Saturday, November 5, 2011

My musings about the use of animals for entertainment in the circus

Yesterday I went on a field trip to the circus with Alyssa's class. I was not very excited about going, honestly.

Somewhere along the line of my life I have lost my fondness for the circus, so yesterday I decided to pay attention to why that might be. I don't mean to bash the circus, only to share my thoughts.

First of all, I just don't get the point of a circus. Obviously entertainment, but it's not that entertaining for me. What I really discovered is that I don't like the animal "performances."

The tigers looked fat and unfit. And they appeared terrified of the trainer. They kept hissing at him too. It was very weird and uncomfortable. I felt bad for them.

Then they brought out two different types of horses and several zebras. They were beautiful. I can sort of see why horses...they're pretty domesticated...but zebras? I think they belong in the wild.

Then the elephants. I am amazed by elephants, but it pained me to watch them be paraded around and forced to perform tricks like standing on their heads. I especially cringed when they made them lay down...that appears to take a lot of effort for an elephant.

So why do I feel this way? Am I being too analytical? Am I having trouble shutting off my adult mind? Do I need to try to look at the circus through the eyes of a child? I don't exactly know.

I do know this. I have a huge appreciation for nature and God's creatures. I love marveling at them in the wild -- their natural setting. That's amazing enough for me. I'm just not sure we should be forcing them to do tricks for our entertainment.

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