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36 Years Opposing Ringling Bros. Circus, 36 Years Wasted

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So after 146 years, the Ringling Bros. Circus is coming to an end this May.

PETA would have you believe that their 36 years of protests are responsible for this supposedly momentous turn of events – the reality is really quite different. Cast your memory back to the spring of 2015 when Ringling first announced that it would be phasing out the use of elephants. According to Alana Feld, the company’s executive vice president, there was “somewhat of a mood shift” amongst their consumers, and many people were not “comfortable” with them touring with elephants. PETA and “animal advocates” across the globe claimed victory back then too – the reality was that the elephant exploitation had merely been substituted with camel exploitation. That very year, Ringling introduced “camel stunt riders” to its Circus Xtreme show as a replacement, and continued using other animals including lions, tigers, horses, goats, pigs and kangaroos.

Nothing had changed other than the further promotion of confusion and speciesism by “animal advocates” through implication that elephants somehow had greater moral value than the camels who were introduced to the show and every other animal used too. Business continued as usual. Back in 2014, Feld Entertainment (owners of Ringling Bros.) actually won $25.2 million in settlements from groups such as the Humane Society of the United States after a 14-year fight over allegations of elephant cruelty when the case was finally dismissed.

We now have Ringling announcing its closure in May and PETA once again claiming victory. The main reasons for closure, however, have absolutely nothing to do with PETA’s efforts against Ringling. In a recent Fox News article, Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld entertainment, acknowledges that the circuses’ main competitor has been “time.” He maintains that the traditional circus model is such a “different model that we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price.” Ringlings main problem has been trying to stay in the 21st century and competing with modern forms of entertainment that were just not available throughout most of the 20th century. A Ringling Bros. show is 2 hours 7 minutes long with the longest segment involving tigers being 12 minutes. “Try getting a 3 or 4 year-old today to sit for 12 minutes,” Feld said.

Also, while PETA would have you believe that the decline in attendance has been down to “raised awareness” of “animal cruelty,” the reality is, once again, quite different. According to Juliette Feld, there had been a steady drop in attendance for around 10 years due to the aforementioned issues, but when the elephants were removed, there was a “dramatic drop” in ticket sales. A large portion of their consumer base refused to attend the circus without the elephants.

Make no mistake about it, the Ringling Bros. Circus has been forced to fold, not because of “animal cruelty” issues – they continued with all other animal use and the use of both elephants and camels after the the decision to phase out elephants by 2018 – but because the circus is an enterprise that struggles to exist in a modern world where entertainment has become synonymous with technology. Indeed, Feld Entertainment owns other enterprises that still appeal to the younger generation (monster trucks, motorcross, etc.) that only stand to benefit from the increase in resources gained from closing the circus.

This is yet again just another example of how large animal organisations manipulate information in order to fundraise and claim “victory.” Not only that, while the Feld’s say that their existing animals – lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas – will go to to “suitable homes” (whatever that means), nothing is said about the horses, goats and pigs. But hey, I guess worrying about animals other than elephants is too much of a buzz-kill for PETA and the other orgs intent on celebrating the fold of a business for financial reasons dressed up as a “victory” for animals.

Wherever these poor souls end up going, we know for sure where the elephants are going. They are being moved from the circus to a “conservation centre” in Florida where elephants are bred and where research will be carried out on them. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s a pretty impoverished notion of “victory.” Merely one form of exploitation has been replaced with another.

The entire 36 year-long campaign by PETA has done nothing but perpetuate speciesism and make “animal advocates” out of non-vegans who now believe that they have “won” for the animals whilst simultaneously exploiting other animals themselves. It has done nothing but tell the public that there is a moral difference between exotic animals and the animals that we use every day of our lives. As a final insult, they are taking the natural liquidation of a company past its prime and presenting it to the public in a final bout of speciesism as a “victory.” This has nothing to do with activism – it’s just business.

Think how different things would be if they’d spent the last 36 years promoting veganism as a moral baseline instead of perpetuating a false distinction between different forms of animal use. Vegans reject the use of animals as property; vegans do not attend circuses. We would have a movement of people now who reject the property status of animals who see veganism as the only rational response to animal exploitation. Instead, what we have is an “animal movement” intent on profiting from the confusion responsible for the exploitation of animals in the first place, where the “remedy” isn’t recognising rights – it’s a tax-deductible donation.

Here’s to another 146 years of single-issue campaigning and confusion. You may want to strap your picket to the bone – we’ll be long dead before the next hollow “victory.”

