When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus visited Orange County, California, in July the Los Angeles Times ran the typical back-and-forth story with competing quotes from circus employees and animal rights activists.
After quotes from animal rights activist Kristal Parks who told the Times that chaining elephants is “almost like putting a human being in a jail cell,” Orange County People for Animals activist Charlotte Gordon concedes to the Times that the animal rights movement might have an image problem,
[Gordon] . . . concedes the public hasn’t been won over. “We need to change [the impression] that we’re trying to take something away from them. That’s what people are thinking, that we’re trying to take away the fun. We’re just trying to take away the animals.”
In other words, people are absolutely correct in thinking that activists want to take away something important in their lives — namely, traditional interactions with animals.
Activists want to take away circuses with animals. They want to take away animal-based foods. They want to take away animal-based medical research. They want to take away aquariums and zoos and hunting, and many of them even want to take away domestic pets.
The problem for Gordon and her ilk is that people understand exactly what animal rights activists want to take away.
Ringmaster is needed to monitor this debate. Dana Parsons, Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2005.