Your Fun Is Their Misery
By Ranolene, age 16, South Africa
I for one most certainly love animals. I believe that animals should be treated like humans. After all, blood runs through all our bodies.
When the word "animal" comes to mind we think of wild, dangerous, free-spirited animals, and that's how they should be, not locked up in cages and being trained, and even worse, being taught how to act like something that's not natural in them.
For many years people around the world have been entertained by animals. Once or twice a year circuses arrives to our town with marvelous stunts to share, done by animals.
Recently I went to a circus that was in town. At first, I was excited at seeing how talented the animals were. But then what struck me was the fact that these animals had marks on their bodies, and their trainers had long hard plastic sticks, and every time they wanted them to perform a stunt they would strike the animals with that plastic stick. It may not occur to us, but they feel the pain.
To us humans, when a baby is born we take great care of him or her. But when an animal is born, maybe 3 or 4 weeks after birth, they are sold to circus owners where they train. Imagine a baby being trained to do stunts, with the pain and suffering a young animal goes through. I don't think any of us would be able to accept it.
It's fine to go and visit these animals at the zoo because there they are well treated and not being hurt. But going to see them at the circus is like making them old beforehand.