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Shanna at the Saddest Show on Earth? Never Again

Written by PETA | August 7, 2009

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Shanna Moakler


You may have read about PETA friend and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler and her ex-husband, Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, taking their kids to the circus a couple of weeks ago—but that was before she saw the recently released footage from our undercover investigation at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. As Shanna explains:

My family and I attended the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus a couple weeks ago, and I believed—as I know many do—that the circus would treat its animals humanely. I was so deeply saddened when I saw PETA’s video showing the horrific abuse the elephants suffered at the hands of Ringling trainers. I took for granted that people were doing the right thing. I hope everyone watches the video at With this new knowledge, we can draw attention to this issue, make changes, and ensure that animals big and small are properly cared for. No amount of entertainment is worth allowing the torture of other living beings. We will never attend another Ringling Bros. show.

Well said, Shanna! Readers, if you haven’t yet seen the video Shanna mentions, head on over to to watch it and find out what you can do to help stop animal abuse at Ringling.

Written by Amanda Schinke

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  • Sandy says:

    It’s sad isn’t it? What right do us humans have to use elephants and other animals as our playthings? To the people at Ringling Bros. why do this? Elephants no all animals have feelings. They can feel pain they can feel suffering just as we do. Is it fair then just because it’s your job to aggresively force dominance over them? Don’t you people have any other way of teaching? I don’t care if you think it’s right it’s wrong! If you were told to chain and beat people for teaching would you? I don’t think so. Just because elephants have harder skin and are a different species from us DOESN’T give you the right to hurt them like that.

  • Amanda K says:

    I went to a circus when I was like 3 and I told my mom right away when I saw how they treated the animals. They hit and wiped the animals right in font of the crowed. Even though I was 3 I knew that it was wrong!

  • nelyk says:

    Ok so I’m guilty. I went to a Ringling Circus approx a wk ago. My daughter I sat there watching I couldn’t believe what I saw. During a horse act one of the poor horses did a nose dive in to the ground while others stumbled on him as he tried to get up. They quickly cut the act short. I kept thinking throughout the rest of the “show” I wonder how that poor horse is? The tiger act came out I’ll have to say I was waiting for a few of them to take off the trainers head. They were so obviously pissed that I was beginning to get nervous. I’ve never liked the circus. It has always brought overwhelming tears for the fact that these animals live most their lives in confined spaces have to do tricks for the entertainment of humans. We left early bc it was starting to get to me. Right as we stepped out of the place there was a PETA rep handing out a flyer. So glad she was there. My daughter started reading it as I did the whole way back to our car. She was so disturbed disappointed. The whole 45 min home she held that brochure against the car window so she could in some way get that message out.although I’m not sure anyone passing could read it I’m glad I went that day. I think we both learned a huge lesson. Although I decided NEVER to go to another circus again before I got that flyer I think it was SO important a huge eye opener for the attending crowd that day. NO ONE can read that ever feel good supporting an organization like that.

  • lynda downie says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly Tamra.

  • Michele Gwynn says:

    I am so upset by this. I want to beat those trainers with those bullhooks to see how they like it. You can hear the painful sounds made by the elephants in protest of the abuse. What can we do? I already share this on my FB and Twitter.

  • emma says:

    no one can blame shanna for going to ringling because like many people they dont know what goes on behind closed doors but thankfully now she and many other people know what actually happens she can make a stand against this cruel and horrific place they need to have their animals removed once and for all i think they would do even better without the animal acts as people would then support them but while those poor animals are getting beaten daily then they can only except bad press come on celebs join us in freeing these animals so they can live rest of their lives in peace.

  • Tamra says:

    This is awesome that she stated that…. But this is still upsetting to me. Why can’t it be just enough that these animals have no freewill? Why does it take them being PHYSICALLY abused for people to be horrified? Isn’t it just enough that these animals are stripped of every social and environmental situation that is natural to them? I find the very thought that they are forced to perform tricks is abusive in itself. Has anyone else thought the same thing?

  • Matt Greenwood says:

    I would never even attend an Animal Using Circus even if PETA weren’t boycotting them! It’s just wrong to force Innocent Animals to perform stupid tricks.