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Forums > Social Discussion > Ethical standards for shows

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I think we should talk about some ethical standards for shows. By that, I mean if you have a troupe, there should be some standards for which troupes should be accountable.

Here are my rules:

1) I will not attend or in any way support a show that uses captive wild animals (lions, tigers, elephants, etc.). So no Barnum & Bailey or Ringling Bros. for me.

2) I will not attend or in any way support a show that does not use full appropriate safety gear for performers. Thus, trapeze and high-wire acts require a safety net. Aerial silk performances should be done with a safety harness. Fire safety should be followed. Etc.

3) Performers must not work more than 60 hours a week and no more than 12 hours at a time. Regular meal and bathroom breaks should be scheduled. Full benefits (medical, liability, disability) for full-time performers.

Now, few shows are perfect. I don't know how many of these Cirque or Moscow State Circus meets, but what other basic standards do you think shows should have to meet?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I agree with safety nets for high performers; not sure that safety harnesses are feasable for silk performers though.

(there was another thread discussing this that pointed out that harnesses would very much get in the way with silks; I put forward a 'air-bag' type idea as an alternative).

I think that 60 hours is too long; for anyone who's doing dangerous performance, or who is responsible for the lives of others I'd say no more than 40 hours per week.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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telic


I don't want a title.


Total posts: 940
Posted:Limiting hours that can be worked per week has been used historically to limit earning potential. So, that's something one may wish to be wary of.

E pluribus unum, baby.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, I guess from my bias as a medical type in a country where we just had to be LIMITED to 80 hours a week, I view limiting hours as a way to prevent abuse.

My view is that performers should be paid either a salary or per-show.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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roarfire
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

roarfire

comfortably numb
Location: The countryside, Australia

Total posts: 2676
Posted:Animals is one of my main rules.

Although it would be fasinating to see a tiger in a circus, they are my favourite animal and in that sense I would love to be that close to them. I could never bring myself to see one 'performing'.

Not even horses, or ducks, or dogs....or any animal. I will not go.


.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:My view is that domestic animals (species that humans have been using for generations) such as horses are OK as long as they are treated well. Especially with horses because people who take care of horses tend to be horse lovers.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Wild Child
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1733
Posted:But economic contraints affect even horse-lovers abilities to give their animals the most appropriate care and if those animals are a person's earning potential they'll be inclined to carry on in a show/circus. Sadly, regulation with penalties is the only way to ensure proper care for both humans and animals

'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Back in the 80s (when I was small) my mother used to take my brother and I to the circus when they came to town... they had lions, tigers, bears, elephants, horses, jugglers ( biggrin )... as most circuses did in those days.



I can't really say why she didn't have a problem with it - I guess it was a different time and different mindset - also she believed the keepers loved and cared for their animals, which was true in a sense.



I am glad I saw these animals 'up close', but they were not happy or in any way natural surrounds. Most circuses don't use animals anymore (however, you see the occasional elephant) - and I think that's a good thing.



The real awe factor with the circus comes from the performers and what these people are prepared to do - am starting to look forward to the Moscow State Circus this weekend biggrin


Getting to the other side smile

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I suggest that people educate themselves about the animals before boycotting. Sometimes the price of the tickets goes to actually wildlife rehabilitation and breeding programs (such as RB&B&B) and the ones in captivity are there because they can not be released back to the wild. I worked for one when I was much younger and feel that people who boycott such things tend to do so from ignorance.

And if you still have the belief against using "wild" animals (which, btw, tigers and elephants have been "domesticated" in other countries for generations) then please do not come to my shows as I use snakes.

As for limiting time...for children, absolutely. Adults, nope. They know what they are getting into. And most that I have known and/or worked with would practice even when on their breaks. Most circuses and shows do not force people to work such hours (especially because most are on the road more than they can settle into a practice). They do it to remain top of their game.

However, I do think that for dangerous acts there should be alternates to substitute in in cases of illness or fatigue.

As for safety. There are safety requirements that are met. Nets, bags, etc. are not fail safe either, and many aerialist performers have the belief that if it is there they become more laxed and not as precise of a performer, therefore they choose to not use them for shows. It is one of those things that varies, but there is usually a motivation behind it, and again, performers know what they are getting into.
Some things, such as fire, projectiles, human cannonballs, etc should always use extreme safety measures to be sure.

