Category Archive 'Ringling Brothers'

07 Mar 2015

Goodbye to Circus Elephants!

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This circus came to my hometown when I was a small boy.

John Katz mourns the victory of the Animal Rights fanatics and stupidity.

Ringling Brothers announced yesterday that are, after decades of legal wrangling and assaults from animal rights organizations, they are ending a tradition that is hundreds of years old, succumbing to pressure and phasing out their elephants over the next three years. It may be that I will never see an elephant again, and it is certain that millions of kids will never get the chance.

The drama of the elephants echoes that of the carriage horses. Both show us the ignorance more and more people have about the real lives of animals as more and more disappear from our world. The circus and the carriage trade have faced long expensive and cruel campaigns from people who claim to be speaking for the rights of animals, but who have just killed more elephants than have ever died at the hands of circuses. They will do the same to the carriage horses, given a chance.

There are many people cheering the decision of Ringling Bros. to phase out it’s domesticated Asian elephants, (generally, the African elephants have not been domesticated) claiming the decision is long overdue. It is the ultimate Pyrrhic Victory. The elephants are saved. The elephants have been condemned to die. …

[This] decision means the circus elephants are doomed and will soon disappear from our world. Another animal species we emotionalized, another group of humans abused and mistreated, more animals we could not thoughtfully and loving protect from extinction at the hands of people who claim to be saving them.

Like so many other animals that have lived and worked with people – carriage horses, ponies in farmers markets, horses in Hollywood – the elephants will vanish from our world and will not return. Like horses, elephants have worked well with people all over the world. They are intelligent, social, trainable, valuable. People love them, and the magic they emote.

What exactly, is the agenda of the people who say they are for animal rights? What kind of liberation movement offers animals one right: to disappear and die.

If you think it is hard for 300 big draft horses to find good homes, consider the future of the circus elephants. Outside of a handful of preserves, there is no place for Asian elephants in our greedy and over-developed world, poachers and developers, the true abusers of elephants, are slaughtering them en masse. Most, if not all of these elephants will die as a result of this campaign. Who will have the money or will to protect them and keep them alive? They aren’t safe anywhere in Asia, their home habitat? What kind of future will the animal rights organizations provide for them?

Ringling Bros. said it is becoming too difficult to deal with all of the local communities whose politicians have been pressured by animal rights activists and showered with money to restrict the use of animals in circuses, a new specialty for local governments who can’t fund their own schools, or balance their budgets. Circuses – and elephants – have been cherished for thousands of years, what of the people who love them and have always loved them? …

The plight of the elephants echoes the peril of the New York Carriage Horses. Organizations that claim to be deciding the future of animals lie about them, are ignorant of their needs and nature, invent evidence, bribe people to swear falsely, then drive them out of our world and celebrate their end.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Lauren R. Gianni.


Like John Katz, I have memories of the circus coming to the small town I lived in as a boy in the 1950s. We were excused school and got to stand and watch the parade of brightly decorated circus wagons and exotic animals pass down West Centre Street.

They erected the big top just west of town on a flat field covering the old Koh-i-noor Colliery. As it happened, I lived in the middle of the westernmost block of Lloyd Street, a short walk from the show. Naturally, I went right out there to see them setting up, and as I stood admiring the animals being unloaded, a big, muscular animal trainer approached me, and asked if I’d like to help.

I was offered the privilege of taking buckets over to one of my neighbor’s backyards, filling them with water, and returning with them to water the elephants.

You can imagine my delight at getting to hobnob with live elephants, to see them drink, to touch their trunks, scratch their heads, exchange civilities and generally interact with those enormous and exotic animals at arms length. I was in seventh heaven.

To top it off, after a good long time, the trainer returned, smiled and thanked me, and presented me a handful of free passes to the circus as payment. I was utterly flabbergasted. I would have hastily sold everything I owned and borrowed more to pay him to let me near those elephants.

It is sad to think that no American small boys living in the new regime of universal moral enlightenment presided over by the likes of Peter Singer and Wayne Pacelle will ever get to pet an elephant.

02 Aug 2012

Go, Ringling Brothers!

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The Humane Society of the United States raises $150 million a year from animal-loving Americans. It then pays 29 executives six figure salaries, while spending under 1% of its budget on local pet shelters. HSUS really devotes its massive financial resources to continual fund-raising and lobbying politicians for legislation supporting an extreme radical Animal Rights agenda. Washington Examiner and Wikipedia

Jim Matthews
, the outdoors columnist for the San Bernadino Sun, reports that some long-overdue justice may be headed HSUS’s way as the result of that organization’s continual legal harassment of the Ringling Brothers Circus.

The Humane Society of the United States, an organization that does next to nothing for animal shelters but sues, badgers and lobbies politicians and businesses into adopting its radical animals rights agenda, is getting a taste of its own medicine.

In a little-reported ruling by a judge in the District of Columbia earlier this month, the HSUS is going to court to face charges under RICO statues on racketeering, obstruction of justice, malicious prosecution and other charges for a lawsuit it brought and lost against Ringling Brothers Circus’ parent company Feld Entertainment, Inc.

After winning the case alleging mistreatment of elephants in its circuses brought by Friends of Animals (later merged into HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), lawyers at Feld filed a countersuit with a litany of charges ranging from bribery to money laundering to racketeering. The attorneys for the animal rights groups asked the judge to dismiss all charges, but most remained because the evidence was overwhelming. So in early August, HSUS will be facing the music in a case that should attract the attention of hunters, ranchers, farmers and anyone impacted by HSUS’ radical animal rights agenda.

District judge Emmet G. Sullivan did dismiss allegations of mail and wire fraud, but he did so only because Feld didn’t have standing to file this charge. His ruling all but set the stage for a class-action
RICO lawsuit against HSUS for misrepresenting itself in its fundraising campaigns across the nation. This lawsuit easily could bankrupt HSUS, put it out of business and send some of its top executives to prison.

08 Jan 2010

Circus Elephants Cruelty Case Dismissed

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After dragging through the courts for nine years, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lawsuit against Feld Entertainment, owner of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus, alleging that training and exhibiting circus elephants constituted cruelty to animals and represented a violation of the Endangered Species Act was dismissed by a federal judge after a six week trial, when the judge concluded that the key witness and joint plaintiff, a former Ringling Brothers employee and elephant handler named Tom Rider, had been paid by animal rights groups for his participation.

The Telegraph reports:

[District] Judge Sullivan.. dismissed the plaintiffs’ case after it emerged that Rider had been paid tens of thousands of dollars by the animal rights groups involved.

“The court finds that Mr Rider is essentially a paid plaintiff… who is not credible, and therefore affords no weight to his testimony,” he wrote in his verdict.

“Mr Rider’s self-serving testimony at trial about his personal and emotional attachment to these elephants also is not credible because he did not begin to make complaints about how Feld Entertainment treated its elephants until after he began accepting money from animal activists.”

Rider had compared his affection for the Ringling Bros elephants, which he called his “girls,” to his love for his own family, and claimed that he had left both Ringling and another circus due to the distress he suffered while working there.

Evidence produced by the defence, however, demonstrated that Rider had never communicated dissatisfaction with the animals’ treatment to any employer. He was unable to recall the names of all his former charges and in one photograph was even shown using a bullhook.

Feld Entertainment’s (FEI) attorney in the trial, Michelle Pardo of Fulbright & Jaworski, said that “the case uncovered a very curious and disturbing side about the agenda of some of these animal rights groups, and what they do with donors’ money”.

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