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Steve-O’s made a career out of doing outrageous stunts and inflicting enormous amounts of pain upon himself, then capturing it on film to share with the rest of us, but it’s the Jackass alum’s latest video that just may be his most shocking to date. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College graduate invited peta2 to his place to talk about what life is really like for animals in the circus and just how he feels about his alma mater. One of the great—and sometimes scary—things about Steve-O is that he’s not afraid to say exactly what’s on his mind, and right now that’s getting animals out of the circus.
Unlike Steve-O, animals who are abused and exploited by Ringling Bros. and other circuses are not willing participants. They are torn from their families, deprived of all that is natural and important to them, and forced to perform stupid tricks and stunts like riding bicycles, jumping through flaming hoops, and standing on their heads—things that you would never see them doing in the wild. They are kept in filthy, crowded trailers, boxcars, and cages and are dragged around the country for up to 50 weeks a year. Elephants in circuses are beaten, gouged with sharp metal “bullhooks,” and kept in chains, sometimes as much as 20 hours a day. Steve-O saw this abuse firsthand, and that’s why he hates Ringling Bros. and any other circus that profits from the abuse of animals.
Wanna do more to help animals in the circus? The most obvious thing that you can do, of course, is never to attend a circus with animal acts. Try Cirque du Soleil or another animal-free circus instead. And to get even more active to help animals and earn free stuff at the same time, join the peta2 Street Team.