by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

Comedian Sarah Silverman is getting serious for elephants. She has teamed up with PETA in an effort to save four elephants at Ringling Bros. circus.

Silverman wrote a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging them to remove the elephants from the circus. She states that veterinarian reports to the USDA have gone unanswered as the Ringling Bros. continues to force the elephants to travel and perform.

“My friends at PETA have expert veterinary evidence showing that Nicole, Karen, Juliette, and Sara are being forced to perform grueling tricks despite suffering from lameness and, in the cases of Nicole and Karen,
arthritis as well. Arthritis is the number one reason for euthanasia in captive elephants, and veterinarians have cautioned that if their situation does not improve, Juliette and Sara will suffer life-threatening arthritis just as Karen and Nicole now do. PETA first reported this evidence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than nine months ago and has been told that the case is being investigated.” 

She goes on to emphasize the cruelty of Ringling’s elephant training and shows. “Performing circus tricks is a painful struggle for these animals … Yet Ringling’s elephant handlers—who have zero vet experience—continually stab the animals with sharp metal rods called bullhooks in order to keep them performing despite their ailments.” The letter urges the USDA to uphold the Animal Welfare Act by removing the animals from the circus.

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

View all posts by Jennifer Mishler →
  • Mike C

    Atta girl Sarah! The elephants need more people like you! You’re awesome!

  • Shirley Perez

    These actors should stick to acting. Let the professionals care for the elephants. PETA is only using their names to get money and publicity, and not the money does not go to the animals. Do a little research.

    • don_miguelo

      Professionals like the USDA?
      Or do you mean the Ringling “professionals” with no vet experience and a tracked history of animal abuse? OK –you don’t like PETA that’s fine, but labeling celebs as incompetent by association isn’t exactly competent either.

      • don_miguelo

        Notable Development: Since this post, on 8/7/2011, the Ringling elephant ironically enough named “Sarah” fell off the train ramp while being forced to board it. The USDA said ‘they have done enough’ to ensure the animal’s condition.

        Seems like with animals, relying on ‘professionals’ means relying on those with the money or the ones who don’t want to do anything. neither one helps the animals.

  • LittleMe

    If you think celebrities shouldn’t bother getting involved with charities, why visit a website like this?

  • Mike C

    Shirley- who said the people in the circus are professionals? I don’t always agree with what PETA says but this is pretty straight forward. You obviously need to research all the times that Ringling has been cited for elephant abuse, most of it goes unregulated.