Ah… The Circus. Does it bring back memories? It does for me. I remember as a child my parents took me to see the Ringling Bros. Circus: Flashy costumes, clowns, motorbikes zooming around in cages, and animals… lots of animals! Many different species, from poodles to bears, doing all sorts of tricks and talents that I would have never thought possible of such creatures. Actually, now that I think about it, How does one get a tiger to jump through a burning ring of fire? Or how does one get a full grown Asian elephant to stand on its haunches?
Oh yeah. That’s how they do it: Fear.
Think about it. You’re a four ton elephant. You are literally the largest land mammal on the planet. Nothing should scare you. Well, except that 215lb man with the metal hook. Yep… he is pretty scary. Do you know why? Because when you were a child, you were roaming in the forests of Asia and a group of men murdered your mother, scattered your herd, and tied you up, put you in a box, and shipped you half way around the world. Remember, you’re just a baby elephant. Upon arriving to your new home, you meet a very angry man with a sharp, metal hook. He yells at you in a language you do not understand and he beats you senselessly until you kinda-sorta-not-really figure out what he wants you to do. Oh, he wants me to go right. Ok, I will go right. If I go right, I do not get stabbed with the hook. Ok, go right. Thus, you learn. If you do not, then bad things will happen to you.
Above is an example of how some elephants are taken into captivity and forced to perform tricks against their will . While many are stolen from the wild, some are born into zoos or private collections and sold to circuses. Regardless of how the animal gets to the circus, they have to learn how to act like a circus animal. If a circus has animals then you can be sure that those animals are beaten into submission until they fear their captor. Fear is what makes a tiger jump through a burning ring of fire against its will. Fear is what commands the largest land animal on the planet to act as submissive as a newborn puppy. This is why the circus sucks. Not convinced? Learn more here. Then when you’re done with that, watch this documentary.
Currently I am stationed near Willimantic, Connecticut and I was alerted to the fact that the Cole Bros. Circus was in town. Thanks to the power of the internet I was able to meet up with some local activists and show my support against animal exploitation by protesting the circus. How could I not? It deeply offends me to think that elephants are being poached to near extinction in the wild and some slimeball of a human being is making profit by parading an abused elephant around in a tent… and kids are watching it… and loving it! Is this how we inspire the next generation to appreciate nature and wildlife? No! It teaches children that animals can be seen as a form of entertainment and that these species are expendable.
Along with a few other dedicated individuals, I stood on the sidelines and educated people about the reality of the treatment of animals at the circus.
It was a good demonstration and we spoke to quite a few people. Many were offended that we were there, but others came up to us and inquired WHY we were protesting. They had no idea such abuses occurred behind the scenes at the circus. After a short explanation about our opposition to the event it was clear to them why we were there.
When many think of the circus, they may think of the poster above.
This is the reality. Scared animals that long for each other’s affection. The man in black wields the hook that pacifies them.
The compassionate souls who demonstrated at the Cole Bros. Circus. Thank you for your dedicated efforts.
While traveling back to my lodging, I came across this sign: “I AM NOT A TRINKET.” This billboard aims at educating the town of Willimantic about the trade of ivory. Random, as I bet the small town of Willimantic, CT, does not deal in much ivory… but the point is clear. Elephants are not trinkets. They are not toys. Just as their tusks do not belong in a jewelry box, their bodies do not belong in the circus. Their destiny is their own and they belong in the wild.
Not happy about the circus in your town? Do something about it!