The circus is making its annual debut in Asheville, and I urge you to think twice before buying your ticket. Although it looks like clean family fun in the ring, behind the scenes the circus is nothing short of animal abuse. Elephants, tigers, and bears are wild animals, and the bizarre acts they perform are contrary to any innate behavior these animals understand. The extreme training required to make an elephant stand on its head or a bear ride a bicycle is accomplished with whips, electric prods, bullhooks and other painful implements.
What’s arguably worse is the constant confinement circus animals suffer as the Big Top moves from one city to the next. There is no green pasture for the animals at the end of the day, only cramped cages, tethers, and box cars. Circus animals never know sunlight, the soft earth, or the opportunity to engage in natural behaviors.
There are many inspiring animal-free circuses you and your family can enjoy, as well as wildlife sanctuaries that provide a humane environment for the animals in their care. Here children can learn the true beauty of wildlife.
For more information about animal abuse in circuses, see http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/circuses_entertainment.