Animals aren't circus clowns, athletes, or props in a museum. Yet animal circuses beat lions, tigers, and other animals into performing cruel and confusing tricks, rodeos terrorize the most docile of animals, and roadside zoos put animals on display in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures—all for the sake of human “entertainment.”
Today’s public doesn’t want to see animals bullied into performing confusing and often painful tricks or see them languishing in tiny, barren exhibits. From New York state's ban on elephants in traveling shows—which takes effect in 2020—to citywide bans on circuses with exotic animals, like the one recently passed in New York City, it’s clear that animal entertainment is fading into the history books. Ringling Bros. shut its doors after 146 years of cruelty and abuse and Cole Bros.—which toured annually for 6 weeks of the year on Long Island—is no longer touring. Brookhaven and Manorville have denied cruel rodeos after in recent years—after hearing from LION—and Southampton has banned both wild animal circuses and the weapons used to beat and intimidate animals into performing.
Modern, humane circuses like Circus Vargas and Circus 1903 are leading the way with their commitment to dazzle audiences with only willing human performers who can go home at the end of the day and retire when they wish. But while the show is over for Ringling and Cole, there are still other outfits that continue these same types of horrific abuse on Long Island and beyond. Here are just a few ways you can help.
- Never buy a ticket to any circus or zoo that still exploits live animals.
- Follow this link for a list of animal-free circuses.
- Drop by Lewis Oliver Farm Sanctuary to visit Long Island's only true farmed animal sanctuary and support Long Island Farm Sanctuary in its work to establish a farmed animal sanctuary on the East End.
- Support LION's work to fight cruel animal circuses and banish them from Long Island.