15-Year-Old Wants to Ban Circus in hometown - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-05-2004, 12:20 PM
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http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/U...er_040705.html



Big Top Brouhaha

15-Year-Old Wants to Ban the Circus



D E N V E R, July 5, 2004 Most kids look forward to the circus coming to town. But not 15-year-old Heather Herman.



"I think they are outdated and unnecessary," says the young activist from Denver. She says circuses are abusive to the animals.



The circus is a childhood institution that has been around in this country since the 18th century. But about 15 communities across the country have now either banned or restricted circuses that use animals.



Denver may join them this summer. "It's not natural when you've got elephants standing on each other and tigers jumping through fiery hoops," says Herman, who founded a group called Youth Opposed to Animal Acts.



Herman is so serious about the issue that she collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition, enough to put a measure on a Denver city ballot that would outlaw wild animal performances in the city.



Clown Testifies on Behalf of Circus



Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is taking the challenge to heart. And so is the city council, televising a hearing that turned into, well, a circus.



Russell Scott, better known as local TV icon Blinky the Clown, testified on behalf of the circus.



"Don't tell me they don't take care of their animals," Scott said.



Ringling Bros. maintains its animals get more exercise and better food than they'd receive in a zoo.



"Our animals receive the best treatment of any animals anywhere in the world," said Ringling Bros. spokesman John Kirtland. "In fact, our animals are better taken care of than most people's pets."



The circus has been coming to Denver for 85 years. Banning it will not be easy.



"I think it's terrible. Why would somebody want to ban the circus from Denver?" asked one local resident.



Good for Economy but Bad for Animals?



"I kind of like it," said another resident. "I think it's good for the kids."



The circus also brings jobs and is good for the local economy.



Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown says the circus creates about 400 part-time jobs.



"They also buy their food here for the animals," he said. "And they spend a lot of money in Denver."



But Herman says that's not the issue.



"I want to see them in their natural habitat," she said, "not dressed up in a tutu riding a bicycle."



Denver voters will decide on Aug. 10 whether they want the circus to come to town, or whether the "Greatest Show on Earth" will be a no-show.
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#2 Old 07-05-2004, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter Parker View Post

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"I want to see them in their natural habitat," she said, "not dressed up in a tutu riding a bicycle."



Oddly enough, something similar was said about me by my neighbors.
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#3 Old 07-05-2004, 12:26 PM
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It'll be interesting to see how Denver votes on this. I would hope that they would vote against it, but I wouldn't place a bet on it.



It's really too bad that people don't realize that circuses don't need animals in them.



I love how Ringling Bros. says how well they take care of the animals. That must be why there are so many documentations of abuse by them. Ugh.
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#4 Old 07-05-2004, 12:28 PM
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"I think it's terrible. Why would somebody want to ban the circus from Denver?" asked one local resident.



She continued by saying, "I don't know, but I'm not going to bother to find out. Now, hand over that Big Mac because ignorance is bliss!"



I'd like to see the petition they mentioned. I'm more or less a Denver resident myself.
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#5 Old 07-05-2004, 12:38 PM
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She continued by saying, "I don't know, but I'm not going to bother to find out. Now, hand over that Big Mac because ignorance is bliss!"





Yeah, how dare she not be up on every animal rights related issue.
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#6 Old 07-05-2004, 12:44 PM
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Yeah, how dare she not be up on every animal rights related issue.

you just cannot help yourself can you?!
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#7 Old 07-05-2004, 12:50 PM
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Hey, I was nice!



<<<The New, Improved Tame (with more scrubbing bubble action!)
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#8 Old 07-05-2004, 12:53 PM
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ah the scrubbing bubble action. always needed.
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#9 Old 07-05-2004, 12:55 PM
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Hey, I was nice!



<<<The New, Improved Tame (with more scrubbing bubble action!)

well, you are always "nice", it's just that sometimes people have a hard time of seeing it that way. good thing you never do!!!
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#10 Old 07-05-2004, 01:28 PM
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Yeah, how dare she not be up on every animal rights related issue.



All right, all right. All I was saying is that I doubt she's going to do anything. You'd think she might want to look into why this girl thinks the circus is so awful. I got the impression, however, that she was just planning to skulk around saying, "What a grinch! Who doesn't love the circus?"



Nya.
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#11 Old 07-05-2004, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DuckThatWasn't View Post


Quote:
"I think it's terrible. Why would somebody want to ban the circus from Denver?" asked one local resident.

She continued by saying, "I don't know, but I'm not going to bother to find out. Now, hand over that Big Mac because ignorance is bliss!"

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#12 Old 07-07-2004, 12:31 PM
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[QUOTE=Peter Parker][url]Ringling Bros. maintains its animals get more exercise and better food than they'd receive in a zoo.

QUOTE]



Now that's a relief (where's that rolls eyes icon?)



It's actually nice to see someone that age be so active.
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#13 Old 07-09-2004, 10:52 AM
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I agree with this girl, but aren't circuses kind of waning in popularity anyway? I would have no interest in seeing one even if it was both animal-free and union. I always thought kids would rather play video games. But I don't have any, so what do I know.
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#14 Old 07-09-2004, 11:00 AM
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I agree with this girl, but aren't circuses kind of waning in popularity anyway? I would have no interest in seeing one even if it was both animal-free and union. I always thought kids would rather play video games. But I don't have any, so what do I know.



