Animal abuse and cruelty in circus animal acts is not a mere line in a propaganda campaign launched by vegans against circuses. Tragically, it is all too real for many thousands of animals of various species — tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, horses, elephants, dogs, camels, donkeys, mice, and many others — all over the world who are forced to perform for the sake of entertaining and amusing people who are willing to pay good money without really realizing what goes on behind the scenes.
The fact is that circus animals are horribly abused by their captors and trainers. First of all, circus animals are extracted from their natural habitats and separated from their immediate families and communities at large when they are still very young babies who are desperately in need of their mother’s care, love and attention.
To ensure complete compliance, submission and obedience, their wills and personalities are then broken down. This is accomplished by brute force and cruelty — callously pulling them with thick ropes, beating them with hefty sticks, flogging them with biting whips, pocking them with sharp prongs, stabbing them with bull hooks, shocking them with electric prods, starving them by withholding food and water, etc., etc., etc. These poor enslaved animals are treated with such inhumane brutality in order to make sure that they never forget that it is the trainer who is the boss and that he or she means business.
Still using the same tactics of submission and punishment these beaten and starved animals are then trained to perform acts that are completely foreign to their natures and, I am certain, also very frightening — jumping through hoops, balancing on giant balls, dancing to the sound of music, riding bicycles, flying through rings of fire, standing on their heads, arising on their hind legs, spinning, twirling and so on and on. These animals are forced to become the actors that they had no intention of ever being. These animals are forced to become ridiculous clowns that are ridiculed and laughed at. These animals are forced to become shameful spectacles to be gawked at through the bars of the puny enclosures that imprison them.
Needless to say, circus animals fear the consequences of messing up and, therefore, perform the job for which they were forcefully commissioned and they perform them to the very best of their abilities. Otherwise they know that they will be beaten and starved all over again. In case you are wondering whether positive reinforcement is practiced in circuses, I am here to tell you that it is not. Rather, repeated punishment and continual deprivation are generously handed out.
And how are circus animals housed and care for? Well, they are confined in chains and/or cages that are cramped and filthy and when the circus moves from one location to another, they are carted in stuffy train boxcars or airless truck trailers. As far as care is concerned, circus animals are dressed and groomed for display to the public but behind the scenes they are denied proper medical care much as they are deprived of the kindness and compassion all living beings deserve.
I have heard said that animal acts in circuses is educational. Well, it is not at all. What children and adults learn by viewing such acts is that humans have the right to force animals to behave against their own wills, instincts and natures. If that is education then it’s, of course, the wrong kind.
Thus, anyone who goes to a circus in which animal are forced to perform, directly pays and supports the horrific treatment of innocent sentient beings. So please boycott animal acts in circuses! Please!
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