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Ringling Bros. Truck at Comcast Arena with The Important People.

Oh, Joy!  The circus came to town again in Everett, WA.  This was my second year protesting at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  There were a total of 7 shows at the Comcast Arena this year:

  • 1 on Thursday 8/23
  • 1 on Friday 8/24
  • 3 on Saturday 8/25
  • 2 on Sunday 8/26

Standing Up for All Animal Slaves – 8/26/12

Why do I protest the circus?

Because I don’t think animals belong in the circus, period.  Animals are not consenting performers.  Animals in the circus are captive slaves.  Corporate entities have no right to exploit animals for their own profit.  Animals do not exist for the purpose of entertaining people.

It’s frustrating to listen to claims that ignorant people make– that circus animals are “all treated with great love and attention.”  I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or bash my head against the wall when I hear that!

“Treatment” is not the issue for me.  No degree of welfare regulation will ever make it okay to dominate elephants, big cats and other animals for a life of servitude.  These animals deserve the right to live their own lives.  Just like “humane meat” is an oxymoron, so is the fantasy concept of a humane animal circus.

My Sign (Photo Credit – Tim Sage)

However…

  1. Cruel treatment IS a reality and has been well documented.  Check out www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com
  2. Circus training techniques are inherently abusive.
  3. The tour schedule and travel logistics alone are inherently cruel.

Think about #3, the tour schedule for a circus animal…

“Circus animals” (elephants, big cats, horses, llamas, and goats) are on the road week after week, month after month, and year after year.  Each tour city has multiple show dates.  Between shows, the animals travel to the next city.

We are all well aware of how stressful tour schedules can be for human performers in music, right?  Yet, even human stage performers don’t go on tour year after year, for their whole lives.

Now that the show in Everett is over, the “Gold Tour” will continue traveling on…

Kent, WA…8/31 – 9/03
Nampa, ID…9/07 – 9/09
Portland, OR…9/13 – 9/16
Billings, MT…9/20 – 9/23
Bismarck, ND…9/28 – 9/30
Des Moines, IA…10/04 – 10/07
Peoria, IL…10/12 – 10/14
Champaign, IL…10/19 – 10/21
Bethlehem, PA…10/25 – 10/28
Wilkes Barre, PA…11/01 – 11/04

Meanwhile, 2 other groups of voluntary human performers and involuntary animal performers are traveling in other parts of the U.S. in the “Blue Tour” and “Red Tour.”  It looks like these money-making tours will never end.

This nightmare for animals won’t end unless caring people will make a stand en masse.  People everywhere need to show up at the circus arenas in protest– refusing to support, refusing to fund, refusing to attend these barbaric shows.

Now…

Read how Ringling Bros. performs some moral gymnastics…attempting to bend, twist and stretch blatant animal cruelty into a benign form of “happy” family entertainment.  The following quoted excerpts are from the Animal Care FAQ page of the www.ringling.com website.  My questions and comments are indicated by the >>>>

“Ringling Bros. exceeds all federal animal welfare standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act.”

>>>>  If that is true, then how come Ringling was slapped with the largest penalty in circus history?  (Click the link to learn more.)

“They [staff] meet the animals’ physical needs with nutritious foods and regular veterinary attention and their mental needs by providing a stimulating environment.”

>>>> View this video of an elephant swaying neurotically.  Is this the behavior of a thriving animal?  (Footage was taken by a fellow protester at the Everett show.)

An elephant is under the blue awning. Comcast Arena is a stimulating environment for animals. (Photo credit – Tim Sage)

Close-up of the elephant under the blue awning. (Photo credit – Tim Sage)

“In arenas where space permits, our animal facility is outdoors and in the full view of the public.”

Comcast Arena covered up the holes in the wall with wood during the Ringling show…so that the public could have “full view” of the animal facilities. (Photo credit – Tim Sage)

That black material is not usually on the gate. It was put there so that the animal facility at Comcast Arena would remain in “full view” of the public. (Photo credit – Tim Sage)

”Our animals are great performers, because their routines are tailored to each animal’s natural abilities and individual preferences which we observe during their playtime. Reinforced through a system of reward and repetition, these abilities and behaviors are linked together on cue which ultimately becomes the routine that you see at a Ringling Bros. Circus.”

Mother Jones Article – December 2011

December 2011 Mother Jones article – “The Cruelest Show on Earth”

Read the Mother Jones article here.

“We can’t say it enough:  Ringling Bros. loves animals as much as you do!”

>>>>  Wrong.  Ringling can “say it” all they want, but a lie is still a lie.  Actions speak much, much louder than words.  Love and exploitation cannot coexist.  The only thing that Ringling “loves” is the money that the animals bring.

Boycott the Circus! The guy holding that sign told me that he saw my “Abolish Slavery” sign from a car he was riding in. He asked his friend to drop him off so that he could join the protest. Great guy! (Photo credit – Tim Sage)

I am for abolition! (Photo credit – Tim Sage)

GO VEGAN.

Only *YOU* can stop the unnecessary exploitation of sentient beings.

As long as animals are made to perform in the circus…there will be people protesting the circus!

Here are several excerpts from the following SwineCast episode.  In this podcast, Dallas Hockman, National Pork Producer Council V.P. of Industry Relations, discusses McDonald’s announcement of their plan to review the use of gestation stalls in their supply chain.

SwineCast 0692 (7:50)
How HSUS and McDonald’s are Moving to End Gestation Stalls
2/15/12

1:46…

“It’s really important to get the message to McDonald’s that farmers are care experts.  We have lots of programs in place to assure animal care, liability of our product, the quality of our product.

We want to make sure that this is not a reflection of any type of animal care.  As pointed out in previous work, our message is that animal husbandry is the key factor.  And, where animals are raised in individual housing or group pens is all about the experience of the care that’s put forth in managing…

2:41…

“…the commitment the pork industry has to assuring animal care.”

4:20…

McDonald’s:  “one of the largest purchasers of bacon, sausage, ham products in the country.”

5:54…

“There’s no question we have seen more activity in this area, recently, by the nature of undercover videos…

…we were very pleased that the last video did not demonstrate any abuse or mishandling, or whatever.  It was really an attack on a production model or system that the industry has worked through.

And we were pleased with producers showing good husbandry and practices.  And there are programs in place that assure that animals are being taken care of.”

6:35…

“As we’ve said all along, the marketplace will determine what it would like to purchase.  Our producers will respond accordingly.”

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Mr. Hockman (interesting name, by the way), which video were you talking about?  Show me the good husbandry.

Was it the 2011 HSUS video of Seaboard Foods (3rd largest pork producer) and Prestage Farms (5th largest pork producer)?

“Walmart’s Pork Supplier Exposed” (3:46)

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Mr. Hockman, what was your response to this 2011 Mercy for Animals video?
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Is the largest pork producer also #1 in animal care?

“Undercover at Smithfield Foods” (3:36)

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Here’s the most recent (2012) Mercy for Animals video, taken at Christensen Farms.

“Shocking Video:  Walmart Pork Supplier Caught Abusing Pigs” (4:13)

 These screenshots demonstrate the standard industry practice of “PACing” to kill undesirable piglets.  (PAC = Pound Against Concrete).

Mr. Hockman, is PACing abusive or good husbandry?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Mr Hockman, I have more questions and comments…

  1. How can pork producers– who are in the business of killing the largest number of animals as efficiently and profitably as possible– be described as care experts?
  2. I don’t see evidence of that “commitment” to assuring animal care.  Talk is cheap.  Video footage reveals the lie.
  3. You don’t have to be a real “animal care expert” to know that the “individual housing production model” (i.e. using gestation stalls) is cruel.
  4. Furthermore, killing someone who would choose a real life over unnecessary death– if given the choice– is also cruel.
  5. Now do this, pork producers:  Go take the place of your pigs.  Experience what they go through.  Just before you get killed, tell me how fun that experience was.  Then, tell me that you’re “okay” with being killed (since you’re just another animal and you’re made of meat.)   Be honest!
  6. We do agree on one thing:  the marketplace determines what it would like to purchase.

I’m here to ask the marketplace to demand food that protects animals.  People who are in the business of killing animals are NOT caring for animals.  Exploiting animals and killing them IS abusive and it IS mishandling.

I’m here to ask for vegan foods.  Producers:  will you respond to me?  Will you produce healthy plant foods for me?  It’s unnecessary for me to consume animals to thrive.

Producers:  Please stop killing the animals that you claim to be caring for.
Consumers:  Please stop consuming the products of animal exploitation.
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"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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