I was 9 when I made the decision to never, ever attend a circus.
I grew up in Winter Park, FL, and the summer I turned 9, Momma took me to watch the Ringling Bros. circus come through town then, as a birthday present, we were going to go to the circus.
August in Orlando is about as hot and humid as it gets. We were standing with the crowd lining the sidewalks of downtown. My mother loved elephants, and for that reason, so did I, even more than the cowgirl in me loved horses. I remember how excited I was to see them lumbering down the street--legs in shackles, trunks swaying. I didn't see it happen; the elephants had passed us when one of them collapsed in the heat and died, but we were part of the crowd that surged down the street to see what happened.
Then Mom and I went home.
Lately, this adorable video has been circulation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od7U9GhZg_g
I've watched 2 or 3 times, but since yesterday, my eye has been drawn to the behavior of the adult elephant behind the bars just to the left of babies.
Why yesterday? I received this from a friend. It's a message from PETA.
"I'm thrilled to tell you about a historic breakthrough. It has to do with elephants who are beaten with bullhooks by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Feld Entertainment, Inc., parent company of Ringling, will now pay a penalty of $270,000 for violations of the Animal Welfare Act dating from June 2007 to August 2011. It is the biggest penalty paid by a circus in the history of the United States."
And this: http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com/bound-babies.asp?utm_campaign=1111%20Ringling%20Bound%20Babies&utm_source=PETA%20E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert
|Ringling Bros. personnel training a baby elephant|
Seriously? Only $270,000? Let's really hurt them.