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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Top Ten Reasons to Go to Ringling Circus

Written by PETA | February 11, 2007

So a little while back, we had this brilliant idea for a web feature, which was going to be called “PETA’s Top 10 Reasons to Go to Ringling Circus.” The idea was that it would secretly be, like, 10 reasons not to go, except cleverly disguised in a different format. Or something. I don’t remember exactly—but I do remember that the meeting where we discussed it was really fun, and people were laughing a lot. Unfortunately, once the hilarity had died down and we actually wrote up the text, it just didn’t come out quite right—turns out it may have been one of those “you had to be there” type of things. It seemed like a shame to just let the feature die though, so I bravely volunteered to post it right here on this very blog. Just don’t blame me if you don’t think it’s funny.

Anyway, here it is. Ten PETA points to anyone who posts a comment with a reason that’s better than ours. Who knows, maybe it’ll mean salvation for this feature.

P.S. PETA points don’t really exist.

10. Even the dullest show on earth is more exciting than your pitiful life.

9. Get a life! Animal abuse and domination is not entertainment or education. You can enjoy modern circuses that don’t use ho-hum animal acts, such as Cirque Du Soleil. Or come up with some great old-fashioned family entertainment, such as a day trip to a museum or nature preserve or family picnic at a local park. Or God forbid you actually do something active with your kids, like roller skating or a hike!9. Coming from a broken family, you feel right at home among the animals who have been ripped from their families.

8. Baby elephants as young as 1 years of age are torn from their mothers to be broken, trained, and sent out on the road. Four baby elephants born at Ringling’s breeding compound have died since 1998. One fractured both hind legs when he fell from a circus pedestal, another drowned trying to escape a trainer, another got sick and died on the road and one died when she was just a few weeks old.8. You want to show your kids where they’ll end up if they don’t do well in school.

7. Convicts and Criminals and Felons, oh my! From Ringling head elephant trainer Sacha Houcke (who was fined for beating his daughter) to Spanky the Clown (child pornography) to a murderer on parole and an acrobat arrested for sexual battery – Ringling’s had them all. Can you say “The Most Unsavory Show on Earth?”7. You want to teach your kids demeaning of life.

6. Teaching kids about wild animals by taking them to the circus is like teaching them about sex by showing them porno movies. The circus teaches your kids that chaining, caging, whipping and beating animals is acceptable – a bad lesson considering that learning and development experts stress that “Children should see adults treating animals with dignity and respect at all times.” 6. You think $40 on sno-cones is money well-spent.

5. You won’t be alone if you stay home instead of going to the Ringling Circus. Attendance at circuses is down while prices for concessions – sno-cones, soft drinks, programs and kids’ toys are way up. Plan on squandering several hundred dollars for a family of four to visit the circus this year.5. It’s like When Animals Attack meets Russian roulette!

4. At least 12 humans have been killed and more than 100 injured in the U.S. by rampaging elephants. An elephant in a circus traveling in Hawaii killed her trainer and injured another circus worker – it took 87 shots from pistols, rifles, and high powered weapons to stop her. Other elephants have injured and killed trainers and spectators. Are you sure you want to enter your family in the Death-by-Elephant Lottery by going to the circus?4. If you don’t help the circus owner pay his fines and legal fees for animal abuse who will?

3. Ringling management forked over $20,000 to settle charges for the death a baby elephant who was forced to perform while sick; $51,305 in legal fees in a PETA lawsuit; and more fines may be on the way with multiple investigations open by the USDA and a lawsuit for violating the Endangered Species Act.3. You believe that an elephant trainer who beat his daughter would be kind to animals.

2. Ringling head elephant trainer Sacha Houcke pled guilty in May 2005 for beating his own daughter. Lucky for his daughter that Sacha didn’t use the same bullhook on her that he frequently uses on elephants.2. You think that 2000 years in captivity isn’t nearly long enough to understand elephants’ need for vast spaces.

1. Elephants have been exhibited in captivity since before the birth of Christ. Despite Ringling’s claims of education and conservation, there are fewer elephants in the wild today than ever before and those in captivity often die prematurely from health problems caused by a lack of space. While most of Ringling’s elephants were captured in the wild, none of the baby elephants born at its breeding compound can ever be released into the wild because they won’t know how to survive.1. You’re a sucker, plain and simple

P.T. Barnum allegedly said “there is a sucker born every minute.” He might have been talking about people who spend good money to see animals abused at the circus (and pay for those $13 ‘souvenir’ programs).

