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Banning Animals In The Circus Essay

1188 words - 5 pages

As a kid I always dreamed about running away to the circus-not because I wanted to perform or even that I wanted to get away-I just wanted to play with the animals. I wanted to pet the lions, feed the elephants and ride the horses. So when the circus came to town once a year I was in total bliss. I remember asking my mom almost every hour if we could drive by the set up so I could check the progress of the majestic tent. But the circus was different for me in 5th grade. Although my day started with the typical excitement, it ended when we parked the car. I saw flyers being passed out to people and being placed on the windshields of near cars. I grabbed one that dropped on the ground. I was ...view middle of the document...

Although they are camouflaged by obedient performances circus animals are suffering. Standard training relies on the use of bull hooks, whips, starvation and electric prods to force the animals into submission. Henry Ringling himself said in his memoir “These animals work by fear”. Fear that was instigated by abuse. People for the Ethnic Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that since 1992 at least 30 elephants (4 babies) have died prematurely because of inhumane treatment in Ringling Brothers Circus alone. Including an 8-month-old elephant that was euthanized after suffering severe and irreparable fractures to both hind legs after falling of pedestal during a training exercise. Did you know that lions and tigers are instinctively scared of fires? This natural instinct acts as protection from deathly wild fires. However they are still forced to jump through it. In 2009 PETA also obtained video of 8 Ringling employees (including the head elephant trainer and animal superintendent) beating helpless elephants before a performance. This repulsive act of animal abuse left Ringling with a small fine of $270,000 for failure to comply with Humane-Treatment laws.
It’s important to remember the circus is a multimillion dollar corporation, funded by the work of imprisoned animals. Yet they still fail to provide the stars of the show with effective shelter, food and veterinary care. PETA reports that in 2004 a 2 year tiger died from a heatstroke after traveling through the Mojave Desert in a poorly ventilated boxcar. The Humane society also reports that every major circus in the United States has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), proving the circus industry values money over morals.
In the wild elephants live in sociable herds and walk up to 25 miles a day. But in the circus they are traveling for nearly 26 hours straight on average. They are constrained by chains and placed in small box cars with little access to food and water and are forced to stand in their own waste and endure extreme temperatures. In the wild Elephants typically stay with their mothers for three years. But in the circus they are abruptly detached at the age of 8 months resulting in psychological and physical pain to both the mother and baby.
But it’s not just the animals in that are in danger, the circus poses a threat to the safety of the public. The conflict between their natural instincts and the stress of captivity and abuse has led...

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