Written by PETA
Beatings, bullhooks, and betrayal: A scathing 10-page
article in the November issue of Mother
Jones magazine titled "The Cruelest Show on Earth" lays bare Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
dirty secrets. Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter
Deborah Nelson has slammed the door shut on any doubts about the circus's entrenched
culture of animal abuse and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA)
repeated failure to take meaningful enforcement action against the circus.
Nelson details the painful and premature deaths of baby
elephants Kenny, Benjamin, and Riccardo and how the USDA barely addressed their
cases. She also discusses the trauma, terror, and painful wounds
that babies Doc and Angelica endured when they were forcibly removed from their
mothers. Ringling employees acknowledge that elephants suffer "hook boils"
(infected bullhook wounds), and records and interviews document that babies are
dragged away from their frantic mothers, that elephants spend days on end
chained in railroad boxcars, and that nearly all the elephants are suffering
from lameness. In addition, by 2008, more than a third of Ringling's elephants
were infected with tuberculosis.
USDA officials have admitted that they take an arms-length
approach to Ringling. Kenneth H. Vail, who served as the USDA's legal counsel
for many years, said, "If I were an elephant, I wouldn't want to be with
Don't wait to borrow a copy of the magazine—run out and buy
the November/December issue of Mother
by Jennifer O'Connor
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.