For Immediate Release:
October 7, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Atlanta – Earlier this evening, PETA supporters descended on the Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort in Stone Mountain, disrupting dinner during the Yaarab Shrine’s Nobility Ball to expose the Shrine’s shameful refusal to stop forcing elephants and other animals to perform in circus shows. Photos and video footage of the disruption are available here.
The Yaarab Shrine Circus is one of the last remaining shows that still use wild animals who are confined to small crates, kept in shackles, and deprived of any semblance of a natural life. It has partnered with notoriously cruel exhibitors, including Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video attacking elephants with bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end.
“Animals should be free to live their lives, not chained, beaten, or forced to perform in cruel and outdated circus acts,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Yaarab Shrine to end these exploitative animal shows, as numerous other Shrines have already done.”
Some well-intentioned people may think that attending a Shrine circus benefits children. But ticket sales aren’t charitable donations: The profits are generally used to maintain the club’s premises and fund its activities. Just this year, Atlanta’s own UniverSoul Circus dropped all animal acts and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returned without animals.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.