Will the Post-Lockdown Carden Circus Be Animal-Free?

PETA Calls On Circus to Spend Shutdown Shifting to Talented Human Performers

For Immediate Release:
July 2, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Springfield, Mo. – With Carden Circus’ shows still on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, PETA sent a letter this morning encouraging the Springfield-based circus to use this time to reinvent itself as an animal-free circus, with PETA’s full, public support.

“Carden Circus is already filled with breath-taking, talented, and even hilarious human performers who dazzle audiences without harming animals,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “PETA is encouraging the circus to boost employment and win back kind audiences by giving elephants, tigers, and other animals a peaceful retirement from touring.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to the Carden Circus follows.

July 2, 2020

George and Brett Carden

Owners

Carden Circus

Dear George and Brett Carden,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA about Carden Circus’ future amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has halted your shows for months so far. When lockdowns end and venues across the country reopen, public disdain for circuses that still use animals will continue to pummel your bottom line. Now is the time to reinvent your circus, boost employment by using human-only acts, and help animals by providing them with a peaceful retirement from touring.

Your circus is already filled with breathtaking and hilarious human talent. The new larger-than-life costumed bears have awed crowds with their dancing skills and humor, and because no bears were harmed in the process, the acts appeal to a much wider audience. You could win back all the families that have turned away from companies that exploit animals by dropping the old-fashioned tiger, elephant, and other animal acts. It’s time to make this positive change now so that you can hit the ground running when you tour again.

You’ve seen that times have changed. Modern, progressive circuses such as Circus Vargas are dazzling their audiences with talented human-only performers. Nearly 700 venues and dozens of communities across the country—including the entire states of California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York—now prohibit or restrict animal exhibits, and that list will only grow.

Will you please commit now to beginning your post-lockdown tour as an animal-free circus? If you begin this new chapter, you would have PETA’s full support.

Kind regards,

Debbie Metzler, M.S.

Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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