Animals are used in many ways to entertain humans, but what these practices often translate into is abuse and exploitation under the guise of amusement. While well-intentioned adults patronize these industries by visiting and/or bringing their children to circuses, rodeos, zoos and aquaria, behind the scenes many of the animals involved are trained and/or confined in insufferable manners. Their rights are drastically compromised and they are forced to behave in completely unnatural ways out of fear. As an example countless circus and rodeo animals are shackled, live in tiny and filthy/disease-laden living spaces, and receive limited veterinary care. They are also routinely chained, whipped, beaten, subjects of electric prodding as well as food deprivation, and forced to entertain while ill. Unfortunately these industries are not subject to oversight from regulatory bodies, and much of this mistreatment occurs during training and away from the public eye. As such, many patrons are either unaware of this everyday mistreatment or dismissively ignore the fact that these animals are constant subjects of cruelty and greed.
However, instinctively it seems reasonable that animals in entertainment would not willingly want to jump through hoops of fire, ride on bicycles and stand on their heads, live behind glass or perform in front of noisy crowds. Most of the animals involved are highly social creatures, now living solitary lonely existences far away from their natural habitats.
Some countries in the European Union (e.g. Sweden, Denmark and Finland), as well as India have already begun to ban or restrict the use of animals in entertainment. The United States should learn from these examples since there is no place in a democratic and compassionate society for such well-documented examples of abuse.
Many forms of animal entertainment have unfortunately become a mainstay in our society and therefore remain unquestioned. As responsible, caring citizens we can boycott the use of animals in the entertainment industry (e.g. zoos, aquariums, rodeos, circuses, etc.) and patronize non-animal venues such as Circque-du-Soleil. As long as there is demand in these lucrative businesses they will continue to exist. You can also become an advocate for these defenseless creatures, as these industries require greater governance and regulations to put a stop to these unfair practices.
Animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment.
Coalition for Animals opposes the use of animals for the sake of entertainment and supports the practice of keeping them in their natural habitat free from harassment. Please contact Coalition for Animals to see how you can help.