In an article titled, The Dirty Truth, it suggests that Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus travel more than 25,000 miles over a 11 month span. When people think of the Circus they probably think of clowns, cotton candy, stunts, and of course elephants. In fact, the elephants are usually the stars of the show! People are amazed at how they perform those silly tricks and probably wonder, how are they so tame around all those people? The real question that needs to be asked is how are the elephants trained?
The organization widely known as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) certainly has something to say on this topic. Ailing Elephants Forced to Perform claims that the four elephants currently traveling with the circus are under extremely agonizing amounts of pain.
"Yet despite the vet's recommendation that the elephants be excluded from performing certain routines, Ringling is going right ahead, forcing these hurting girls to strain their muscles and joints by doing tricks such as hind-leg stands."Animals Rights Information and News Resource Blog also references this subject. In fact, the blog labeled “Video Acts as Undeniable Proof: Baby Elephants Tied Up and Electro-Shocked by Ringling Bros. And Barnun and Bailey Circus Trainers” links readers to pictures of baby elephants being shocked by trainers. In this case, the pictures speak louder than words. It is clear that these entertainment animals are not rewarded for positive reinforcement. These animals are performing the tricks out of fear, not because they want to.
One of the main problems with animal entertainment is there are no governmental regulations for training the animals. Animal cruelty is a subject that many people throughout the world are passionate about and many organizations as referenced above are fighting to give the animals a voice against cruelty. For instance, Gawker released an article about free speech vs. dogfights. This publications speaks about how dogfights are not a suitable source of entertainment and something needs to be done to prevent dogfight videos from being released to the public. Obviously, just because these scenarios are entertaining to humans does not always mean they are right.