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Things That Kids Can Do To Help

***SKIP THE CIRCUS--AND THE RODEO***

  Performing animals have very difficult lives.   They travel thousands of miles each year under stressful conditions. 
 Animals like tigers and bears often have their teeth and claws removed so they can’t strike back. 
 They often learn their tricks by being prodded or beaten. 
 Because they are afraid of being hurt, they perform stupid and sometimes dangerous tricks.
  Elephants don’t normally do headstands.
 Wild animals don’t enjoy entertaining people.
 Can you imagine what it must be like to be forced to do something you don’t like twice a day and then to be kept alone in a small cage between performances?  It would be a stressful, sad and lonely life.

The website http://www.circuses.com is a superb source of information on circus cruelty. Warning! Some of their pages may be very upsetting to look at.

 Rodeo animals also suffer. 
 Leather belts are tied tightly around the bellies of horses and bulls in order
 to make them so uncomfortable they buck and thrash around. 
 The calves who are roped often get hurt really badly.
 Rodeo animals are transported all over the country in cramped trucks just
 to perform for people.

 If you see performing animals, use this checklist to note any problems:

Are the animals wearing chains and muzzles?
Are they wearing silly costumes?
Does the trainer use a whip?
Do the animals have sores, cuts, or scars?
Are animals forced to jump through flaming hoops? (Animals are afraid of fire).
Do they look happy or sad?
How many unnatural and dangerous stunts do the animals perform, such as riding bicycles, skating, dancing,walking upright and balancing on balls?

     Send your checklist to the local paper with a letter asking others to boycott the event.  Or ask your teacher to have a discussion group or let you write a paper about what you’ve seen.

     When the circus or rodeo comes to your town, write a letter to the editor of your newspaper. Your letter will give many people an idea of what happens behind the scenes.

     You can also ask the cruelty investigator at your humane society to look for problems behind the scenes, like animals in cramped, dirty stalls, or animals who have been whipped, shocked or beaten.

     You don’t have to go to the circus or rodeo. By not paying to attend, you’re casting a vote. You’re saying you won’t spend your money to support activities you don’t believe in.

     Support circuses, like Cirque du Soleil, that do not use performing animals to entertain people.


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