PETA ‘Elephants’ to Crash Ringling Lunch With Message: Beating Animals Isn’t ‘Love’

Group Aims to Make Sure No One Falls for Cruel Circus's Valentine's Day PR Stunt

For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Atlanta – Wearing elephant costumes and standing next to a banner that reads, “Have a Heart for Elephants—Boycott Ringling,” members of PETA and Georgia Animal Rights and Protection will converge on Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta on Friday, Valentine’s Day, as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus hosts a PR stunt called the “Elephant Love Lunch” with live elephants. The groups’ point? That Ringling routinely shows its contempt for perhaps the strongest bond of love known—that of a mother for her baby—by forcibly taking baby elephants from their mothers and training them through beatings to become “performers.”

When:   Friday, February 14, 12:30 p.m.

Where:  Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. W. N.W. (near the intersection with Luckie Street N.W.), Atlanta

“Ringling apparently believes that its routine use of bullhooks, whips, and chains on elephants is an expression of ‘love,'” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “No PR trick can change the fact that the Ringling empire is built on the beatings, deprivation, and suffering of animals.”

PETA has obtained compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s breeding and training compound that expose how baby elephants used by Ringling are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. In 2011, Ringling paid the largest fine in circus history—$270,000—for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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