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Circus' At Risk of Losing Exotic Animals!

Discussion in 'The Clown Café' started by yeehaw, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. yeehaw

    yeehaw New Member

    Each year Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® looks forward to bringing The Greatest Show On Earth® to millions of Americans. We need your help to make sure this family tradition continues.
    A new law is being proposed in Congress that would prevent Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey from sharing the majesty of our beloved Asian elephants. Ringling Bros.® is a leader in the care and conservation of the Asian elephant. With more than 141 years of experience, Ringling Bros. is committed to the well-being and preservation of this endangered species. That is why we need your help!
    Please help us stop this proposed new law so that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey can continue to bring our magnificent Asian elephants to American families for generations to come!

    Go here to speak out against this bill while it's still proposed and not LAW!

    Circus Alert!

    If you would like to know more about Ringling Bros. Asian Elephant conservation efforts and their Center For Elephant Conservation, go to: www.ElephantCenter.com
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  2. KageTomari

    KageTomari prolific poster....

    oh too too sssaaaadddd >.<
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  3. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Yes, I also encourage everyone to express your opposition to this legislation. Check to see if your Congressman supports it, and let them know your disappointment, especially.
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  4. Plywood

    Plywood New Member

    What is their reasoning behind the law? Are they just concerned about unprofessional animal handlers who mistreat and don't provide proper care for their animals?
  5. Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft)

    Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft) Old Bucket Spitter

    Welcome to Ringlings the Cruellest Show on Earth.
  6. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Unfortunately, no.

    This is the latest in an ongoing effort by those who oppose animals in captivity at all, and have been attempting legislative approaches to attack the circus and its animal handlers, particularly, for some time. Essentially, they believe that almost any and all animal husbandry (especially of exotics, but not necessarily exclusive to these) is unjust, outright wrong, and must, therefore, be banned/outlawed by whatever means possible.

    Many (most) of their past endeavors have failed because of a combination of education/opposition from those in the animal exhibition industry (and their supporters) along with the general faults in the legislative proposals which make them inherently bad law based upon faulty prejudices. Though in a couple of localities they have also succeeded. So every offering of opposition is essential, as often well intentioned legislators who have believed the bad rhetoric have been (and can be) brought to understand the facts apart from the fictions or simple statements of belief upon which most all of these matters are based.

    Here is a link to a site which shows many of the efforts which have been (and continue to be) pursued on these things, along with recommended action to oppose:

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
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  7. Simply Knute

    Simply Knute Well-Known Member

    I'd been meaning to post this on here but hadn't gotten around to it yet. PLEASE! send a letter to your congressman!
  8. Finney

    Finney New Member

    Done and done. Blanket legislation helps nobody. If a circus or zoo is found to be abusing animals in any way they should be investigated and convicted, simple as that. This law would be like outlawing car ownership because some people drive recklessly.

    J. P.
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  9. OkiDoki

    OkiDoki New Member

    I don't believe that even with the best intentions circuslive and the welbeing of big wild animals are compatible. So even if I could I would certainly not stop this proposed law.

    Probably my first post that will give a groan but I don't give a toss.
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  10. Pinky the Clown

    Pinky the Clown New Member

    Worst case scenario is that this law passes and the circuses will have a rather difficult time figureing out what to do. I wished that Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey circus kept Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope was a small European style circus that traveled with a tent. It was by far the best Ringling show I had ever seen and only lasted for one season. It did not have any tigers or elephants just horses and dogs. The show had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I saw stuff in that show that I had not seen anywhere else. It was kind of like Ringling's version of Cirque du Solei buy way better. I think that the show couldn't survive because there was such limited seating. I hope it works out for the cicuses though cause I do enjoy watching the elephants and tigers when there are good trainers and when the animals look healthy.
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  11. V

    V Well-Known Member


    ... but probably not how you were requesting ...
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  12. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    The show couldn't survive because it wasn't built to be marketed to the masses. Was it a high art show that could get top notch review in New York? Yep! That's why Mr. Feld sank so much money into it at what he knew would be a loss. To prove that he COULD put together a show like that. And once he got what he wanted, he pulled the plug. You'll never see a show like that out of Ringling again.
  13. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    I KNEW we'd manage to pull you back out via this thread.

    I will say this...

    Reasonable people like yourself are actually worth discussing these matters with and, I believe, would at least give the shaping of such potential legislation a fair shake. I wish I could say as much for the Congressional and other legislative proponents of such things who typically introduce and attempt to shepherd them through. Then there might actually be wording which was genuine to addressing any real rather than merely perceived or idealized to match a preconceived notion or philosophy threats which would make sense and be worth debating, rather than the oft unsubstantiated nonsense which they repeatedly do bring forward.
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  14. Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft)

    Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft) Old Bucket Spitter

    Before I wade into this thread and tell you exactly what I think to circus animals, I invite Yeehaw, who started off the the thread in the first place and Scruffy who thinks my post was stinky, to tell you all what happened to Clyde the Ringling lion in 2005.

