Thursday, October 16

the circus is in town

...and a friend visited with her 2yr-old little man. He was delighted and she remarked that the visit was worth it just to see his face. I understand that. Sometimes, in thinking of our little saplings solely, we forget the rest of the forest. If you're a parent, how often have you forgotten yourself?!

But then, Ms Maple Leaf went home, recalled the sights, and gave the whole thing some serious thought.

She considered the large elephants in shackles, about llamas, camels, and other animals in cages, about giving her money to people who kept animals in such a way. And she was saddened, then annoyed, and then just plain angry.

Me, I'm an animal lover and someone aware of such issues, so when I saw the circus tent my heart immediately tightened at the thought of the animals in there. It's more than just being an 'animal lover', it's about being wholly present and connected to all of nature. True connection can never place issues in little boxes of 'animals', 'environment', 'consumer choices', and then justify our bad choices.

All of life is a web - one pull affects it all.

In ignorance we may find animal performances entertainment. I know my mother took us to travelling circuses and I have vague memories of enjoying them a great deal. She didn't know any better, we were just kids.

But in awareness and compassion, there is nothing entertaining about an animal being made to perform unnatural acts for our amusement.

Circus animals live in confined spaces, are unable to exhibit normal behaviours, are made to perform unnatural behaviours, are often treated cruelly, are neglected, and many go insane from confinement and lack of stimulation.

I can find no justifcation for it, none.

Don't allow the sparkly lights and fun music to blind you to the reality. And don't feel you need to chain yourself across the tent entrance. Although I support that if you do, if nothing else, we can boycott them. Just don't go, don't give your money to the owners. It's something.

I had tried to keep it together. But every thought of what these animals endure, and every thought of how many of us are ignorant, and every thought of how many of us just don't care anyway, brought me to tears.

I told my lovely friend, "don't feel guilty. We do what we know, and when we know better, we do better". Now she knows and will not visit one again.

My little wildflower will never step into a circus. She will see the animals in their natural habitat or on National Geographic, and perhaps in a highly regulated and ethical zoo or safari park. When she's emotionally old enough, she'll learn the truth of our human 'progress'.

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1 comment:

  1. Totally understnd, mon. My children haven't ever been to a circus. I also am not crazy about most zoos. Most think I am weird because of it. Too bad.


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