Did you get this far? Congratulations! Remember, 10 precious PETA points for every reason you can come up with that’s better than ours. Don’t everybody shout at once.

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  • patty says:

    iam doing a perssuasive essay on circus cruelty .i love animals and want everyone to know that while they pay the tickets the animals pay the price.IM giving the speech at my college with the hope to change peoples minds about going to circuses. but now i want to do more than that. I KNOW THE CIRCUSES come to town once a while and i want to protest and let people know what really hapens behind the curtains.how can i get people to do this. i read that you can even get your city to ban the circuses from coming.What can i do to make a difference?

  • cynthia says:

    Because there are circus’s there are Zoos. There are TESTING procedures at each and Health and Safety are Vital and First and Foremost of both Venues. Most ‘wild’ animals are healthier in captivity and breeding is aided by Humans when near extinction on the planet in the wild. If you care offer your time to clean feed and provide for them instead of remaining ignorant.

  • Melissa Goldman says:

    I went to the circus last week for the first time since I was little. I didnt remember much from that time. I was having a good time watching the dogs do tricks. And I noticed that the performers were giving the animals treats after they did a trick. But I started thinking about how small of a cage the tigers were being put in and also how big those elephants were. I got really upset. I went home and did some reasearch to find out all this information on animal abuse in the circus. These animals do not naturally sit stand roll over on command. I was horrified with what I found and actually did a project on it for an activist issue. I will never attend a circus or take any of my future children to that place. I supported them buy even purchasing a measly 9 dollar water bottle at the time. but my nine dollars is not being used to help treat these animals the right now. Its being pocketed by people who are abusing these naturally beautiful animals that should be in their natural habitat. This article is a great way to see the truths about animal abuse. Anyone who has not visited circuses.com should visit that site as well.

  • Padma says:

    Thank you for this article. I was planning to take my baby to the circus to “watch” all the neat animals. But your article opened my eyes to the other side of the circus world.

  • Cynthia Kucera says:

    Circuses are horrendous and elephant suffering is about as bad as it getsit can’t be any worse than this. Although all the other animals deserve compassion and recognition for their suffering I always thought it was horrendous to see an elephant become “crazed” such words used by the media when these poor circus elephants could no longer take the abuse and lost it and went on a rampage. It was so horrendous to see this because I just knew it meant that this elephant experienced so so much pain. Only nowadays do we get the full picture and my point of view of the cruel circus only deepens and my instincts about the pain of the elephants that were so evident long ago were correct all along. keep up the good work PETA

  • Tom says:

    I’ll be honest I came here after watching “The O’Reilly Factor” to see the stripper. But I had no idea what was really happening to animals. I’ve always seen this as a liberal issue you know “save the world from the evil humans” “planeteers unite against the fat corperate leaders” and all that. But seriously what the hell? They’re sticking an animal with a hook every day and they don’t think it’s eventually going to go berserk? What the hell? I went berserk just watching it.

  • sarah says:

    I’m personally a fan of 7 but the whole thing was awesome. my dad took my sister and me to a ringling circus when I was about 7 my mom who i’m slowly finding out is almost always right refused to go and I think I saw the first 5 min and then fell asleep. yeah…pretty expensive nap.

  • kelly says:

    1 Try to figure out how many Ringlinghired exCIA operatives are stalking animalloving children in the stands

  • Elizabeth says:

    That was great!!!

  • nicole says:

    A long time ago my grandmom took me to a circus.back then I had no idea the animals were mistreated.Since I have become a Peta supporter my eyes have opened to a whole new world.I spread the word everywhere I can.Never again will I attend a circus like that.

  • phoebus says:

    circus animals have a miserable life imagine the suffering of elefants such big animals being chained for all their life and forced to stand still on the same point already thinking at this i become crazy and want to escape imagine the animal!!! also horses are suffering much. once i visited them in their stables and three of them had a swollen eye and tears running out all three horses had a bad left eye because in the circus they run always the same way round and that eye is on the inside and exposed to the whip of the trainer. i bought an old horse from a circus and when the veterinary wanted to make an injection we remarked that the left side was completely hard and stiff so he had to make injection on the right side. that time i thought nomore animals in the circus!

  • AnimlLib says:

    Number 8 was hell funny.

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