The circus appears to be filled with fun and innocence, but behind its glittering veneer, things become ugly.
- The Truth
PETA outlined some shocking things that happen in the circus. These include harm that is inflicted on animals, such as with hooks that are used to beat elephants when they do not perform their dances properly and the beating of big cats as a way of 'training' them not to attack their trainers.
- The Attacks
There are currently animal rights activists who are protesting against animal circuses, and rightly so. These protestors are claiming that circuses should not have animals forming part of their shows. One of these is Animal Defenders International, an organization that is protesting against Peter’s Jolly Circus in the United Kingdom. Other protests include those in:
- 1. Canada
Protestors in Canada also recently took to using non-verbal messages in the form of signs to express their disdain against the Shrine Circus. This was after co-founder of Ontario Captive Animal Watch (OCAW), Nicholas Wilvert, spoke on a megaphone to express concern for how animals are used in circuses.
- 2. Mexico
Uprising has also occurred in Mexico. Referred to as the 'circus wars', it has constituted of a battle between protestors wanting to ban animals, and the angry circus workers against this. Environmentalists have been posting messages on social networking sites to urge people to attack circuses. Activists claim they are struggling against abuse that was noticed in March when a provincial circus was stormed and a bear was found to have its upper teeth and lower jaw damaged to prevent it from biting. Mexico City, along with six of Mexico's 32 states, has since banned the use of animals in the circus. The sad thing is that this ban doesn't refer to shows that include bullfighting, dolphins or animals that are used in the country’s traditional rodeos.
- The Change We Need
It’s about time that animal circuses are banned and protestors give animals a voice. Cruelty to animals should not be happening, but the issue is also about something else: even in a hypothetical world where trainers and circus owners treat their animals in benevolent ways, the animals should not be forced to perform for humans as though they are nothing more than spectacles.
Human beings need to understand that animals have greater worth than being on the earth for our entertainment needs. They should be running free and living their lives without being entangled in human trappings that only serve to hurt - and often even kill them.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.