    If you can justify that, I'll shall be you bitch forever.
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  15. Plywood

    Plywood New Member

    Quick, start justifying!

    j/k Barry!
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  16. V

    V Well-Known Member

    More or less, I agree. Believe it or not, I'd like to see (in a perfect world) a place we could all go to view all creatures great and small. In the world we are destroying, it isn't likely that everyone would ever get the chance to see lions, and tigers, and bears ... outside of captivity.

    Do I think that place is the circus? Nope. But even havens for creatures aren't always that great. Compare the NC Zoo for example, to the ghetto they call a zoo in Knoxville and you'll see nearly polar opposites in habitat conditions. With almost anything in the world, people seem to be the problem so I don't really know where that happy medium is.

    It is factual that the treatment of animals in shows isn't great. I worked at Budweiser way back when, and I'd always hear people say something along the lines of "Those Clydesdale have it better than most people." Guess what? They didn't.

    You hear it about circus animals as well. "They sure do have a great life!" Being chained for hours a day, or packaged in small compartments, or submitted to questionable training methods, or whatever. Everyone is capable of hearing both sides of the arguments by a simple search so I won't bring them up again here. What people consider abuse varies, and we have fanatics on both sides of this (and every) issue.

    As a result, each side is so far apart from the other that a "real" resolution will likely never be reached. Another big issue is the insulting verbage on the Ringling petition letter. If for no other reason than the gall in that letter, I would almost hope the bill passes hastily. Then we have a Ringling voice coming here and asking us all to jump on board and save the circus! And people go blindly marching on. Someone said that the worst case scenario is that the bill passes and the circuses have a hard time figuring out what to do? Really? That's the worst case scenario? Even more than the animal injuries and deaths via Circus (accidental or not?) Circuses having trouble finding out what to do is worse than that?

    Responses like that are a major reason why I don't think a rational solution is possible. (And yes I know the other side of the issue probably has something just as superficial). I was raised around show animals (horses) and have taken the time to educate myself on the issue more broadly. Show horses had inspectors at shows (namely TN Walking Horses where chains, bands, chemicals, etc are used to enhance performance) and they did little good. Sometimes a suspension or a fine, but it rarely (if ever) really improved the quality of life for the animals. I'd hear stories about DQHP's (inspectors) being bought off, and I'd wager heavily it's true.

    There's always a way around an inspector type. Greed, Networking, etc. and as long as that is the case (as it will always be with human elements involved) then I'd rather have the current bill pass as to it not, just in case this is the only chance at some sort of protection for the animals involved. Maybe it's a case of taking my toys and going home, but you have to take victories where you can get them sometimes...

    I'm really tired and I have a feeling this whole post is one long ramble and won't make any sense. Apologies if so, and I'll do my best to amend it when I have some sleep behind me if necessary
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  17. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Obviously, other observers would disagree. But, I suppose it all depends upon what one means by "better" or one's perspective on what constitutes "good/great."

    I did see an interesting t-shirt recently which insisted, "Elephants have better health care than I do!"

    Could you specify what, more particularly, and why you consider it insulting?

    I think that you are mis-reading her statement. If anything, her comments could almost be used in support of your position, concluding that the circus could continue sans animal acts. Unless one's goal is not simply to get animals away from the circus, but to destroy the entire enterprise (as, perhaps for some - though not necessarily you - it might well be.)

    It seems that these days, this would be increasingly difficult, as scrutiny has been stepped up, the industry itself tends to collaborate and comply closely, the USDA and inspections and laws/regulations (both local as well as federal level) are increasingly stiff. If anything, complaints from the industry insiders tend to suggest that regulations may almost be a bit overzealous. Though, certainly, to the extent that certain things (like mandatory TB testing) have contributed to animal health and welfare it is good.

    In my estimation, continued and strengthened close collaboration among the animal industry and with regulators, rather than tense antagonism, is what will bring real progress. I do think that there are definitely things which have improved beyond the difficulties of days past, though, even if there is some way to go in improving circumstances continually towards an even better environment in animal stewardship, not to mention the occasional flat out bad situation which requires real correction and admonition.

    What concerns me much more than circuses, though (where certain standards can reasonably be upheld and enforced) is in private ownership (like what so heinously occurred in Ohio of late) as the latter is often more challenging to get owners to agree upon and cooperate in maintaining a high degree in standards of care.

    But, then, if it actually passed, the advocates who run organizations which promote such (and help fund these politicians campaigns) might not have anything of incentive to keep them up and running, anymore. They're better off griping, offering legislation which will likely fail, causing the industry to spend funds to fight it, and losing (as usual) to get their supporters stirred into a frenzy and donating more cash in the false hope of eventual victory. It's a scheme which has stereotypical proportions of, yes, a circus!

