Basic animal rights must be maintained when humans use animals for entertainment: People's Daily
16.06.2017

2017-6-15

The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus was started in 1919. Throughout its history, an elephant show featuring the massive animals dancing and standing was one of the signature performances of the show. However, the circus staged its last show in May, and many believe that animal rights played no small part in that development.

The circus created treasured memories for many people over the years. Some fans said that its final farewell saddened them, and that the closing was a great loss for America. Meanwhile, employees of Ringling attributed the show's closing to the impact of technology on modern society. Young generations growing up with smart phones and tablets are no longer interested in elephants, monkeys and caravans. However, the last straw that forced the circus to say goodbye was suspicions of animal cruelty.

The circus was sued by a number of animal rights organizations for alleged animal abuse. Starting from 2013, many U.S. cities issued regulations banning wild animal shows. In other words, the operation of circuses is at its core incompatible with social development and the cause of animal protection.

It's true that many people find animal shows entertaining, and it's impossible to say that all circuses abuse their animals. However, certain training methods are unavoidable if an animal is to perform at the will of human beings.

One video, titled "Black Elephant" and released last year, revealed the darkness behind elephant tourism. Elephant cubs are forcibly separated from their mothers and pricked by hooks so that they can remember the pain and obey trainers' orders. Meanwhile, lions and tigers have their pulled out, and killer whales are imprisoned in narrow pools where they can't even make a full turn.

Who will guarantee the basic living conditions of these animals if circuses continue to operate?

In modern society, more and more people consider animals their friends, and condemn animal shows that treat their subjects cruelly. As a result, many countries have put restrictions on circuses. Bolivia became the first country in the world to ban wild and domestic animals from traveling with circuses, starting in 2009.

However, animal performances are still widely available in many places, and not only as part of circuses. Shows in zoos, featuring dolphins twirling hola hoops and bears walking tightropes, all deprive animals of their freedom.

Must we pursue pleasure by forcing animals to perform actions far outside their natural instincts? That was the question raised by a journalist after an interview with a closing circus. Providing favorable living conditions for animals means not separating them from their own kind and natural environment. Our pleasure should not be based on the pain and suffering of animals.

The gradual disappearance of circuses is a natural outcome of the developing relationship between human beings and wild animals. Despite their natures, humans and animals are both entitled to life and freedom. Treating animals with kindness demonstrates not only respect for nature, but for other human beings as well.

Source:People's Daily Online

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