Circus

The news is all over Facebook.  Ringling Brothers Circus will be closing, effective of May this year.

I’ve never been to the circus.  I always kinda wanted to, but as I grow up my tolerance for crowds has dropped.  I guess now I’ll never get to.

Reading the comments on FB I noticed a couple of major things lacking.  Well, more than a couple, but two or three really stood out.

The assumption that circus = animal abuse, even though RB’s owning family successfully fought off every single charge, and in at least one case their accusers had to pay huge fines for being caught bribing people to lie.

The assumption that the animals now in the circus will have better lives.  The Ringling Bro’s elephant retirement farm can take 13 elephants.  But I can’t seem to find a reliable report that says that 13 is all that are currently touring with RB’s.  And what about the rest of the animal crew?  Elephants and big cats aren’t something you can take down to the local no kill shelter to find a new home for.  Every report I’ve seen, that I consider reliable, says that RB’s current administration really does care about their animals, so presumably there IS a plan for all the animals, but if so it hasn’t been made public.

No one at all seems to care about the circus people.  Did you know that RB’s brought in their first ever female Ringmaster in Dec?  She made her debut performance on January 12th.  Two days before RB’s announced they’d close down this May.  The general public is cheering while hundreds and hundreds of people are losing their jobs.  Jobs that many have been in their entire lives.  How likely is it that these folks are going to find employment elsewhere?  In today’s world of instant gratification the need for trained circus people isn’t going to be very large.  And I’ll note that this could have local area impact too.  This is one less event to be touring, one less event to employ local crowd control, one less event to use local property.

I find it disturbing honestly.  This is a huge win for the Animal Rights crowd.  Peta, and HSUS, and their crews.  This isn’t a good thing.  These are groups who’ve stated that they believe that we shouldn’t own cats and dogs, ever.  Who believe that milking cows, who’ve been bred to produce such large quantities of milk that if we humans DIDN’T milk them they’d die of infection, is wrong.  Who promote such stupidity as insisting that shearing a sheep of their wool causes that sheep serious harm or death.  And they just won huge.

And I’m not the only one who’s watching this with worry.

So while you’re cheering on the fact that the circus is shutting down, take a moment to think about what is actually going on.  And the repercussions thereof.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Jan:

    I am not among the cheering for all the reasons you stated. I have many happy childhood and parent memories of the circus. So sad that we have moved on for our entertainment.

  2. Comment by bogie:

    I had the same thoughts as you. Maybe early in their history abuse might have been prevalent, but if so the circus has evolved and changed. People out of work, animals that are goin goodness knows where, and what kind of life (many people probably believe they will “go back” into the wild – uh, no, they weren’t brought from the wild and couldn’t survive). Other people’s lives affected by loss of an attraction that brings revenue. So sad for many reasons.