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« Moomin at the circus | Main | some curiosities »

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Iris

Over here there has definitely been a move away from animal acts in circuses.I think it is more an uneasy feeling about the training than actual proof.It seems so unlikely that it could all be done without any nastiness.Sad though, the whole experience was so exciting and romantic years ago before the doubts crept in.I suppose Moomin is too young for 'The Circus is C0ming' by N0el Streatf1eld? It had me practising backflips for years.

elswhere

I read a book somewhere, way back, whose theory (whose authors' theory) is that for large animals circuses are actually better than zoos-- more interesting and challenging; you get to *do* stuff, rather than just sitting around on display. It sounded convincing to me-- at least, convincing enough to allay for the moment any guilt about going to the circus. And I've somehow managed to suppress my zoo guilt for the duration of MG's zoo-going years. All of it is exploiting animals if you look at it from that angle, though. And I'm sure there's abuse going on at both places.

Not to mention what goes into the making of our cheap clothes and MG's polly pockets. I guess if I were of good conscience I'd opt out of all of it but I'm in waaaay too deep.

badgerbag

I kept thinking the elephants in the circus - like the ones at the Wild Animal Park - looked way happier than the ones that used to be at the SF Zoo. The zoo elephants in their tiny enclosures were obviously depressed and insane... they'd stand in one spot doing something obsessive compulsive for an awfully long time.

Lisa Hirsch

Elephants: the border collies of Africa and India? (i.e. go mad without a job)

garnet

Elephants are extremely intelligent. It wouldn't surprise me if they do better with more stimulation and more challenges. The question is how humanely they're treated by circus trainers and management, and I really have no idea. Presumably it varies from circus to circus. It would be good to know more.

And border collies -- we just saw some in action in Wales about a week ago!

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