PETA got a call this week from representatives of Denny’s restaurants confirming that the company has ended its partnership with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Denny’s smart decision to sever ties with a company that (among other things) beats animals with steel-tipped hooks to make them perform required a little bit of pushing from our end, including protests at Denny’s HQ and outside Denny’s CEO Nelson Marchioli’s speaking engagements, mailings to every Denny’s restaurant in the country, personal meetings with restaurant managers, countless calls and emails from our members, a spoof website, and a shareholder resolution calling on the company to end its affiliation with Ringling.
The point I want to really drive home here is that with awesome, creative animal-free circuses like Cirque Du Soleil delighting audiences around the country, there’s absolutely no reason why a company looking to do a circus promotion would ever need to get into bed with Ringling Bros. It’s outdated, it’s unethical, and it’s bad for business. And we’ll do everything we can to make sure the world knows that.
Denny’s joins General Mills, Burger King, Liz Claiborne, MasterCard, Ford Motor Company, and Sears, Roebuck and Co., all of which ended their sponsorships of either Ringling or UniverSoul circuses following negotiations with PETA. Here’s what PETA Director Debbie Leahy had to say about the victory:
“We commend Denny’s for distancing itself from the cruelty to animals that defines Ringling. Denny’s has realized that supporting animal abuse is no way to promote a family-oriented business.”
A huge thank you to everyone who took action on this campaign—calling or e-mailing Denny’s, participating in protests, or simply encouraging their friends and family to boycott the company until it ended its association with Ringling. This is a big victory for the animals suffering under the Big Top, and it sends an important message to circuses that use animals that their days are numbered. But they already knew that.
And finally, if you have a moment, please click here to ask AAA to follow Denny’s lead and sever all ties with Ringling Bros.