Sixth Graders Win Nationwide Essay Contest
SACRAMENTO, California (Jan. 24) - United Animal
Nations, a national animal advocacy and rescue group, today awarded
Mikayla Schramm, a sixth-grader from Santa Fe, Texas, first place in the
group's nationwide essay contest on circus cruelty. Bethany James, a
sixth-grader from Swain, New York, was the second place finisher in the
UAN sponsored the contest to help generate awareness
among young students, many of whom are taken to circuses by family
members or school groups, about the abusive training methods and
horrible living and traveling conditions that circus animals endure.
Both Mikayla and Bethany had learned about the horrors of circus life
from media reports and from doing their own research and were hoping to
educate other young students with their essays. "I thought other
twelve-year-olds would learn if they heard about it from someone their
own age," said Mikayla.
UAN Executive Director Deanna Soares said the winning
entries were selected for their vivid descriptions of how depressing and
difficult circus life is for the animals and for their obvious
compassion for the elephants and other animals who are forced to
perform. "These essays should serve as a wakeup call, not just for
students but for all parents, teachers and adults who are considering
taking their children to a circus that uses animals."
Mikayla will receive a $50 check and both winners will
receive a special "elephant gift pack," including t-shirt and photo
book, for their prizes. In addition, both essays will be published in
the upcoming issue of the UAN Journal, which is distributed to 20,000
members of United Animal Nations nationwide. For more information about
United Animal Nations, visit www.uan.org or contact UAN, P.O. Box
188890, Sacramento, CA 95818, Tel: (916) 429-2457.
(Copies of the winning essays are included below.)
"Animals Don't Belong in Circuses Because ."
By Mikayla Schramm, Santa Fe, Texas
Circus animals are enslaved, tortured and made to
perform dangerous tricks against their will. All you have to do is look
at circus animals and you can see how very sad they are. They have a
blank look because they have no spirit. They are empty shells of what
were once magnificent creatures.
Circus workers know the animal cruelty laws but they
disobey them and the USDA hardly ever does anything about it. Circus
workers say they love their animals but they don't because they beat and
torture them. They lie about how cruel they are to the poor animals.
Imagine how you would feel if you had to watch your
mother being beaten every day. What if you had to see and hear her
wailing, crying and begging for mercy while the people you hate beat
her? Imagine how hopeless you would feel if you couldn't help her.
Circus tigers and elephants never get to swim in pools,
monkeys never get to climb trees or stay in a troop and bears never have
the comfort of a den. Babies are never with their mothers for very long
and they are taken away before they are weaned so they feel extremely
lonely. Circus animals never have the choice of what they are going to
eat or when they will be able to move. Circus elephants are chained,
they don't even get to lie down to sleep and they look like zombies.
I have cried thinking about the horrible abuse circus
animals have to go through every day. They all have to perform their
tricks without consent or pay and they never get to retire. They just
die an agonizing death or get killed. It's terrible elephants and other
animals are in circuses, my heart aches for them.
"Animals Don't Belong In Circuses Because ."
By Bethany James, Swain, New York
Animals don't belong in circuses because they are born
in the wild and that is where they want and should be.
No animal is happy in a circus. I saw a TV show on
circus animals. The keepers kicked, whipped and threw the animals. A
baby monkey named Trudy is now scared of all people because her owner
beat her for no reason. The same lady beat her elephants, monkeys, and
other animals. She was caught doing these things and was fined and
arrested. The animals were taken care of by people who help traumatized
animals. But because of a lady, Trudy will never be the same.
Some of the things people make elephants do are
unbelievable. Like when they make elephants stand on a ball. That is
like making a person stand on a marble. When the circuses travel they
put the animals in cages. No one, person or animals, likes to be in a
cage. People think that circuses are fun. But they don't think about
what these poor animals have to endure for their entertainment.
People take animals out of the wild where they belong,
put them in circuses, don't think about the animal's needs or wants,
they just think about the money that these poor traumatized animals are
going to make for them. You can tell that animals aren't happy in cages.
They pace back and forth because the cages are too small and they can't
do anything. There is hardly room for them to sleep.
When the animals are being trained, the trainers use
whips, hooks and other tools to punish animals.
If you are considering taking your family to a circus,
please consider what these poor traumatized animals go through just so
you can see them do tricks.
Go on to First Call
To MEATOUT 2000
Return to 30 January 2000 Issue
Return to Newsletters
** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been
specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this
not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the
copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your
own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright