The demise of Ringling Bros. is a victory for animal rights

Exposing the Big Game


 http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/opinion/16082/the-demise-of-ringling-bros-is-a-victory-for-animal-rights
On Sunday, May 21, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final “greatest show on earth,” at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

For the last time, Ringling’s lions, tigers, camels and other captive animals will enter the ring and be forced to perform demeaning and unnatural tricks. It’s a momentous occasion that took the animal rights movement more than three decades to achieve.

I personally led some of the earliest rallies outside Ringling Bros. shows, back in the late 1980s. As the outcry from activists and advocacy groups grew, Ringling willfully ignored it. Instead of switching exclusively to human performers — who perform by choice rather than force — the 146-year-old institution continued to bully animals. This was its downfall.

The reason is simple: When it comes to animal rights, the tide of public opinion has turned. A 2015 Gallup poll found that a majority…

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