It was good to see so many MPs opposing the enslavement of animals for entertainment – in the case of the Conservatives like Mark Pritchard – despite threats from their leadership.
They did the right thing. Now this can come before Parliament and be outlawed.
- The distinction between ‘wild’ and other animals is false. The only distinctions worth making are the levels of suffering the animals are subjected to, to what end, and what this says about us. Is a moderately or occasionally diverting life as an amusement for humans so much worse than living as a cripple in a cage too small to stretch your wings in?
- We should not allow ourselves to be diverted by lions and elephants while ignoring millions of animals who live in pain and die brutally.
- This is the experience of almost all the animals whose lives are controlled by humans.
- I won’t go to any circus which exploits animals, but I think it’s important to keep in mind that, say, eating cheese involves far more anguish, exploitation and violence to animals than going to the circus – the antibiotics, containment, separation of mother from young, slaughter of the male calves as soon as profitable, and of the cows as soon as they reach the end of their productive lives.
- I also speculate that circus animals probably have a better life than many pets.
More on the circus ban, and on efforts to ban of the act of barbarity which is bull fighting.
- Animal Aid, Animal Defenders International, Daily Mail on the circus animal ban
- On bullfighting, Ecuador bans hurting bulls in bullfighting displays. It’s fine to taunt them and send up their blood pressure, though. And the League Against Cruel Sports begins a campaign to end EU subsidies for fighting bulls. And on BBC Radio 4’s Today for the next 5 days or so, Tim Franks watches a man kill a bull in Barcelona’s final bull fighting year: “15 minutes after the animal rushed into the ring the matador plunged his sword between its shoulders”.
When it comes to animals, humans are truly a debased species. But slowly, slowly, and always with the possibility of relapse, we are recovering.