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  • Gary Vella

    As a long-time vegan who, over the decades, has taken a stand against Ringling’s exploitation of all of its captive performers, while simultaneously founding and coordinating animal liberation organizations that promote veganism, I resent this toxic viewpoint that seemingly devalues all of the self-sacrifice of tens of thousands of committed individuals who continually gave their time and energy to bring about the demise of the “Cruelest Show on Earth.” We were on the front lines, putting up with inclement weather, verbal abuse, bureaucratic interference, etc., in the hope that eventually we could stop the revolving door of Ringling’s entertainment-based animal abuse. PETA had no small part in this effort as we were always supplied with as many full-color brochures and poster-signs as we needed to cover 8 shows in a 4-day period. There was never any charge for the materials nor the shipping cost and PETA’s regional rep was always available for any other assistance we might need, including Facebook Event pages, action alerts, etc. We also used video presentations on site, in close proximity to the ticket lines, to show the public just how the sadistic animal trainers abused the animals. The results were clear, as a handful of potential patrons would inevitably leave instead of entering the arena, while others looked on with a new and visibly uncomfortable realization of what they were supporting.

    Of course, we all knew it would be a very gradual process to successfully educate the public about the animal suffering involved, and not being naive, we also knew that we wouldn’t change everyone’s mind … but we didn’t need to. We also knew that we had other factors working to our advantage: (1) Cirque du Soleil had raised the bar so high that antiquated circuses such as Ringling could no longer compete on a profitable level; (2) transportation costs were ever-increasing, making it less cost-effective to tour with animals, and (3) technology and changing entertainment preferences were also coming into play. Our part, however, was to focus the public’s attention on the animal abuse involved, knowing that there would be a substantial percentage of patrons who would turn their backs on the circus when confronted with the facts. BTW: None of our signs said “Save the tigers but have a Big Mac on your way home.”

    The unproductive and incessant bashing of PETA and multitudes of activists around the country who paid their dues for this hard-earned victory is unwarranted. It reminds me of the jerks who come up to us at a protest to ask why we’re not protesting abortion instead of animal abuse. It seems that no matter how much good one does, no matter the level of sacrifice involved, someone always has to find a way to chastise because we didn’t do exactly what someone else thinks we should’ve done.

    On a related note … With the help of Grey2KUSA, we were finally able to end greyhound racing in Arizona last summer, which will soon result in the closure of the last greyhound racetrack in the West I wonder what we did wrong there. Oh yeah … single issue, right?

    The liberation of Ringling’s animals from “circus hell” doesn’t guarantee them a rosy future. Indeed, we’re all concerned and watching to see what transpires. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if many of them end up in zoos, which would still be much better than what they’ve endured until now. Hopefully, some will end up in sanctuaries as well. We all agree that Ringling’s Elephant Conservation Center is not an ideal scenario for the elephants, even though it’s likely still a few steps better than circus life. Hopefully, something can be done about that too as time progresses. Either way, Ringling’s circus-based animal abuse had to be stopped, and that will soon come to fruition. In every report I’ve read, Feld also mentioned the continual battles with animal rights activists as one of many factors that led to their decision to shut down. Apparently — or conveniently —, that was omitted from the editorial above. As is typical with so many of our defeated adversaries, they always list a myriad of reasons why they surrendered, and the animal liberation movement is never the primary cause. If we were truly that naive and couldn’t read between the lines, we wouldn’t have a movement at all and the animals would have no voice. Fortunately, that is not the case. The criticism is wrong and our movement is strong!

    • Jenny

      Gary Vella: apart from having been a “long-time vegan” (which is the least we should do for the animals) it must be very difficult to accept that decades of “…the self-sacrifice of tens of thousands of committed individuals who continually gave their time and energy” and who have “…suffered at the front lines, putting up with inclement weather, verbal abuse, bureaucratic interference…” may actually have achieved nothing more than to help promote the PETA business. Showing videos of sadistic abuse just upsets and confuses people. You say a handful left, but the others just looked uncomfortable; presumably they watched the circus.

      If you recognise and understand that **all animal use is wrong** and you are well-read, approachable and friendly; you may then be able to talk with receptive people and help them to understand why going vegan is a peaceful, revolutionary act. Think about this: if those “tens of thousands of activists” you mention had each converted just one person to veganism every year, for however many decades you refer to, and if each of those converts had then converted at least another person to veganism; by now we might have reached a tipping point where the whole world had gone vegan!

