Circus animals? Yes, they still exist. Animals are still forced to live in cages, learn confusing tricks and perform in front of bright lights and hundreds of people. The whole idea of a circus which exploits animals seems outdated and inhumane. Recently, big circuses such as the Ringling Bros. have been forced to close due to extreme pressure from animal rights advocates and films that show the horrors animals in captivity face. However, some traveling circuses perform illegally in cities despite the laws against it.
Carson and Barnes, a current touring circus, brags on their own website about owning “endangered Asian elephants of today.” Keeping in mind that elephants are capable of grieving and feeling sadness, confining them to a small cage and away from their families is heartless and cruel.
Carson and Barnes advertising the exploitation of an endangered species must come from a place of uneducation and ignorance. No sympathetic person could justify keeping an endangered animal in a cage away from its natural habitat.
However, keeping animals in zoos can be debatable. Zoos purely for entertainment, even if the animals are kept in relatively good conditions, are still unacceptable, since no amount of restricted space is enough to fulfill the animals need for a natural, vast and diverse environment. On the other hand, zoos which serve as rehabilitation centers for animals are certainly acceptable. Nursing animals back to health while turning a profit is reasonable and will give the financial stability necessary to take care of the injured or sick animals.
The circuses of today should be filled with trapeze artists and magicians instead of sad animals in costumes jumping through hoops. The only way to bring an end to circuses which exploit wild animals is to stop attending them. By boycotting these cruel circuses, you could potentially be saving the life of an animal.
Without steady profit, circuses will be forced to close and hopefully release their wild animals to rehabilitation centers or even possibly back to the wild. The most important and simplistic overlying concept is that animals deserve respect and the ability to live in their natural habitats.
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