We are all earthlings.
We are all earthlings.
Check out the video I made about Elephants in circuses. Featuring Elephant Expert Dr. Mel Richardson and Alec Baldwin.
The use of animals (specifically elephants) in circuses is a cruel and unnecessary practice that benefits no one except the heartless people who make money by controlling and torturing sentient beings. I strongly urge you to watch this video, though it may be hard to stomach. We cannot change things that we refuse to learn about, and animal use in circuses is a practice that needs to change dramatically. Do not take your children to see a circus that uses animals. Watch this video and learn why.
Be kind to one another.
For all of you looking for something positive under the vegan tag. I hope this happy elephant puts a smile on your face. :)
“An elephant awaits performance night at a circus. Women with their children idly chat in the background. Barrie, Canada.” Credit Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals)
Follow the Coalition for Circus Animal Freedom
Do you want to know the incredible thing about this photo? I was there that day.
I was born and raised in Barrie, Ontario, and the circus had set up its trucks and vans behind my high school. I vividly remember entering my sociology class and seeing my teacher staring out of the window, mesmerized by something she was seeing on the pavement below. We slowly filed into the classroom and joined her at the window, and this is the view we were met with.
This poor elephant was standing below us, tied around two of her ankles to pegs pounded into the ground. She was displaying the stereotypical behaviour that many captive animals develop when denied the opportunity to engage in normal activities; rocking back and forth, eyes lowered. Just slowly swaying. In that moment, I think my heart broke a little bit for her. It was a sweltering hot day, and people all over the city were flocking to the beach, the air-conditioned mall, or resting in the shade in an attempt to beat the heat. And yet here she stood, in the relentless beating rays, denied the refuge of shade, with no water to drink, and no caring eyes to sympathize with her suffering. I had never seen before in person such genuine sadness in a living creature. Several of the other students in my class were visibly bothered by the sight as well, and they voiced their desires to see her set free. I wanted that, too. The more we stared, however, the more helpless we felt. Even if we were to do the unthinkable and cut her chains, where would she go in a city of 100,000 people? It was so painfully obvious that she did not belong here, and that her suffering could so easily be remedied if she was left or returned to the wild where she belonged. But her long-term captivity by humans had left her unable to fend for herself and have the opportunity to live the life that her species was destined for.
It was then that I realized, for the first time, the evil that lurked within the colourful tents and painted faces of the circus. Here behind the walls of the arena that she was to perform in that night, this elephant’s suffering was neatly and conveniently hidden.
All of us in our classroom felt helpless that day. There was nothing we could do to help the abused elephant for whom we felt such pity. Long after we had left our classroom and continued with our daily studies, she would still remain; rocking back and forth, her sad eyes focused on the pavement under her chained feet. Our lives would go on and many of us would forget the sad elephant we saw that day, but for her, the suffering would continue.
Although I couldn’t help the elephant that day, seeing this picture gives me hope. I am no longer a helpless student without a voice; I am an adult with the power to take action against injustices when I see them. Just because I couldn’t help an elephant from days past does not mean that my actions today can’t help the abused, neglected, and forgotten creatures of tomorrow. We all have voices - whether they are expressed in the form of a book, a video, a peaceful protest, a blog post, a piece of music or a poignant painting - and have the freedom to choose how to use them. I choose to use mine to lend a voice to those who do not. Even if it is only in a small way, we can all make a difference. This isn’t the sentimental claim of an idealist; it is a fact. Our actions have consequences, and by exposing the plight of animals that would otherwise suffer in silence, we encourage positive action. We can choose to be part of the problem, letting our apathy smother our true nature of compassion, or we can do our part to respect and care for animals like the sad elephant.
Use your voice to demand change. Compassion can - and should - be the rule for how we treat humans and non-humans alike; not the exception. After all, we are all earthlings.