ANIMALS IN ENTERTAINMENT - Why cruelty isn't entertaining

elephant image
Using animals for entertainment is fairly common across the world, but there is a shift happening that is seeing compassion rise above cruel entertainment.
Circuses that use animals are becoming more widely known for their animal cruelty and the public awareness has caused such circuses as the Ringling Brothers to close down after being in business for over 100 years.

Countries leading the way with compassion

According to PETA UK the following 20 countries have introduced or implemented bans on circuses that use wild animals:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Costa Rica
El Salvador
The Netherlands

Why is it so wrong to use animals in a circus?

"When children see animals in a circus, they learn that animals exist for our amusement. Quite apart from the cruelty involved in training and confining these animals, the whole idea that we should enjoy the humiliating spectacle of an elephant or lion made to perform circus tricks shows a lack of respect for the animals as individuals."
-Peter Singer, AC
Author, Philosopher, and Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University

What happens to animals in circuses?

crying elephant              crying elephant               crying elephant
WARNING - Strong language and animal abuse in videos linked to the elephant pictures above.
"Exotic animals in circuses are routinely subjected to months on the road confined in small, barren cages. These animals are forced to live in enclosures denying them every opportunity to express their natural behaviour and their training is often based on fear and punishment as revealed by numerous undercover investigations. As circuses play no meaningful role in education or conservation, the lifelong suffering of these animals continues only for the sake of a few minutes of entertainment." - Animals Australia 

Happily Ever After

Thankfully some animals enslaved in circuses are rescued and given the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe haven dedicated to their well-being.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee provides home, herd, rest, refuge and individualized care for life for elephants retired from performance and exhibition.

To learn more about the elephants rescued check out their website:

the elephant sanctuary elephants

What you can do

Animals Australia have listed the top five things you can do to help end animals being used for entertainment in circuses:

  • Take the pledge not to support exotic animal circuses. Show your support for animal-free circuses instead!
  • Please tell your family and friends about the cruelty behind the big top, and explain to your children why you won't take them to a circus with exotic animals.
  • Write to your council, state and federal government to demand a ban on exotic animals in circuses.
  • If you want to have your voice heard when an animal circus is coming to your town, you can consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper, and speaking on talk-back radio about the cruelty involved in animal circuses and why they should be banned.
  • Our animal circuses flier is a helpful tool to raise awareness. Accompanying this flier are more ideas on how to take action when an animal circus is in town.

There is hope that one day soon animal circuses will be a cruel thing of the past, and you are playing a part in helping this happen.

Thank you for not supporting circuses that use animals.