Alec Baldwin makes for an unlikely crusader. But the 30 Rock actor is spearheading a campaign to ban circuses.
Many celebrities use their clout to support social causes dear to their hearts. In a recent YouTube video, Baldwin describes the abuses endured by creatures great and small in many circuses. Of course this is nothing new.
In 2009 the NY Daily News reported “undercover video footage of animal handlers beating elephants with metal-tipped bull hooks just moments before they walked onstage.” The whole point of metal bull hooks are that they strike elephants on the most sensitive parts of their body, including their face, head, and ears, getting them to perform the desired trick.
Living conditions in many circuses are also cramped and unnatural. Then again, so are most zoos, but that's another post. Circuses may be an ingrained part of our cultural tradition. But before you rush out and buy tickets, consider other more ethical entertainment for kids. Like Cirque de Soleil, which showcases the strange and wonderful talents of humans who can speak up or leave if they aren't treated right by their employers.
Kudos to Alec for reminding us of the fact that animals have rights, too. If enough parents boycott circuses, the ringleaders will be forced to rethink their handling of animals or, better yet, close up shop forever.