These are not professional ethics. These are personal beliefs which apply to what you choose to view, certainly. However, the in opening statement to this thread it was made clear that these are things you feel a troupe should be held accountable for...yet you are citing entire circuses (Barnum and Bailey for example) for specific troupe activities and choices within it?

I know people who perform, have performed, or I, myself have worked to some degree with shows including Cirque Du Soliel, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, Cirque Sublime, Big Apple Circus, Circus Schmirkus, Circus Amuck, as well as several smaller shows.

I know the owners of some of these shows. I know what insurance they pay. I know what hells they go through to put a show on, ad do so out of love. I know what the performers go through, and how much they love what they do. I know some who have retired and can not even function in a "normal" world. There are families where this is all they know and what you are saying would destroy their world. I know what people who have no clue what they are talking about can mean for them. I know what it takes for them to even have these shows, put up rides, etc. And I am really put off by the fact that people who are not at all involved in any of the process truly think they know what is best and how to do these things above the people who have been doing it for generations.

And if stuff like this keeps up and gets taken to heart, you won't have to worry about it, there will be no shows.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Stuff like what Pele?

I think we were voicing our opinion against the use of animals in a circus, not suggesting we were against circuses or the people who work very hard in them.

We may not have worked in circuses as you have, but even someone who has finally nailed a 3-bt weave can appreciate the amount of training, work and dedication it takes to be part of such a performance.

And just out of interest... why do you use snakes in your act?


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Wild Child
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1733
Posted:Surely you can't want a return to pre-legislation when both humans and animals were worked by unscrupulous show owners?

I'm not a do-gooder and I'm actually a big proponent of personal rights and I hate the nanny state but Lightning is posing the question as to what we should be looking out for, questions we should be asking of ourselves as both performers (which I'm not) and audience. You contribution has enlightened me on questions to pose of a show


'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Pele




As for safety. There are safety requirements that are met. Nets, bags, etc. are not fail safe either, and many aerialist performers have the belief that if it is there they become more laxed and not as precise of a performer, therefore they choose to not use them for shows. It is one of those things that varies, but there is usually a motivation behind it, and again, performers know what they are getting into.



That's interesting. Two things spring to mind. Firstly, is it necessarily always the case that because people, even experts, have a belief, it is true?

Using an analogy; pre helmet laws, some motor cyclists may have argued that they would be safer without helmets, as they would be more focused about the dangers of impact, that hemets, by making them complacent, could increase the risk of crashing.

However strongly they felt that, or believed it, however much they, as bike riders, are experts; if statistically helmets are shown to save lives and cut injuries, then they are simply mistaken in those beliefs.

Secondly, if some performers do insist, for whatever reasons, to refuse safety equipment; doesn't it also affect other performers who may themselves prefer to use safety equipment, in that the viewing public who see a high wire act without nets then see that as the standard.

This could in turn puts pressure on other high wire acts to also perform with nets.

I'm not necessarily in disagreement with you here- I'm not a circus performer and I'm sure I do lack perspective on the life of such performers; I'm just putting forward a couple of objections that occured to me.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Firepoise, I use snakes for many reasons. Because she enjoys it, and anyone who has ever seen Goldie perform with me can tell that she enjoys it. I use them because it makes people think, and be curious, and ask questions and consequently they learn and they even will overcome fears. Using my snakes is a very empowering thing.
AND it is an old tradition in the style of performing that I do, one which is a dieing art that I choose to present and preserve.
AND Lightning did say he would not go to RB and B&B because of their use of animals, despite that it is perfectly legal and that they are doing *amazing* things with the animals to help preserve and protect them, and that effects circuses. So making a generalized statement such as "I won't go because of this one thing" has a profound effect on the rest of the people involved in the show.

Wild Child, I did not say anything about pre-leg, now did I? That wasn't even brought up. The statement was made that he wouldn't go to a circus using animals...now, today, post-leg. That is what I was referring to and so any pre-leg comments are moot and not applicable.

