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Circus of sadness

This is a painfully recurring subject for me, one that I had already written about on my personal blog last year. However, since it seems like we are not seeing the light of day as yet, I’ll just have to write about it some more. Until someone, somewhere, decides to do something about it.

Animal circuses. There’s one of them set up in Naxxar right now. If your stomach can take it, you can sneak right up to the enclosure where they keep their star performers.

Animals that were meant to enjoy the wild – or at the very least, a comfortable domestic environment – are kept in cages that don’t even allow them enough space to carry out a 180 degree turn.

Animals living in their own filth, forced to perform stupid tricks that you will only find entertaining if your IQ hovers somewhere between that of a frog and a particularly thick cactus.

Animals that spend a lifetime of misery, never allowed to enjoy life as they were meant to, usually meeting a nasty end when they are no longer useful in the ring.

How can this be anyone’s idea of “fun”? And yet, many who would probably recoil at the idea of physically harming any animal themselves, who probably even worship the pets they have at home, think nothing of supporting and financing the continuous torture of show animals.

One of the saddest sights I’ve ever seen was last Christmas, when everyday I had to drive by the circus that was stationed on the Granaries in Floriana. In a really pathetic attempt to attract the punters, the organisers had plonked a caged lion adjacent to the main road. I thought that the sight of the miserable looking animal would be enough to put off people. What do you know, everyone flocked to laugh and point and be pseudo scared.

Seriously, if we are so easily entertained by the spectacle of a helpless, caged animal...then no wonder this nation is going to the dogs. I have no problem re-iterating what I already said in last year’s post. If you take your kids to the animal circus, you are a bad parent. You are teaching your kids that bullying is fine; that preying on those who are more vulnerable is acceptable; that empathy is an unnecessary emotion.

And if you find that you are actually amused by what goes on at the circus, then really you can’t blame me for calling you stupid. You’re better off reading or watching a documentary about these animals. Watching an elephant balance a ball on its head is doing nothing for your brain cells, trust me.

But back to the people who can actually do something about this: the animal welfare authorities. Are any random checks being carried out to ensure a decent minimum standard for these animals? Under what criteria are licenses approved? What about guaranteeing shelter?

I guess we’ll never know the answers. Roll on Christmas and another sad, animal circus.

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