  • Lisa

    These articles were ‘cute’ at the beginning but now they are just becoming a joke. I got involved with the animal rights movement because I attended a demonstration outside Ringling Brother’s circus over 20 years ago. I wasn’t vegan (or vegetarian) at the time but met others who were (and signed up to a PETA mailing list) and things fell into place. If the author had his way, I never would have had this opportunity.

    • Sandy

      Part 3

      “So, in effect, the coalitions for welfare reform and SICs all have one thing in common: they involve a broad spectrum of people who “care” about animals promoting exploitation that is supposedly more “humane,” or promoting animal products or uses that are not the target of the welfare reform campaign or SIC.

      A particularly pernicious effect of coalitions is that they render the moral imperative of veganism, which we will explore in greater detail when we come to Principle Three, as meaningless. By bringing together nonvegans and vegans (that is, vegans who support welfare and SICs) in order to form a group of people with a common goal, a coalition creates the false notion among its members and among the public that there is no moral difference between someone who deliberately exploits animals by being nonvegan and someone who does not do so by being vegan. Coalitions portray the act of not eating, wearing, and using animals as irrelevant or negligible to doing justice to animals. This, in effect, prevents veganism from being viewed as a moral requirement.

      Is it possible for these campaigns to not promote animal exploitation? No. The only way that these campaigns can build coalitions is by promoting animal exploitation. Could welfarists reformulate these campaigns and promote welfare reform with a campaign that explicitly said, “We are promoting larger cages for laying hens but we oppose all animal exploitation however ‘humane,’ and we regard veganism as a moral imperative yet are seeking larger cages for chickens as an interim measure while we move toward the abolition of all animal exploitation”? Could they promote a single-issue campaign that explicitly said, “We regard all animal ‘foods’ as equally unjust and violative of animal rights, and we regard veganism as a moral baseline but we are targeting foie gras now and, as soon as we prevail, we will move on to other animal foods”? Sure, those are campaigns that could be promoted. But the only people who would support—donate—to such campaigns would be those who embraced animal rights. Such campaigns would have a great deal more moral integrity but they would be completely ineffective from a fundraising point of view. And that is precisely why no animal advocacy group has ever promoted those campaigns.”

      – Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton

      • Lisa

        I am well aware of SICs (though read what you posted, as a courtesy). I however (still) don’t agree with you. I (still) find articles such as the one posted self-serving and unproductive.

        • Gary Francione

          Perhaps you can tell us what is wrong with the analysis. I am making arguments. They have premises that lead to conclusions. If you could identify what is wrong and in what ways the arguments are invalid or unsound, that would be better than making meaningless ad hominem remarks.

          The only position that you have defended is that you became a vegan supposedly because you attended a demonstration outside Ringling Bros. Putting aside that you may have gone vegan sooner if someone had talked with you about veganism, your position is, as Sandy points out, tantamount to saying that we should support SICs because you claimed to have gone vegan because of one.

          Can you identify one SIC that does not involve the coalition I describe? Just one?

          Do you not agree that many SICs involve discrimination?

          Let’s hear some substance.

          Gary L. Francione
          Professor, Rutgers University

        • Sandy

          That’s interesting, Lisa. When I read that essay, I still appreciate the timeless clarity it conveys and how well it cuts through the confusion others put out, no matter how many times I read it. You see if “The only way that these campaigns can build coalitions is by promoting animal exploitation.” then that says to me, I must reject this because my goal is to stop animal use…and promoting animal exploitation doesn’t fit in. It’s like trying to stick a round peg in a square hole. My goal is not to help animal exploiters feel better.

    • Sandy

      Part 2

      “So a campaign against the gestation crate must promote non-crate pork as a normatively desirable choice—as what people ought to support and consume. If the campaign even suggested that all meat consumption or even all pork consumption was morally wrong, those who object to gestation crates but otherwise think meat or pork consumption is fine would not support or donate to the campaign.

      To put this in simple terms: if Mary consumes meat but agrees that the gestation crate is cruel, she is going to donate to a campaign that she understands as saying that consuming animal products other than crated pork is morally better than consuming crated pork and that she is behaving more morally than people who consume crated pork. She is not going to support and donate to a campaign that says that what she is doing is no better morally than what those who consume crated pork are doing. As we can easily see, this situation results in promoting the idea that Mary’s animal exploitation is morally acceptable.

