"The exhibiting of trained animals I abhor. What an amount of suffering and cruel punishment the poor creatures have to endure in order to give a few moments of pleasure to men devoid of all thought and feeling." - Albert Schweitzer, physician and philosopher."I find circuses deeply offensive. We are just beginning to recognize animals as important in their own right. Circuses throw us back to the Middle Ages." - Desmond Morris, zoologist and animal behaviorist.
"To see a magnificent wild creature wearing a comic hat and carrying out quasi-human actions is demeaning to the animal, even if it can be proved that it is enjoying the process. It degrades because it makes it into something it is not. It reduces it to a caricature of humanity." - William Johnson, The Rose Tinted Menagerie.
Why the circus is no place for animals.
People are learning to appreciate animals for themselves. There is no need to laugh at imitation human behaviour. Since the advent of film and television, people can see animals "performing" naturally in the wild, which is much more entertaining (and educational) than watching animals coerced into performing unnatural tricks in captivity. People can also go on safari and watch animals in their natural habitat.
Circuses cannot transport or house animals adequately.
Cages: Circuses travel constantly, which means the animals' cages are designed for transporting, not for animal welfare. If lions and tigers in zoos were kept in cages as small as those in circuses, it would be regarded as cruel. Many zoos have had to close because of inadequate living conditions for the animals. Circuses continue to keep animals in worse accommodation.
An RSPCA (UK) survey revealed that circus elephants spend 60 percent of their time hobbled, with one front and one back leg on a short chain; that lions and tigers are shut in their cages over 90 percent of the time with only half a cubic metre of space...