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National Conference of State Legislators

Written by PETA | August 22, 2007

PETA’s Circus Specialist RaeLeann Smith, and former Ringling employee Archele Hundley, just got back from the National Conference of State Legislators, where they spoke with over 80 state legislators who heard Archele’s account of daily abuse at the circus. The pair also distributed over 400 Training & Tragedy DVDs to this influential group.


One high point in the conference was when a group of kids from Project Citizen stopped by our booth to watch the video, and it got them so riled up that they stormed over to Ringling’s booth, which was located conveniently behind ours, to grill them about what they had just witnessed. The kids backed away as the Ringling goons tried to hand them free bags and shirts, and at one point, they even asked to take our display bullhook to Ringling to confront them. In the end, despite Ringling’s best efforts, the kids weren’t buying it, and told RaeLeann and Archele “They just lied to us; they claim they use treats to train the elephants. Yeah right!”


Face it Ringling, your days are numbered. This generation of kids is just too smart for you . . . Here’s the video that changed those kids’ lives.
Sign Here to Stop Circus Cruelty

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  • Carolelorraine Sipos says:


  • Ana says:

    lashawn Hispanics are also involved in cockfights and I find that an abomination also. I am Latina and although other hispanics refer to it as part of their culture I explain to them that culture is no excuse for cruelty. Many aspects of various cultures have practiced horrible things against both human and nonhuman animals. Some of thes pracrices have been eradicated. Fortunately cockfighting is illegal in all states. Dog fighting cock fights bull fights are all ugly abuses against the other animals. It is time to enter into the 21st century and practice compassion towards all sentient beings. Tink Hill Animal advocates love all sentient beings and that includes humans. Animal advocates adhere to the philosophy of nonviolence and live simply so that others may simply live. That’s sick?

  • kelly says:

    lashawn read Peta’s website. They expose ALL the issues that you are concerned about Why not get involved and help change the world? It is easy to sit on your butt and throw stones. Help out instead!

  • Sharon says:

    Lashawn PETA is not prosecuting Michael Vick. Virginia lawmakers declared dog fighting illegal and Vick was found guilty of breaking that law. The state of Virginia is responsible for upholding the law and prosecuting those who break it. It is not an issue of race. Rather it is an issue of right and wrong. Not only did Vick commit an illegal act He also committed what the majority of society believes to be a cruel morally corrupt act. The color of Vick’s skin is a nonissue His decision to break the law and commit heinous acts of cruelty is the issue. If you review the PETA site you will see that PETA regularly investigates and exposes all forms of animal cruelty including cock fighting rodeos circuses fur farming etc.

  • Kevin says:

    I think it was irresponsible to show the video to the children. I personally saw the video and network t.v. would not have allowed this video footage to be shown on television. These were 5th grade children who did not need to witness blood spraying out of an elephant. And yes the kids will remember those visions. Thanks PETA.

  • observer says:

    lashawn answer these questions!!!! how many times if ever did you go to petas website to read what peta does about the animal tortures and torturers that you mentioned be they white or black???? is it petas fault that irresponsible people don’t spay or neuter their pets abandon them or drop them off shelters and nobody will adopt them???? how many did you adopt so that they don’t be euthanized ‘cuz of overcrowding??? peta people adopt as many as they can!!! why don’t you join peta to voice your protests???? if you don’t answer these questions then you’re mouthing off shit!!!

  • me says:

    its mean to hurt animals

  • heather says:

    In response to lashawn No one cares what color a torturer is when they are being tortured. No one cares anything about a man who is doing evil except that the evil should be stopped! And hello! This blog is not about Michael Vick!! It’s about the National Conference of State Legislators. I’m very glad that the terrible things that Ringling Bros does to elephants and other animals is becoming more known. I hope that organization dies out because they obviously don’t know how to hire people and they don’t care at all about the welfare or well being of the animals. People like that are dangerous to all of us! That video was horrific. It made my heart break for those poor elephants.

  • Janet Fitzgerald says:

    Bonnie PS How come you can’t figure it out and a much a school children did? I think all the dead flesh your eating is impairing your judgement!

  • Janet Fitzgerald says:

    Bonnie you’re in Denial!!! Watch the video! Hear the Testimony!!! Do you have your own agenda or are you just that plain stupid?

  • observer says:

    well tink hill it’s like this. i would rather love an innocent lovable animal than a backstabbing lying greedy ruthless two faced human!!!! that won’t sink into you ‘cuz no doubt that describes you in part or all!!!

  • anti-sean says:

    dear lashawn… dear sweet lashawn first and foremost this post has nothing to do with michael vick. if you want to make comments about it direct them to a pertinent blog. second i would greatly suspect that PETA targeted vick because 1 his operation was so large and the 18page indictment against him made for such a clear indication of guilt and 2 it is much easier to get public attention when directing it towards dogs and not chickens the flesh of whom many people consume without reservation. furthermore if you would please watch the news the TODAY show aired an interview with both Ingrid Newkirk PETA President and the president of the NAACP national office. the NAACP representative said explicitly that “michael vick is not a victim here.” furthermore PETA does not bash humane societies for euthanizing dogs because it is a necessity. dogcat companion animal population is in a state of crisis with them outnumbering every man woman and child in the united states of by a ratio of over seven to one. poor humane societies HAVE to euthanize dogs because uneducated people such as vick breed them and do not spayneuter them. please be more versed on the issues before lending commentary in the future.

