Anyone driving down South Avenue past the fairgrounds entrance July 9 or 10 prior to one of four circus performances might have seen a group of citizens protesting the abusive use of animals in circuses. Our numbers ranged from three at one performance to 10 at another, but regardless, our message was the same: captive animals don’t belong in circuses.
Carson & Barnes, the circus in question, has a string of U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection violations including transport accidents, injuries, poor health maintenance, escapes, and more. But even if no violations occurred, animals don’t belong in circuses where they are simply slaves with broken spirits trained to perform through abuse and intimidation. Where’s the entertainment in that?
Many thanks to the kind parents who, with youngsters in tow, turned around and left when they learned the circus featured captive animals. They refused to support animal exploitation and taught their kids a beautiful lesson in compassion.
People concerned about animals and those in a position to sponsor circuses can find more information (including animal-free alternatives) at www.OtherNationsJustice.org. Animal-free circuses are growing in popularity, as are the locations around the U.S. and world that have pledged to contract with humane, non-animal circuses only. Can Missoula County join their ranks? It depends on us—the species that can either exploit fellow sentient animals for entertainment or treat them with dignity, compassion, and justice.