      An SIC against foie gras must promote the idea that eating a piece of steak, chicken, or fish, or pâté from the liver of a goose that has not been force fed is what people ought to do. If the campaign even suggested that people should stop eating all animal products or even just all meat, those who think that force feeding geese is wrong but that eating animal products is otherwise fine would not support—or donate to—the campaign. An SIC against fur must promote the idea that people ought to wear wool or leather instead of fur. If the anti-fur campaign even suggested that it was also immoral to wear wool or leather, those who think that it is tragic that seal cubs are clubbed or foxes are caught in leg hold traps but who wear wool and leather would not support or donate to the campaign. A campaign against the gestation crate cannot be understood to be promoting the eating of no pork, no meat, or no animal products, or it would fail to create a coalition because those who eat pork or other animal products would not support it.

      All of these regulatory campaigns must engage in the pretense that the targeted activity or product is morally distinguishable from the activities or products that are not the subject of the regulatory campaign and that the latter are morally desirable alternatives. If those who are continuing to participate in animal exploitation are not told that their exploitation makes them “compassionate” people, they will not support the regulatory campaign. People must be made to feel comfortable and they are made to feel comfortable by an insidious pretense that the target of the campaign is immoral and their own conduct is not immoral, or is so much less immoral. “

    • Sandy

      If you are following PETA, you are probably not aware why Single Issue Campaigns (SICs) are detrimental to animal rights. Please read the following essay to understand why. I had to post it in 3 parts.

      Part 1

      *Why Welfare Reform Campaigns and Single-Issue Campaigns Necessarily Promote Animal Exploitation*

      “The purpose of welfare reform campaigns and single-issue campaigns (SICs) is to build coalitions that include those who believe that animal exploitation per se is morally acceptable and who just object to the target of the particular welfare reform campaign or SIC. Such campaigns must play to the lowest level of the spectrum or they will lose that part of the coalition.

      And that is precisely the problem.

      A welfare reform campaign that aims to phase out gestation crates for pigs seeks to build a coalition that includes people who eat animal products, including pork, but who agree that the gestation crate is not “humane.” A welfare reform campaign that aims to phase out the traditional battery cage for laying hens seeks to build a coalition that includes people who eat eggs from hens confined in an “enriched” cage or in one big cage known as a “cage-free” barn. An SIC that targets foie gras seeks to build a coalition that will include people who eat meat but who think that foie gras is morally distinguishable from other meat. An SIC that targets meat seeks to build a coalition that will include people who consume dairy and eggs. An SIC that targets fur seeks to build a coalition of people who wear wool, leather, or silk instead of fur.

      Because welfare reform campaigns and SICs seek to build coalitions of people, many of whom engage in conduct that is indistinguishable from the target of the particular welfare reform campaign or SIC that they are supporting, these campaigns necessarily promote the animal exploitation that is not the target of that welfare campaign or that SIC. That is, the reform campaign must characterize the reform of the use or the products that are not the target of the SIC (but are morally indistinguishable from it), as more “humane” or “compassionate,” not just as a factual matter (it supposedly causes less suffering), but as a normative or moral matter. In other words, welfare reform campaigns and SICs communicate to the public that the supposedly reformed use or the non-targeted product is what people ought to support. “

    • Sandy

      I started to put the pieces together at a family BBQ when I was a child. According to your logic, if it were not for that lamb BBQ I would never be vegan today, and today, I should support lamb BBQ’s because they helped me go vegan.

      Had someone told me about our moral obligation to go vegan because it was the just thing to do, I would not have meandered on a vegetarian ‘journey’ for 20 years, and would have gone vegan straight away.

  • Gary Francione

    Terrific essay, Ben. It is appalling that anyone is calling this a “victory” or claiming that it represents anything more than the fact that circuses are no longer profitable for reasons having nothing to do with any moral objection to animal use. Indeed, as you point out, some people stopped patronizing the circus because the elephants were removed from the show.


    Gary L. Francione
    Professor Rutgers University

  • MaryFinelli

    Stop deluding yourself, Ben.

    • Gary Francione

      Mary Finelli:

      It would seem that the people who are deluded here are those who claim that the closing of the circus was the result of animal activism and that it reflects some sort of shift in public attitudes about animals. Such claims are, indeed, deluded. And it’s also delusional to claim a victory with respect to these elephants, who are going to be “retired” to research and breeding.

