Because horses are not cars
Pop quiz! Do elephants stand on their heads in the wild? It’s a no-brainer: They don’t.
They don’t balance on balls in the wild, either. And they definitely don’t enjoy spending day after day chained inside dark, cramped, filthy boxcars or kept in tiny cages inside trailers when they aren’t being forced to perform dumb tricks for human entertainment. In the wild, these intelligent animals would roam mile after mile every day. In circuses, they are denied everything that is natural and important to them.
Although circuses want you to think that the animals are happy and enjoy performing silly tricks, real life for elephants in circuses like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus includes the constant fear of being beaten with a bullhook (a long metal rod with a steel tip on the end), electro-shocked, whipped, or chained so tightly that they can barely move, sometimes for days on end. PETA investigations and whistleblower photos and videos have shown Ringling that trainers beat elephants over and over and dig bullhooks into the most sensitive parts of their bodies.
Because circuses are constantly traveling from city to city, animals’ access to basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care is often inadequate. Often, animals are allowed out of their cages or chains only when they must perform. Elephants are often kept in leg shackles that prevent them from taking more than one step in any direction, and the minimum requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act are routinely ignored. To make it worse, many circuses routinely travel with elephants who are ill or have cripplingly painful foot problems, which can be fatal.
NEVER buy a ticket to any circus that uses animals. If your school is planning a trip to one, fight it! E-mail us at email@example.com, and we’ll help you urge your school to ditch the circus for an event in which everyone gets to choose whether to participate.