Lily Tomlin Urges California Lawmakers to Pass Circus Cruelty Prevention Act

Emmy Award Winner Sends Letter of Support for Ban on Wild-Animal Circuses to State Legislators

For Immediate Release:
April 8, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Sacramento, Calif. – Ahead of a key legislative vote tomorrow, actor Lily Tomlin has sent a letter on behalf of PETA to voice her support for the Circus Cruelty Prevention Act, which would prohibit circuses and other traveling shows from using wild and exotic animals in California. The California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee will hold a hearing on the bill on Tuesday.

“I love performing and couldn’t imagine doing anything else—but when I step on set, it’s my choice,” writes Tomlin. “Animals condemned to a life on the road with a circus have no say in their exploitation…. We have an opportunity to lead the country in showing kindness and compassion to animals. So let’s do it.”

PETA—which opposes speciesism (a human-supremacist view of the world) and whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—and Social Compassion in Legislation are sponsors of the bill. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Tomlin’s letter to Sen. Ben Hueso, who authored the bill, follows.

The Honorable Ben Hueso

California State Senate

Dear Senator Hueso,

I’ve been in the entertainment industry for decades, and I know the importance of listening to your audience. It’s 2019, and Californians can no longer tolerate terrified animals kept captive, tormented, and forced to perform tricks. That’s why I support SB 313, the Circus Cruelty Prevention Act.

I love performing and couldn’t imagine doing anything else—but when I step on set, it’s my choice. Animals condemned to a life on the road with a circus have no say in their exploitation. Circuses continue to abuse elephants and other animals, subjecting them into a life of pain and soul crushing captivity. These innocent animals are broken, physically and psychologically, and forced into a life that is completely unnatural to every fiber of their being. We are better than this. Animals deserve better than this.

I am so proud to see my state leading the charge in making the world a kinder place for animals. We were the first state to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics. We’ve banned the sale of fur in several of our largest cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. And now it’s time to ban cruel, dangerous traveling wild animal acts in the state of California.

We have an opportunity to lead the country in showing kindness and compassion to animals. So let’s do it.

Sincerely,

Lily Tomlin

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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