      You seem as a general matter to not understand how counterproductive single-issue campaigns are. They necessarily promote animal exploitation by encouraging people to believe that some forms of exploitation are better than those that are targeted by the particular campaign. The Ringling campaign is a good example of this on multiple levels. In 2015, “animal advocates” declared victory when Ringling announced it would retire the elephants. But what about all the other animals used by Ringling? What about the fact that Ringling announced removing elephants but added a camel “stunt” act? The entire campaign against Ringling assumed that elephants are morally more significant than other animals. That reflects the speciesist position articulated by many “animal advocates,” including Peter Singer, that elephants are morally more significant because they are cognitively more sophisticated. That’s counterproductive nonsense.

      And single-issue campaigns often rely on and promote human discrimination. I am still very surprised and disappointed that you so virulently defend the transparently anti-Semitic Kapparos campaign. (For those who want to read about this anti-Semitic single-issue campaign and the support of it by various “animal advocates,” including Mary Finelli, go to the Abolitionist Approach website and type in “Kapparos.” Disqus wont post a comment with a URL.)

      Gary L. Francione
      Professor, Rutgers University

      • MaryFinelli

        No one protesting the circus was claiming or implying that “some forms of exploitation are better than those that are targeted by the particular campaign.” That is your warped misperception. We were asserting that exploiting animals by forcing them to participate in circuses is animal abuse. We were actually taking direct action to oppose animal abuse rather than merely waxing philosophical about it. We were also protesting the use of any animals for the circus, not solely the exploitation of elephants. However, elephants are more of a draw than are camels, as evidenced by Ringling’s demise.

        We oppose animal abuse on an equal opportunity basis: anyone abusing animals is fair game for opposition. There is nothing anti-Semitic about the campaign against torturing/killing chickens for Kaporos. It is against this egregious abuse of chickens not against Kaporos, as the campaign name makes clear: Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos. Many Jewish people support the campaign, and many others disapprove of the use of chickens as Kaporos. Most if not all who are active in the campaign are also active in other animal advocacy and promote veganism, myself included. Your opposition to the campaign displays your speciesism.

        As animal advocates we should speak out against any and all animal abuse. That is what being vegan entails. Pontificating from your ivory tower, it’s little wonder you oppose such direct action campaigns. It’s so much easier to just tell everyone to go vegan. That’s not how it works in the real world. Anyone interested in a rational explanation of the value of single-issue campaigns can Google: Single-Issue Campaigns and Abolition/Vegan Advocacy, which is posted on the United Poultry Concerns website.

        • Vanda Kadas

          Hello dear MaryFinelli:
          I thank you for caring about the animals. As a longterm vegan I can totally relate to that.
          Please, let me also tell you how my beloved lifelong vegan, only 12 years old daughter replied when I “tested” her on why we don’t go to all the protests and do weekly vegan tabling instead.
          She told me: “we all have other important duties and there are way too many animals who are being exploited. There is no way that we can create/attend to a campaign for all of them. Nobody could. So we should speak up for all animals at all times instead. Otherwise we will leave out some of them and nobody likes to be left out. They all have it bad. It is not fair to speak up for only some animals. All animals are equal.”
          Mary, I know you care about lot, but I trust we can both agree that not anytime soon we will see protests next to our family members’, friends’ tables. Ironically though since most animal exploitation happens for food “reasons”, and surely that is absolutely egregious.
          Thank you for reading this and thank you for reflecting on the above.

        • Vanda Kadas

          Mary Finelli,
          You wrote that you were against the “egregious” abuse of chickens as Kaporos.
          But the majority of chickens are not even being exploited as Kaporos but being used as our food supply. I say that’s totally egregious, right?
          So how does it even make sense to focus on some forms of animal exploitation but not on other forms? How confusing that must be for nonvegans to comprehend…
          All animal exploitation is wrong hence we should unequivocally advocate against all animal use meaning to advocate for nothing less but veganism as a moral baseline.

          • Katerina Katsimpardi

            Vanda, I was wondering the same thing; What is the difference in the suffering chicken have to endure during the kaporos and the billions upon billions other chicken who go through the same every single minute around the world to satiate the never ending appetite for eggs and chicken flesh? Why focus specifically on that event, which “accidentally” I guess, is been done by Jewish people?
            But,noooo it’s not anti-Semitic… not at all, right? Probably it is just another way of making all those who are not celebrating kaporos and who are not Jewish to donate, without having to change a single F in their own lives. Same thing with all Sic’s.
            Because Mary Finelli and al other welfarists, have forgotten that veganism covers all animals’ right to not be property, but will scare away lots of donors.

