Circus Life: Is it Fun for the Animals?
Contest for Humane Educators

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Circus Life: Is it Fun for the Animals?
Contest for Humane Educators

From The National Humane Education Society (NHES)
September 2010

Contest opens September 1st, email here. All entries must be post marked no later than November 31st.

Have you ever been to a circus, beneath the big top? Were you dazzled by the shining lights, enticed by the smell of fresh popcorn, entertained by the elephant and pony rides? The circus strives to enchant its visitors, but have you ever wondered if the animals were actually having as much fun as the crowd? Do the tigers want to jump through flaming hoops? What if they don't?

We would like you to research and think about these and several other questions. Remember—the circus may seem fun for humans, but this contest is about the animals under the spotlight.

Your challenge as a humane educator is to learn about the lives of circus animals. After your research is complete, use your findings to create an entry that supports animal-free circuses and shows.

Please use the following questions as guidelines for your research. You do not need to address each question; your entry may be more unified if you focus on only one or two to develop your core message.