Few businesses have caused animals more pain and suffering than the notorious Hawthorn Corporation, which leased elephants and tigers to groups such as Carden Circus International, Royal Hanneford Circus, and Shrine circuses. This longtime PETA target had been under fire from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for years. Dozens of tigers had died on the road or at its facility, including two this year. PETA had filed countless complaints against Hawthorn over the years and supplied crucial information to the USDA before Hawthorn admitted to numerous willful violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The USDA ordered Hawthorn to relinquish 16 endangered Asian elephants, in addition to one who had been forced to stand in undiluted formaldehyde, resulting in untreated chemical burns to her feet. With another major animal abuser in the cruel circus industry shut down and no longer able to cause suffering, it’s clear that the ones remaining need either to adapt to the times and go animal-free or to close their doors as well.
“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE
— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind