You can make up your own mind as to whether or not working animals in a circus is considered animal cruelty.
According to this website Ringling Beats Animals, a video shows elephants being hit in the face, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until bloody. Tigers are viciously struck with sticks until they perform difficult and confusing tricks.
Update: Here’s another video showing how baby elephants are broken or trained.
Circus animals spend most of their lives in confinement traveling from city to city often in extreme temperatures. Ringling Bros. will be in Phoenix and Tucson during late June and early July respectively.
Update: There’s a rally against Ringling Bros. cruelty on Thursday June 30 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center. To participate just show up or view this Facebook page.
According to the website, constant travel means that animals are confined to boxcars, trailers, or trucks for days at a time in extremely hot and cold weather, often without access to basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care. Elephants, big cats, bears, and primates are confined to cramped and filthy cages in which they eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate—all in the same place.
Watching the videos is heartbreaking…for me. You may have a greater tolerance for animal cruelty.
Animal abuse will never be the greatest show on earth.
Update: There will be a peaceful protest in Phoenix. Check out this Facebook page for more info.
Speaking of elephants, there has been controversy as to whether or not Tai the elephant used in the film, Like Water for Elephants with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, was subjected to animal cruelty. The motion picture association says absolutely not but this video questions the issue.
Update: Here’s a beautiful video showing two elephants reunited after 20 years. Elephants never forget.
(Photo is courtesy Google image/global animal site which offers alternatives to animal friendly venues instead of circuses.)