Circus Animal Cruelty

Better Essays
Animal Acts and the Circus | The Terror and Subjugation of Entertainment Animals |

During the Seven Year’s War, and English entrepreneur named Phillip Astley began an equestrian act that would become the antecedent of the modern American circus. In 1793, Bill Ricketts cultivated Astley’s idea and opened the first one ring show in Philadelphia to great acclaim and success. Soon after in 1825, Joshuah Purdy Brown developed a canvas tent to house performers and the travelling circus was founded. Along with the awe inspiring trapeze artists, amazing strongmen, daring tightrope walkers and enigmatic ring masters, a hidden legacy of cruelty and animal abuse was born alongside this American tradition. As equestrian acts gave way to
…show more content…
Travelling shows can be on the road for as long as 11 months at a time. It is ludicrous to think they make stop overs at wildlife refuges or rent out park space so their animals can get out and stretch their legs. It is equally absurd to think that letting these animals out into enclosures or chaining them outside is adequate exercise and stimulus to keep them healthy. The majority of the time lions, tigers, monkeys and bears are kept in transport cages. Transport cages are big enough to house the animals and small enough to fit on a rail car or in the back of a semi-truck. “July 13, 2004-According to an affidavit by former Ringling lion handler Frank Hagan, a 2-year-old lion named Clyde died while traveling through the intense heat of the Mojave Desert in a poorly ventilated boxcar without being checked or given water. The lion is believed to have died from heatstroke and dehydration.” [ (PETA, 2011) ] Elephants are simply chained to the floor of their transport vehicle.
It is under these conditions that circus animals “go bad”. Since the inception of the travelling circus, there have been numerous accounts of animals mauling and killing trainers and audience members. Historically, elephant attacks are the most publicized and referenced. This may be because elephants seem to be gentle giants, making their attacks all the more shocking, or that the physical and financial damage done by a marauding elephant is astounding. It can also be
Get Access