Horrific

I'm very ashamed of what I did today and it will take me a long time to get over it. As one of my responsibilities as a teacher, I'm pretty much required to go on field trips that are school wide. Sadly, we went to the circus today and I've been overcome with guilt, sickness and rage ever since. It's bad enough that the circus is simply bad entertainment, I mean seriously, how shitty does your life have to get to make you join the circus and perform very poorly, but to be witness to the crimes against animals was just too much. I did my best to leave the arena when animals were present but as far as I could tell, this particular circus featured lions, elephants, dogs and pony's, all performing against their will and most likely out of fear.

That we as a nation would allow something as barbaric as animal circuses says a lot about how far we as a society have to go. The elephants and tigers are captured from their families in the wild, forced to perform humiliating stunts that they would never perform in a million years were they not afraid of being beaten, whipped, shocked with electricity and worse. Watching the elephants is especially tragic. They are such a magnificent species, so full of wonder and intellegence. They live with a family their entire lives and are known to be especially emotional creatures. When they live and work in the circus, they are kept chained up for most of the day and night, forced to give children rides, withheld food when they don't perform and live very sad and lonely lives.

The same goes for other animals that we use for entertainment purposes. No creature, no matter how big or small, no matter how smart or dumb should ever be forced to live a life without dignity and freedom. Of all the animals in the world, the only one that depends on and needs human beings is the dog. It thrives on human contact, attention and love. All other animals deserve to be left alone and allowed to live their lives in peace, without fear of capture, cruelty and death. I hope that anyone who reads this will think twice about going to the circus. There are a lot of animal free circuses around and I have no problem with those but when animals are involved, well, it's a tragedy of epic proportions.


For more on the sad lives of circus animals, click here, but be warned, it is very graphic and quite disturbing.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
1. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD AND DEMAND THAT THEY NOT ALLOW SCHOOLS TO TAKE FIELD TRIPS TO THE CIRCUS. HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON WHAT TO DO.
2. SUPPORT ANIMAL FREE CIRCUSES.
3. Make a donation to a wonderful elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. This sancuary, on 2,700 acres, provides a natural home for abused, elderly and neglected elephants. GIVE HERE.

5 comments:

JACQ | February 6, 2009 at 10:21 PM

I haven't been to a circus in a long time, and I honestly don't know why circuses still exist.

jc | February 9, 2009 at 8:32 AM

Lighten up, Francis

Kelly | February 9, 2009 at 9:09 PM

WHile I usually appreciate references to Stripes, in this case I plan on staying pissed off and hope to do something about it. It was, in every sense of the word, absolutely horrific. The conditions these animals live in is horrible. The quality of life is non-existent and believe me, elephants are extremely bright and very social. Being chained up 20 hours a day is criminal and the people who run the circus should be thrown in jail with the key tossed away.

Some Hippie Chick | February 9, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Well, you made a decision to do your job, and I think you should give yourself a pass this time. In the future, why not work at your local level to make sure that your school district NEVER makes a trip like that again? I'm sure that you could enlist the help of lots of parents and animal rights groups.

Kelly | February 10, 2009 at 8:10 PM

Hi Erin,

Already at work on those things. I'm letting it blow over with my principal, I tried to get out of it, but will go to the board in a couple of months to see what I, along with allies, can do about this.