However, he did not say ask questions. I am all for asking questions. The statement was to not go to shows, specifically RB and B&B, who utilizes animals. I take great offense to this because I *KNOW* what they do for thier animals. I know what portion of the funds goes into breeding programs and rehabilitation programs. I have been to their educational programs, and backstage, where they bring the animals out prior to the shows and allow kids to touch them and use them as teaching tools to illustrate how important it is that we keep these species from dieing out. I know animal handlers and keepers, both good and bad.

Ask the questions, please do. But at least get the answers...factual, honest, truthful answers. Not the assumptions that PETA puts out on their propaganda. If anything, if you are an animal lover you should be contributing to many of the circus programs out there. That is where my statement comes from and why I am so damned offended about the statements made.

If he had have said, what questions do you ask yourself before you see a show..then fine. But no, it was what standards do you think they should meet, and then stating don't go to shows with animals.

Now, OWD, last year a circus performer died from flipping out of a safety net and landing on the back of her neck. The Human Cannonball uses an airbag everytime, and he missed. Somehow he survived but it was a stroke of insane luck.
An acquaintence of mine about 7 years ago wore a helmet, was in a motorcycle accident and died on the spot. No garuntees.
They are adults. They can choose to wear the helmet and leather. They can choose to use a net. Personal choice, that is what a good portion of our society is built on.

As far as being an industry standard, how many of you have been to a circus recently? About two years ago I took Noah to RB and B&B, which had nets and airbags all over the place. Yet, the numerous CDS shows I have been to did not employ them, and had the same effect of awe but in different ways. One is a family show. One is an art show. I expected to see nets at a family show. I expected more daring at the art show. The aerialists I know fully realize what they get into when they start, and they decide which route they want to take early on.
A motorcyclist makes the same choice (it is a choice to wear a helmet in many places). We make the choice to die every time we get onto a motorcycle and proportionally speaking, alot more people die in motorcycle accidents than of circus performances in a decade. By this rationale, motorcycles should be outlawed just like no-net performances.

Calculated risks. It is what this business is about (and remember first that this is *business*). It is a lifestyle where we consistently push and challenge ourselves. You choose to move onto fire with tools knowing you will get burned. They choose to not use nets. It's the evolution of the lifestyle.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:"I use them because it makes people think, and be curious, and ask questions and consequently they learn and they even will overcome fears."

Hellos and good mornings.
Hmmm. I just don't see how using a snake would actually make people think - beyond, oh she has a snake on stage. I mean, do you keep it in a box on stage for everyone to see and think about, or do you have it writhing all over your body as a more erotic-symbol kindof way?


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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Total posts: 3899
Posted:actually I have seen many snake shows, and almost all were very educational.



snakes are one of the most feared animal groups, though in reality they are very researved creatures who generally go out of their way to avoid conflict besides finding prey to eat. Snakes also are realitivly happy given a few basic needs are met, making them quite easy to utilize in a show. The only things you really need to worry about is keeping them warm and out of stressful situations most of the time. Also some snakes are prone to resperatory illness, so that is also an important consideration.



but like I said, snake shows are almost always very educational, and being a fan of snakes, I think that exposing children to snakes to be very benificial both to humans and snakes.



the only snake show I have ever seen that was questionable was in Thailand back in 1983 (I was 13). they had a jumping snake that leaped into the audience, and they didn't bother to tell anyone it wasn't poisonous till afterwards just to scare everyone. I could see someone stomping on the poor things head out of fear in that case. they also had a freshly caught wild cobra that they put in a cage with a mongoose. I was astonded how fast and efficiently the mongoose killed it. but then, I have less problem with this than the jumping snake. Cobras are dangerous, and were a bit of a scourge in Thailand back then, and the mongoose got to eat one of his natural meals. And after all, the cobra eats plenty of mammals in the same manner.



but really even from that show I learned a lot about snakes.



So I'm going to back up Pele here, especially on the snake issue. most snakes are easy to care for, especially for anyone who has affection for them (and obviously pele does). and when people can see a show close up and see that humans and snakes can form a bond not so different than that that exists betweens say cat and humans, that is good not only for smakes, but people, and even reptiles and other less usual critters in general.



