|Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Inc|
Rouster thought that this article – which first appeared on Facebook – was worth bringing to a wider audience. For many years the animal-rights movement have used former employees of circuses and other animal establishments to make claims about the alleged animal abuse within these institutions. In many cases, these allegations are brought about by formers employees who have some form of axe to grind with their former employers or by persons who have been paid to make such claims by the animal-rights industry. However, nothing is generally heard from the thousands of employees (or former employees) who work for organisations such as circuses, who tell a very different story about the high levels of care and commitment circus animals receive on a daily basis. Perhaps the public should take far more notice of these endorsements than the distortions and lies from groups such as PeTA.
Former Ringling employees speak out on animals in the circus!
If we told you that we had seen abuse with our own eyes, you would be knocking on our doors, begging us to come forward with more information.
But when we tell you THE TRUTH, we are told that our voices do not matter because we are ex-Ringling employees. That we are somehow brainwashed, or just "not seeing" what you think the facts are. You think that we are just parroting what Ringling told us to say. But we are intelligent people: performers, mechanics, stage hands, teachers and yes, former animal handlers. Some of us have masters degrees and all of us have just as much compassion as you. To discount our voices is the epitome of hypocrisy. And there are THOUSANDS of us. If all of this supposed abuse is going on, why are there not more former employees speaking out against it? Why are there former Ringling employees here tonight supporting the circus and none protesting it?
The truth is what we have seen with our own eyes, heard with our own ears, and lived 24/7 for many years, not what we have seen on edited videos of dubious origin.
Unlike many in your masses, who are so quick to judge us that they will spit on us, yell in our faces, follow us home, and threaten our children until they cry, we don't think you are bad people. You are compassionate, loving, caring human beings who truly believe that you are doing the right thing.
You have "done your research" and watched all the videos. And if PETA has done their job, you may even believe that we are telling nothing but lies. But what would we have to gain from that? We no longer work for Ringling. Our jobs do not depend on people going to the circus. We are not paid in any way by Ringling. So why are we here? We have TRUTH on our side. Which, being a free country, you may choose to believe or disbelieve.
If you don't believe that animals should be used for entertainment, that is fine. But you have never seen an elephant get excited to go onstage like we have. Maybe you aren't aware that only the elephants who show an interest in performing are put in the show. You probably think they are beaten into performing tricks, but the truth is that an elephant who is mishandled through fear is a dangerous and unpredictable elephant. And we would never put an elephant or your children (or ours, who lived on the circus around these animals) in that situation.
We are former circus employees who stand proudly in defense of the circus, and its standard of animal care. Circus animals are loved and well cared for.
We know that this letter will do nothing to convince the hardcore believers among you. They have closed their minds and no amount of evidence will change that. But we do hope that even they will take one thing from this: circus employees are people. People just like you, with children, and jobs. When protesters attempt to harass and mistreat circus employees because of whatever misguided thing they believe, they become terrorists. By all means, hold your signs. Protest away. This is America, land of free speech. But please leave employees and children alone. Don't talk to kids, talk to parents. And if they don't want to listen, let them go, as we are now letting you go.
Former Ringling Employees In Support of Circus
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