Ringling Brothers, after years of criticism, scrutiny, and legal battles, has decided to finally retire the elephant from its productions. Kenneth Feld, Chairman and CEO said, “This decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants and our customers.”
Animal rights activists and decent human beings all over the globe are thrilled that the company is coming around and recognizing that our evolving society isn’t willing to forgive the kind of cruelty it takes to train an elephant for a couple of hours of our pleasure.
Not everyone is happy. Donald Trump, proponent of evil and advocate of frowning, Tweeted his thoughts on the subject:
What a shame. Tens of thousands of children will be denied seeing the world’s worst hair and the man beneath it scowling at them as he haggles the price of a snow cone.
The circus would certainly be a more pleasurable experience for people like Trump if they were allowed to actually cattle-prod the elephants between acts. Maybe he’ll start his own elephant sanctuary where he can secretly abuse the animals just for fun.
That would be so very Trump.
The move by Ringling Brothers comes after Mother Jones published a year-long investigation into how the animals are treated and trained.
It doesn’t appear the Kenneth Feld agrees with that assessment. He sees Ringling Brothers as a company that has cared for and “saved” the magnificent creatures from possible extinction.
“No other institution has done or is doing more to save this species from extinction,” Feld said, “and that is something of which I and my family are extremely proud.”
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Center For Elephant Conservation in Florida does do some good work with breeding, allows people to experience Asian elephants up close and personal, and provides a suitable home for retired performance elephants.
Within three years there will be thirteen additions to their herd. Hopefully there’s a “No Trumps Allowed” sign on the main gate.