by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, People.

steve.jpgI’ve never seen the Jackass movies, but based on the trailers they seem like they would have been funny to me 10 years ago. Granted, humor can transcend many different levels and I’m sure there are amusing moments, but….

Steve-O, the star and creator of Jackass, is lashing out at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus after deciding to tell the world about the animal abuse he witnessed under the big top. In an interview with PETA, Steve called circus bosses “a bunch of dicks” and remembered elephants routinely being struck with steel-tipped bullhooks. From the interview,

“You read about a lot of elephants going berserk in the circus, and it’s obvious why they go berserk,” he said. “It’s because they’re fricking tortured every day. I saw it myself.”

Steve spent time at the Ringling Brothers Circus during his days of training to be a clown. PETA chipped in some additional information: “Unlike Steve-O, animals who are abused and exploited by Ringling Bros. and other circuses are not willing participants. They are torn from their families, deprived of all that is natural and important to them, and forced to perform stupid tricks and stunts like riding bicycles, jumping through flaming hoops, and standing on their heads—things that you would never see them doing in the wild. They are kept in filthy, crowded trailers, boxcars, and cages and are dragged around the country for up to 50 weeks a year.”

So much for the childhood innocence of the circus. You can see Steve-O’s interview below:

Interview: Peta2 via Vegan Porn

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Samantha

    It’s great to see Steve O supporting animal and I think environmental civil rights as I same time. But I have one problem: this is the same guy that stomped on live snakes, swallowed a live gold fish and vomited it back out? I never watched the Jackass but for a few minutes and quickly changed the channel. However, I am aware of these cruel stunts that he preformed. Now, I’m not at all saying he can’t change, good for him for taking a new stand. However, this sites should discuss him regretting his former actions and becoming a new person. Otherwise this can give people the sense that PETA is hypocritical, just being willing to take on a celebrity to promote it’s stances which to many are extreme. We need extreme change, yes but PETA needs to watch it’s public view. I’d like to see it be more welcoming to people who aren’t vegans. I remember seeing them write to Obama for swatting a fly. This is crazy, then they allow just any celebrity, take on their adds. Now Steve O is not the only issue I’m talking about and celebrity is a powerful reaching tool, and hey I’m not carbon neutral either, but be real about it (who you take on). I’m sure that Steven O regrets his former actions and he doesn’t need to feel guilty now that he changed, but PETA should at least talk about this. After all they should be reaching out to change people right, well isn’t Steve’s story great for that? Sure many vegetarians and vegans and green people were converts, but who goes from swallowing live fish and tormenting snakes to being I think one of the most real most passionate celeb endorsers PETA’s ever had? I’m not a PETA member, but I’m a vegetarian, try to be green, and concerned person when it comes to animals, so on that page I hear every thing you say PETA, good luck with your work PETA, Thank You.

  • Jan Kucerka

    And now, he’s killing snakes in his live show.