I have no problem with people performing with animals per se - as long as they look after their animals properly, they are happy, and in good health. I do feel a bit sad about a tiger living in a cage, even if it is a big luxerious one, but I think more tigers live in cages today than exist in the wild - their survival is now pretty much dependant on their domestication, and the more domestic uses they have, the more chance their species will survive longer. That is the way of the world nowadays. to say they cannot be used in performances in some ways makes the survival of their species less sure. and those that do perform are excellent ambassadors for the cause of their own survival.



So before we say "I won't attend or perform with animal acts", let's think about the full impact that statement has - perhaps it is better to say, "I will only perform with animal acts which take proper care of their animals which were aquired and trained in a proper fashion."


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Wonder Monkey
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Wonder Monkey

Certainly confused
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, United King...

Total posts: 121
Posted:My 2p worth.

i appreciate the sentiment that Vanize raises about well cared for animals - but surely if we are keeping them in order to prevent extinction, then perhaps far deeper questions need to be raised as to why they are nearing extinction in the first place, rather than just 'deal' with its consequences in such a way.

I also think its right to question the use of animals in circus shows. Surely a stronger position for the circuses to be in is to not have captive animals, but still take the opportunity to educate youngsters as to why they no longer see animals in the circus. Isnt it a bit hollow to say 'yes we keep em captive, but we also raise awareness'. Its saying you are part of the problem, but justifying it by, and so placing yourself above criticism, with altruism in other areas?

I think it would be interesting if you could really ask the animals what they thought, rather than asuming enjoyment or cruelty on the animals behalf..but we cant. frown But one day......yes....one day.... smile

I think theres a lot more to appreciate about what people can do and achieve with their bodies, rather than marvelling at how well we can manipulate and control the creatures who know no better, and arent presented with a choice. Its a bit of a no-brainer. Its no more than following routine. I wodner if our ability to dop those of things while trained would be used by higher beings (aliens of superior intellect?!?) as entertainment? Or if the very fact that they are higher beings, means they are above such things?

And then, something not being cruel doesnt make it right.

THis is a pretty tricky one, as it effects livelihoods, but then is that any reason to defend something?

confused

Hmmmm.


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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I think part of the problem people don't realize is captive animals. There are many, many people out there that think it is a great idea to have a pet tiger. That is, until the city finds out they have one and force the owner to do something else with said tiger. Tiger pups are cute indeed, and people decide they want one. Then, the reality sets in. Tigers need space, and lots of it. They require a lot of food, and it isn't cheap. People soon realize that exotic animals (as they are often called) are extremely expensive to have and care for.

As a result, they are often abandonded or the owner is stuck trying to find a suitable refugee home or shelter that can deal with such animals. I've worked with such an animal shelter outside of San Antonio before. They are a purely non-profit and seek to provide an acceptable home for such abandoned animals. These animals have been domesticated already (sadly) so they can not be rehabbed into the wild. Sadly, not very many shelters like that exist because of the huge cost involved in caring for and feeding such animals. Circuses are another place that the abandoned animals can be placed in, so in some ways it is a good thing.

I think the question should be would you rather have the unfortunate animal be put to sleep or be cared for in a humane fashion? It isn't the circuses fault that some shmoe decided it would be "cool" to have a pet tiger.


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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Total posts: 3899
Posted:RE: wonder monkey

there is an american indian saying that goes something like this (I'm sure I'll butcher it without my quotebook arund though...)

when we can talk with the animals, we will know we are half way there.

when we can talk with the trees, we will be there.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Wonder Monkey
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Wonder Monkey

Certainly confused
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, United King...

Total posts: 121
Posted:Written by: vanize


when we can talk with the animals, we will know we are half way there.

when we can talk with the trees, we will be there.



Thats pretty cool smile

Its a shame mankind in general seem hellbent on heading in the opposite direction to its sentiment tho frown


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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:Written by: spritie

I think the question should be would you rather have the unfortunate animal be put to sleep or be cared for in a humane fashion? It isn't the circuses fault that some shmoe decided it would be "cool" to have a pet tiger.



i see your point entirely, but on the other side of the argument (although probably less so nowadays) is that if people expect to see animals at a circus then they are no longer places where animals can go to be cared for, but they are creatng a demand by themselves.

how likely is it that animals will be treated badly or stolen from the wild? I don't know, but if legitimate circuses are doing it well, there's always the chance that someone with less money or experience will try the same thing and do it badly.


