Wednesday, June 11, 2014 | 2:01 a.m.
The circus is coming to town and while some children might dream of running away to join one, it’s likely that most performing animals dream of running away from them.
Behind the glamour and the curtains of “the greatest show on earth,” the lives of circus animals are paradoxically dreary. They spend most of their lives in small enclosures or on chains, in unrelieved confinement. In nature, these animals would be roaming with their families.
The unnatural tricks that these captives are forced to perform are done so under the coercion of a bull hook, whip, electric prod, or other form of pain- and fear-inducing measure. Sadly, this cruelty is legal.
As consumers, we have the choice of either contributing to this “abusement” by patronizing these venues or selecting human-powered entertainment (Cirque du Soleil) instead.
Alec Baldwin reminds us to ask ourselves the following questions: Where did these animals come from? How are they kept between shows, and what will become of them in the end? The answers to the last two questions might keep us from wanting to support this legalized misery.