Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey to phase out the use of elephants

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FINALLY, the elephants have some good news. The Associated Press reports today that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phrase out the use of elephants by 2018.

A special thank you should go out to all organizations who have been speaking out against the use of animals in circuses and to the communities that have passed ordinances against the use of animals in entertainment venues such as this.

I recall many years ago when I attended a local county fair and went into a tent where a circus was performing. There was a pause in the show as I approached the center ring.

Suddenly, an elephant walked over to where I was standing and looked right at me. He was very sad-faced and it really impacted me. I had to walk out.

Hopefully, this news story will lead to more bans on the use animals in similar ways. Certainly greyhound racing is another one. More animals are dying there than in the circuses.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Clueless commentary misrepresents the animal-welfare movement

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Once again, we find someone trying to justify the abuse of animals – as somehow something that should be protected as freedom.

An individual named Michael Rubin produced an editorial for Commentary Magazine, which was posted on March 19 under the headline – “Are Animal-Rights Activists Really Concerned About Animals?”

The writer jumps into two huge propaganda strategies often used by those who wish to defend the abuse of animals. He calls it “animal rights” and he attacks PETA.

In reality, the movement is about animal welfare and yes, we feel animals should be protected from abuse. If he wants to call that animal rights, fine. But anyone suggesting animals should not be protected from abuse is way over on the extremist end of the scale.

And look, PETA is PETA. It sometimes uses provocative means to draw attention to animal abuse. No matter what opinion anyone might have about PETA, talking about it does nothing to alter the reality animal abuse.

But Rubin goes beyond these two diversions to defend the use of animals – particularly elephants – in circuses. First, the use of hooks to train elephants is terrible. Secondly, elephants belong in their natural habitats.

He claims elephants are “healthy and stimulated” in circuses and “often become bored and depressed” when their entertainment days are over. And he uses the typical greyhound-racing defense in calling them working animals. And then he attempts to make two wrongs into a right by suggesting the dangers of poaching means it’s okay to pull them from their habitats for circus entertainment.

The far better option is putting the full effort into protecting the habitat from poaching.

Rubin certainly has a right to express his opinion in a commentary, but this doesn’t mean he can get away with misrepresenting the animal-welfare movement. And certainly he needs to educate himself in the area of animal suffering and self-awareness.

And getting back to the headline, he does nothing to show “animal-rights activists” are not concerned about animals.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic