You know who I mean.
The big top tent of Ringling Bros circus will come down for the final time, at long last, after 146 years of well-documented animal cruelty and abuse.
Of particular attention to animal welfare activists has been the ‘breaking’ of elephants and the cruelty they suffer at the hands of their ‘trainers’; training which, by the way, is not required to submit to any legal welfare protection agency.
The happy news comes 5 years after the last British circus to exploit wild animals, the Great British Circus, drew to a close in 2012. Ringling Bros finally retired their elephants in 2016 to a conservation centre in Florida, losing their star attraction.
The company cited economic reasons for its closure, claiming that the train travel business model was no longer viable. Ticket sales have been dwindling, as they have with Seaworld since the truth of its cruelty towards wild animals became public knowledge because of documentaries such as Blackfish.
Animal activists can I think be more optimistic and see that people’s tastes in what classes as “entertainment” are certainly changing and fewer people are comfortable with bearing witness to animal humiliation and abuse for human amusement.
Over 600 hundred people have complained about the recent animal killings in Channel 4’s The Island With Bear Grylls, which sees male and female contestants stranded on separate remote islands in the Pacific and left to fend for themselves.
Channel 4 received 450 complaints, mostly to do with the broadcast of contestants killing and eating several pigs, and a separate episode in which contestants killed and ate a crocodile. The croc turned out to be a rare and endangered species, not usually found in that area. Channel claim this was a genuine mistake and have promised to replace the American crocodile.
A further 185 complaints were directed to Ofcom, which is considering whether to launch an investigation into the animal murders.
PETA has criticised the programme’s apparent use of animal cruelty to boost ratings.
“Killing animals is a cheap ratings ploy and sends an especially harmful message to young viewers, who are greatly influenced by what they see on TV. Bear Grylls and the producers should be prosecuted. Fame doesn’t mean immunity.”
Animal abuse and even murder has a long and sickening history in TV and cinema, but these days audiences are wise to it and rightly outraged. This list talks about some of the most famous examples of how animals were harmed in the making of this film, including the notorious ritual slaughter of a water buffalo in Apocalypse Now.