banning animals in the circus

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As a kid I always dreamed about running away to the circus-not because I wanted to perform or even that I wanted to get away-I just wanted to play with the animals. I wanted to pet the lions, feed the elephants and ride the horses. So when the circus came to town once a year I was in total bliss. I remember asking my mom almost every hour if we could drive by the set up so I could check the progress of the majestic tent. But the circus was different for me in 5th grade. Although my day started with the typical excitement, it ended when we parked the car. I saw flyers being passed out to people and being placed on the windshields of near cars. I grabbed one that dropped on the ground. I was shocked: lions in small cages, horses with bloody hoofs, elephants being beat with electric prods. And there it was, stamped on the elephant’s headdress “The Greatest Show on Earth”. It sickened me-twisted my stomach- but I tried to convince myself these weren’t the elephants I was about to see and The Ringling Brothers weren’t their abusers. But my sorrow continued. I mean of course I knew that elephants don’t naturally balance their two ton bodies on pedestals and lions don’t typically jump through rings of fire. But I thought that because they were performing they didn’t mind. It never occurred to me that behind the vivacious tent filled with bright lights, sparkles and families, was an industry that was thriving on the pain and suffering of captive animals. Circus animals are still wild animals, captive born or not, they still retain the needs to roam freely and socialize. They also never lose instinct to defend themselves. America, a country that has deemed animal cruelty a crime, endangered species protected and partakes in extreme publ... ... middle of paper ... ...om breeding due the high cost of veterinary care. But they still capture animals from the wild. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) exposed that approximately half of Ringling’s current performing elephants were seized from their natural habitat. And the Circus doesn’t abuse animals? Justify the blood curdling screams coming from the elephants as they attacked with bull hooks in PETA’s undercover video. Mohandas Gandhi once said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Countries such as Greece, Bolivia and China have banned animal circuses. Even the British government has pledged the removal of them in the circus by 2015. With alternative entertainment available, such as the incredibly talented Cirque Du Soleil, there should be no question about abandoning these cruel traditions.

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