Two protest circus is cruelest, not coolest
Employees: Animal care is unparalleled
By Kyle Suratt
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Even as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus took center stage Thursday night at Foster Communications Coliseum, a San Angelo woman and her younger cousin stood outside protesting.
Jessica Sanchez, 20, and cousin John Borjas, 15, their car windows painted with messages such as "cruelty is not entertainment," held up signs in a parking lot across from the coliseum at 50 E. 43rd St.
The vegetarian said she wanted to go out and speak her mind.
"It went really good," said Sanchez, who received support from family and friends on Facebook.
"We received a lot of thumbs-up and honks," but also faced yells from circus spectators, she said.
Sanchez and Borjas protested from 5 to 7:30 p.m. only on Thursday night because "it makes a better statement on opening day," she said. The circus is in San Angelo through Sunday.
The circus employs full-time personnel to care for the animals everyday on tour and also has one on-call veterinarian staff member in every city, Janet Aria, director of animal stewardship for the circus, said.
"Our animal care is unparalleled, it's what we are all about," said Aria.
Sanchez sent for a packet from PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an international animal rights group — with stickers, fliers and other materials to help spread the word that she "is an 'ele' friend" she said.
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