Stop Animal Cruelty

McKenzie Miller, News Editor

In theory, circuses may be an awesome thing to go to for entertainment and fun, right? At least that is what society is made to think when Hollywood creates movies that show how amazing circuses are. For example, one of those movies is The Greatest Showman. However, circuses are actually one of the most unfriendly animal productions that can go on, even though they base their shows on animal talent. Circuses have been around since the 18th century and since then there have been noticeable rising numbers in animal cruelty. There are a variety of punishments and methods that circuses use on their animals as a way to make them “behave” and all of these methods involve harming the animal.

Elephant cruelty is one the most relevant forms of cruelty. There are cases ranging from the elephant being locked up in a cage for 95% of their life to being physically hit and abused. Circuses leaders use abuse methods as forms of punishments to try and teach the elephant that whatever behavior was shown is not okay. But, animals like elephants do not have the same way of thinking as humans. Elephants are more simple than humans so when they act a certain way they will not learn that if they do it again, they will get consequences. Gallup News did a survey on how concerned Americans are for animals and how badly they are treated. As a result of this they found out that 65% of America is worried for the animals in circuses, which is the biggest percentage of the whole survey. This proves that Americans are aware of circuses being bad for animals but there is still nothing being done about it. 

Another animal that is most abused are lions. While lions in the circus are seen as big scary cats, they are just animals that are forced to do something viewed as entertaining to humans. Leaders are the same way with lions as they are with elephants, they are physically and even mentally abusive. Circus leaders use whips, collars, electric prods and muzzles to control the lion. states that circus lions spend only about 10% of their life outside their cage. When the lions are not performing, they are spending that time locked up with no room to move. According to a study done by, animals in the circus that spend all their time in a cage have detrimental effects on their mental health. This can then affect their physical well-being. When this happens and their physical being is affected it just circles back around to not performing as well when the show is on, which untimely leads to them getting abused more and more. It is all one big cycle that cannot be broken unless actions are taken to stop it. 

Although there are not direct ways to stop animal cruelty in circuses, there are multiple smaller steps that can be taken that lead up to it. These steps include educating others of what is going on, signing petitions to stop all animal circuses in your area to be banned, encourage animal free circus to show instead and even alerting officials of animal cruelty to try and have a circus leader’s license taken away by the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). 

Circuses are almost all bad and although these solutions may seem like they would have little impact, but if everyone joined in on these small acts it would have a big difference in all animals’ lives. The first step to ending animal cruelty is recognizing that its a real issue in the world, and that’s a step in the right direction.