Thoughts About Circuses

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Golden Drops of Bare Truths

Elizabeth Aldam
"Oh, come to the circus,
come to have fun...
Play with a toy
that you really must have,
ride on the elephant
oh, that is so great,
after all our torture
he really performs well...
Amazing the miracles
brought about by chains...
Not to mention the hooks
that work so well...
What great music and fun
to stifle his cries...
That stupid elephant,
caught in the wild,
refuses to do his job,
from time to time...
Some burnings do well
on his thick hide...
Oh come to the circus,
we’ll educate your child
to be callous and cruel
so as to fit in this world,
he can practice on animals,
watching their pain...
Who knows! In the next war,
your child might do well,
he might see despair,
and not give a damn.
he might torture the enemy
and also have some fun...
After all in the circus
we show him the best,
how to torture and abuse,
how to watch and enjoy
the pain of others,
while having a snack...
Oh, this is educational,
don’t fail to bring your child..."

Michael Furlong
"Ringling Brothers previous circus owner, Henry Ringling North, wrote in 'The Circus King': 'When the trainer starts off, they are all chained to the pedestals and ropes around their necks to choke them down and make them obey. All sorts of other brutalities are used to force them to respect the trainer and learn their tricks. They work from fear.'" (St. Petersburg Times)

"Fewer kids would find the circuses fun if they knew it is NO fun for the animals!"

Adela P.
"Circus: Cruelty started months before performance and refreshers between acts! Torn from their habitat/family/ terrified/ isolated/unused to humans. Trained thru unbelievable brutality to perform difficult acts meaningless to them. Condemned to life imprisonment with short chains/traveling 50 weeks per year in extremely cramped/dark/depressing/cruelly small boxes/ cages... perpetually! We insult/degrade them and our own intelligence by forcing them to stand on silly tubs/doing silly antics/becoming the butt of stupid/ vulgar jokes/mimicking foolish humans' actions... The amazing beauty of the animal creation is humiliated/ reduced to a Zombie, obeying ONLY to avoid more brutal punishment! Forced to 'act' using hunger, thirst, drugs, hot irons, spikes, goads, fire, steel-lined whips, steel forks/pistols, electric shocks, spiked collars... all invisible to the audience, guaranteed to make them 'act' no matter how they feel at the time!"

PETA's Animal Times
"Children's Hazards in Circuses: They can get tuberculosis from elephants! At Circus Vargas elephants made to give rides to countless children even as they were dying of TB. Activists reported to U.S.D.A. that the elephants lost 1,000 lbs. each/looked seriously sick/lethargic... yet they continued giving rides to children!"

"Children's Spirits in Jeopardy: They witnessed in 1987 a tiger give birth while forced to perform!!!"

"Humans' Hazards in Circuses: Dozens of incidents occurred in the last few years where terrified/tormented elephants trampled/injured their trainers and spectators. Former Ringling clown, Kelly Tansy, said on his first day in this circus 'The beating was so severe the elephant screamed!!'"

Adela P.
"Animal circuses raise money for good causes??? by making OTHERS suffer it cancels any/all goodness!!! L. A. Rockefaucauld said: 'The Glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.'"

PETA's Animal Times
"P.T. Barnum began his show biz career in 1935 by buying and exhibiting human slaves! The first one was a lady slave called Joyce Heth!!!"

Adela P.
"Animal Circuses in a Nutshell: A child can't ever learn respect for animals without seeing them free in their own habitats. All animals tricks are forced into them with gross cruelty/torture instruments invisible to the audience. No animals should have to perform unnatural tricks for any reason whatsoever! No animals should have to spend their lives boxed in railroad cars, trucks, cages, chained to walls, fences. No animals ever consented to their own physical & mental slavery & degeneration!!! Animal circuses should have died out with the Dark Ages!!! BOYCOTT ANIMAL CIRCUSES!!!"

Adela P.
"Circuses to Love: Go see the exciting/funny/ different/ elegant animal-free circuses: Cirque du Soleil, New Pickle Family Circus, Cirque de Hiver, Circus Oz. They all dazzle audiences with human skill/imagination/talent NOT with pathetic animal acts! Bill Smarts Circus will celebrate its 50th Birthday by becoming animal-free! Watch for their visits to USA!"

