Circuses, headline showrooms, movies, advertising commercials and photos, races, rodeos...most of us have visited or viewed these events. We have probably even enjoyed them, loving to see these beautiful animals. But at what expense?
The answer of course, is at the expense of these animals lives. As captives, they are living miserable lives, day after day, year after year.
They are not in their natural habitat, but instead are forced to live in small barren cages or other confined areas when not “performing” for the audience. Instead of being able to act naturally, they are forced to learn and perform acts that they would never do in the wild. Animals used for entertainment are subjected to rigorous and abusive training methods to force them to perform stressful, confusing, and painful acts. Training methods can include beatings, food deprivation, the use of drugs, electric prods, and physical alterations including surgically removing or impairing teeth and claws.
Performing animals are often deprived of their most basic physical and mental needs. They are often not fed properly, nor given proper medical care. Most must endure a life of loneliness, isolation, boredom, and constant stress. Every part of their lives is controlled by their captors. These animals are stripped of all dignity.
Even under the best of circumstances, captivity can be torture for animals meant to roam free.
Animals used for entertainment are acquired through both illegal and legal breeding practices. Many big cats used for photo ops and advertising are young cubs. Once a cub reaches about four months old, they are too big to safely handle and are then replaced by younger cubs that are profitable. This leads to a vicious cycle of breeding that leaves a surplus of unwanted big cats. Therefore, they are then sold – sometimes for meat, sometimes for “canned” hunts, or are simply killed.
This abuse of animals can be stopped! How?
Do not attend or support any venue that uses animals in their acts or advertising.
Tell others about the conditions these animals are kept in.
Write your legislator to support legislation prohibiting use of animals in entertainment and advertising.
Get involved with Keepers of the Wild or other organizations that speak out against using animals in the entertainment industry.
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