The back way is often the most revealing in many instances, and it certainly was in the case of the Cole Bros Circus last weekend. It was Sunday afternoon and the last show of their stop in Garfield, NJ neared its end. After demonstrating at the front gates, I walked around the block to the backside of the circus. There, I saw the circus animals being fed and loaded unto trailers for their next stop which I believe was Middletown, New York.
What do circus animals do when they are not performing? If you are still wondering, then you don't have a clue about the cruelty that exists in circuses. Animals are either being whipped to learn new tricks, bodies contorted, or being whipped to practice tricks they have already learned. In between the beatings, they are chained or caged, restricted in their movements, and made to wait until the next performances. If you think that they graze or run happily in an open field until its time, then I have a bridge in New York to sell you for a very minimal amount.
Here is a 5-min video of a Bengal Tiger in its cage. I took this video to illustrate the humdrum, bare, stupefying and unhappy life of captive animals in their cages. This tiger is trying to keep its sanity by pacing back and forth. Captivity can drive any social animal to insanity. You can judge the size of its living area by the extent of its turns. Notice how low the ceiling is. This tiger would normally live in wide, open spaces with an unlimited horizon.
Imagine yourself in a closet and you'd like to have more space to stretch and move around, but someone won't let you out. When do you think this tiger had a chance to run at full gallop? When do you think this tiger last saw lush vegetation?
If you watch the full five minutes or so, you will have some sense of this animal's frustration. And that's only five minutes of its life you've seen. Right now, as you are reading these words, this tiger is somewhere out there pacing, trying to keep up with the mental strain of captivity and slavery.
If Cole Bros was an airline, it would not be allowed to fly. But by the devil's will, it is still in business.
You can read about the Cole Bros Circus' litany of violations at:
Please do not support circuses. They are prisons for animals. There's no excuse for animal abuse.