Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kudos to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Q: What did the elephant say to the naked man?
A: "It's nice, but can it pick up peanuts?"

Below Seth Kuhlmann by Bruce Weber

I have written before about my love of circus, as a child circus was a gateway to many fantasy's and dreams. I dreamt like many of running away and becoming part of a both the travelling show, and the travelling family. The elephant act was always my favorite, such incredible creatures, huge beauties representing natural wonder and mystery. Of course as I grew older and became enlightened I grew to despise seeing such majestic giants forced to perform, trapped travelling the country instead of roaming free. It is great news then taht Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has announced they are finally phasing out using elephants within their shows. Hopefully it is just the beginning of changes in the use of animals for our entertainment.

Images below from Bruce Weber's Chop Suey

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phase out the show's iconic elephants from its performances by 2018, telling The Associated Press exclusively that growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision.Executives from Feld Entertainment, Ringling's parent company, said the decision to end the circus's century-old tradition of showcasing elephants was difficult and debated at length. Elephants have often been featured on Ringling's posters over the decades. The decision is being announced Thursday. "There's been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers," said Alana Feld, the company's executive vice president. "A lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants."

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