By Philip Wollen, Kindness Trust
In response to "Ban on wild animals brings down circus industry" as published in Business-Standard.com on May 20, 2013
The circus is to entertainment, what pornography is to art.
45 years ago, Donald Dunstan, the Premier of South Australia, chided me privately for suggesting that circuses be banned from using captive animals in their acts. He agreed with my ethical reasoning, but simply added “there are no votes in it”.
Well, the Premier was profoundly wrong.
All around the world community attitudes are demanding that animal circuses be confined to the garbage heap of history.
Let me tell you that the world’s most successful circus was started by a street busker and musician, Guy Laliberté. It made him a multi-billionaire, a major philanthropist, and a civilian adventurer into space.
And what was so special about his circus?
It had no captive animals. No cruelty. No screams. No terror.
Just exciting entertainment, provided by talented, attractive, healthy, fit, strong and artistic human beings.
Guy Lalibertés astonishing “Cirque du Soleil” really is the greatest show on earth!
Animal circuses are disgusting, hideous and vile demonstrations of the depravity of uneducated, unenlightened profiteers, a product of ignoble minds. They are nasty, boorish throwbacks to medieval times when illiterates thought bearbaiting, dog-fighting and freak-shows were entertainment.
When we have such ready access to the arts, music, opera, ballet, live bands, concerts, poetry, and an unimaginable range of sports, what sick mind would consider paying to watch a captive animal being brutalised?
I suggest every municipality who even considers issuing a permit should send out one of the undercover DVDs to every citizen on the electoral roll. Let the community see what vile practices are being given government support and blessings!
Equally squalid is the preposterous notion that animal circuses are for kids.
On the contrary, exposing a child to animal cruelty, inflicted on a terrified captive animal, cruelly forced to perform unnatural acts for someone’s debased enjoyment, is an insidious form of child abuse.
Any municipality that permits these travelling gulags of despair to peddle their grubby trade should hang their collective heads in shame, apologise and resign immediately.
All taxpayers should know that the presence of these nasty businesses affects more than their property values. It also reflects their values as citizens. This is a dangerous and serious matter requiring constant civic vigilance. If a community’s collective mind is not alert, their rights and reputation will be hijacked by vested interests.
Today, I call on every decent citizen to demand that their governments issue a blanket ban on all animal circuses.
They have no place in civilised society.