I had a dream that my friend had a
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it was the book of my dreams.

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Sadly, it isn't people steeling those animals from the wild - well, someone is, but it isn't usually the animals eventual owner.

Most of the ones I came in contact with at the animal refuge had been bought from someone in the states. They were legally selling such animals (a royal shame in my book) and people were happily buying them without much future consideration. Now, I have no idea where the animals originally came from, so I can't say they were stolen from the wild, most likely they were captively bred.


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Most circuses have breeding programs. Their animals are not "wild caught" because that breeds unpredictability. A lineage of domestically raised animals are the best to train and use, so they do.

Pet owners are the ones responsible for purchasing wild caught animals, especially in the reptile world. It is an absolute crime. I will not argue with that.

Circuses do not create a demand. They clean up after the demand is met. Most of those "pets" that go to circuses never see the spotlight, and are simply cared for in animal camps, and then used in educational shows, not as performers.

I am shocked and appauled that people here actually think that animals do not express their displeasure. Do you honestly believe that if an elephant, a tiger or other thousand pound animal were truly unhappy that it would not destroy its owner?
We know when dogs, cats, horses, even cows, are happy. We did not teach them this as pet owners. It is part of their nature. I know when my sons guinea pig is happy just as much as I know when my snakes are. ANY animal owner can tell you that, be it a more conventional pet or a non-conventional show animal.
To assume we have absolute control over an animal, and do not fully understand its capabilities just because you view something inaccurately as slavery does not mean that it is, or that they are unhappy.
When they are, we know it. Just like when your cat or your dog are ticked off, you know it. They all come with moods and consequences.

And if you think my using a snake is not educational, then perhaps you should speak with the many, many people who are terrified of snakes who actually touched mine and got over their fears just a little bit. Those people who no longer think that a snake is slimy. Those people who now know that a human and a snake can have a relationship beyond survival of the fittest. And I use my snakes on more than the stage. I wander around in crowds with them as roving characters and a bellydancer. I let people touch her. I answer their questions while I perform with her. If that isn't educational, then nothing is.

And for the record, before I allow anyone to touch my snake I make sure they are mentally able (not loaded). I ask they only touch her lower back and tail. They are not allowed to hold her.
I know when she becomes even remotely stressed and will not take her out or will put her away. She is not allowed in areas of excessive smoke or that is too cold. She is my baby. I rehabbed her back from near dead and illness myself and will *never*, *NEVER* do anything to compromise her safety and well being.
But she is also an amazing performance partner who very obviously enjoys the music, the movement and the audience.
If she didn't, I wouldn't use her.

Thanks Vanize and Spritie for bringing up those points as well.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Hi Pele, I wasn't aware that circuses put funds into wildlife rehabilitation. I used to disagree with the use of wild animals in circuses, but now I'm not so sure. Certainly, PETA, as you point out, are really only interested in propaganda and their own importance. I have not seen any empathy for animals from this group, only hysteria.

In Australia, many circuses now use prey animals (cows, geese, horses etc.) in their acts instead of predator animals (lions, tigers etc). However, I seriously doubt that lions and tigers have been domesticated for generations. I think there is a huge difference b/t bred in captivity and domesticated.

OWD helmet laws suck, and I really object to "do gooders" interfering in things they know nothing about. Injury rates for motorcyclists actually went down when they repealed helmet laws in California a few years back. And, the introduction of mandatory bicycle helmet laws also introduces the invincibility factor. Let those who ride decide. Which is what I say every time u bring up this argument.

Same with rock climbers who relish in the challenge of climbing without ropes. It's their decision. Humans climb the mountain because it's there. What would the world be like now if the early explorers had listened to the skeptics who said the earth is flat and you will fall off the edge, or if JFK said it was too dangerous to travel to the moon?

