This Cause is So Important. Please Educate Yourselves on This!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How Can These People Sleep At Night?
I had a great recipe to post today (don’t worry, I’ll post it soon enough), but when I got to work this morning, I had an email that just broke my heart, and I think people need to be aware of what is going on, more than people need another recipe. I occasionally get email updates on things from PETA. Although I don’t always agree completely with their practices and such, I do think that they do incredible things for the animals and for the environment, so I support them when I can. This morning, I received an email with the subject line reading “Ringling beats baby elephants!”
Funny how they don't show you this part when you do to the circus...
Would you do this to your baby?

Now, this is not something that I was unaware of. I was very aware of this fact, and have spoken out about it before in other forums. However, as I read the article and looked at the horrifying photos of these innocent animals being shocked, prodded, tied down and beaten, I started crying. It astonishes me that we call these animals the “beasts”. Even carnivorous animals do not torture their prey. Most can kill their prey in a matter of seconds, because they know exactly where to strike. They kill to survive. They don’t torture or disgrace their prey. They don’t torture other animals for entertainment or for sick pleasure. WE do. We are the only animals on the planet that do such terrible things. It’s US who are the real beasts, the monsters. Reading this email and looking at the images that I cannot very easily erase from my memory reminded me of the day I fell in love with these beautiful, majestic creatures, and even somewhat started me on my vegetarian (now vegan) journey.
How can people feel NOTHING for these animals?

A few years ago, I was sitting at home, bored, with nothing to do. I was flipping through the channels, and saw that a special was coming up on 60 Minutes about an Elephant Orphanage. I thought it sounded kind of interesting, especially since they used the term orphanage and not “shelter” or something. Curiosity got the better of me, and I swear to you, that episode changed my life. I never understood how complex and beautiful these creatures were! Did you know that just like humans, elephants can become clinically depressed…even suicidal…after seeing a traumatic event (such as their mother being killed by poachers), and actually have a harder time coming out of it than we do? Or that, just like humans, a baby cannot survive without the companionship of a family? And when they say that an elephant never forgets that it’s true? No wonder it’s so hard for them to come out of a traumatic situation…it’s burned in their memories deeper than in our own. These animals are smart, they love, and all they want is love in return. I sat on the couch, and bawled my eyes out watching these incredible people devoting their lives to saving these orphaned babies, and not only gained an entirely new perspective on animals, but on the compassion that some humans have as well. (Please click here for a link to the article version of this episode to learn all about this incredible place). is where you can go to donate to this amazing organization.
This is exactly how people should be treating these animals, with love and respect.

Then I see things like circus animals and their keepers, and it sickens me. While someone in one part of the world is trying so hard to do everything they can to save these creatures, there are others who treat them like robots, toys even. It disgusts me.

I’m sorry that this post isn’t very uplifting, but I am trying to help this cause in any way possible. I want everyone to pass this information on, even just to one person. The more this information is known and talked about, the more aware we can be of what is really happening to these beautiful beings. Please share this information, donate if you can. And think twice before taking your children to see a circus.
We all know how incredible being free and loved feels...shouldn't they?


Heather said...

I have tear filled eyes right now after reading your post. I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is DISGUSTING what those people do to these amazing animals. Thanks for speaking up for them.

Morgan-- said...

That is just so sad!

Anonymous said...

Seriously...I'm not saying that the circus has never beaten their animals before, but the pictures in this article seem to be taken out of context. I don't see any animal being beaten or shocked. We have no idea why it's bowing down in the first picture or why they put ropes around it's feet. Maybe they had to sedate it for medical treatment or something...who knows. The point is you can hate the circus, but don't take random pictures and try to put them into the context of abuse. And the Shrine circus? My fiancee is a Shriner! That's one of the few organizations in this country that actually does good for people! I seriously doubt they are abusing elephants! In fact, the email you received (I'm assuming with those pics) was about RINGLING BROTHERS CIRCUS...not the Shrine Circus! So should people Boycott the Shrine Circus because of What Ringling Brothers does??! What about PETA abusing animals?? Those people have a lot of fucking nerve attacking other people for abusing animals. You ever seen the footage of PETA abusing animals? Look it up!

Danielle said...

Okie, dokie, "anonymous"....first off...did I say ANYWHERE in this post that it was specifically about the Shrine Circus...nope! This post was written like, 10 months ago about the Ringling Brothers, but I felt it was a good time to showcase it again, because yes, if you do your research, the Zor Shrine Circus has had MULTIPLE citations and lawsuits against them for how they treat their rented animals. You can go to the BBB site, you can go to multiple public records sites and see them all, but PETA was kind enough to put some of them in a small document here

Is PETA perfect? Absolutely not. In fact, I refuse to donate to them directly, because some of their practices are things I do not believe in at all.

And the elephants in those photographs are in positions that are not natural, and forced onto them. If you believe with all your heart after watching this that these elephants are happy and not being abused, then I'm sorry, there's nothing more I can say to convince you otherwise. Currently, one of the elephants that is supposed to "perform" this weekend at the Shrine Circus is not able to...why? Because it is EMACIATED and the Madison Police are investigating cruelty charges, because the circus refuses to give the elephant veterinary care. But believe what you wish.

Danielle said...

"Anonymous", here's your lovely Shrine Circus at it's finest....parading a poor tortured creature around a ring with a steel hook dug into the skin of his neck....but they aren't cruel to their animals?!?!

Megan said...

Danielle, thank you so much for writing about this. It's so important that people become aware of the abuse these poor animals suffer for "entertainment". If only parents knew what they were contributing to when they bring their kids to see this garbage. Excellent post, as usual!

wanderingveganyogi said...

I volunteered in Thailand at the Elephant Nature Foundation and saw first hand the love and compassion Ele's are capable of but also the reality of how they are treated all over the world when trained to work in tourism (and the circus! hello Ringling). One of my favorite Ele's Medo had her closest friend pass away not long after I left. She was buried in the sandy area near the water so Medo (who was badly disfigured) would go there everyday and lay down on the spot that Mae Mai was buried. All Elephants are trained this way as pictured above, through what's called the Phajaan aka "The Crush" in Thailand but we do it here too but it's simply called "Breaking their spirit". I can't even comment on Annoymous, it sickens me people can be so blind.
Check out Medo's story :)

Danielle said...

Wanderingvegan, I totally admire you for your work....that's such a beautiful story...I'll check Medo out now!

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