Unwilling entertainers enslaved for a lifetime of isolation, abuse, and exploitation
The vast majority of elephants in the circus were taken from the wild and subjected to the inherent cruelty of the circus world.
Elephants in the circus live an abysmal life absent of compassion, forced to live in conditions not suitable or beneficial to their well-being. They're denied the freedom to live their lives as they would in their natural habitat.
Confined, chained, and beaten, they suffer from depression, anxiety, and aggression. They also show signs and symptoms of both physical and mental distress along with an array of diseases and ailments specific to animals held in captivity.
These conditions are consequential to their anomalous environment, and the abuse they suffer while training to do insignificant tricks. Tricks that often render them injured and in pain, for example, it is excruciating for an elephant to do headstands and doing so puts an excessive amount of stress on their front legs, neck, and spine which may result in severe injuries. They perform these tricks because they are violently conditioned to do so as a direct result of being whipped, shocked, and beaten.
People often believe that the animals enjoy performing in the circus and that the trainers use treats and positive reinforcement to teach them to perform tricks. This could not be further from the truth. Video footage, complaints, and eyewitness accounts prove that the handlers at the circus are anything but kind to the animals. They use bullhooks, electric prods, chains, whips, and, quite frankly, anything that would allow them to inflict the most pain possible on their UN-willing, non-compliant victims.
The circus's only concern would be that of profit if their interest were for the well-being of the animals than they would not have animal acts in their circus period.
Big Cats in The Circus
Big Cats in the circus live a life of oppression, forced to be mere spectacles in a show of horrors. From the start, these animals are routinely chained, ropes tied around their necks used to choke them forcibly until they submit to their tormentors. They are beaten with metal rods, chains, and whips. At times, they're drugged to keep them docile and compliant, as well as to undergo painful procedures to remove their teeth and claws. Frequently, these procedures are not carried out by licensed veterinarians and result in infections and other serious complications.
Big Cats are forced to do demeaning tricks and stunts, such as jumping through rings of fire. This is additionally abusive because Big Cats are innately fearful of fire. The Tigers are often deprived of food, locked in isolation, and abused until hunger, loneliness, and pain become far greater than their instinctual fear of fire.
Kept in tiny cages with barely enough room to turn around, these cats will pace back and forth in a neurotic behavior conducive to animals kept in an unnatural setting.
Bears in The Circus
Bears in the circus are usually seen donning funny costumes and performing stunts, such as riding bikes, balancing balls, and performing silly tricks. I can assure you; there is nothing comical or cute about the anguish that these innocent beings endure on a regular basis to appease the crowd of people who came to be “entertained.” Bears are muzzled, and, more often than not, they are DE-clawed. Before performances, their front paws are sometimes burned, making it too painful to walk on all fours, which is why you will see the bears walking in an upright position such as humans do.
Bears are portrayed as cast members in a stage performance, but their existence is worth much more than a contemptuous presentation that lacks the complexity of such beings. Forced into a meager existence and lacking substance bears become depressed and develop both physical and psychological disorders.
Horses in The Circus
Often regarded as a symbol of freedom, horses are far from being free in the tight confines of a circus stall. These regal creatures are degraded and valued as nothing more than mere showpieces. The bridle and bits used to control the horse cause considerable damage to their cranial nerves. Whipping horses, a common practice in circuses, inflicts pain and instills fear making them more obedient.
Horses are social beings who seek companionship and form strong bonds with one another. In the circus, they are denied the freedom to build such relationships. Instead, as a result of the abusive restrictions placed on these animals, circus horses develop what is called stereotypic behavior. This is due to their confinement, lack of exercise, abuse, and the absence of socialization, as well as other psychosomatic causes.
A vet pathologist by the name of Dr. Lydia Tong discovered significant differences between human skin and horse skin. She found that the outer layer of skin is thinner in horses than in humans. As a result of her findings, she concluded that horses have a higher density of nerve endings, which means horses most likely feel more pain than we do. Perhaps we should consider this the next time we see someone riding a horse, standing on a horse, or “breaking” a horse.
Camels in The Circus
Camels are peaceful, intelligent souls that are imprisoned, and kept in tiny, desolate cages surrounded by iron bars and left to suffer. These animals are often malnourished and denied their innate instincts and desires.
Unfortunately what is in the best interest of the animal is often disregarded, they rarely receive adequate care, socialization, or the stimulation they long for.
Camels are frequently sick due to a weakened immune system brought on by the stresses of circus life. Many times they fall into a depressive state and exhibit abnormal behavior, such as self-mutilation.
Condemned to a life of arduous and cruel training methods used to compel them into performing senseless acts they lose hope and become distraught. Beaten, drugged, and deprived of nourishment, they lose their spirit and become more manageable for their captors to control.
Primates in The Circus
Adorned in theatrical attire and often restrained with fancy collars connected to a chain that acts as an umbilical cord of injustice and serves a constant reminder that they are not free or capable of escape. Primates in the circus are masked with the illusion of being happy, joyful creatures more than willing to put on a show, but behind the mask of their natural charisma, they carry a burden greater than most will ever know. Taken from their families, and their home, tortured, tormented, and reduced to being simple puppets in a play. Their body and spirit blemished with deceit and pain.
In the wild, they live complex lives, much like our own. They form communities, have relationships, and are both intelligent and skillful problem solvers. Unfortunately, they will most likely never experience the life they were meant to live. They will continue to be beaten and used until they are either grief-stricken, die, or are sold to research facilities which will do experiments on them.