Published April 13, 2014
I was considering a number of possible blog topics: The media's cud-chewing regarding the missing folks from Flight 370. The lack of NEWS" whilst the media chews their cud...re: 370, my explanations of why Jews celebrate Pesach/Passover, and why the focus on dietary meshuggieness of Passover misses the point, Why you should NOT buy a live rabbit....and, now, thew Kansas City shootings.I must say, some of these topics important, some fun,some controversial, but the hell and horrors of the circus are stuck in my mind.When Eric Ryan tells me how popular the circus is, here in Y-town, in THIS century, befuddled is an understatement.I'm sure there was a time that my parents took us to the circus...probably preceded with yelling and, most likely, followed by some level of violence at home, at the very least, more yelling and threats: "if I hear ANY noise up here, I'll be back, fists flying".In fairness to my parents, what they probably didn't know, was that the circus they were promoting by going, was fueled and filled with violence,abuse and neglect. The difference TODAY, is that those that attend the circus KNOW about SOME of the hell and horrors, yet,some still go! :
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:
- Improper handling of dangerous animals
- Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals, including an elephant with a large swelling on her leg, a camel with bloody wounds, and a camel injured on train tracks
- Causing trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, and unnecessary discomfort to two elephants who sustained injuries when they ran amok during a performance
- Endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of their enclosures
- Failure to test elephants for tuberculosis
- Unsanitary feeding practices
At least 30 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.
...and, that's just PART of the HELL and HORROR that attendees support!
So, my question to you, to those, considering attending, therefore supporting this hell and horror, if you go, what will YOU tell your children, when they learn that YOU supported this hell and horror and took THEM, KNOWING the cruelty behind the scenes?