Skip to Main Content

Top Five Reasons to Protest Ringling

Written by PETA | April 15, 2011

When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus brought the Cruelest Show on Earth to Norfolk, Virginia, where PETA is headquartered, we were waiting for it with a demonstration 75 people strong.

Why are we so riled at Ringling? Here are the top five reasons it’s better to protest Ringling than to attend a performance:

  1. Ringling tears families apart—ripping baby elephants away from their mothers to spend a lifetime in the circus—but protesting brings families together.
  2. Four dead baby elephants—and counting. Babies Bertha, Kenny, Benjamin, and Riccardo have all died since 1992. Baby elephant Barack was recently pulled from the road when he became very sick with the stress-related and often fatal disease EEHV for the second time in his young life.
  3. Ringling’s “training” consists of beating elephants with steel-tipped bullhooks, sometimes until they’re bloody. Handlers cover the wounds with a gray powder called “Wonder Dust.” 
  4. When they aren’t being forced to perform, elephants are often chained inside filthy, poorly ventilated boxcars for 26 straight hours, on average, and sometimes for 60 to 70 and even 100 hours at a time while they’re traveling.
  5. And the best reason of all … you can perform the spectacular feat of caring. Anybody can do a belly flop into a net, but how many people can say they helped to protect animals from cruelty today?

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Concerned says:

    I am amazed that the circus would even think about stepping foot in Norfolk,Virginia where Peta is headquartered. I guess they figure, “Why the hell not, since Peta hasn’t been able to get us banned from their city or state yet.” I’m not sure how many U.S. cities have changed their laws and been able to bring about a ban to performing animals in circuses, but I would have certainly hoped/thought that since Peta is headquartered in Norfolk then surely that city/state would have already been successful in enacting a circus animal ban already. Must be some pretty conservative(STUPID) people running the show in politics there!! So Peta…I do at least, certainly hope, attendees at the Virginia circus performances are scarce instead of plentiful.

  • linda says:

    as always so disguested with all this cruelty. don’t see why people still attend a circus.

  • jaki lucas says:

    i didnt realise the usa were so behind the times its bin illegal to have anjmals exploited in this way in the uk for years people shud stop payin to see these shows then they wud have no choice but to close them down

  • Carolyn tibbs says:

    Anyone who doesnot see the horible things ringling does is unfeeling and hides their head in the sand. I would not go toone of these for anything and wish I could be at one of the demonstrations.

  • Renny says:

    This is just soo radicalous. They do not have the right to make those BABY ELEPHANTS suffer that way. People are out of their mind…

  • Jessica says:

    ever since i was a child my dad would never let me go to circuses and im so happy he never did now that i know the truth behind it all. my kid will never attend a circus and we are actually going to cirque du soliel in july! yay:)

  • HeidiB4 says:

    Yes, Cirque de Soleil has more excitement and beauty and all without the animal abuse and torment!! Circuses with ANY animals are wrong and should be forbidden!!

  • Happyshopgal says:

    I wished I knew about the cruelty facts before attending a show last year. I would have never thought this is how animals are being treated in the supposedly “more humane” era. It breaks my heart to learn about the poor elephants. I only wished animal cruelty could be put to a stop. But to make this happen, we need to work together and let them hear our voice.

  • genevieve perkins says:

    so what the fuck can i do NOW!!!!! the cruelty i have seen absolutely breaks my heart. made me cry really hard! there must be more then just protesting circuses that i can do???!!! please,do tell!

  • Carolyn Whiteway says:

    Cirque du Soleil is so much more interesting to watch. I’ve seen their show about ten times so far. They are amazing!!! I will NEVER go to a circus that uses animals. That’s old and boring not to mention CRUEL. Shame on Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey…I don’t know how these people sleep at night. I hope they all get what they deserve for all the cruelty they have inflicted on these poor animals in their circus.

  • Ginette Gaudet says:

    Et ils se disent humains.  Moi je dis que ce sont des restants de poubelle.  Car quand tu es humain tu ne peux faire mal.  Si tu es capable de toutes ces atrocités là c’est que tu ne mérites pas de vivre tout simplement.  Car ceux qui font ce mal aux animaux, alors imaginé ce qu’ils peuvent faire aux enfants.  They are sick in their head and for me they do not have the right to live.

  • Sonja says:

    People are just sick! Noone who has a heart could do that to baby elephants or any other living beeing!

  • KioshiDhampir says:

    this is the charm of Cirque du Soleil, they don’t use animals in the shows, only dogs, but I doubt they are cruel to them while they train them.