Published April 3, 2013
Hell comes to town...again. The Circus du Cruelty returns. The usual abuses that have been documented again and again shall be hidden from YOUR view, but you'll be funding it when you purchase your tickets. My question to you, again , is what will you tell your children when they grow up and say to you " mom.....dad....why did you take me to the circus when you KNEW they were abusing the animals?" When your kids grow up, they WILL know that YOU knew there was behind-the scenes cruelty.
So, what will you tell them? My friends at PETA, Animal Defenders,International and other organizations have documented circus cruelty for years.
"Bears, elephants, tigers, and other animals do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. They don't perform these and other difficult tricks because they want to; they perform them because they're afraid of what will happen if they don't.
For animals in circuses, there is no such thing as "positive reinforcement"—only varying degrees of punishment and deprivation. To force them to perform these meaningless and physically uncomfortable tricks, trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade."
In the Ringling Bros. circus, elephants are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until bloody. Ringling breaks the spirit of elephants when they're vulnerable babies who should still be with their mothers. Unsuspecting parents planning a family trip to the circus don't know about the violent training sessions with ropes, bullhooks, and electric shock prods that elephants endure. Heartbreaking photos reveal how Ringling Bros. circus trainers cruelly force baby elephants to learn tricks, and it's not through a reward system, as they claim.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus boasts that its three units travel more than 25,000 miles as the circus tours the country for 11 months each year. Ringling's own documents reveal that on average, elephants are chained for more than 26 hours straight and are sometimes continually chained for as many as 60 to 100 hours. Tigers and lions usually live and travel in cages that provide barely enough room for the animals to turn around, often with two big cats crammed into a single cage. In July 2004, Clyde, a young lion traveling with Ringling, died in a poorly ventilated boxcar while the circus was crossing the Mojave Desert, where temperatures reached at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Clyde likely died a miserable death from heatstroke and dehydration. Previously, two tigers with Ringling injured themselves while attempting to escape from their cages in an overheated boxcar.
Animal Defenders International (ADI) has filed a complaint, calling on the USDA to investigate and retire Sarah, a sick 54-year old elephant at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus after she fell down and collapsed, August 7, while attempting to climb up the ramp onto the train car after leaving the last performance in Anaheim, California.
Ringling Bros. had previously been cited in a recent routine USDA inspection for a “repeat noncompliance” for lack of adequate veterinary care related to Sarah suffering a chronic, inadequately diagnosed condition resulting in pus-like discharge in her urine. In the report, a government inspector noted that staff were not following Ringling’s own senior veterinarian’s treatment regime.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is known for its long history of abusing animals. In 1929, John Ringling ordered the execution of a majestic bull elephant named Black Diamond after the elephant killed a woman who had been in the crowd as he was paraded through a Texas city. Twenty men took aim and pumped some 170 bullets into Black Diamond's body, then chopped off his bullet-ridden head and mounted it for display in Houston, Texas. Ringling's cruel treatment of animals continues today.
Elephants in Ringling's possession are chained inside filthy, poorly ventilated boxcars for an average of more than 26 straight hours—and often 60 to 70 hours at a time—when the circus travels. Even former Ringling employees have reported that elephants are routinely abused and violently beaten with bullhooks (an elephant-training tool that resembles a fireplace poker), in order to force them to perform tricks.
Since 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Ringling numerous times for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), such as the following:
At least 29 elephants, including four babies, have died since 1992, including an 8-month-old baby elephant named Riccardo who was destroyed after he fractured his hind legs when he fell from a circus pedestal. Elephants are not the only animals with Ringling to suffer tragic deaths. In 2004, a 2-year-old lion died of apparent heatstroke while the circus train crossed the Mojave Desert.
Less than a year after a security guard reported the abuse of a chained elephant by a bullhook-wielding Ringling Bros. circus handler in Colorado, an employee at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum—a venue where PETA captured Ringling bullhook use on video as part of a 2009 undercover investigation—has reported more bullhook abuse JUST LAST MONTH during Ringling's March 2013 tour there, that is THIS TOUR !!
Your kids will KNOW that you KNEW.
I know that my PETA friends will be there,when you arrive at the circus, reminding you of the cruelty that you are funding.
So, what WILL you tell your children when they mature and ask you why you funded the cruelty behind the circus and why you took them with you, ignoring the facts?
Well, maybe that's not the question..maybe the question is:
WHAT ARE YOU TELLING YOURSELF IN YOUR ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY THE FUNDING OF THIS CRUELTY?