Save the circus (Sept. 26)

DEBBIE NORRELL

A part of my childhood fun was going to events with my father. We used to have a ball. The Police Circus and the Ice Capades were our favorites. I think my father enjoyed it more than I did. I really enjoyed the circus. I loved to see the animal acts, the clowns and the ladies on the high wire in the sparkly outfits. It was so much fun. I never remember kids having an opportunity to meet the clowns or ride the animals; I think that is something that was added in the last decade to entice more people to attend the circus.
For years animal rights groups have been against the circus, claiming animal cruelty. I’m really on the fence about that one. I hope the animals are not being abused but it must take a lot of training to get the animals to participate in the various tricks. Recently in Pittsburgh there was an incident at the Shrine Circus. Reportedly there were three people riding a camel and allegedly someone threw a shovel at the camel’s foot and the camel took off.
Now there are people who would like to shut down the circus across the board; there would never be a circus ever again. This seems so drastic. First of all why do people have to ride the animals? I remember comedian Paul Mooney saying there are some people who “always have to ride something.” These animals are carted from city to city via trucks and trains and they get spooked by all of these people. I’m sure they see these little people walking below them and they don’t know what to think and then some other human puts three kids at a time on their back and wants them to remain calm. It’s not going to happen. Why not stop offering rides on the animals? Let people watch the circus from their seats and maybe do a meet-and-greet afterwards with the ring master or the clowns. If they want to see more animals, go to the zoo and see them through the bars.
Speaking of bars, do you believe that the bars were removed from the animal crackers box? That was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of. Once again this was from an animal rights group who thought the bars on the cookie box was inhuman. It was only a box, people. I always loved the design on the box. It reminded me of days gone by when the animals would be in a large box on wheels and of course the bars were there so the animal could not get out. What was gained by removing the bars on the box? In my humble opinion, nothing. Now the zebra, lion, elephant and gorilla are roaming free in the grass. Well that sure sounds dangerous to me. It sounds like a “safari” that people ride through in their cars and are attacked by the animals.
I hope the Shrine Circus will be able to continue. They help a lot of children through donations. Just cancel the camel rides.
 
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