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The Issues >

Circuses

Vote Now:
Should animals be used in circuses?
Yes
No
Some circuses still use elephants, tigers, chimpanzees, horses, bears and even dogs and cats to entertain crowds. Have you ever been to a circus? Were there animals there? Although some circuses still use animals, many others dont because they dont think we need to see animals performing tricks to enjoy ourselves. Instead, they have clowns, trapeze artists and acrobats.

Some people think its OK to use animals in circuses; other people think it is very cruel to make animals perform.

A person who thinks it's OK to make animals perform in circuses might say...
  • People like to see animals do tricks.
  • Animal trainers treat animals well and think of the animals as family.
  • Animals wouldnt do tricks in the circus if they didnt want to. They love performing!
  • The animals are kept healthy and safe. They are better off in the circus than in the wild.
  • Kids learn a lot about animals at the circus.
  • People have been going to circuses for hundreds of years. They love seeing tigers, elephants, bears and horses perform and would be disappointed if they didnt get to see a man put his head into a lions mouth or an acrobat stand on the back of a galloping horse.
Someone who thinks making animals do tricks in the circus is wrong might say...
    Listen now!
  • Circuses might be fun for you, but they are not fun for animals. They do not enjoy doing tricks; they are forced to do them. If they dont do them right, they are punished.
  • While the circus is travelling, animals are locked in cages. They dont get much exercise. Some animals arent allowed to walk or run around at all.
  • Animals in circuses get lonely and want to spend time with their families and other animals like themselves.
  • Some circus trainers beat and whip animals.
  • There are lots of circuses that dont use animals. Those are great fun for everyone!
  • Kids dont learn much about animals by watching them in the circus. To really learn about animals, we need to see how they act in their natural homes.
Talk About: Topics to Chat About!
1. Think about how you would feel if you lived in a cage. Would you be happy? Would you be sad and lonely? Why or why not?
2. Do you think animals have fun at the circus? Why or why not?
3. Do you think wild animals like elephants and camels should be forced to do tricks or live in trucks and small pens?

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