Circuses should be boycotted in order to protect animals’ well being


Lindsey Rodman

Staff writer Shakila Sivarajan writes that animal cruelty still exists in circuses and in order to combat this issue, circuses must be boycotted.

Shakila Sivarajan, Staff Writer

Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner! Teenagers pose on beaches in their latest instagram swimwear, excited little kids scream their lungs out on the roller coaster rides, people stand in line at the ice cream stand and circuses begin opening up where animal cruelty at its worst takes place every day.

Animal cruelty is the suffering or harm of animals inflicted by humans.  These voiceless, helpless animals have been suffering for a long time at the hands of humans, as early as the 117 AD where animals fought each other and died in arenas for “entertainment” purposes. Animals were viewed as personal property like any tool until the UK writer, Reverend Humphrey Primatt pleaded for animals’ dignity and care in his writing in 1776 which gave birth to the anti-cruelty laws in legal system that changed people’s attitudes towards the animals in Great Britain and this slowly crept into the U.S. Though animals rights have come a long way by the federal and state laws like The Animal Welfare Act, The 28 Hour Law and The Humane Slaughter Act, people still demonstrate cruelty towards animals, just not in the open, where they could be fined or go to jail. One place where animal cruelty happens is circuses where animals are stripped off of dignity and treated inhumanely.

People enjoy circuses for many reasons and one of which is to see exotic animals do death defying tricks. Do the kids ask questions like how an animal is trained to do this weird trick or how do they live during circus season? Do adults even care to answer? I know I sat in front seat once, when I was very young to enjoy the show. Circus animals go through a hell-of-a-life behind a mirage of a show. They are ill-treated in many ways, such as physical confinement and training. These animals spend most of their life in small cages in an unnatural way, a far cry from the life of their counterparts in natural environment. They live in constant fear and intimidation. This is cruel in the very least. This insufficient living space causes psychological harm, physical stress and medical conditions to name a few. If that isn’t enough, the animals also go through physical punishments, the long-standing training method. Sam Haddock, a retired Ringling trainer says, “The bullhook is designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to inflict pain and punishment. I should know. I used to make them.” Lions aren’t born to leap through rings of fire and apes aren’t born to stand on top of each other. If they are doing all these so called tricks, can you even imagine the whippings and electrical shocks these innocent creatures go through? It is beyond barbarism and is dead wrong!

However the platform of animal laws has grown tremendously, mainly by the introduction of animal law courses in the universities and colleges and also by the rise of many organizations, such as PETA that actually made the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus close down, with many lawsuits filed against them for the inhumane treatment of animals. We, as high schoolers, must take this matter on our hands and get really involved to give the animals their due respect and care, such as by participating in animal rights marches, starting an animal rights club at school, planning a demonstration, and even donating money to animal rights organizations. Most of all, we must educate our families and friends not to go to these circuses, the cruelest of shows, where animals are exploited, abused, and punished daily. When we buy a ticket to the circus, we only add oxygen to their flame of misery. Remember this, if not anything else: This world was created for all beings, not just human beings.