Essay Contest on Animals and Circuses
SACRAMENTO (Sept. 8) With the circus season in full
swing across the nation, United Animal Nations, an animal advocacy group
based in Sacramento, California, is inviting students to participate in
an essay contest that focuses on the treatment of elephants and other
The contest, which is open to all youth age 12 and
under, asks students to consider the hardships that elephants and other
animals endure in performing and traveling with a circus act. Students
should respond to the message, Animals Don't Belong in Circuses
Because..., with an essay of 300 words or less. The deadline for the
contest is November 15.
UAN Executive Director Deanna Soares said the essay
contest can be a valuable learning experience for children who may have
been to a circus or whose families may be thinking of taking them to a
performance and who may have never considered the "behind the scenes"
treatment of these animals.
By challenging our students to think about the every day
lives of these animals, we can offer them so much more than a few hours
spent under the Big Top watching these animals perform, said Soares. She
added that circus animals are frequently confined to cages or with
chains, forced to travel for days on end, and trained with whips, hooks
or other punishment tools.
"The reality is that elephants and other exotic animals
such as tigers do not belong in circuses because it is dangerous for
them and dangerous for the people around them," said Soares. She noted
that at least 27 elephants have died while traveling with or performing
in circuses during the last five years, and nearly 20 people have been
killed by performing elephants since 1990. Most young people realize the
logic and compassion of keeping animals out of circuses once the
realities are explained to them.
United Animal Nations can provide background information
on circus treatment of animals and the numerous incidents, including
fatalities, involved in these performing acts for anyone interested in
participating in the contest. The winning entry will be published in an
upcoming issue of the UAN Journal, and the winner will receive either a
free trip for 20 to an animal-free circus or a special elephant gift
pack including t-shirt, book and other surprises.
Entries can be submitted to:
United Animal Nations
P.O. Box 188890
Sacramento, CA 95818
or via email at [email protected]
Call UAN at (916) 429-2457 with questions.
Go on to National
Animal Poison Control Center
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