- Ringling Bros. Circus Protest
- 11.07.09 - 11.07.09 05:30 - 07:00
- Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh (Downtown)
- Animals in Entertainment
Wear Your Pens Gear and Protest Ringling With VFA!
With the approaching demolition of Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena, this will be Ringling’s last show at the igloo. Wouldn’t it be nice if this was their final farewell to Pittsburgh altogether? With everyone’s efforts, we just might be able to make this a reality! The new arena brings a new start and we feel that our Stanley Cup-winning Penguins should be the only performing animals entertaining visitors at the new arena.
That’s why at this year’s Ringling protest, we are asking everyone to come decked out in their Penguins gear where we will send the message that circus animal abuse is not welcome at any venue, and that Penguins fans and animal advocates alike want Crosby, not cruelty, at the new arena. (Tip: Goodwill is a great place for Pens-themed items, and if you're still coming up short, break out anything black and gold n'at!)
Saturday night’s performance is likely to have the highest attendance, which is why our protest will be on Saturday, November 7th from 5:30-7:00 pm. Please come out and show your resistance to Ringling’s animal abuse and exploitation. The more people who attend the protest, the stronger we appear as a force for Ringling to deal with, so it's important as many people turn out for the protest as possible. The protest will be outside Gate 1, the main ticket entrance of the Mellon Arena.
We will have all the signs, leaflets, and materials. Please be there if you can - and bring friends if possible!
For driving directions to the Mellon Arena, see http://mellonarena.com/site12.php
The Mellon Arena’s address is 66 Mario Lemieux Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
If you are taking the bus, just about any bus that goes downtown will take you to the arena, such as the 71A, 71C, 71D, 500, 61A, 61B, 61C, and the 81A, B, and C stop on Centre Avenue at the Mellon Arena.
We will be protesting at the Saturday night show, but Ringling has shows all week starting from Wednesday November 4th till Sunday the 8th. If you're interested in leafleting outside any of these shows, and let us know in advance, we may be able to arrange to get you literature. Here are the times for Ringling's shows:
Wednesday November 4th – 7pm
Thursday November 5th – 10:30am and 7pm
Friday November 6th – 7pm
Saturday November 7th – 11am, 3pm, (and our protest) 5:30 - 7pm
Sunday November 8th – 1pm and 5pm
You may have seen in the news earlier this year that Ringling Bros. went on trial in Feb-March for violating the Endangered Species Act by threatening the survival of Asian elephants through their ongoing abusive treatment. The trial lasted for six weeks, closing arguments were heard, and to this date the plaintiffs are still waiting to hear back from the judge on his ruling. Keep your eyes open for the release of the results of this case because if the judge rules in the plaintiffs' favor, it means Ringling will be forced to give up their elephant acts for good. This could be the beginning of the end of the animal circus industry. In fact, Bolivia is already there!
To find out more about the trial including court documents, visit:
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. Stereotypic behaviors such as swaying back and forth, head-bobbing, pacing, bar-biting, and self-mutilation are common signs of mental distress, and are not behaviors seen in nature.
Ringling Bros. has a long death list of animals who have died of neglect, abuse, or highly suspicious causes while under their “care”, including: Ricardo, an 8 month old baby elephant taken from his mother way too soon (since elephants live with their families their whole lives there really is no “too soon”), fell off a pedestal fracturing both hind legs, and died; Benjamin, a baby elephant removed from his mother before she could teach him how to swim, ran into a pool in fear from a trainer with a bullhook, and drowned; Kenny, a baby elephant who was forced to perform while sick and died from his illness later that night (incidentally, Ringling paid $20,000 to settle USDA charges out of court for failing to provide veterinary care to Kenny); Clyde, a lion who died of heat exhaustion in a boxcar while traveling through the Mojave Desert; and Arnie, a tiger who was shot five times by his trainer while he was locked in a cage. For more incidents, violations, and deaths see here.
One of the most irritating pieces of propaganda Ringling loves to gloat about is that they run an Elephant Conservation Center in Florida where, they claim, they are helping to “save endangered elephants”. This is a joke. None of the elephants born at the center are ever released into the wild. In fact, the center amounts to nothing more than a highly-glorified breeding center to raise more “stocks” of elephants to perform in their circus, since they are no longer able to take animals from their natural homes in the wild.
Hope to see you there.
- Mellon Arena - Website
- 66 Mario Lemieux Place
- Pittsburgh (Downtown)
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