Ringling is Making a Change. These 3 Other Companies Should, Too.

When Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey circus announced it would be phasing out elephants as part of circus entertainment, it was a huge win for these animals and animal activists. The nearly 100-plus-year-old circus company announced on March 5 that it would retire all of its elephants and send them to a sanctuary in Florida by 2018. Currently, the company has 13 touring elephants that spend 11 months out of the year on the road.

The news is monumental, as the company — as well as other companies that use animals as entertainment — has come under fire over the years for cruel training practices. Elephants not only have to spend their entire lives touring, but are also subjected to painful bull hooks and unnatural “tricks” that are all part of their training.

While Ringling Bros. retiring its elephants is a big win, there are still many companies out there that continue to use animals in cruel ways. We can only hope that this news will set an example for the following businesses.

Sea World

The past few years have seen nothing but bad press for Sea World, which has been in business since 1959. There had been a number of issues related to Sea World for years, but what set everything in motion was the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 by Sea World Orlando orca, Tilikum. Three years after Brancheau’s death, the documentary Blackfish was released, where it was uncovered that there was much more going on within the Sea World organization. Brancheau wasn’t the first person Tilikum killed, either. The now-33-year-old orca previously killed two other people, in 1991 and 1999.

With all the bad press and blood on its hands, you would think Sea World would change its format and retire its animal performers. Instead, Sea World is in the process of building larger orca tanks. A Band-Aid for a bullet wound.

Take action: Tell Sea World: Free Tilikum from Captivity

Michael Kors

The designer has had quite the resurgence in the past few years. In 1993, Kors filed for bankruptcy, then waded back into the fashion industry in the early aughts. He worked his way up, using a stint on “Project Runway” to solidify his place in the industry. Now, it’s hard to leave your house without seeing a purse, coat, sunglasses and more emblazoned with his name. This success comes with a downside, however, with Kors using animal fur in many of his designs. He’s proven his success with his personal fortune reaching up to $1 billion, so we don’t think he’ll lose any followers if he ditches the fur.

Animal Racing

The Kentucky Derby draws in millions of viewers and is known for attendees’ elaborate hats. Racing horses for sport, however, isn’t as exciting for the animals. Like circus elephants, horses are put through cruel training procedures and pumped with performance-enhancing drugs. If the horses aren’t profitable for their owners, they are slaughtered.

The same thing happens in the dog racing industry, where not only the dogs are treated in cruel ways, but live bait is used in torturous training methods. In addition to killing these small animals, the dogs are kenneled nearly their entire racing careers. The only time they are let out is to race and train. Many times, they have to fight each other just to eat. Like horses, when the dogs are either no longer profitable or not profitable at all, they are oftentimes slaughtered.

The Other Ringling Animals

Sadly, elephants aren’t the only animals that are a part of Ringling Bros. circus act. The company uses tigers, lions, horses, zebras and llamas as part of the show. These animals are just as deserving as the elephants to retire and live a life without performing.

 

Photo Credit: Laura Bittner

50 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Past Member 2 years ago

TY

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Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

signed

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Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

Lorraine is right.

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Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Petition already signed, shared. Thanks

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sandra vito
Sandra Vito2 years ago

gracias

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Jane Billham
Jane Billham2 years ago

I fail to see why the use of elephants in the circus needs to be phased out over a three year period. Take them out of the ring, and put them in a sanctuary. End of story. That should not take more than a few months, never mind three years.

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.2 years ago

arigato

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 .
.2 years ago

arigato

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Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks

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