I get a lot of flack from my vegan and vegetarian friends for caring about certain things when it comes to animals. They say how can I possibly care about animals and animal rights if I eat meat regularly, have leather shoes and goods, fur coats etc. This is what I tell them.
You can’t control how you feel about a subject. I understand that there are companies out there that don’t treat their animals right and I consciously try to only buy organic to the best of my ability. A person can learn and grow and maybe change their mind but if you feel a certain way that’s just how it is. You can’t make yourself like eggplant if it doesn’t agree with your tastebuds, just like I can’t make myself stop craving meat. I don’t know why my childhood bestie stopped eating meat at age four but she did. I have no idea what came into her head and she still doesn’t know. Was it the fact that she went to the petting zoo and thought hey, that’s what’s in my dinner? I guess we’ll never know. She was four. It’s funny because even though I’ve known her my whole life I have in fact invited her for steaks and prepared a dinner of fish when inviting her out once or twice. It wasn’t because I don’t pay attention but more so it was before I really considered the many diets a person can have. I always knew there were many but when you have to apply it to your own life when it doesn’t pertain to you, it can sometimes be tough. In the end, it was pretty hysterical although if I was her I would be pissed. Let’s hope she’s not. Although she was my first introduction to vegetarian life it didn’t really affect me in how I ate or felt about animals. My point is just because I eat meat doesn’t mean I don’t care about where it came from or what happened before it got to me. I have come to terms with the fact that although it would be nice to be a vegetarian, I just like meat too much.
No one yells at the lion for eating its prey. Humans are animals too and we also have prey. Don’t get confused with the difference between our animal kingdom and theirs though. The circus has nothing to do with it. There is nothing natural about the circus. It is, in fact, a celebration of the unnatural. It’s a celebration of large unconscionable acts that have somehow been engrained so deep that they push the boundaries of nature. It’s a sick display of making majestical creatures belittle themselves to do parlor tricks for the masses. Why do I sound so empathetic? because I don’t believe in holding one against their wishes for brutal display. It’s humiliation. If you want to put on a show get humans willing and able. Make costumes and sets so you can still deliver. Sound familiar? It’s the noncruel way to still put on a show and have people in tears and laughs jumping at moments and screaming at others. It’s a way to give people exactly what an entertainer would want to give, without the need to use animals to tell the story. That’s right I’m talking about theater.
I will never forget the first and only time I went to the circus. My husband and I got some good tickets and decided to go with some friends. When we walked into the tent it hit me. That second. This place was hell. You could almost hear the animals cry. The fact that there were barely any people in the audience was also a pretty tell tale sign of how bad things were getting. I remember while sitting and watching the lions (wanting to leave) our friend leaned over and said something I’ll never forget. He said, “People aren’t here to watch animal tricks and gravity defying human tricks, people come to watch someone’s face get eaten.” It struck me then how sick and twisted and true it probably was. Everyone is on the edge of their seats because they are waiting for something to go wrong. It’s not the trick the animal does that’s amazing. It’s the fact that animals don’t eat their trainers alive in front of everyone that keeps us on the edge.
I’ll always remember the faces of the animals. Every single one. Each more sedated than the last. Barely fed. Shallow shadows of their once fantastical selves. Forced to do parlor tricks for the masses and now not even. It’s terrible to trap and rob an animal of its freedom and it’s downright sadistic to force them to perform. To strip them of their pride, on top of all that, is just incorrigible and I for one cannot be happier for the closure. It’s one small step. That’s all it takes. Let’s just go in the right direction this time.
The next time a non vegan/vegetarian tries to stand up for an animal don’t tear them down, embrace them because you have to start somewhere.