I wrote to Groupon about featuring circuses, and this was my response from them:
“Groupon stands behind its decision to feature circuses. Many circuses are local businesses in need of the same traffic and revitalized customer base that other small businesses turn to Groupon to provide, and we never assume an entire industry is represented by those who have broken the law. When we run circus deals, we work with circuses that we believe provide a positive experience for our customers and that treat the animals properly. Though we run circus deals from time to time, this does not mean that we are insensitive to the need for the humane treatment of animals. We’ve even saved a zoo: http://www.grouponworks.com/case-studies/zoomars-petting-zoo.
“It’s also important to note that any merchant accepted to run a Groupon deal is subject to our thorough vetting process first, regardless of industry. We strive to work with businesses who meet our standards, and circuses are no exception. Thank you again for your concerns, and please let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.”
I’m taken aback as I understand the need for small businesses gaining public exposure and new customers, but having zoos is still using animals for entertainment no matter how animals are treated. The only time I support this is if it is an animal sanctuary (which I’ve seen on Groupon before). Any thoughts on this?
Zoo’s are -if tended for properly- safe places for animals and a place for people to learn about them. Given the animals have space, shelter, food, and water, they are perfectly fine with being in a zoo. We have a local zoo, animals have very ample space, food, etc, and it’s a great place to observe and learn about animals.
I completely disagree with zoos but, like you, I support sanctuaries. These are usually for animals that couldn’t be released to the wild for various reasons and sanctuaries aren’t always open to the public. They also don’t force the animals to breed.