|Shriner Circus and Giant Eagle Partner in Cruelty|
The Shrine Circus, like all circuses that continue to use animals, has a long history of ongoing animal abuse and exploitation. Animals used in circuses live miserable lives of exploitation, deprivation, confinement, and violent training. In order to get wild animals to perform unnatural, uncomfortable, and often dangerous tricks, they are beaten into submission using whips, electric prods, and bullhooks. They are trucked around from city to city in boxcars with no heat or air conditioning. When elephants are not performing, they are kept chained up by one front leg and one back leg; big cats and other animals are kept in cages so small they can barely turn around comfortably. Most importantly, the circus takes animals far from their natural homes, traumatically separates them from their families, and deprives them of their basic needs and desires to exercise, roam, socialize, forage, and play.
Year after year, Giant Eagle consistently partners up with the Shrine Circus and gives them plenty of promotion through their Giant Eagle Family Fun Pack, which along with vouchers for soda and hotdogs and 4 coupons for digital prints from Giant Eagle Photo, also includes 4 tickets to the Shrine Circus. In the past few years VFA has sent letters to Giant Eagle's management and CEO asking them to drop the partnership with Shrine and offering to meet with them to discuss the issue further. These letters have been consistently ignored. Others have contacted Giant Eagle with the same message and have been ignored as well, and still like clockwork Giant Eagle continues to promote the Shrine Circus every year, despite being made well aware of the abuse and cruelty behind it.
Every time Giant Eagle attaches its much-respected name to the Shrine Circus, it lends the Shrine Circus more and more credibility with the public. It's time for Giant Eagle to understand that if it wants to continue the annual promotion of Shrine Circus, then its name is going to be associated with animal abuse. No business should ever partner with, sponsor, or promote the Shrine Circus or any circus that uses animals. Giant Eagle needs to end their promotions of animal circuses once and for all.