May 12, 2010
Thrower – Eng131
The World’s a Cage
Most of us grew up taking family trips to the circus, zoo, marine parks or rodeos. Seeing animals held captive for human amusement was part of life. We never questioned it. While it is assumed that all humans, unless they have committed crimes against society, deserve freedom, we are not used to making that assumption for members of other species. We should ask ourselves why not. What have the animals in a zoo or marine park done to deserve their jail sentences, or the elephants in a circus done to deserve lives spent mostly in chains? Using animals in circuses and other performing acts is an unnecessary and inhumane practice that's harmful to both the animals and the public. Unlike the human performers who choose to work in circuses, exotic animals are forced to take part in the show. They are involuntary actors in a degrading, unnatural spectacle. While many people associate the circus with "safe, wholesome, family fun," the truth is much darker. Government inspection reports reveal ongoing mistreatment of animals in circuses, as well as failures to provide the basic minimal standards of care required by law. Animals used in circuses have been injured and killed, and have injured and killed humans. Circuses that exploit animals make lofty claims about their "educational" value and their contributions to "conservation." But the real message that these circuses send to children is that it's acceptable to abuse animals for amusement and profit. And the conservation claims made by many circuses are merely veiled attempts to justify the exploitation of animals for commercial gain. Endangered animals born in circus "conservation" programs have never been released into the wild — they are doomed, instead, to life in captivity. Circus animals live in cars or in chains when not performing tricks in the ring. Most people, seeing tigers jumps through hoops of fire, or elephants...
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