A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Mar 1, 2010

Tormenting Animals is not Entertainment

Are we not over the need to use animals for our entertainment? How many animals must be unnaturally confined and tormented to perform tricks for our pleasure? How many families have to lose a loved one or witness a mauling to sate our need for these spectacles? Greased pigs, dancing bears, performing elephants, acrobatic killer whales, musical monkeys, not to mention caged exotics and novelties such as a surgically altered goat that Ringling Brothers called a unicorn blight our history.  It is enough.

We are better than this. We have better means of entertaining ourselves than water shows, circuses, and zoo exhibits. I respectfully submit to you that it is immoral to force a killer whale to swim in a tank instead of the ocean, to ask a giraffe to run around a circular cage rather than 40 miles a day in the wild and to ask an elephant to go crazy in a concrete barn, unable to walk free for our benefit.

We must correct this. Some blithely and naively chant that these animals must immediately be set free in the wild. This too can be a death sentence as we have hand-printed and suppressed the animals' ability to hunt and survive without us. I have a plan. We need to review each species, then each individual animal within that species, and select the best course for each based upon differences in age, health, length in captivity and physical issues (neutered, declawed etc). We then can release where appropriate while simultaneously ceasing to add to the "collections". We then increase and improve habitats for those remaining to maximize mental and physical health with an eye towards redefining the future use of these vast spaces for such centers and parks that will truly educate. For example, the creation of true science centers using computer images, and animatronics placed in simulated natural, interactive, habitats which can mentor a true sense of ethics while demonstrating a real look at native and exotic wildlife. It will take a while, but it is possible.

Come on people. We can, should, and must start this today.

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