Friday, March 23, 2007

Send in the clowns, not the elephants

Last night, on my way home from work, I walked by the Verizon Center, forgetting that the circus was in town.

Sweet actually went, but I just walked right on by, eager to catch my train home. But on my way, I was offered brochures from about 10 different people, innocently saying, "Here's some free information about the circus."

Information? Yeah, right. It was PETA propaganda.

Now, whether this is even true is up for debate. But what I do know for sure is that there are better ways for PETA to get their message across than to hand out these leaflets to people who have already spent their hard earned money to take their kids to an evening of entertainment. It's simply too late to be effective at that point.

Mostly, though, I feel bad for the kids, who are so excited about the circus, and wind up having their spirits crushed by stories of tortured elephants.

When I was a kid -- around nine or ten -- I went to see the circus at Madison Square Garden. We had box seats, so I was a billion miles away from the action, which I had to watch through binoculars. But mostly, what I remember involved clowns, acrobats, and trapeeze artists. The animals were, at best, secondary.

But, at that age, I would have read the leaflet -- and I would have had nightmares.


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Sweet said...

Yeah PETA folks are party poopers!

Dara said...

I think they occasionally raise valid points, but (1) their tactics leave a lot to be desired; and (2) they oversell their case on a lot of issues.

For example, their campaign against milk is so cray-zee that I actually mentioned it last year. If they toned it down, they'd have an easier sell.

TC The Terrible said...

Granted the animals don't have the same living experience in the circus that they do in the jungle. But other than that I'd have to think that they are well taken care of if for no other reason than the business expense of having to replace them often.

PETA can't cross the street with out an extreme drama moment. But that is the kind of thing that keeps them in the news so I'm sure they think it is successful. If they really wanted to put a stop to having animals in captivity they would buy all the circuses and zoos then set the animals free.

Dara said...

Agreed. The problem is that PETA is dumb. They take things that are valid points -- i.e. not all dairies treat their cows particularly well -- and turns it into a campaign against milk. But milk isn't the problem -- just like kids going to circuses aren't the problem.