Lions Club Spreads the Word: Say No to Exploiting Animals

Published by Craig Shapiro.

Call it “The Roar Heard ‘Round the World.”

Lions Clubs International (LCI) has a long record of charitable work to help humans. But did you know that it’s committed to helping animals, too?

Lion Roaring© iStock.com/surangaw

LCI recently reaffirmed its stance against the use of animals for entertainment, urging its 46,000-plus clubs and more than 1.4 million members around the world to “refrain from fundraising activities that exploit or cause harm to animals.”

Its statement, which will be included in newsletters going out to clubs in the Åland Islands to Zimbabwe (and points in between), also affirms, “[W]e … recognize that all life, including the animal kingdom with whom we share our planet, is precious.”

That kind of sentiment makes everyone who cares about animals burst with … well, pride.

LCI shared its concerns 16 years ago, when, citing animal welfare and public safety, it discouraged its clubs from holding fundraisers with circuses that use animals.

Last summer, the West Deptford Lions Club, in Thorofare, New Jersey, voted to cancel an appearance by the notoriously cruel Cole Bros. Circus and will no longer host it. And in the fall, LCI contacted the Fountain City, Indiana, club to ask that Nosey, an arthritic elephant who is forced to give rides by the disreputable exhibitor Hugo Liebel, not be used at a nearby festival. When Liebel arrived, Nosey’s appearance was canceled.

Nosey-standing

We can roar for animals, too, by supporting only fundraisers that don’t use animals and by speaking up when animals are being exploited.

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“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