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The Tiger Truck Stop.

Heading back from the Atchafalaya we had to stop to get gas. The gas station at the exit had a big sign which said “TIGER,” which I presumed was just a local filling station’s way of copying Exxon, which used (uses?) a tiger as its mascot. But this was Louisiana, of course, so it had to be more insane than that.  “Oh my God,” Randy said.  “I’ve heard of this place.  I never knew it was here.”

At the gas station, in a large cage, was a live tiger. Of course there was. It was Louisiana. The tiger was called “Tony,” and apparently it had been the subject of political controversy: animal rights activists wanted the tiger out of there.

Everywhere there were signs claiming that Tony was happy and loved and so forth. He certainly didn’t look abused – he was fast asleep when I saw him – but of course a cage at a gas station is no place for a Bengal tiger. (Then again, a Manhattan apartment is no place for a kitty-cat either, nor is alone all day in an empty home any way for a dog to live). Tony had apparently become a flashpoint for the “culture wars”: you could get t-shirts that said

Tony the Tiger, fast asleep.

taste like chicken


right next to the biscuits and gravy

and so forth. Angry signs told the story:

Animal Rights Organizations Like ALDF, PETA, And HSUS Want To Ascribe Equal Rights To Animals. We Will Lose Property Rights To Own Any Animals. Animal Rights Terrorists Are Anti-Hunting, Anti-Fishing, Anti-Circus, And Anti-Caging. We Will No Longer Be Able To Use Animals For Entertainment, Horse Drawn Buggies, Hunt Or Raise Them For Food, Cage Them, Or For Medical Research. Animal Rights Activists Are Vegetarian And Their Ultimate Goal Is No Meat On Our Plates.

The anger, the sense of victimhood, the demonizing of the other side – all very interesting. For more visit their site.

Oh my.


  1. Kim

    This is sad. This animal should not be locked up in an enclosed space. People who desire to own “exotic pets” are messed up. I’d like to send the owner of this tiger to the Serengeti and leave him there to fend for himself. Only then, might he become enlightened to how it feels when one is taken from one’s natural habitat and put in an environment that is foreign to them. The guy is a jerk.

    Posted on 22-Jun-14 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  2. Alex

    Hi John, I read about your website in the PAW… I live in Covington LA outside of NOLA and if you are still in the area or need a place to crash a few nights I cook good and you are more than welcome… warning I have a family of three daughters who do nothing but stare at strangers.

    Enjoy your travels and for Gods sake be safe.

    Alexandra Leigh
    Class of 00

    Posted on 08-Jul-14 at 8:44 pm | Permalink