Michael Furlong
"Ron Kagan, General Curator for the Dallas Zoo warns: 'We strongly believe that animals should not be used in any way that's damaging or degrading. Animals used to perform tricks/ other unnatural acts perpetuate a mistaken and disrespectful attitude towards wildlife.'" (St. Petersburg Times)

Friends of Animals
"Wrestling/Boxing Bears in Circuses/Road Shows/Bars. Eye witness account of bear wrestling: 'Ginger, the bear featured, was almost totally blind/her teeth removed/declawed. She could not even hold her head up due to oxygen deprivation since her muzzle was so restrictive/suffocating. When first brought out to fight, she stumbled and was dragged to her feet. I could hear her moans of distress. Ginger's owner-tormentors controlled her with a heavy chain and joked about her being in heat. When she's not being brutalized by drunken bar patrons who purchase a ticket to wrestle her to the floor to win the $500 or more cash prize, she's confined to a cage on the property of her keeper!!!" (Act'ionLine)

Dick Gregory
"Elephants in circuses represent the domination and oppression we have fought against for so long. Don't support the enslavement of any living being - boycott circuses that hold elephants captive." (PETA's Animal Times)

Richard Pryor
"'The eyes of these dispirited animals say best what is difficult to convey in words.' Richard Pryor wrote to the African-American UniverSoul's Circus director: 'The only disappointment and depressing aspect is the use of animals.'" (PETA's Animal Times)

Phil Steward, HSUS
"Circus animals NEVER get a rest! They're used like batteries in a flashlight/when no longer productive they're replaced/many times abandoned! They are kept in conditions which most people associate with fiction! The customers learn NOTHING about these animals. All they get for their money is a dim view of an unhappy primate or other animal looking back at them with sad eyes." (TV interview)

Florence L. Lambert Founder (The Elephant Alliance)
"In chains they exist and in chains they die! America's 20th Century Slaves! Circus elephants brutally/cruelly uprooted from their homeland/chained/beaten and the RUTHLESS PROCESS OF BREAKING THEIR SPIRITS BEGINS. For more than 100 years we've been fooled by clever circus advertising/kept ignorant of the suffering inflicted on animals. If the public could view their long suffering this archaic tradition would soon end. Far from performing to please 'loving' trainers they are abused/ battered/ starved into submission. They obey only to avoid further punishment."

William Johnson
"Keepers in the circuses like to show authority so every morning they beat up their elephants. These are circus traditions." (The Rose-Tinted Menagerie)

Humane Education Committee
"Circus animals trained by hideous cruelty: blows/starvation/ imprisoned night and day in small/filthy cages where they can't even stand upright/where they travel many thousands of weary miles/severely beaten/ maltreated when they fail to do their tricks. ALL THIS FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT! Can you morally afford to purchase pleasure at the expense of torturing God's sentient creatures?"

Heathcote Williams
"The elephant has been reduced to a bowdlerized Dumbo-Jumbo, a performing slave in a designer cage, with its tusks sawn off and a ring through a piece of flesh sensitive enough to read Braille."

Bill Clark (Friends of Animal's Act-ion Line)
"An infant chimpanzee (also other monkeys/apes) is captured for high profits (illegally) & sold to circuses/roadside zoos/research labs: Hunters chase the whole family group until they take refuge in some trees/they search the trees for the infant they want/shoot the female closest to the baby who almost always is the mother/ mother's body falls down/infant invariably scampers down and clings to the corpse/infant thrust into a sack!"

PETA's Animal Times
"When chimpanzees 'grin' it doesn't mean they're happy! Those 'smiles' on the faces of 'performing' primates are really grimaces of fear."

Richard Pryor
"I have empathy for wild animals incarcerated against their will, whether it is in a circus, zoo, or a 'safari park.' Who wouldn't rather be free to do the things they love under their own power, ontheir own time? It doesn't take a lot of imagination to look at dispirited, leg-shackled elephant staked out behind the big top to see the look of a slave reflected in those eyes."

Jordi Rull, a lawmaker of CiU, the Catalan nationalist party
"Circuses can be attractive and do different and fascinating things that draw adults and children, without needing to use animals."

GOLDEN DROPS OF BARE TRUTHS collected by Adela Pisarevsky

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