Join the Indiana Animal Rights Alliance protest against Ringling Brother’s Circus animal abuse! The event takes place Thursday, December 5th outside Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, starting at 5, 5:45 p.m.
Maybe the “Saddest Show on Earth” would be a more appropriate name for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, whose long and shameful history of animal abuse dates back to 1929, when John Ringling ordered the execution of a male elephant named Black Diamond after the animal went on a rampage, killing a bystander. After gunning Black Diamond down with over 170 bullets, they chopped his head off and mounted it for display in Houston, Texas.
As an undercover PETA investigation conclusively proves, the abuse continues to this day. Check out the heart-wrenching photos and video here.
Most people would be shocked to learn of the deplorable tactics used by Ringling to get these animals to perform tricks. Baby elephants, for example, are taken from their mothers and forced into violent training sessions in which their legs are bound with ropes while they are beaten with bullhooks (similar to a fire poker) and shocked with prods. Tigers are viciously whipped and struck into submission. Ringling was even cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for endangering the lives of several tigers, who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar due to poor maintenance. This is apparently business-as-usual for Ringling Brother’s—and all in the name of “family fun.”
But it’s not just PETA who’s calling attention to these abuses. Even former Ringling employees have reported routine abuses. In a sworn statement, a retired trainer named Sam Haddock describes the torture endured by baby elephants, who scream, cry, and struggle as they are bound with ropes, wrestled into difficult and uncomfortable positions, stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods.
We are talking about an organization with a track record of serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). These include failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals suffering from various bloody wounds and injuries, animal endangerment and unsanitary feeding practices to name just a few. Since 1992 alone, at least 30 elephants, including four babies, have died. Nice job Ringling Brother’s.
Of course, the best way to eradicate this type of abuse is by boycotting these types of organizations and their “shows.” When there is no longer money to be made from animal suffering then organizations like these will die off naturally.
It’s sad that shows like these continue to be seen as “entertainment.” One thing’s for sure: They are anything but entertainment to the animals. Isn’t it time that we, as members of a supposedly enlightened society, begin to act as such by seeking out more benign forms of entertainment? For the sake of these poor, tortured animals, let us hope so.
- When: Thursday, Dec. 5, at 5:45pm
- Location: Outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 125 South Pennsylvania Street in Downtown Indy