    I believe that real victory would come in finding genuine agreement. But with the philosophical differences so extremely polarized, such common ground may just not exist.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
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  18. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm being too sensitive about the generic petition form but I'll post a few lines that irk me. By nature it is propaganda and the zeal is the wording is expected but:

    Really? I'm not in Jim Moran's 8th District, and talk to my fellow Virginians and they'll likely agree that my part of Virginia feels like an entirely different state than Northern Virginia, however we don't really cross any map lines putting me out of the Old Dominion.

    How about dog fighting, cock fighting (leave this one alone Daft), etc. I'm not saying these are the same as circuses, just pointing out that I don't like the language used.

    I own pets and know others inside some of those wacky animal rights groups who do as well. They/we also support pet adoptions through shelters, rescues, etc. If done responsibly, I can tolerate hunters. Is it for me? Nope. Am I excited every hunting season? Nope. I don't allow hunters on my acres, but I'd rather see someone who uses the entire animal (for food and not a wall mount) eat a warm meal than have an over populated forest cause a deer to meet the front of my vehicle on a rural road. We also have a program (no idea if it's local or more broad) "Hunters for the Hungry" that donates game to local homeless shelters or low income (hungry) families. Sure I'd rather them raise a garden and donate that, but a hot meal for a hungry family goes a long way.

    A congressman and a game show host? Our politicians certainly aren't a popular lot, but I'd wager that most politicians through space and time were viewed the same. We elect people to make decisions and public office is a thankless job. Who the heck is the author to demean the station?

    Bob Barker was a game show host for a long time. He's also been a life long humanitarian and has donated more cash than most people will ever see to various causes. Don't agree with him on this issue? That's fine, but don't be a total D-bag with your stereotype.

    The letter that generates also seems graspy and desperate. First it's for the animals, then it's for the loss of jobs, then it's for happiness. They may feel it encompasses all those aspects and again, I get strong language and heart strings. I just don't like the method. It seems sleazy.
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  19. Scruffy

    Scruffy Boss Clown/Administrator

    barry, In response to your post.

    I had to look up the issue myself. My personaal feeling is that the they should have been HORSE WHIPPED at the least. Honestly. Those in charge should have had enough water provided and ventilation availible. I do enjoy animals at the circus, I prefer seeing them to the performers. I especially Love the Cats and the Elephants.

    I have removed my groan.
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  20. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    I think that a lot of people would say similar things about the rhetoric oft employed by those active on behalf of animal rights.

    That noted, I will agree that the Ringling rhetoric here appears a bit impulsive and emotional; albeit perhaps understandable indignation at not being allowed to offer their own input or even sit silently at the back of a room to become informed as to something which would so significantly affect their business.

    I also think that there is something else of note at play. I perceive a sort of repeated appeal to individual rights and decision making.

    At a conference I once attended where these issues were being explored, someone raised an interesting question. It was phrased, in essence, "Is it the liberals who are responsible for this?" That opened up an interesting discussion. The context of the question was that the person who posed it, perhaps rhetorically, had heard numerous supporters of animals in captivity make just such a claim. And, yet, his experience living in what might be seen as a liberal urban area was a bit different. The liberals known personally to the questioner were certainly much more open to honest dialogue on such things while, in the questioner's estimation, there was a sense that the promoters of an animal rights agenda offer a much more rigid, dogmatic type of perspective which didn't readily allow for greater depth of discussion or debate; but was seen as more akin to the experience oft encountered by many American conservatives.

    Numerous people who entered the discussed noted that it did seem that those who would favor a limitation of exotic animals in captivity, along with more stringent regulations on or rights for animals of all kinds, tend to be found in greater significance among those who are also considered liberals.

    But one observer had an insight which may have been even more poignant. This was that there seemed to be a disparity between the perspective of urbanites and those form more rural areas. In urban areas (which, given, tend to be more numerously populated by those of a liberal bent - or at least where liberals tend to congregate in greater population) there is frequently an impulse and acceptance of greater regulation; whereas in rural areas, which tend to be at least "not especially liberal", there is more usually a concern for individual rights.

    Perhaps that is some of what has effected itself in both their articulation, as well as the debate, at large. Some (whether they be urbanites, liberals, or whatever) are more prone to employ regulatory measures for what they hope might help progress things, while others feel that "everybody ought to just leave us well enough alone" to solve our personal problems, or do whatever we will and see personally best.

    Such could also explain why it always seems that those who want to push the envelope legislatively are the animal rights activists rather than the animal entertainment industry. In this sense, what is occurring could ultimately be about something entirely different than the substance of what is actually being debated with regard to animals.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
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