Circus is in the North Charleston Coliseum, animal-rights sideshow in the parking lot
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
When Ringling Bros. comes to town, it's always a three-ring circus.
And that's just the parking lot.
On Wednesday, animal-rights activists will be corralled in the North Charleston Coliseum's "free speech zones" to protest our annual visit from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Wednesday night is the first of eight Lowcountry performances of this year's edition of "the greatest show on Earth."
But the folks who will be outside say this isn't a great show, it's a house of horrors.
For the past week, people from around the country have bombarded local media with forwarded emails from PETA, trying to draw attention to what it says are the atrocities of circus life for the animals that perform in them.
Mostly, they have provided Ringling Bros. with a lot of free publicity.
The activists say these large animals were not built to travel, are treated cruelly during training and live a life of bondage. One of the emails notes that "bears, elephants, tigers, lions and other animals do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire."
Huh. Who would have guessed?
Of course, maybe elephants and tigers can't ride bikes in India because they don't have city officials there willing to shut down entire lanes of traffic for them.