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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The circus: Visit, don't boycott



An Editorial from: http://www.fosters.com/


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Rochester, NH--Several letter writers have raised concerns over the presence of Circus Hollywood at the Rochester Fair. One has even called for circuses "be outlawed across the country, " and for the fair to be boycotted.
Foster's Daily Democrat understands and supports the protection of circus animals. But attempts to arbitrarily shut down those such as Circus Hollywood do a disservice the thousands — if not millions — of youngsters who each year get a rare opportunity to see nature up close with every performance or exhibition.
Young people raised in rural New England are often privileged to enjoy a fox or a deer running across their front yard. Since being reintroduced more than two decades ago, wild turkeys abound through out the Seacoast. And off the Seacoast, there are whale watching tours that enable young and old to enjoy these giant mammals.
But such is not the case with lions, tigers and the many other "exotic" creatures that travel with the circus, reside in zoos and swim in aquariums like Boston's New England Aquarium.
Properly cared for animals (yes, in captivity) offer an invaluable education and inspiration.
Spend a day at any major aquarium or circus. Gaze on the wonderment exuded through the eyes of youngster as they stand in rapt attention for hours. It may be a gracefully towering giraffe, a regal lion, or even a performing elephant. The result is an education far beyond the pages of a textbook, DVD or Disney feature film.
How many marine science majors at the University of New Hampshire or elsewhere have chose their life's calling due to such an encounter.
Those who would arbitrarily close the circuses, empty the zoos and drain the aquariums would deny youngsters these experiences and education.
As noted above, we believe that offering audiences a look at exotic wildlife can be done safely and humanly. To that end, organizations like PETA and the SPCA have their place in providing accountability for the care of captive wildlife. Not so the naysayers, the absolutists.


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