An Open Letter to Jack Cafferty & CNN
A 7th Generation Member Of The Famed Circus Bareback Riding Troupe
Animals In The Circus
I personally believe anybody that’s cruel to animals — whether it’s Michael Vick or The Ringling Brothers Circus — should be called to account.
Thanks to Peta & The Animal Rights Activists most Circuses are regularly monitored — as any business involving animals should be. Unlike Circuses however, many businesses exploiting animals as a commodity, are left to their own devices. Such as animal factory farms where pigs are packed together like sardines to achieve maximum profit, broiler houses where chickens endure the same fate of overcrowding and are forced to exist with a total lack of quality of life.
Hopefully Mr. Cafferty, you as a fair and open minded journalist are willing to listen and present an alternate perspective as regards the subject of;
Animals In The Circus.Albeit “two wrongs don’t make a right” I believe the cultural bias against Circuses will come to an end with a better understanding of what’s going on in the world as regards animals & their plight.
Pertaining to your email to the effect that “extreme cruelty” is required to train elephants — nothing could be further from the truth. Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants, which attest to their loyalty, intelligence & incredible athleticism. They are extremely nimble creatures, but you could no more force an elephant up a mountain he didn’t want to climb, than you could force a snowball up that same incline, or force an elephant onto a tiny pedestal to do tricks he or she wasn’t willingly disposed to doing. It does not take cruelty to train elephants. It just takes a patient and caring person with the ability to communicate with Pachyderms.
Remember the movie “Babe” and how a little pig was able to command dozens of sheep to do his bidding with simple kindness and communication?
Believe it or not, there are some Circus People who are as intelligent and kind as Babe. “They” however, not being movie stars, don’t get any publicity.
As an “unprotected minority” Circus People have no NAACP (National Association For The Advancement Of Circus People). Consequently we fall into the category of a Body Politic of “Citizen Screwed” who are consistently the objects of “Cultural Profiling & Stereotypical Prejudice based on ignorance & the simple fact that ours is a lifestyle not in sync with ‘The Establishment”.
But lets look at this controversy from the animals point of view.If we lived in an ideal world without global warming, loss of animal habitat, & countless wars, which are depleting underdeveloped countries of resources badly needed to feed their starving people — let alone the few animals left to subsist on it — I think both animals & circus people would agree to let them live free as God intended.
Unfortunately — ours is a world which has long since past the point of being even remotely ideal. We are currently undergoing an era of mass extiction not experienced on this earth in 65 million years when 3/4 of all animal and plant life expired. The dinosaurs were not the only ones to meet with their demise.
History is currently repeating itself — on any given day, 100 species “bite the dust” in our “modern world” which, I think we can all agree, if I may so — has been brought about with little help from the “Circus People.” We have never been of much use to The Military Industrial Complex.
Obviously 65 million years ago Mankind had not yet had the opportunity to rise to the level of stupidity that it has in The New Millennium — where via The Backwards Evolution Of The Forward March Of Progress — all things work together for the good of “planned obsolescence”.
Again, Circus People, being by choice technologically challenged, as their interests lie elsewhere — have contributed very little to the forthcoming Apocalyptic Doomsday Scenario.
So, perhaps the best way to resolve any conflict is to get ‘up close & personal’ and go directly to the source – If We Could Talk To The Animals themselves — and ask their opinion concerning “animals in the circus.”
Dr. Doolittle speaking: “If you had your druthers where would all you horses, cows, chickens, burros, cats, dogs, & exotic animals et al rather be?”
“Would it be, on a race track where, if you don’t win, place or show and even if you do — after a very short life span of racing your heart out — 90% of you will go to slaughter houses?”
The same holds true for many of the Amish horses once their usefulness has surpassed its prime. Apparently their religion does not extend to their animals… Where as for Circus People it does — Circus People have never been known to euthanize their animals or send them to slaughter for the sake of convenience or profit.
Dr. Doolittle “And what about all you racing Greyhounds — it’s a “sure bet” many of you will end up euthanized at a very young age.” Or maybe some of you animals would prefer to be appropriated by “The Fast Food Industry” where; before you end up on someone’s plate you’ll undergo the tortures of the damned as documented in the truthful expose “Meet Your Meat.”
OR“Before ending up as a “veal cutlet” at the best restaurant in town, after having had a brief & totally miserable life as a calf deprived of your mother far too soon, only to be placed in a small wooden box designed to keep you basically immobile lest your muscles develop normally which could impede the process of tenderization. A process that requires you to subsist on a milk fed diet that causes diarrhea & so weakens you to the point you must be held up by a noose around your neck?”
A sight so pitiful, cruel & inhumane that some farmers hide the process in the darkest part of their barns where of course deprived of sunlight — the future delicious veal cutlet goes blind in addition to suffering every cruel assault on the senses & sensitivities ever devised by the devil himself.
The foregoing is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the atrocities perpetrated by a so called civilized advanced society on intelligent sentient beings unable to defend themselves against our technologies, avarice & lack of consciousness on what we are doing to those creatures with whom we share this planet. And the list goes on.
In Africa, Lions are being poisoned. In protected habitats designed to save endangered species the slaughter of Elephants, Rhinos, & other Wildlife including the Great Apes are increasing at an alarming rate. America’s Buffalo & Wild Horses are no longer safe -– not even able to migrate where there is food for their survival.
Soon — the only safe place for animals on this earth will be “The Circus” or in a Zoo. But even some zoos are not opposed to euthanizing animals in the event of government cut backs or over-crowding. Death sentences over which the animals themselves have no say.
At least on a Circus the animals have a job — a purpose — a sense of adventure & someone who values them as co-creators to an ancient art form & makes them a part of their family not subject to slaughter or euthanizing.
Life on a Circus for animals may not be ideal – but it beats the hell out of many of the alternatives!
When future generations look back & judge us for the manner in which we treated the least among us — and they will – the Circus Animals will be counted among “the lucky ones.” And when judgment is pronounced — it won’t be because Circus People taught animals tricks.
Mr. Cafferty, I ask you to consider and present our side of the story.
Just as The Native American Indians are unwilling to forsake their identity & relinquish traditional ancestral values – so too are traditional Circus People unwilling to give up their identity & live an apartheid existence in which they and their animals live in two separate worlds. To do so, would lead to the collapse of a centuries old culture.
More simply put… to most of the circus people – our animals are an extension of our family.
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7th Generation Member Of The Famed Circus Bareback Riding Troupe
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