Monday, May 11, 2015

Animal Cruelty in The Circus

     Recently in class we watched the movie Dumbo, which is a children's Disney film featuring an elephant in the Circus who is mistreated, taken away from his mother and forced to do various tasks to impress the audience. This movie, however, reveals an all to true and horrible reality: Elephants and other animals are mistreated in the Circus, and this abuse is not well regulated. Traveling circuses have been long known to abuse animals, using negative reinforcement to provoke fear in the animal if it doesn't perform the task it's supposed to perform.
     In her essay "In Defense of Slavery," Spiegel argues that our society's approach to social issues is to mask them, making it so they are less visible to the public and this quells the discomfort caused by the violation of another creature's life. In this case, many people are unaware of the abuse that occurs behind the scenes in the circus. PETA is broadcasting various articles and literature to educate people about the abuse occurring, and encourages them to take action and abolish it. Animals are subject to cruel training tactics, they are beaten with sticks, shocked with electric prods, and tied down with chains. Elephants are especially intelligent, and are known to snap and cause major rampages due to the frustration of constant torture. This poses a danger to onlookers and the elephant is often killed if it acts out.
     It is important that we expose the sad truth of how animals are treated in the circus, in the hopes that laws will be put in place that either ban the use of animals in circuses or drastically improving the ways animals are treated and trained.

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