By: Helen Hudson
Say good-bye to the animal acts at the Ringling Bros. Circus. Yes, after more than 100 years, this part of the circus will be gone, forever. Find out why here.
Feld Entertainment, the owner of Ringling Bros. Circus, declared on January 14 that the circus is closing after more than 100 years of operation. Although some are saddened by this news and will miss the entertainment that the circus delivered, others, especially animal rights’ activists, rejoice because the closing means the release of the circus animals.
These activists complain that the circus animals live in cages with close quarters and are often bound in chains. Sometimes, as the show travels across the nation, they are even forced to live in arena basements and parking lots, always ready to be pulled out and perform whenever they are needed.
Many, including Grace Marr (12), think that treating animals this way is wrong. She says, “I think that, as humans, we are animals too, and we have no right to control or have a dominance over other animals.”
The circus is still unsure of where the animals will go next, but the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has some plans. First, they want the animals to be transported to sanctuaries in the United States where there are open living spaces, ample activities and toys for the animals to enjoy, members of the each animal’s own species, and extensive resources able to ensure each animal’s specific needs will be met. Specifically, PETA hopes to ensure that the animals will receive necessary and appropriate treatment in order to recover from the hardships of circus life.
As freshman Claire Lee states, “Just because animals have opposable thumbs doesn’t mean they can’t feel things.”
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