It’s a sad fact that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus is back in town, returning to the Comcast Arena at Everett August 26-29.
In my experience educating circus goers about the cruelty behind circuses that use animals, I’m often surprised to find that attendees truly don’t believe the animals are abused.
It is true that even though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets minimum standards of care for animals in circuses, most itinerary stops are not even inspected. While we may not always hear about breaches to the USDA standards, abuse still exists. When the USDA has inspected Ringling, the traveling circus has racked up hundreds of breaches of the Animal Welfare Act. A former Ringling employee (and plaintiff in a 2009 lawsuit against Ringling) described what he witnessed as "daily systematic abuse." The truth is, Ringling Bros. has a shameful history of brutally forcing its animals to perform unnatural acts using violence and intimidation. (Photo: Forced to perform in circuses, read Lota's story.)
This is where you come in.
Kindly ask your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors to boycott the circus and to pass it on. Let them know that while this kind of entertainment seems like cheap family fun, it’s actually miserable for the animals and sends the wrong message to children.
Contrary to what Ringling representatives claim, costumed bears riding bikes, tigers jumping through flames, or elephants balancing on their heads, are not behaviors they might naturally perform in the wild. In reality, wild animals live their lives looking for food, sleeping or raising their young.
Here are some more points to pass on:
- Circus animals travel across the country 11 months a year, in all weather extremes, confined in box cars with no climate control, while sleeping, eating and defecating in the same cage.
- Circus animals are confined virtually 96 percent of their lives in barren conditions, in chains or cages, traveling between shows.
- When they are allowed out (performing is considered exercise) they are trained using extreme "discipline" such as whipping, hitting, poking and shocking with electrical prods.
Ringling can no longer fill larger stadiums in Tacoma or Seattle. Let’s send a viral message to Ringling that retreating to smaller venues, such as in Everett won’t work in the Northwest anymore. Let Ringling know they are not welcome in any of our communities. Ask all your contacts on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail to boycott the circus and to pass on!
Read more about the plight of circus animals.