Why not tell truth about Ringling Bros.?
(Original publication: April 9, 2004)
I see that Ringling Bros. Circus doesn't have to bother
paying for ads; just invite local politicians to be guest "ringmaster" and
the paper gives the circus a nice blurb with a photograph attached. (Journal
News, April 6).
Too bad you didn't print a photo of Ringling's training
procedures - oops, you couldn't - Ringling won't allow cameras to film
"training," as reported by "Dateline." I wonder why not.
Too bad Brewster Mayor John Cesar wasn't
photographed with Asian elephant King Tusk - oops, couldn't, King
Tusk was just euthanized due to arthritis, which, along with captivity-
induced foot problems, is the leading reason for euthanasia of captive
Too bad you didn't have a picture of Mastercard
renewing its Ringling sponsorship - oops, couldn't; Mastercard has decided
not to renew its Ringling sponsorship. I was one of the people who canceled
my Mastercard over its Ringling sponsorship.
Too bad you didn't run a picture of Ringling being
fined recently for such things as failure to provide adequate veterinary
care and poor sanitation; or when its vet Gretchen Steininger was fined and
reprimanded for negligence and incompetence - oops, not a good photo op.
And where was the picture of baby Kenny, the endangered
Asian elephant forced to perform despite his visible illness, who died alone
following the performance? No, very bad photo op. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture fined Ringling $20,000 for that.
For a concise list of references and dates regarding
Ringling's treatment of animals, visit
www.peta.org . Then visit your conscience.
Kiley Blackman, Yonkers
The writer is spokesperson,
Animal Defenders of Westchester.