Target: Noble John B. Watkins, President of the Orillia, Ontario Shrine Club
Goal: Applaud decision to end circus which used captive animals for entertainment.
Due to increasing pressure by animal welfare activists, the Orillia Shrine Club will no longer be hosting its annual circus. The show has seen a drop in attendance over the years due to its use of animals. Instead, the Shrine Club will be focusing on a different way to raise funds for children’s hospitals, including an Oktoberfest event.
According to organizers, public pressure was a major factor in the decision. They claim that while the animals featured in the circus were treated well, the ongoing controversy surrounding captive animals used as entertainment was too great to ignore.
Animals held in captivity and forced to perform in circuses face both mental and physical anguish. Elephants, which have been used by the circus in previous years, are taken from their mothers at a young age. They are chained, starved, and beaten during the training process. These intelligent animals are often kept isolated and unable to move around for much of the time they are not performing.
This decision is on-trend with other circuses deciding to nix animal acts, most notably, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. Public opinion is increasingly against the enslavement of animals for entertainment, and this decision shows that the Shrine Club is paying attention to that. Sign the petition below to applaud this decision, which sets a shining example for others to follow.
Dear Noble Watkins,
The Orillia Shrine Club recently decided to close its animal circus in favor of other, cruelty-free, fundraising alternatives. The decision follows increasing public pressure to stay away from animal acts, which encourage cruelty toward captive animals.
Animals used in circuses often face intense mistreatment. Some, such as elephants, are taken from their mothers at young ages and kept chained and isolated for much of their lives. During training, they can be starved, beaten with bullhooks, and otherwise abused.
Moving on from an animal circus to alternative forms of fundraising shows that the Orillia Shrine Club is taking the welfare of animals and the opinion of the public into account. We, the undersigned, applaud this compassionate decision, which could lead to other Shrine Clubs following suit.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alejandro Linares Garcia