  • kelly says:

    Not to mention Bonnie your crap is nearly word for word what scumbag dog breeders come up with So I think we know what you are up to

  • kelly says:

    Bonnie what planet have you been on? The USDA has cited Ringling Brothers for inhumane activity! There are countless videos some by their own employees It sounds like you are just another proabuse skeez As long as someone is making money hurting animals it’s OK? That’s what you apparently believe

  • A says:

    Bonnie I eat elephant everyday. U Fcking moron! Its hard to stomp or smack on someone when you are chained. You think they made up those videos? Do you also think the people who use to work for the circus and say its true are being brain washed by aliens like yourself? UHH Lashawn please break out of your alien bubble as well. Maybe you could help some of these animals. We are talking about the circus here not the dog killer Mr. Vick

  • Anonymous says:

    Bonnie Tink Hill lashawn Bonnie nothing has been embellished but apparently your mind is too closed to see the truth. Slave owners needed their slaves to perform many tasks Egyptians African blacks AztecsSoutherners Greeks Romans et al but they still mistreated them when they wanted them to work even more dreadful hours under difficult conditions. Tink animal advocates have a lot of love for both nonhuman and human animals moreso than animal haters. lashawn cockfighting has a lot of Hispanics involved with cockfighting and as a Latina I find cockfighting equally as horrible as dog fighting. Culture is no excuse for cruelty. And rodeos fyi are legal unlike cockfighting and dog fighting nonetheless animal advocates still are protesting and fighting to end this horrible spectacle where animals are abused and in many instances are killed. Educate yourself and read the PETA files concerning this atrocity. Your lame race card argument is exactly that lame!!!

  • observer says:

    bonnie are you slow in the head or what???? lies??? elephants in the wild don’t live in hot train cars day after day!!! they walk the jungles at least 20 miles a day!!! lions and tigers in the wild don’t jump through flaming hoops!!!! bears in the wild don’t balance themselves on balls!!!! they are all born to be free!!!! free to live in the wild!!!! so how the hell do you reason that wild circus animals willingly enjoy being in captivity doing unnatural behaviors??? how the hell can you reason that wild animals aren’t cruelly whipped and prodded with rods into submission??? whipped into submission like the slaves were. wait. let me guess your reasoning. the animals like getting paid big bucks for their acts!!!! animals for lifelong usefulness??? you simpleton!!!!!!! when the circuses have gotten their use $$$$$$$ out of the animals the animals are taken in by caring sanctuaries!!!! the circuses don’t pay the sanctuaries a penny for their upkeep for the rest of their lives!!!! former circus employees give eyewitness accounts in court about the animal abuses!!!! really sounds like they took an oath ‘cuz they have an agenda about animal ownership and not eating meat!!!!you’re lying to yourself you dimwit!!!!

  • animalfriend says:

    to iashawn black race doing this crime white race doing that crime dear iashawn you are right in specifying all these horrible things done against animals! here i completely agree with you! but as a european and seeing the whole vickcase from a special viewpoint i think that this has absolutely nothing to do with racism! the animal protector as a personality per se is not a racist and not caring about a person’s colour because all of us are used to have every kind of animals for example me i have a white horse with black spots and a dark tiger cat and a brown dog! so we appreciate every kind of colours with animals and people! we think and i think that here i can speak unanimously for all of us here that it’s nice that God created us in different kind of colours it’s nice! milk coffee choclate! lovely! me i like it! but now to the vickcase! what he did is really criminal and sick! as a european i could imagine that dog fighting was once introduced in america by white masters who gave the task to their black slaves to train the fighting dogs and after the civil war this horrible practice remained installed in the whole system specially in the south where the ancient slaves continued this practice to get some money! but nowadays we have to get rid of it as soon as possible because it’s inhumane and forbidden by law! but i agree with you that also the other things like cockfighting hunting bullriding and of course bullfighting is a great problem for every animal protector! and these crimes are committed everywhere in the world! peta also wrote much against all these things and you should go to digg in the peta files! there is also a very intersting article about bullfighting and how jeanclaude van damme is helping the bulls! we have also interesting articles against hunting! peta is also writing to white house people because of this and so on… and you really can be sure that this vick case here has absolutely nothing to do with racism because there are also many vegetarian black people supporting peta like alice walker richard pryor forrest whitaker and my special favorite dick gregory i’m a big fan of him! also once naomi campbell preferred to go naked instead wearing fur but i think in the meantime she has been seen sporting fur again but nevertheless she is a nice person and i saw an article about her in her home with all her animals and she said that these are all her pets and that she doesn’t eat them! really lovely! but you see all these people are educated and therefore respecting animals! so i say it’s not a race problem it’s a social problem! where much poverty is still existing people are less sensible towards animals because they have to survive! so in high societies you find animal loving people of every kind of colour and in low budgeted societies you find people who consider animals as food in the first place! for this it’s so important to eradicate poverty in order that every family and person has the possibility to enjoy the real life a big garden with many animals inside! children growing up with animals have other feelings towards them once they are grown up!

