Poor Elephants! No Circus for My Kid

Cynthia Dermody
10

elephant family

Photo by Missikat75

My daughter wants me to take her to a circus to see elephants and lions doing tricks, but I have a problem with that. First, clowns scare me. Second, I hate the way circuses mistreat the animals.

I'm not any kind of activist, but even when the animals are so-called treated "humanely," being dominated, shackled, shuttled around in a box car, and forced to balance on front legs day in and day out is no life for an elephant. They should be roaming free in the jungle or, at worst, a zoo or preserve that tries to replicate natural elephant habitat. Like they look in that picture above. Aww, so happy.

I can't even watch this video that hatinnd points out in the CafeMom Newcomer's Club, of circus workers "training" a baby elephant to do all those ludicrous tricks. "Electroshocking" is more like it. That's the term hattinnd uses. You'll have to take her word for it. I can't even venture a peek.

And I certainly won't show this video to my 5 year old, though this is definitely the type of thing that people "need" to see to stop supporting animal circuses.

Luckily, a number of circus organizations have taken a stand against animal cruelty. The ASPCA posts a List of Animal Free Circuses on their website. That's great but it's not going to satisfy my daughter's craving for acrobatic elephants, but just like the gaudy light-up shoes or the third helping of ice cream she's always denied, she'll have to deal and settle for the trapese artists and clowns [shivers].

Do you take your kids to animal circuses? Would you continue to if you knew the animals were mistreated?


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