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PETA V.P. on ‘Today’ Show

Written by PETA | May 20, 2009


nowilaymedowntosleep / CC

This morning, PETA Vice President Dan Mathews appeared on the Today show to talk about the court case involving Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Alert PETA Files readers will recall that Ringling has been sued by a coalition of animal protection groups over what they allege are violations of the Endangered Species Act. Namely, they’re arguing that beating elephants with bullhooks and keeping them chained for hours or even days on end are no way to treat an endangered species.

Here’s a little refresher: Over the course of the six-week trial, reams of evidence were trotted out to support reports that Ringling keeps elephants chained for an average of more than 26 hours at a time, sometimes for as many as 60 to 100 hours straight, and that elephants often suffer from bleeding wounds after being struck with bullhooks. Former Ringling employees testified about the horrors they witnessed while on Ringling’s payroll, which included seeing an elephant who was violently beaten for a solid half hour.

The judge is still weighing his verdict, but in the meantime, Ringling is on trial in the court of public opinion. Kudos to Today for helping us expose Ringling for the sleazy animal-abusing con artist that it is.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Katie says:

    I watched the Today Show this am and say Kathy Lee commenting on the billboard in Florida…She was going on about how it hurts “fat” people’s feelings to see that…has she ever witnessed what goes on on a factory farm with the animals she eats. She made no sense to me and I think she is rediculas. If a fat person is fat that is their choice…Animals being abused and tortured for her to eat c’mon…That is traumatic. Wake Up Kathy if you are going to be on TV and talk about topics you know NOTHING ABOUT!!!

  • Curtis says:

    I prefer to watch FOX Friends in the morning on FOX News Channel but I’m glad to hear Dan made it on one of the morning shows!

  • Charlene says:

    They have gotten away with it because just like all the other animal cruelty going on..NO ONE WANTS TO KNOW!! Go to and see how factory farm animals are treated before they end up on your plate. If you can watch that video and “stomach” it and still eat meat than once again you have buried your head in the sand!!Oh wait how about race horses that win big money for their owners and then end up in China as food on their plates…or wait theres more how about that “fake fur” on your coat that isn’t really fake but is also from China and was once a beautiful animal called a Raccon Dog. These animals are skinned alive and left to die in agony for the last 2 minutes of their lives which have been miserable at the hands of “human beings”. I could go on and on about the suffering that is inflicted on animals everyday in this world because of greed stupidity and mindlessness. The stuff I have seen and witnessed truly makes my soul bleed. I am not a religious person but hope with all my heart that where the Bible says the meek shall inherit the earth it is referring to the animals. Thank you.

  • Lisa Atkinson says:

    This is horrific i have watched the lastest Peta invesigation and was brought to tears not just the Elephants but also the Tigers seeing the despair and sadness in their eyes while being abused breaks my heart seeing the hatred in the abusers eyes its disgusting why have they got away with it for soo long???? soo many Elephants have died un necessary and how many more have to die before something is done about it? for example one Elephant who drowned because he was trying to get away from his abuser got in deep water and as he was taken from away his mother too early didnt know how to swim that was with Ringo. Action sbould be taken now these animals should be rescued its all very well documenting their abuse and torture but nothing ever seems to be done about it the animals are not being saved or helped and they are still in the same situation. We need drastic action now before another one dies and i would be first in the queue to help save them.

  • Talia Jacobs says:

    I am never going 2 a circus in my whole life. that was horrible what they do to animals. i think it should be against the law to do somthing like that and i dont understand why some people still go 2 the circus.

  • Bonnie Morgan says:

    this is an abomination and should not be allowed to continue .. whoever thought making wild animals do tricks is entertainment should be subjected to the same caged and beaten .. Elephants and tigers and lions belong in the wild not in captivity not in a circus or a zoo that cannot hope to accommadate what these animals need to be healthy !!!!

  • Lezlie says:

    I’m looking for info on a Dallas protest Ringling will be here next week. Any info greatly appreciated!

  • Diane Bucy says:

    Good for you peta!!!!!! Those jerks deserve to be beaten like that.

  • Jeffery says:

    It is a shame to see that man in his cowardly act of shame. These people who hurt harmless creature for no fault of their should be out through the same kind of torture. I hope that GOD can forgive them. Shamless. I will never step into a circus ever again.

  • margaret says:

    I hates circus make animals do stupid tricks. We need more TV exposures on circuses mistreatment on animals.

  • roxanne says:

    Thanks Today Show

  • lynda downie says:

    Nice gloss Ringling is trying to put on their actual treatment of elephants. Thanks for sharing your views about the story for those of us who didn’t see it Holly.

  • lynda downie says:

    Not able to watch the show I’d love to hear more about Dan’s appearance on the Today show. However it went down I’m proud of ya Dan.

  • Karen Mesko says:

    World cities need to stop allowing circuses with animals to set up shop in their cities. There are several circuses that do not have animals and are still wonderful entertainment. Animal abuse is not entertainment. Visit The Elephant Sanctuary website and your heart will break for these gentle giants.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Dan Matthews has been fighting for the welfare of all creatures great and small for decades. He’s a paragon of compassion.

  • Holly says:

    I watched this story on the Today Show this morning. I was enraged! The head of Ringling Bros was showing off the elephant “sanctuary”….a place for elephants to breed train retire etc. Why not have a place where elephants can be elephants??? And why does their training device need to have a sharp hook on the end?!?! Thankfully there are people out there looking after them like the ASPCA. I found a way to support animal rescue groups even more by using a search engine called they donate money to animal rescue groups every time you search on the web. We need more companies willing to do good!