Frequently Asked Question

How will children gain an appreciation for elephants if they are unable to see them in circuses?

As adults we often have to take difficult decisions about how to bring up our children, what to expose them to, what to let them see and hear, while teaching them what we believe is right and what is wrong.

It is morally wrong to allow our children to think that elephants in circuses are living an acceptable life, when the evidence for the opposite is overwhelming. We may destroy some illusions by telling them this, but it is insincere to allow animals to suffer for the purpose of encouraging our children to appreciate them. What they see is not elephants showing any kind of normal behaviour. What they see is elephants forced to entertain us through the use of bullhooks and other abuse tools reminding them that the handlers is and must be in control.

Think for a moment about the global focus on whales. How many people has seen a whale in the wild, and really been able to observe its behavior? Very few. How many have seen one of the endangered species of whales in a circus? No one. And yet, people all over the world appreciate whales, their complex behavior and the need for their conservation.