The Gift of the Circus
I kindly declined. There was outrage. Naturally.I can see the appeal — the lights, the glitter, the excitement. The circus has been around since January 9, 1768 so it’s no surprise to me the backlash I get from friends and family when I tell them that I will not be taking my kids to the circus. EVER. So, thanks for the tickets but no thanks.
“But how can you deny your kid this unforgettable experience?” I’ve often been asked. This post will answer that question, once and for all.
Going to the circus as a kid I can’t deny that I had fun. I remember thinking, “How’d they get that horse to do that?” or, “I can’t believe that tiger just jumped through a ring of fire!” Of course these are the sentiments of a lot of kids who see their first circus act. These kids are misinformed. I was misinformed. And it leaves me wondering if it would have been different had I know the truth behind the tent curtain.
I distinctly recall talking to a fellow mom on this topic and she feverishly agreed revealing her own experience of the circus. Here is the short of it:
When she was a little girl her mother took her to the circus. She was so excited it felt electric, she told me. She couldn’t wait to get to her seat for the greatest show on earth. While on line for the tickets she saw boycotters petitioning at the circus fence. She remembered a feeling in the pit of her stomach that told her something isn’t quite right. “I remember thinking — how can these people be so serious and upset? We’re at the circus for goodness sakes!” Posing that very question to her mother she received but a 4 letter answer — Don’t worry. It’s nothing, her mother said.
When I finally learned the truth in my later years I recall being angry. Really, really angry. I was, first, angry with the human beings that can do this to animals. I was angry with my mother for not telling me the truth. I was angry with all those people who sat alongside me at the shows, cheering and shoving popcorn into their spoiled mouths while starving, beaten animals preformed their best tricks for our pleasure. I’ve loved animals ever since I can remember and I would have never went had I known the truth.”
Before I go ahead, be warned — this was really hard to write and is going to be a tough read. But, read you must (and please share)! [Read more…]