Written by PETA
Poor Ella PhantzPeril. Everywhere she tries to go, she gets a chilly reception, even though she is drop-dead gorgeous and was designed by renowned New Yorker cover artist Harry Bliss.
First, Kansas City gave her the cold shoulder when we tried to arrange for her to take up residence in a city park for a month to coincide with a visit from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The city banished her because of her "political" message. Now, St. Louis has said she is unwelcome because she is an "advertisement."
Since all we want to do is remind the public about the abuse that elephants endure while constantly traveling and performing in circuses, separated from their families and their natural environment, we are crying "foul."
We say that both rejections sound an awful lot like infringements on free speech, and we're not taking them lying down.
Keep checking back, and we'll be sure to let you know when Ella finds a home.
Written by Alisa Mullins
That's the grand total of years that the 18 elephants used and abused by two of Ringling's touring units have been forced to endure beatings, chaining, and standing in cramped, sweltering boxcars. If you break that down, Ringling has tormented just these elephants—they have dozens more—for a total of 5,724 months, 24,804 weeks, or 174,105 days.
To put this in perspective, Baby, Sarah, and Banana (three of the elephants who are traveling with Ringling) were forced to perform for the first time in 1968—the year that Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. We've come a long way since then—or have we?
Ringling talks a big game about "elephant conservation," but the reality is that Ringling has actually removed more elephants from the wild than it has bred. Most of the elephants you see pirouetting and standing on their heads in Ringling performances at one point in their lives roamed vast jungles. You might call it Ringling's other dirty secret (besides that little issue of beating the @#$% out of elephants when they think nobody's looking).
Ringling's elephants are also dying faster than they are breeding: At least 26 elephants, including four babies, have died since 1992. Eight were under the age of 40 (which is just about half an elephant's natural life expectancy of 70 years). Oh, and those babies Ringling does manage to breed are only used to replenish its stocks as other elephants die—they will never be released into the wild—ever.
Pretty depressing, isn't it? Ringling must be using some kind of new math to make all that add up to "conservation."
If you follow the jump, you can read about each of the elephants—and the life sentences to which Ringling has condemned them.
As a dedicated Chelsea Lately fan, I was thrilled last night when Chelsea Handler opened her show with the announcement that she had adopted a mutt she has named Chunk from an animal shelter.
Chelsea has joined the growing list of celebrities who are showing the world that the era of the "purse pup" is so over—compassion is the new trend. Chunk is definitely one lucky pup to join the Handler brood, because Chelsea is obviously as kind as she is hilarious.
Now, with a faithful new companion by her side, I've got to ask the question that's on everyone's mind—what's going to happen to Chuy?!
Written by Christine Doré
Check out this stellar tweet from My Name Is Earl star Ethan Suplee:
Way to spread the word, Ethan!
Written by Shawna Flavell
This is it, people! The circus industry is built on masking animal torture as family fun—and it's time to force that industry to crumble. As you may know, this week PETA broke our latest undercover investigation into Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. With the powerful footage obtained by our investigator, we are closer than ever to seeing animals freed from the living hell that is life in the circus. Can you imagine being stolen from your mom and chained for an average of more than 26 hours at a time, sometimes for as many as 60–100 hours straight, only to be beaten and forced to perform day after day?
My friends, you're in a position to help end their suffering. How, you ask? For starters, watch the video. Second, sign this petition and forward it to all your friends via every social networking site you're on. (There are even links at the bottom of the petition to help you do it.)
And finally, my personal fave—get your booty on the street and protest like these hipsters!
Just think—this could be you!
Standing up for animals is fulfilling, to say the least. Believe me. So get on out there, y'all!
Written by Missy Lane
Today we released a new investigation inside Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus that shows workers on video as they beat and whipped elephants dozens of times in venues across the country. It's an investigation that I helped work on.
Once investigators capture video from an investigation, my job is to review all the footage and meticulously record the abuses and other notable findings. From that, I prepare condensed versions of the video for the public to view and draft complaints to officials, which in the new investigation into Ringling amounted to nine complaints to a total of 20 federal and state offices.
At times, reviewing so much footage can be tedious and extremely upsetting, but it's nothing compared to the relentless suffering that the animals who are used by Ringling are subjected to.
Most of the investigations that I work on involve farmed animals, in which the longest life span is about two years (for a pig used for breeding purposes). Her two years going from gestation crate to farrowing crate and back, over and over, are miserable, but her suffering comes to an end. For the elephants used and abused by Ringling, the suffering can go on for decades, and there's no end in sight—unless PETA and the public can convince the USDA to seize these majestic, elderly psychologically damaged animals.
Many of these elephants have not known anything close to a "natural" life since they were caught in Asia decades before I was born, but now the USDA has the chance to make things right by moving these animals to a sanctuary where they will be able to roam around the vast area that they need in order to be healthy and happy. Our brave investigator has armed the USDA with the information that it needs in order to make this happen and finally end these animals' decades of suffering.
It is an honor to work on all our investigations, which are the heart and soul of PETA, but it has been the highest compliment ever to be able to work with our investigator to document the heartbreaking plight of the gentle giants who are abused by Ringling and give them a chance to escape from their long years of torment and beatings.
Now that we have given the feds more than sufficient evidence to seize these animals, I hope we will finally be able to make history for elephants.
Written by Dan Paden, Senior Research Associate
Wow! Shepard Smith of The Fox Report went on a rant about how Americans will not tolerate torture, declaring, "We are America. We don't torture. And the moment that is not the case, I want off the train."
I'd like to believe that he was speaking out against the abuse of elephants in circuses, who suffer routine chaining and beatings with bullhooks by trainers in Ringling Bros. and other traveling acts.
Fade to daydream sequence …
Written by Karin Bennett
Archele Hundley is the latest in a long list of brave ex-Ringling Bros. employees to come to PETA with her story about what the folks at the circus get up to when they think no one’s watching. The PSA that she just recorded for us to help expose the circus’s animal abuse is a must-see for any parents who still take their kids to the circus, so please do pass it on if you know any grown-ups with children.
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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.