Today I had to explain to my children why we couldn’t go to the circus this year. I t wasn’t the money – we probably could have scored free tickets. It wasn’t that we had other plans that day.
It was because their parents don’t like the way the circus treats their animals.
I feel awful about this. My kids loved the circus last year.
As if it isn’t bad enough that there are 17,000 kids there – easily a third of whom are far too young to appreciate the spectacle.
As if it isn’t a shitty show.
As if the clown don’t freak me out.
As if $8.00 popcorn isn’t an insult to everybody’s intelligence.
Then you have to sit there and see the poor white tigers. Sure, they are beautiful, but they aren’t natural. The elephants look sad. The whole place smells, and the only way in is to walk your children through all of the picketers.
The fliers that the picketers are handing out are right, and heaven forbid your 3 year old catches sight of the picture on the PETA fliers. That crap gives me nightmares.
So after my husband was in a unique position to see the circus unloading the elephants and tigers and other animals off of the tractor trailers with cattle prods we decided that we were not going to go to the circus again.
I don’t know which was worse – seeing my kids little faces when I told them we weren’t going to the circus again or seeing their faces when I told them why.
I feel really icky about the whole thing, but I know if we keep buying tickets the circus will keep buying inbred animals. I cannot support this. I feel awful that I had to deprive my kids for my own personal politics. I feel terrible that I had to explain cruelty to animals to my four year olds.
I guess we can’t shield them from injustice forever.
On the upside, I promised them I would take them to the next absurdity on ice that came to town instead. I figure the only harm there is done to my wallet and sensibilities.