A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Apr 11, 2010

Just Say No to the Circus

This week a circus trainer in Pennsylvania was killed by an elephant. Another avoidable tragedy. In response to this news, my twitter friend, DrBuzziBoomBatz in essence said to leave the creatures alone and ban all animals from circuses creating more jobs for trapeze artists. An excellent suggestion!

Why do we insist on supporting an industry that shackles, chains, contorts, and breaks wild animals until they submit to wearing rhinestone hats and sitting on a stool. Does anyone think this is ok? Does anyone not know of the long days cramped in train cars, endless hours chained to posts, and grueling "training" sessions topped off by a performance under bright lights, in front of thousands of screaming people which are constantly suffered by elephants, lions, tigers, horses and other circus animals? Does anyone think this is ok? Do we require this form of amusement? Are we still searching for a King Kong to hawk as another wonder of the world and to, of course, make a promoter rich? Does our happiness depend upon an elephant walking on hind legs or a tiger jumping through a ring of fire? I surely hope not. Can our children grow to be fine adults without witnessing this? I surely hope so. Make no mistake. It is not magic. These animals aren't born wanting to perform those tricks. They are forced, hurt, bullied and can't call for help. They have no choice.

We do have a choice. We don't have to watch. If we can't ban animals in circuses - we can ignore the circus to death. If it is no longer profitable to enslave and destroy the spirit or our wild animals - maybe they will go away.  Just say no to the circus.


  1. Look at how WILDLY successful Cirque du Soleil is WITHOUT animals!!! (big hint there).

  2. Precisely! Rather than breaking an animal into submission Cirque employs highly trained dancers, singers, artists etc. Did you ever leave a Cirque performance wishing you saw an elephant sit on a stool instead?