Animal circus v’s a conscience

We (as in me and my son Ashton) decided to go check to see what time the circus was showing. It wasn’t until 6pm, we decided not to go. However, something wanted me to go look at the animals that were at the circus. To be honest I don’t know why I did it as I kind of knew what the outcome would be. Needless to say I spent the rest of the day in tears and Ashton spent the rest of the day very upset and angry.

I have only ever been to three circuses that I can remember. One had animals in it, the show was enjoyable. We looked at the animals afterwards, even though their conditions did not appear too bad and the animals themselves didn’t appear too stressed. There was a sense it just didn’t feel right. There were protestors outside the circus. I got into an argument with them, as I was concerned for the lively hood of the workers themselves and what impact their protest would have on them. After calming down and listening to them I did realise that I was being naïve when it came to the animal’s welfare. I went away, feeling guilty that I attended the circus in the first place.

The second and third time I visited a circus they had no animals because I vowed never to participate seeing animals in such conditions. (The circus company I am not going to name, because I messaged them nicely and asked them if it would be okay to talk about them and their acts, add a few adverts from way back and to advertise any upcoming shows, but no answer. Even though I know they read my messages. Ah well their loss!) The show was extravagant and showed how a circus should be with a mix of Cirque Du Soleil, juggling, tricks, acrobats, magic, a funny clown and the daredevil globe of death stunt bike show. It was magical, funny and entertaining and I was left with certainly no guilty feelings afterwards.  Plus it didn’t smell of animal droppings which was nice, meaning we could munch away on our over-priced candy floss, popcorn and chips, without having the lovely animal aroma flooding our senses.

(All three shows were seen in North East Lincolnshire in England.)

It is my dream to see Cirque Du Soleil live in a beautiful building. It would be heavenly. I have seen it on television and I was mesmerised.  Maybe somebody who loves me enough can take me away for the weekend to a beautiful theatre, dress me, wine me and dine me. Sounds fab hey! Who’s taking me?  Is it me or is there something incredible sensual about the way the body moves within these beautiful master pieces of utter complete jaw dropping brilliance? I so love the colours, the costumes, the lights, the magic! Who needs animals, they are all the wild one needs.

http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/

Anyway onto the reason I am writing this blog post in the first place. The animal part of the circus I visited with my son in Bordeaux France.

First we saw the elephants. The tears came immediately. They weren’t chained up, they had shade, they were eating straw, there was water, but all did not feel right. I have never seen elephants other than at a very good established zoo with a spacious habitat for them to live in.  They just looked sad.  They needed a big river, pool, lake, or something like that to just dive into.

Then we saw some little horses? Shetland ponies? I have no idea what they are called, but they’re super cute. There was too many of them crammed into a small enclosure. To be honest as we passed the horses, camels, lamas, even more little horses, cow-type animals and a billy goat they all were cramped together and seemed so sad. It was heart breaking.

Many times I just wanted to go home, I felt sick, I was so sad. It felt like how the animals were feeling transferred to me. I needed to leave, but at the same time I didn’t. I wanted to save them all.

The goats were very friendly. We stroked them. One even sneaked a kiss on my lips. I know the cheek of it. I kissed many frogs, but never a goat hehe!  They were very sweet. I ended up feeding them. The only animal in the whole place that seemed to be happy was a baby goat that was playing with an empty bucket and feeding from the mother goat.

We then walked around and saw in many wagons at least a dozen white tigers. They were beautiful. One was nursing her baby. A lion was sleeping. The thought of these animals strolling just up and down all day in those cages, and being out of them to just perform like puppets made me feel saddened beyond belief.

Each enclosure was disgusting. I know animals need to “poop” somewhere, but sorry if you are going to have animals you clean up after them, they can’t be walking around in it, laying in it. I can just imagine the disease spread like this, those poor defenceless creatures. If the workers are too busy to clean the enclosures then maybe a good idea is to have: More staff? Or less animals? Or better still NO ANIMALS!

It was a bargain to go see the animals, only costing two euros each, but what we left with we would never ever forget. It may sound cruel to say this, but I am glad I took my son, because we need to educate our young. They are our future; they are the ones that will make a difference. I am glad I saw the animals. I fed some of them! I stroked them, I showed them kindness and love. Each of them took a little piece of my heart that day.  I wanted to take every single animal away with me, but impossible for many reasons. The main being I don’t think the hotel we are staying in at the moment permits pets, oh and there is the fact that they belong in the wild running FREE!!

My husband said the animals must go somewhere when the circus is not on. As far as I am aware when the circus is finished in one town, they are travelling to another. Circuses run for up to eleven month out of the year. Correct me if I am wrong on any of this please. I know how I feel after travelling. I can’t imagine how these animals must feel living life on the road.

This is something my son wrote about this situation, take in to account please he is only nine years old.

“I felt sad because there are loads of caged up animals with no good habitat and they are living in bad conditions.  I wanted to get a key to open all the cages and let them free. I would like to go to the zoo as long as they are good zoos and take care of the animals well. The Yorkshire Wild Life Park in England is good, as there is a lot of space for them to be free. I will not visit any type of circus with animals in it, because it is just not right.  It really upset me. I love animals.”

In my opinion, if a nine year old child can see there is something wrong with the picture why can’t everyone else? Oh I go with a conscience by the way. I am boycotting every circus that uses animals in their show.  My conscience got the better of me, does yours if so please help fight:

UK residents please contact your local MP’s with your views and sign this petition:

http://action.peta.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=5&ea.campaign.id=26477

And this one:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/end-circus-animal-cruelty?source=facebook-share-button&time=1402045058

And this one:

http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop/takeaction

U.S residents please sign this petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/817/017/131/support-the-teapa-act-to-ban-wild-animals-from-us-circuses/?taf_id=11010788&cid=fb_na

Everybody please sign this one:

http://www.animalcircuses.com/petition.aspx

And if you are not in any of these areas, then contact government officials. If you do find any more petitions to sign please add in the comments. Please show your support. Thank you!

Here are some groups you can join, websites and reading materials:

https://www.facebook.com/BanCircusAnimals?ref=ts&fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pawsweb.org

https://www.facebook.com/groups/13638360754/

http://www.peta.org/

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/circuses/

http://www.animalcircuses.com/

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http://www.bornfreeusa.org/mbw/c1_problem.php

http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop

Steps to take if a circus is coming to your town:

http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/pdf/Steps-to-Take-When-the-Circus-Comes-to-Town-pdf.pdf

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