Wedged between news of war, mayhem and the latest Clinton lies, we learned today that Ringling Brothers Circus is phasing out elephants.
I’m disappointed. The circus has featured elephants for more than a century. And at the risk of convincing readers I’m politically incorrect and deeply insensitive, I’m not sure a circus is such a bad place for an elephant to live. And I certainly don’t trust People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which claims circus elephants are mistreated.
Are elephants mistreated? Probably – once in a great while. Dogs, cats, horses, children, senior citizens and prison inmates all are mistreated sometimes. But apart from the moral issue, it would be really foolish for a circus to mistreat its elephants and a circus is a business operated by smart people.
Think about it. An elephant is really valuable. According to an Associated Press report I saw today, Ringling Brothers spends $65,000 a year to take care of each elephant. That’s a lot of hay, peanuts and tender-loving care. And since the elephants are paraded in front of huge crowds, you can’t have them looking scrawny and bruised, limping around all morose and un-elephantine.
A happy, contented, peaceful elephant is a profitable elephant.
But the folks who own the circus are tied of loony demonstrators, lawsuits and silly legislation. Yes, some cities have banned elephants. (Although this might simply be an outgrowth of big-city Democrats trying to do away with Republicans.)
Now that we’re going to have a circus without elephants, what is next? A rodeo without steers? Dressage without horses? The Westminster Kennel Club Show without dogs?
I say: “Bring back Jumbo.”