A few days ago, I attended one of the last performances of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Having grown up attending both Shrine and Barnum and Bailey circuses, I wondered if it would still be a breath-taking experience. I am glad I went, but I found it a somewhat diminished event. There was no ringmaster, no three rings, and no elephants. The only “thrilling” wild animal event was the lions and tigers. Yes, there were acrobats performing a high wire act, but it wasn’t as spectacular as I remembered it.
Please don’t mistake my intention in writing this letter. I ardently oppose cruelty toward animals. But I think some animal rights activists go too far. I wonder if they know that all circus tigers were bred in captivity from rescued animals, or that Barnum and Bailey works to protect approximately 6,000 elephants in Sri Lanka. I also wonder what “magical events” children — both big and small — can attend in the future?
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