Well, it has been banned in several cities. But unfortunately it hasn't been waning in popularity where it is allowed. I've done protests at various circuses in L.A. and it's amazing how many people think its fun entertainment for their children, and a bonding experience.
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#15 Old 07-09-2004, 02:52 PM
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I love it when they ask the typical "man on the street" for their opinion. You can actually hear the silence left behind when their cerebral gears ground to a halt years ago. I especially like it when the vapid little cardboard cut outs start their comment off with, "I think..." That's the best part.







The Rev
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#16 Old 07-10-2004, 03:15 AM
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circus animal acts have been banned in seattle wa. i would like to see the same thing happen in my city. its inspiring to see such a young person taking action.



"Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown says the circus creates about 400 part-time jobs."



Maybe Charlie Brown thinks underemployment without benefits is a good thing for the people of Denver but I tend to disagree.

“There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."-James Randi

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#17 Old 07-10-2004, 03:45 PM
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I emailed Ringling Bros in February concerning the welfare of their animals. This was their reply:



Thank you for writing the animal care experts at Ringling.com.



It is evident from your e-Mail that you have heard a wealth of

misinformation about the animal care here at Ringling Bros. and Barnum &

Bailey. Unfortunately, those who oppose performing animals for ideological

reasons often misrepresent the facts in an effort to win support for their

cause. We appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.



Ringling Bros. has more than 134 years of experience working with animals

and more expertise in elephant care than anyone else in North America. Our

animals are an important and beloved part of our circus community, and their

care and well being are a commitment we take very seriously. The animal care

staff consists of animal experts who devote their lives to living, working

with and caring for animals. We deliver exemplary, hands-on care, to our

animals 365 days a year.



Only those animals with a suitable temperament and a natural predisposition

toward training are selected for performances.

We use operant conditioning as the basis for the training and handling of

the animals. More specifically, our training is based on constant contact,

daily routines and nurturing which builds a rapport between the animals and

the handlers based on trust and affection. Our expert handlers watch their

animals closely while they socialize and subsequently create routines based

on the moves they witness. They use voice recognition and rewards to

encourage the animals to learn a set routine. This process ensures that our

patrons have the opportunity to view our animals relaxed and displaying

their natural movements in an entertaining fashion.



The animals at Ringling Bros. are assured a lifetime of veterinary care,

nutritious meals, a clean and safe home, and a stable, stimulating,

rewarding environment. Day-in, day-out the animal trainers bathe, groom and

feed the animals-they play with them and reward them with treats and praise.

Ringling Bros. also employs an animal behaviorist who makes sure the animals

have a stimulating and enriching environment as well as the stimulation of

new surroundings and new things to challenge them.



For instance, an average day in the life of a Ringling Bros. elephant

includes feeding, training, rehearsal and play. For the most part, our

animals spend more than half of the day eating, sleeping and socializing

with other animals. The routines that amaze Ringling Bros. audiences' mimic

the behaviors of wild elephants, which stand on their hind legs to reach

tall branches, push down large trees with their trunks.



A comprehensive network of laws and regulations governs our animal care

activities, and we are proud of our excellent record in animal care.

Findings from more than 40 inspections conducted during the past two years

alone affirm our animal care procedures and policies and contradict the

activists' allegations. Most of these reviews were unannounced visits where

federal, state and local officials evaluated our entire animal facilities

and examined the animals thoroughly.



In fact, the State of California-The Resources Agency, Department of Fish

and Game completed an inspection of our operations in August 2002 and found

our "operation in compliance with the caging and care requirements of

section 671.4 of the California Code of Regulations for each animal listed

on our permit." In addition we were complimented on our operation and on the

excellent care and the handling our animal actors receive. The inspection

document further stated the our "operation should be the industry standard

so that the public can appreciate the dedication, training and resources

necessary to adequately support and exhibit these animals in the humane

manner they deserve."



The bottom line is animals are an important and beloved part of the Ringling

Bros. circus community. By showcasing animals in its performances, Ringling

Bros. creates entertaining and learning experiences for the audience because

it allows people to observe the unique partnership that develops between

animals and humans. Our performances promote an appreciation and

understanding of not only the trust between animals and humans in various

cultures, but also the need to protect animal species and wildlife resources

for the future. We believe Ringling Bros. provides children and adults the

opportunity to see and to learn about some of the world's most amazing

animals and to observe a positive example of the unique relationship that

develops between animals and humans when they live and work together in

close partnership. Judging from the feedback we receive from our millions of

patrons, exotic animals continue to be a unique and treasured part of the

circus experience. We are very proud of our record in animal welfare, and at

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, sharing our world with animals is more

than a responsibility...it is our cherished way of life!



Thank you again for writing us because it is important to get the facts

before you make up your mind. We hope you will spend some time exploring

more of the truth about animal care at Ringling Bros at:

http://www.ringling.com/animals/care/care.aspx.



Sincerely,



Ringling Bros. Animal Care
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#18 Old 07-10-2004, 04:50 PM
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I wonder if that is a prepared letter they send out to everyone...
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#19 Old 05-18-2005, 05:32 PM
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i dont agree with anykind of animal forced entertanment. becouse most of it couses abuse. ive been to the cercuse twice in my life and i didnt like it. I agree with this girl heather and i wish i could sighn the patition. or be nterveiwed by one of the gyes that do the article they may not like my opinon no one dose.
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#20 Old 05-18-2005, 06:54 PM
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I don't agree with newbies resurrecting threads that are nearly a year old!
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