The Circus is in Town

by | December 4, 2017

Next week, the circus is coming to my town. This should be cause for celebration and excitement but instead, what I felt when I saw the poster outside my local supermarket was dismay. The first thing I noticed about the poster was the camels. I then went on to read about the ‘funtastic animal acts from Water Buffaloes to Brazilian Macaws’. What could be so ‘funtastic’ about some poor, miserable animals plodding around the circus ring, surrounded by noise and strangers? I went straight home and found the circus’ website. It was an effort to assure myself that the animals are well cared for and are performing willingly for treats.
Everything I read about this circus over the next couple of hours was quite complimentary. It spoke of the positive training they use to persuade the animals to perform the behaviors that are asked of them. It didn’t make me feel better. It’s great that these creatures aren’t performing out of fear they will be beaten. But why do they have to perform at all? Why should these animals spend their lives traveling in cages and dancing for their food? A water buffalo shouldn’t be a cage, taken out for entertainment.
There are plenty of interesting things the human performers can do to shock and amaze their audience. So why do these circuses feel the need to entice people with tag-lines such as:
‘One of the last animal circuses in the country’,
‘The greatest animal show on Earth’,
‘Animals, animals, animals!’
In this day and age, are people really flocking to the circus to see these animals do their masters’ bidding? One of the world’s largest, longest running circuses has recently shut down. It was due to declining ticket sales and what they cited as a ‘mood shift’ among their target audience.  So why aren’t the remaining animal circuses taking heed and replacing their animal acts with human ones. What will it take for our society to abolish this outdated practice for good.
The answer is pressure.
Without an audience, the circuses simply cannot make money. As parents, we comprise the bulk of these businesses’ core audience so it’s down to us. We can dictate what performances our families see, we can drive the change. Vow not to fund these shows by purchasing tickets and encourage friends and family to do the same. Support animal-free shows and tell everyone you know how good they are! Petition your local government to ban animal circuses in your town. Gather like-minded individuals together and stage peaceful protests against the animal circuses. Create posters that explain to the public why animals don’t belong in circus environments and post them alongside the circus posters. Don’t stop until there are no more animals being subjected to the stress and misery of circus life.
One day, I hope to be able to see a circus poster and know that I can take my son to see the show with a clear conscience. I hope that the circus coming to my town will be a cause for celebration and excitement. It’s down to us! Be the voice for the voiceless.

Kate Timmins I’m a first time mama living in beautiful Adelaide, South Australia. When I’m not at home enjoying the company of my partner, our gorgeous baby boy, and our five rescue cats I love to spend my time walking along our local beaches and trying new foods from the growing number of vegan eateries in our city. I’m proud to be a foster carer for my local animal rescue; I believe that saving one animal may not change the world, but it will change the world for that animal! Follow me on Instagram for Cats, baby, beaches, and tasty vegan food.


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