Circuses that use animals are promoted by the circus industry as safe, fun, wholesome family entertainment. BOGUS! Did these animals walk up to Mr. Ringling and ask to join the show that travels more than 40 weeks a year? No! The elephants, tigers, lions, and other animals are forced to be performers whether they like it or not. Not to mention, the so called "stars of the show" are made to spend a great deal of their life in boxcars and cages during transport.
And I haven't even mentioned the way they train these animals to perform outrageous tricks (there are countless websites on this issue that you can find with a simple Google search). Think about it: how do they get that 2 ton elephant to balance on its front legs? With painful training methods and fear tactics. It is common knowledge that elephants are trained with bull hooks, which are used on their sensitive skin to force them into position. It's heartbreaking. And maddening. How can this be legal? I will never be able to grasp why we humans think we deserve to be entertained at the expense of another being's welfare.
We were ignored for the most part. The adults averted their eyes and pretended we weren't there and the children just stared, wondering what we were doing. I made eye contact with one little girl who was maybe 9 years old and I could see the wheels turning in her head as she stared at my sign. If we planted the seed of questioning into one small mind, then our protest was a success. My hope is that when that girl is my age circuses will be a thing of the past, looked back upon with shame and regret.