18 June 2014

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Worry Under the Big Top as Mexico City Moves to Ban Circus Animals” (news article, June 15):

Mexico City joins the growing list of cities that have banned the exploitation of animals in circuses. Several countries, including Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Greece, Peru, Britain and Paraguay, have already imposed or approved bans. Why is the United States lagging so far behind?

Our elected officials must recognize that beating elephants with bullhooks—heavy batons with a sharp metal hook on the end that can tear elephants’ skin—and whipping tigers until they cringe and cower, are ethically indefensible.

When not performing, animals spend most of their lives caged or chained in tractor-trailers and railroad boxcars while traveling from city to city. They have none of what makes their lives worth living: roaming freely, controlling territory, socializing and simple autonomy.

The trend is undeniable: The days of hauling and hurting animals in the name of entertainment are quickly coming to an end.

Staff Writer, PETA Foundation
Norfolk, Va., June 16, 2014