Letters, April 13
Circuses are cruel
May I please point out that there is, generally, a lot of cruelty involved in using animals in circuses? The animals typically spend most of their lives confined in cages or held by chains. They are constantly transported in what are often dark, unheated (or overheated) trailers or boxcars, while eating, sleeping and eliminating in the same transport space.
Enduring the use of cruel training methods, animals may be beaten, whipped, poked with sticks, prodded with bullhooks or shocked with electric devices. Also, the environment in which animals are kept for use in circuses is not natural for them, and they frequently suffer immensely as a result — physically, psychologically and emotionally.
Circuses that use animals present a misleading idea of who those animals actually are, and what their lives are actually like, as an integral part of their natural environment. In my opinion, animals should not be taken from their natural homes and forced to perform in circuses for the entertainment of humans. Please don’t attend circuses that use animals.