The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus survived mergers, world wars, depressions, recessions, television, and movies. It couldn’t survive an onslaught of weaponized sanctimony. After almost 150 years of entertaining young and young at heart, the circus closed for good last May.
Reuters reports that during the long run of the show Ringling Bros. performed before more than 250 million people. Yet the end started when a group of self-appointed more-humane-than-thou agitators decided the circus “inhumane” for using elephants as part of the show.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used fake reports of brutality and sensationalized “witnesses” to persuade gullible reporters to cover their “issue.” No one ever asked how it made sense for the circus to mistreat one of its greatest assets and audience draws. It would be like Hollywood directors torturing actors.
And reporters never asked how PETA, which according to the Daily Mail, killed almost 90 percent of the animals sent to its Virginia shelter not too long ago, had any moral standing to criticize Ringling Bros., which kept its elephants alive?
In fact, the Coalition for Consumer Freedom calculates that since 1998 PETA has killed 29,398 at a single animal “shelter.”
That inconvenient fact didn’t get in the way of hysterical elephant abuse reporting. So the elephants went away in January of 2016 — followed shortly thereafter by the crowds.
Kenneth Feld, chairman and chief executive of parent Feld Entertainment, Inc., told Reuters the circus “decided to fold its tent as a result of high operating costs combined with lower ticket sales, it said in a statement at the time. After phasing out the elephants, the owner said, the decline in attendance was “greater than could have been anticipated.”
The circus tried to soldier on with tigers, lions, horses, dogs, camels, clowns, and acrobats — but it just wasn’t the same circus without those big tuskers. Besides, PETA wasn’t happy with driving the elephants away. It wanted all animals to be banned from performing in the circus.
The last 13 Asian elephants used in The Greatest Show on Earth’s two touring companies have been retired to the 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation that also just happens to be run by the cruel circus overlords.
Currently, there are 250 total Asian elephants living in the United States. Fewer than 40,000 remain in the wild. There is some good news though. Twenty–six Asians have been born in the U.S. — at facilities owned by Ringling Bros.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan
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