I spent yesterday morning handing out leaflets outside the Ringling Bros. Circus, which is having its last desultory gasp in Norfolk this weekend before it bullies the elephants and other animals back into cramped boxcars and chains them up for the trip to whatever city it’s going to inflict its weird, sadistic little show on next week. There are a lot of cities that give Ringling a really hard time when it comes to town, as activists all round the country rally round to get the word out about the circus’s long history of animal abuse, safety violations, and the occasional child pornography scandal for good measure, but I’m fairly sure they dread the Norfolk shows more than any other stop on the tour, as the whole office takes a field trip to opening night, along with a bunch of local activists, to make sure that everyone attending the circus gets the elephants’ side of the story as well. Apart from the inevitable middle finger or two, most people are really cool about it and grateful for the information—we always hear stories from people who have thrown away their tickets or vowed never to take their kids to an animal circus again. This year some prospective circusgoers even promised to come out leafleting with us on the weekend, which, well, you can’t ask for more than that. Anyway, here’s a video.
“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