Placing people in bubble wrap is not the answer, nor is making ethical decisions about things we know little about.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Posted:Written by: Pele


Ask the questions, please do. But at least get the answers...factual, honest, truthful answers. Not the assumptions that PETA puts out on their propaganda







So why should we believe what's put out there by the circuses and animal acts? They too have an agenda. They are facing growing public knowledge of the abuses that animals have been made to suffer and endure. Just so you and I have the option to watch a lion jump thru a flaming hoop out of fear of the man with the whip!





And as to captive bred tigers being domesticated??? rolleyes Are any of your snakes domesticated?

EDITED_BY: Patrick the Bonsai Badger (1106621789)


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: Patrick the Bonsai Badger


So why should we believe what's put out there by the circuses and animal acts? They too have an agenda. They are facing growing public knowledge of the abuses that animals have been made to suffer and endure. Just so you and I have the option to watch a lion jump thru a flaming hoop out of fear of the man with the whip!





You don't have to. You can read reports put out by appointed government agencies whose job it is to make sure no animals are hurt in circuses or in movies and television filming.

They are always there, and the moment anything goes wrong, arrests are made, fines are filed and the entire event gets messy. See that is something that while people stand out in the cold screaming cruelty that the shows have going for them, the backing of the law. They have proven themselves to be worthy of having these animals. All a person has to do is take the time to look into it.



And again I say, when was the last time you went to a circus? There is no "growing knowledge of the abuses that animals endure" because they don't. If they did the animal rights agencies would shut them down under criminal codes. That belief is decades outdated.

Lions don't jump through flaming hoops anymore, and haven't for years and years.

And have you ever seen how the "whip" is used? I think not, because if you did you would realize that it is a lead and not a whip. It is mostly used to deliver cues in a way visible to the animal (for example, swung in a circle over the head to get them to roll or lay or stand), it is used to maintain focus to make sure the animals do not turn on each other, not to create fear in the animal. I love how so many people seem to underestimate the intelligence of these animals, and the ability of 1000 pounds with inches of teeth and claws to defend themselves against a hundred pounds of meat. *All* animals, including dogs, cats, birds, etc.., when they feel fear in a caged environment attack.



When I was 15 I worked a large animal show, not in a circus but that travelled to teach about them. Everyone of those animals could not be released into the wild for one reason or another. Never once was there an injury to any of the animals in the show, or to a human from the animals.



4 years ago I worked at a pet store. I was constantly bit by the "domestic" birds when I was feeding them or cleaning their cage. I was bitten by the rabbits when filling their food or cleaning their area. And don't even get me started on ferrits.

Last year a girl in town was bitten in the face by the family dog. No one knows why. It just seemed to lose it.

These are the "domestic" animals, and that crap happens all the time.

By this standard *all* animals are wild, and none should be kept (I disagree with this btw. I simply think any animal owner should know the responsibilities and dangers fully before owning anything).



The entire ideology of non-domestication and animal abuse in (American) circuses is outdated, highly regulated and offensive to me that it is still being thrown around.



The attacks of the animals against the owners decades ago is what brought the abuse to light (I admit fully it did used to happen, and it does still happen in other countries) and developed the current laws and standards.

Animal abuse, of any form in the US today, is punishable by law with jail time and astronomical fines...and the first target would be something high profile like a circus. Those animals get treated better and with more respect than most housecats I know. Not only because of the law, but also because without them, these people know they have no livelihood.



</font><blockquote><font class="small">Written by:</font><hr />



And as to captive bred tigers being domesticated??? rolleyes Are any of your snakes domesticated?





If you knew about animals in Arabic and Greek history, you would know that about tigers. In fact they were used in Chinese courts as well, come to think of it.



And yes, Goldie is domesticated. To the point where half the time she doesn't even constrict her (already dead) food. She simply takes it from the feeder tweezers and swallows it without a strike. It is quite amazing, and I am not the only one to witness it. And for the record, she is a Python. She is absolutely domesticated, and there is not one person who has met her that would dispute that fact.

EDITED_BY: Pele (1106639349)


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Stone



OWD helmet laws suck, and I really object to "do gooders" interfering in things they know nothing about. Injury rates for motorcyclists actually went down when they repealed helmet laws in California a few years back. And, the introduction of mandatory bicycle helmet laws also introduces the invincibility factor. Let those who ride decide. Which is what I say every time u bring up this argument.

