Danette Zachary: Why we protested the circus

October 1, 2018


To the circus-goer in Lake Havasu City yelling about being 65, taking his kids and grandkids to the circus for years, and never seeing any abuse: the Jordan World Circus that you recently attended lost its USDA license for animal welfare violations. They “lease” animals from other so-called animal “exhibitors,” who also have multiple violations. In fact, every exhibitor at Shrine circuses has repeated and multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act. We’re talking about very minimal standards like providing adequate food, water and shelter and veterinary care. If they can’t even do these basic things, they obviously do not care about the animals, only about making money from their suffering. When my 71-year-old mother, who was at the protest, pointed out to him that: there’s proof of JWC’S animal abuse, he told her she was full of s***. Real nice.

Some people selfishly want to see these amazing animals, but do not truly care about their well-being or they would not support their abuse by going to the circus. The training that goes on behind the scene is brutal, well-documented, and must be stopped. It is the awful truth.

Another circus-goer, showing their stupidity, yelled to us protestors, ’’look at all the “Democrats.” Well, the woman I drove 1 ½ hours to protest with describes herself as “a die-hard Republican,” My mum is also a Republican. Obviously, caring about animals has nothing whatsoever to do with party affiliation. You don’t even have to be an animal lover like me, just care about doing the right, ethical thing.

Yet another circus-goer, who had a small child with him, yelled to my Republican friend and me that there was an abortion clinic up the street, a very stupid statement indeed. We were there for one reason only: to speak up for the animals, who cannot do it themselves, against those who would use and abuse them needlessly. Those who went to the circus paid for and supported animal abuse.

When the national anthem was played, it reminded us of the freedom we have in this country. Another fellow protestor is a Marine veteran and I am a veteran of the Air Force. We especially appreciate that freedom, but it does not include freedom to abuse animals, who are innocent and deserve our protection.

Cruelty to animals is un-American. Support the Shriners but not animal used in circuses. Bring some entertaining animal-free circuses to town,

Regarding Brandon Messick’s article about the circus and the “trade” of “jugglers, acrobats, lion tamers and ringmasters” who may feel they are “fulfilling a legacy”: there is no problem with jugglers, acrobats and ringmasters, who are all voluntary and willing performers.

The problem is with the lion tamers. How is that lion tamed? Think about it. Learn. It’s not a pretty picture. Besides, lions are not supposed to be tamed. They are wild animals. That is their nature and must be respected. It’s bad enough they can’t live in the wild where they belong.

They should at least be allowed to live in sanctuaries, like the nearby Keepers of the Wild, where they can live as naturally as possible.

Take kids there to teach them kindness, compassion and respect for these wonderful, wild animals.

Danette Zachary


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