Your Guide to the Reality of Animal Circus



"The academic panel concluded that there appears to be little evidence to demonstrate that the welfare of animals kept in travelling circuses is any better or worse than that of animals kept in other captive environments" - Executive Summary of the DEFRA Circus Working Group 2007

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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Old Habits Die Hard



From scantily clad "lettuce ladies" to allegations of slavery made against Sea World, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), has always taken the P.T. Barnum approach to publicity. This is somewhat ironic given that one of their favourite targets is Barnum's legacy. However, the group that proudly says "We are complete press sluts", were reluctant to claim that any publicity is good publicity when the  CCF (Center for Consumer Freedom) reported that the infamous animal rights group has killed nearly 30,000 animals.


The CCF, a civil liberties advocacy group, has always been a thorn in PETA's side. Using records kept by The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) they are able to publish annual reports showing the amount of cats and dogs taken in, rehomed, and euthanized by PETA. The most recent numbers show that between 1998 and 2012, the group received 33,658 animals and that 29,398 (92.4%) of those were destroyed.




Of course, there have been a number of rebuttals. In the Daily Mail, which recently published disturbing photographs of refuse sacks full of dead cats and kittens left in a waste bin outside a North Carolina supermarket, PETA spokesman Ben Williamson says that the numbers are distorted, but fails to offer any statistics backing this claim.

Another defence of this vile practice comes from Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's co-founder and president. In The Virginian-Pilot, she insists that her organisation could completely stop euthanizing pets, but at the cost of cutting down on press stunts and photo-shoots featuring celebrities, such as Pamela Anderson, posing nude for anti-fur and meat advertisements.

There may, however, be a more sinister explanation for the high mortality rate at PETA HQ. Newkirk's stance on pet ownership can be summed up using her own statements:

"...as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship —enjoyment at a distance."

" You don't have to own squirrels and starlings to get enjoyment from them ... One day, we would like an end to pet shops and the breeding of animals. [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the wild ... they would have full lives, not wasting at home for someone to come home in the evening and pet them and then sit there and watch TV.

" The bottom line is that people don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats... If people want toys, they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship, they should seek it with their own kind.

" We do not advocate 'right to life' for animals."

Can it honestly be said that this woman wants rescued animals to be adopted or is it more likely that she has taken matters into her own hands?



Let us concede for a moment that this is nothing but conjecture, and we take their word at face value. If the idea of publicity taking precedence over service is unsettling, their newest investment may cause some serious alarm.

On 9th April, several websites posted a story detailing PETA's ambition to follow the example made by Australian animal rights activists and use drone aircraft to spy on farmers and hunters. Even though these groups say that they have researched, acknowledged and will follow legal guidelines, such as flying no less than 10 meters above the ground and not filming inside homes, is their word really worth anything? Can we really trust the word of people who have a long history of trespassing? Or that these devices won't be used in a more aggressive manner?

Unlike, The Daily Mail, which is just as content to fly animal rights propaganda in its reports as it is to join the animal rights exposé bandwagon whenever it suits, The Huffington Post has long been a firm opponent of  PETA. Journalist and author, Douglas Anthony Cooper, has urged readers to "Boycott Celebrities who Strip for PETA's Death Machine". Cooper wryly notes how it appears that news of PETA's hypocrisy has "worked its way into the public consciousness".

Although it is refreshing to see such a strong backlash by the world media against this shady charity for its hate-mongering, its association with terrorist organisations and its possibly genocidal approach to solving the problem of animal suffering, it still has a $36 million revenue, all of which is raised through donations. If we care about animals and believe we have the right to enjoy their company, we need to stand up to those who would impose barriers where they don't belong and help to educate those who mean well, but don't really know what they are supporting.




Peta vs Animals

Astley's Legacy was formed to counter the misinformation and propaganda spread by animal rights activists. As well as fighting the corner for circus animals and their trainers, we are here to promote and celebrate the cultural heritage of circus in general, and especially in the country of its birth - Great Britain. For more information please see our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/223570581049199
Or follow us on Twitter: @RousterAstley
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