The Cruelest Show on Earth

March 10, 2012
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The circus came to town a few days ago. For the first time ever, I was there--but not to watch the show.

A group of us met to protest instead armed with posters of semi-graphic images, handouts, and some costumes. I was dressed as a sad clown--complete with makeup, an outfit, a nose, a wig, and a horn. Others wore a cat mask or a PETA shirt. We had a permit and we were ready for their first show Thursday night.

There were rude comments, thumbs-downs, rude gestures, and inappropriate comments from the people in cars, which we all expected and rolled our eyes at. We had a few people who said they admired us for what we were doing and a few that genuinely didn't know why we were protesting so we explained it.

The Ringling Brothers' have their website set to make you believe they treat their animals right but did you know that last year, the Ringling Brothers Circus was fined $270,000 by the USDA for violating the animal welfare laws thanks to PETA? The lawsuit was later dropped because they couldn't create a legal "injury" to themselves. What that means is that they had to prove it harmed them as an organization. The fact of the matter is that the "greatest show in the word" was found in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

Sure, we got a lot of negative feedback but that's going to happen. If just one little kid asked about us or just one person watched the documentary about the animal abuse there, we made a difference and fulfilled our mission.

Speak up for what you believe in. Don't let the negative people who don't believe in your cause take you down and ignore those that say a protest or letters won't make a pinch of difference. It takes one person to start a movement and history has proven that time and time again, in bad ways like Hitler and good ways like Rachel Carson, a dedicated environmentalist who forced companies to change their pesticides due to her research proving that it harmed wildlife.

And the next time you think of going to the circus? Remember this article or research for yourself. The proof is all there, you just have to look.

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