Same with rock climbers who relish in the challenge of climbing without ropes. It's their decision. Humans climb the mountain because it's there. What would the world be like now if the early explorers had listened to the skeptics who said the earth is flat and you will fall off the edge, or if JFK said it was too dangerous to travel to the moon?

Placing people in bubble wrap is not the answer, nor is making ethical decisions about things we know little about.


Like I said in my original post, it depends on the facts/stats- if helmets save considerable nos of lives and injuries then IMO helmet lawsa are justified. If, as you think, the facts show that they don't, or if they make things worse, then obviously helmet laws are wrong.

I'd be interested to see you back up your assertion that helmets are counter productive; do you have any links?

Concerning the rights of adults to put themselves at risk; I don't think it's as clear cut as many think; IMO, if an adult wants to climb rock without ropes then that's up to them- it's their life.

However, if they want to climb skyscrapers or jump off building with parachutes then, IMO, that's not acceptable- it puts over people at risk when it goes wrong.

For helmets I'm not sure, I don't ride a motorbike and I don't know the stats.

But, for a similar example, what about seat belt laws?

I think it's pretty well established that a lot of lives have been saved by making seat belt wearing in the UK obligatory.

While it sounds OK to say that adults should have the choice about whether to belt up or not, the fact is that, without laws, many didn't. Strange as it may seem, for many adults the fact that putting on a seat belt will probably save them from serious injury/death is not particularly important; but, when it comes to belting up to avoid a 50 fine- they'll do it every time.


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Posted:Written by:
If you knew about animals in Arabic and Greek history, you would know that about tigers. In fact they were used in Chinese courts as well, come to think of it.





Yes Pele, others of us might have read a history book once, too! You imply that you are the only one who does! Keeping tigers does not make them domesticated!!!

As well, you ask when was the last time I went to the circus? I have to admit its been a few years. But yes, I've seen a lion act. I am older than you Pele, so perhaps the said lions are now deceased. wink

And again, you aren't the only one who knows people who work in the trade! Who's worked with animals. Or for that matter, owned a Python!

Have a nice day!


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Wonder Monkey
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Wonder Monkey

Certainly confused
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, United King...

Total posts: 121
Posted:Written by: Pele


Written by: Pele


I love how so many people seem to underestimate the intelligence of these animals, and the ability of 1000 pounds with inches of teeth and claws to defend themselves against a hundred pounds of meat.







Are you not in danger of counting yourself among those you deride? Animals are indeed intelligent..so are they not intelligent enough to decide that it is better to placate the little human so as they can be fed, as they cant feed themselves, rather than lash out at little human and then get shot dead?



Who's underestimating the animals intelligence? Not only that but assuming the animal could actually enjoy being manipulated? Does there intellect not instill a sense of pride?



also, do you not see a potential connection between people seeing these animals at circuses and the problem of people wanting to keep such animals as pets? I appreciate the education argument, but theres no guaruntee that your true message will get across, and people will just want to have their own versions of the animals they have just been told about.



People are stupid and daft, and often no amount of deducation can save them from themselves if they decide they want something bad enough.



So, although you may find offence at people who deride animals in circuses, people are entirely entitled to hold a belief that getting animals to perform in the name of entertainment is offensive. That doesnt have to be based on propoganda from some animal rights organisation...just a view of what is acceptable entertainment to them.



Oh, and re the comparison of domestic pets with tamed circus animals...I dont think many people get their pets to perform on cue (unless you qualify house/obedience training as 'performance'). Again, that could be considered cruel.



And finally, legislation in place doesnt stop abuse from taking place. You cant have eyes everywhere.



So im not 'appalled' that people still hold such a concern.



I guess ultimately its a principle of agreeing/disagreeing with animals performing for your benefit.



smile

EDITED_BY: Wonder Monkey (1106654126)


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Posted:Actually, the above quote in Wonder Monkey's post is from Pele and not me. The board is having issues! tongue

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Wonder Monkey
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Wonder Monkey

Certainly confused
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, United King...

Total posts: 121
Posted:No, I think it was the MOnkey having issues smile biggrin

all sorted smile


My Mummy Says Im Special

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Posted:Found it very interesting to do a search on circus animal rampage on google.

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Page: 123

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