EDITORIAL Enjoy it now

Animal-rights activists may make circuses ‘endangered species’

The circus came to Rockdale on Thursday and, despite a cold front and blustery winds, drew great crowds to Apache Pass. Lots of Rockdale residents and their families enjoyed the show, sponsored by the Rotary Club.

Circuses, as we know them, may be on the way out for good, due to a concerted, well-organized campaign by “animal rights” groups led by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The same week the circus came to Rockdale, England and Wales banned the use of animal acts in circuses. PETA has campaigned tirelessly against circuses and zoos—yes, zoos—and they know when and where a circus performs.

Even in Rockdale.

To its credit, PETA doesn’t hide or mask its goals. But, not so much to its credit, it isn’t shy about recruiting children to further those goals. Its PETA Kids website urges kids to help “put the brakes on big tops forever.”

The site shows them how to organize “heck, no, we won’t go petitions” when schools plan circus trips and suggests children speak at school board meetings in protest.

Well, should animals be abused? Of course not and there’s no doubt some people do it. But most don’t.

PETA is extremely blunt about what it believes. From its website: “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any way.”

Not ours to eat? PETA will show you how to be a vegan. You see, here’s their philosophical underpinnings—A boy is a horse is a squid is a girl is a seal is an elephant is a rattlesnake. There’s no moral difference. PETA talks about taking wild animals “away from their families.”

Most Americans would reject that. For now. Most British would have rejected it a couple of generations ago.

Texas, we suspect, will be one of the last holdouts and will be so unabashedly. We’re a little closer to the brutal reality of what goes on out there in the actual world of nature famously, and accurately, described by Lord Tennyson as “red in tooth and claw.”

PETA doesn’t consider that the real harm in real animal abuse is to the soul of the abuser.

But then if humans, and only humans, possess souls, PETA is sadly wrong on so many levels.—M.B.

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2013-04-25 digital edition

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