  • Jaclyn says:

    Just outside of Houston there is an annual Rennaisance Festival. There is an elephant ride for children near the back of the festival. I was watching the kids ride on the elephants. Then I saw the handlers with this long stick with a metal poke at the end. That is how the men were getting the elephants to walk around in a circle around the little arena by poking them with force. The second the elephant moved out of the circle they start poking the elephants hard… on the legs their bellies. They weren’t even trying to hide the force they were using! How disgusting! How disgusting! How disgusting!

  • keith says:

    Tink Hill we certainly love you ” Mate ? ” long live Peta and all who serve in her…. Hip Hip Hooray !!! Hip Hip Hooray !!! Hip Hip Hooray !!!

  • Susannah says:

    Children know truth from lies and they acted on the truth here. More power to them! And to Lashawn wrong blog! And one more example of “PETA cares more about animals than people…” uh…no it’s just that this IS an animal rights web site. It’s not contradictory to care about animals AND people and most PETA members do just that. But no one here is going to say that cruelty to animals is OK and if you expect that to happen you’ll be disappointed every time.

  • BullyDawg says:

    Lashawn PETA campaigns againt ALL cruelty whether it be rodeos hunting cockfighting bullfighting animal testing or factory farming. If you want to point the finger at someone so far as putting so much attention on Vick point it at the mass mainstream media! Trust me PETA has TRIED to get the word out on all other forms of abuse. It’s the FOXs CNNs and NBCs of the world that only seem to care when a prominent NFL player is involved.

  • Courtney says:

    Oh Dear Bonnie And Lashawn… Doctered video’s? Who’s talking about propaganda now? Do you really think that elephants can be trained with “treats”? Sister the lady putting on the demonstrationed WORKED for Ringling and saw the abuse that was occuring. Archele like anyone with an ounce of compassion saw the horrors of what was going on and decided to fight against it not condone it. Please do your research before making such a ludicrous comment about fake videos. And for Lashawn you are absolutely right about the rodeo’s and cowboys and such…but if you did your research as well PETA has protested these “sports” as well. Please PLEASE stop throwing out the race card you only make yourself look ignorant for the fact that someone who is accused of such horrific and heinous acts is of colour. He’s not getting this much attention because he’s African American he’s getting this much attention because he’s a pro athlete accused of unimaginable crimes. Get with it. Seriously. and the Humane Society euthanizes dogs unfortunately if there is not enough room NOT letting them tear eachother apart or drowning shooting or electrecuting for profit.

  • lashawn says:

    I would like PETA to consider that there are people that are COCK fighting Chickens in their coops to their deaths and that is not a Black Man Sport that is a dominately White Mans’Sport along with Bull Riding where Bulls get their Testicles tied with a rope to make them Buck while the COWBOYS ride them. Why is the media not investigating these acts of cruelty to the other animals that it happens to from the ProDominately White Race. I feel that Because Michael Vick is Black and Famous you all are prosecuting him to the fullest just to get your point over about your Organization and how you feel it’s cruelty to Dogs when you’re not arguing about the Humane Society Animal Control Centersthat KILL the dogs anyway when the centers become overcrowded from them picking them up in the streets.

  • Tink Hill says:

    I think you people are sicklove a animal more than people.

  • Bonnie says:

    I can hardly believe anyone would believe the lie that circus animals are routinely mistreated. The idea that anything so big it can kill a human with a single smack or stamp could be trained with cruel methods should be just plain ludicrous to anyone who has ever trained a dog horse or other animal. The circus needs animals that can give them a long lifetime of usefulness and you simply won’t get that with those methods. The people spreading this propaganda have a hidden reason for their lies they want to make animal ownership and meateating illegal. You shouldn’t believe anything they say or the doctored videos that they make.

  • Brianna Fritchey says:

    The minds of children are wonderful. Children have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to know right from wrong even when they weren’t taught so. One group of teachers took a class of firstday kindergarteners and gave half of the children 6 MMS while the other children got none. When the children were asked what they thought about it they said that it was unfair. The teachers then gave the children the option to give half of their candy to the other children. Every single child chose to share. Being a young person myself I understand the importance of making knowledge available to children. It’s important to learn as much as you can before the world around you dulls your senses to what’s going on and then by the time you’re 30 you’re usually already set in your ways and have no intention of changing. When given the same knowledge as adults children generally make the right choice. If every child knew of the cruelty associated with the circus circuses would soon be forced out of business because nobody would go. It’s not fair that young people aren’t being given the same opportunities as the rest of the world and I thank PETA for not discriminating about who to share knowledge with.

  • kelly says:

    The Ringling Brothers company is like an indicator in our society for as long as they use live animals in their “acts” America is NOT a civilized nation.

  • a says:

    kudos for the kids!!!and PETA the kids will remember those visions tell their parent and other friends!!

  • keith says:

    Stuff Ringling and the Barbaric Practises with Animal Acts.