF THE ANIMALS! We plan to attend at least a few times to check for violations and get footage. Baystate Bloodmobile will be giving free passes to all donors until they run out. See their September schedule here. You can call them at (413) 794-4600 too. Other hospitals and The Red Cross may have free passes at drives too, but doesn’t post them on their site. Just keep your eyes open or call 1-800­-RED CROSS, (although they may not know).

* And if you can get free passes in any other way and don’t mind donating them to us, please let me know! Thank you!!!

8. SPREAD THE WORD! Share this email, our FB event page, and urge others to speak out!

We are their only voice! THANK YOU!!!

Hope to see you at a protest!

For the Animals,