Animal Entertainment Research Paper
14 September 2017
Animals in Circuses: The Fight to Put them Back Where They Belong
The use of animals as entertainment for people is not a modern idea. Records of animals used in entertainment date as far back as 2,000 B.C.E., when lions and similar animals were kept in cages. The Romans were known for chariot races often ending in the death of the horses, and coliseum fights between people and large animals such as lions (Dragotta), all of which people flocked to see. Dog fighting, bull fighting, and cock fighting are all violent forms of animal entertainment, and the sports date back hundreds of years. Regulations on animal entertainment have changed to defend the welfare of animals, but animal based-entertainment …show more content…
Big cats, on average, roam 10 to 20 miles a day, while elephants can roam upwards of 50 miles a day. In circuses, animals are kept chained with no room to wander, or in cage sometimes too small for them to even turn around. This can lead to unhealthy displays of stress and anxiety, such as pacing and swaying (Jaynes 4). The constant restraint of these animals and lack of stimulation leads to the decline of their mental health, and lack of mobility can cause other issues. For Anne, a lack of movement worsened already painful arthritis. There is inadequate stimulation for these animals who spend over 20 hours a day chained or caged, and it can have debilitating effects on their mental health. The average space circus animals live in is much smaller than the average minimum required by most zoos. Additionally, circus animals are often all housed together, with big cats living next to primates, horses, or other animals. This would never be seen in their natural environment and is thought to cause additional stress (Lossa, CD Soulsbury, and S Harris 131). Elephants are often expected to maintain weight solely on their hind legs, which puts an extreme amount of strain on their two hind limbs and can contribute to joint issues. Many circus animals are separated …show more content…
Humanity owes a tremendous amount to animals, and continuing to make them suffer for our enjoyment is a poor way to repay them for the impact they have had on our lives. How would you like to be taken away from your family at a young age, be beaten and hurt and forced to do unnatural tricks, and only let out of a room a few hours a day to train or perform in front of a smiling, joyous audience? Animals like Anne and Smith deserve a better life than what circuses provide for them. Educating the public about the conservation of wild animals is essential to defending them from habitat destruction and extinction, but this does not come from circuses that force animals into unnatural lives. Circus animals are caged or chained in small spaces for many hours a day, beaten and abused when trained to perform, and often disposed of thoughtlessly when they can no longer be used by circuses. The rights of animals have come a long way simply in the past few decades, from stronger regulations on livestock to bans on dog fighting, but the fight is far from over when it comes to giving the best possible life to the animals we share our planet with. There may come a day when animals across the world are loved as pets, treated well when it is necessary they be used in entertainment, and protected in the wild through conservation efforts of zoos and sanctuaries.