In the nineteenth century, people outside of Asia and Africa were awed by the sight of an elephant. Elephants were literally a big curiosity and people would travel from afar when they heard a circus was coming to town with a live elephant as attraction.
In the twentieth century, people still did not know much better.
Hopefully, we have come a long way from gawking at the miserable plight of a beaten and tortured elephant, poked and prodded before our eyes to endure inhumane treatment. But strangely, some people still have not learned that the best entertainment comes from those who find it fun and amusing themselves to entertain us.
“The skin around an elephant’s eyes and mouth is sensitive and paper-thin. So that’s where circus workers often aim their blows—sometimes drawing blood—when they beat these gentle animals with sharp bullhooks in order to force them to perform.
Beatings are just the beginning. Elephants are shackled and crammed into tiny, filthy boxcars or trailers for many hours or even days on end and dragged from coast to coast through extreme weather conditions. Babies are torn away from their mothers while still nursing and are tied up with ropes. Then trainers use whips and electric prods to break their spirit.
Right now, dozens of elephants are facing this kind of daily abuse as circuses crisscross the United States. Can you imagine being confined to a poorly ventilated boxcar or trailer in scorching summer heat? These animals need our help, and they need it now.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – PeTA – has been fighting to end the misery of animals in circuses for many years.
You can help reach the goal of animal-free circuses by
not visiting circusses that show animals as part of their entertainment
writing to your local newspaper that you boycott circusses with animals
writing to your representative to let him or her know that you do not want such a circus in your town
telling your friends that there is better entertainment out there than staring at the misery of animals in a circus
For more information on animals in circuses please go to