The Injustice of Circus Elephants

September 7, 2013
As I am sure you are aware of, elephants in circuses all over the United States are being overworked and abused. In the Ringling Brother’s Circus, elephants are beaten until they master unnatural tricks. Are breaking the spirits of young elephants worth entertaining a crowd? Sarah is a 53-year-old elephant who collapsed on the hard, concrete ground on Sunday, August 6th, 2011 in Anaheim, California. After a performance, she was being loaded onto a rail car when she fell off of a ramp. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus claimed that she accidentally tripped, but how is it that an elephant can perform spectacular balancing acts, but not walk up a short ramp? A witness disagreed with their allegations, and said that Sarah’s hind legs were wobbling as she was walking up the ramp. I strongly believe that justice for these massive, gentle creatures must be served, and that elephants ought to be removed from the circus, because they are not meant to entertain us, they are more prone to disease in captivity, and trainers use barbaric training methods.

Elephants like Sarah are being terribly overworked and overlooked everyday, all over the world. I want to put a stop to it. First of all, elephants are unfit for circus life, because they are meant to roam free in the forest, and not be restricted to a filthy cage. They were not put on this earth for our amusement! To have the power to give an extraordinary animal of any kind the chance at a healthy, happy life in the wild is spectacular. Forcing one to perform is inhumane. Animals do not have a voice in this world, so I ask you to be their voice, and let the pain they endure be heard and terminated. Second, elephants are more prone to sickness and disease in captivity. A baby elephant named Barack has had Elephant Herpes Virus, a deadly elephant disease, twice. It is oblivious that these animals are not meant to be transported around the country in boxcars! I bet that most of the audience would boycott the circus if they knew that the elephants they were watching perform had to suffer for their own amusement. If they knew that they were funding the company that establishes the elephants’ misery, I only hope that they would want to do something as much as I do. Third, circus elephant trainers use, “barbaric training methods.” I have seen a picture of a young elephant tied harshly to the ground, with a whip several inches away from its vulnerable body. Baby elephants should not be subjected to severe, forceful training! They are even dragged away form their mothers. How do people not realize that these innocent lives are being ruined by the circus? The law should forbid elephants from being whipped, and electrically shocked in order to teach them a trick. And, trainers should be prohibited from using training methods that use fire, cigarette stubs, hot irons, and putting acid in hook wounds. A common circus elephant trick is when an elephant stands up on its hind legs. This is an incredibly dangerous feat, because it is harmful for an elephant to stand on its hind legs. Do these circuses not comprehend that they are ruining these elephant’s lives, and destroying their future? As you can see, I feel strongly about the unfair lives of circus elephants.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do to help these elephants as an eighth grader. However, even by boycotting circuses can be of help. First of all, I vow to never go to a circus until it becomes animal free. And, I will encourage my family and friends to do the same. I will advise everyone I know to never go to the circus, because it only supports animal cruelty. I bet that just as many people will attend a circus if it didn’t have any animals. Entertainment shows such as Circus de Soleil are gaining in popularity, even though they are animal free. Lastly, educating the public of the horrors these elephants face could solve this injustice. If a mother heard the story of a baby elephant being snatched away from its own mother, she could probably relate. If the public could just realize what is happening right under its nose, then everyone could help put a stop to this. I can only hope that in a matter of time, animals will be completely removed from the circus.

Rhonda the circus elephant was only nine when she was burned to death in March of 1995. Riccardo was eight months old when he was euthanized after breaking both of his hind legs in 2004. There are dozens of these cases that have been happening for over twenty years. How could no one have stopped this yet? It sickens me to think of the innocent elephants that are spending their whole lives in a cage, and the naive babies that are being forced to perform.

Elephants should be removed from circuses, because they are not meant to entertain us, they are more prone to disease in captivity, and certain circuses use barbaric training methods. I demand that circus elephants be given a second chance at life, and not be forced to perform and be subjected to intense training. Sarah is just one example of the many, many overworked elephants that are utterly exhausted and violently abused. Since 1994, there have been at least 31 premature elephant deaths, and over 35 adult and baby elephant deaths. Three elephants have been shot to death in the circus, and two have been burned to death. These animals spend 95% of their lives chained to the concrete ground by at least two of their legs! I refuse to let this issue to continue on, because it is upsetting to me how miserable they must be this very moment. Elephants feel the same emotions we do; they feel the pain and loss after being pulled away from their mothers, and they feel the harsh whips slice their backs. Have you ever heard the story of the hanging of Mary the elephant? People cannot be naïve, and ignore this colossal problem that is occurring right before our very eyes. Hopefully, someday, elephants and exotic animals of all kinds will be illegal use of entertainment in circuses. All I ask of you is to help bring awareness to this massive issue, and give a voice to this exotic, beautiful animal without one.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

PotsnPans said...
Sept. 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm
Oh gosh I'm sorry, I posted on the wrong article. I'm really, really sorry.
CatherineGrace12 replied...
Sept. 29, 2013 at 9:35 am
It's okay! haha
PotsnPans said...
Sept. 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm
Before posting an article, please have someone who knows a lot about writing (your English teacher, professor, an editor, etc.) proofread your work. You have several spelling errors which makes it difficult to take your argument seriously. 
CatherineGrace12 replied...
Sept. 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm
I actually won two awards for this article, and had several people check it over. I don't see any spelling mistakes, so can you please point them out? Thanks for the feedback.
#the ugly truth replied...
Jan. 12, 2015 at 6:16 pm
Humans try to help the earth to make this a better earth and lifestyle, yet others just don't care and ruin it with abusing and killing. I love this and it couldn't be any better. Not just elephants, but dogs, lions, or any animal deserve to chose their own life. Not have humans decide for them.
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