Unnatural Acts - Stolen Lives ... The Sad Lives of Animals Used In Entertainment
Animals in circuses suffer isolation, monotony and deprivation. For most of their lives elephants are kept chained in place or penned in parking lots. Tigers, camels, zebras, horses, dogs and other animals are kept in small, cramped cages. Housing is built for ease of transportation, not for the comfort of the animals. Intimidation and physical violence are standard training and handling practices. The fact that all of this mistreatment is allowed testifies to the inadequacy of the laws regulating the care of animals in circuses.
Ringling claims that their use of elephants is "helping" to save the highly endangered Asian elephants. Saving species involves respect, and requires that habitat be preserved. The use of animals in circuses perpetuates the view that animals exist to be exploited by humans and don’t have lives of their own. The animals’ living conditions, the tricks they are forced to perform and the costumes they are dressed in have nothing to do with their natural behavior and are contrary to their biological needs as individuals and as species.
As Desmond Morris said, “[There is] something biologically immoral about keeping animals in enclosures where their behavior patterns, which have taken millions of years to evolve, can find no expression.” Circuses are counter-educational because animals are forced to live in unnatural conditions, "perform" unnatural acts thus misrepresenting who animals are or how they naturally live and act.