Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tell Me Something I DON'T Know

I was scanning the headlines over at NewScientist and came across a story on the welfare of circus animals and ended up rolling my eyes so severely that they almost got stuck somewhere in the back of my sockets. The reason, the article describes a study that revealed "elephants, lions and tigers are the wild animals least suited to life in a circus."
Wow. Really? What's next? Cigarettes cause cancer.
The best part is that this isn't just any story about circus animals, it's a story about the first-ever "global study of animal welfare in circuses."
Did this topic really warrant a global study? Does anyone really think a circus elephant, traveling in a fucking box car, going god-knows where so it can balance its giant ass on a tiny platform while a hooker in pink feathers sits on its back while waiving at a bunch of humans that are stuffing themselves with cotton candy, popcorn and sugary drinks has it better than an elephant living in the wild, even if the wild elephant might get killed for its tusks?
I didn't think so. So, yeah, I'm pretty sure most people are aware that being a circus animal sucks ass.
I am not against informing the public about how horrible these environments are for the animals that perform, in fact, I'm for it, but I don't understand why it warranted a global study.

Following are a few of the obvious other pieces of information found by the study according to NewScientist:
Circus animals are kept in conditions that differ from their natural habitat.
Circus animals exhibit repetitive movements, such as pacing.
Confinement and performing unnatural tricks is unhealthy for circus animals.
The circus cannot provide an environment that is similar to the animals natural habitat.
A very long time ago, back when I was an undergrad, the college animal rights organization handed out pamphlets containing the exact same information. Sigh.


PhizzleDizzle said...

i went to a circus once. i still feel guilty about it. i didn't realize how horrible it was until i went.

Anonymous said...

"in other news, bears have recently shown a preference for defecating in woodland areas"...

microbiologist xx said...

PD - I went to the circus every year when I was little. I probably thought the animals were having fun. Now that I know, I won't go.

tig - LOL! exactly.