          • Vanda Kadas

            Katerina dear,
            It is all horrible indeed and it is all wrong to single outime any one form of use-abuse of the animals. There is no moral difference between exploiting elephants for circus acts, for breading, for building temples…etc… Just like there is no difference between exploiting chickens as Kaporos, or as “chicken soup”, or as egg omelette.
            Moreover, why pick on Jewish traditions when virtually all religious traditions involve animal exploitation.
            Think Christmas dinners, think poojas with all the secretions of mothers called dairy cows, think Buddhist celebrations with animal products…and the list goes on.
            There is absolutely no rational reason to think that any of the animal exploitations is more “egregious” than the others.
            Not if we really agree that animals are not things hence they have a moral value, as Professor Francione explains it.

        • Alan O’Reilly

          Mary Finelli

          This is a straw man. Professor Francione has not implying they were, rather he has provided a well-reasoned argument why single issue campaigns *necessarily* promote animal exploitation, an argument you have not addressed.

          Abolitionists educate others to go vegan, the most effective action to oppose *all* animal use. This is hardly “waxing philosophical”.

          Representation of species other than elephants has been noticeable by its absence. Thanks for providing one of the reasons why the campaign has taken such a speciesist position.

          You and I have obviously been living on different planets if you have not noticed the enormous amount of anti-Semitic rhetoric resulting from the various campaigns about Kaporos. I don’t suppose you’ve seen any of the anti-Japanese xenophobia stirred up by the Taiji dolphin slaughter campaigns either.

          You clearly have no idea what speciesism is if you claim that opposing a speciesist campaign is, in itself, speciesist.

          Yes, that’s why abolitionists concentrate on vegan education and avoid speciesist campaigns. Vegan education is effective advocacy, it is not “pontificating from an ivorytower”.

          It’s much more effective to provide vegan education and, in the real world, nobody goes vegan unless they learn about veganism.

          I will not waste any time debunking the article you are referencing. Suffice it to say that UPC is a new welfarist organisation which exists on speciesist single issue campaigns. It has nothing whatsoever to do with abolitionism.

          • Gary Francione

            You know, Alan, every time I think that the new welfarists cannot possibly get more obtuse, they prove me wrong.


            Gary L. Francione
            Professor, Rutgers University

  • Alan O’Reilly

    I wonder how much greater a contribution to ending animal exploitation would have been made if the “tens of thousands of committed individuals who continually gave their time and energy to bring about the demise of the “Cruelest Show on Earth” had concentrated their efforts on creating new vegans through vegan education. Of course, there are still a number of circus companies across the world which continue to include animal acts. Plenty of opportunity for ongoing fundraising and potential “victory” claims for the welfarists and animal organisations. Just how they like it.

    • Gary Francione


      It is interesting how those who have showed up her to complain about the essay don’t have anything of substance to say. They don’t address any of the issues raised in the essay. But this is typical with those who support welfare-reform campaigns and single-issue campaigns. They whine and often make ad hominem remarks whenever anyone provides a critical analysis of these campaigns, but they never say anything of substance.


      Gary L. Francione
      Professor, Rutgers University

  • Michael Dolling

    what a crap article. those against single issue campaigns are a dying breed, lost in your ways. this article was honestly hard to get through. EGO EGO EGO. it’s gross. Francione blind bots.

    • Katerina Katsimpardi

      That is your argument? Would be so great if welfarists cared to elaborate instead of throwing random childish insults around.

      • Michael Dolling

        childish insults? they’re fact. you think i need an argument? FACTS are the argument, which this article is void of. This article is written by a butt-hurt anti single issue endangered species looking to invalidate truth even when Ringling has ADMITTED that animal rights tactics over the years have hurt their business. get a grip, this article is embarrassing. i feel like i’ve fallen into Fox News land.

        • Alan O’Reilly

          Yes, they are childish insults. Try reading what Ringling have actually said, which is that attendances dropped AFTER the elephants were removed from the show. Activists may have played some part in their decision to dispense with the elephants but they were not responsible for the CLOSURE of the circus, which is what the article is saying. Public moral concern for animals (elephants or otherwise) was not a factor.

        • Katerina Katsimpardi

          What are the facts ? That firstly they merely replaced the elephant act with camel acts?That all the other animals, were still “performing” ? That the elephants will be merely transferred to be exploited even further, alongside their offspring? That the fate of the other animals is unclear? That everyone will continue eating from animals almost 3 times a day?
          Good luck trying for another century to shut down another single establishment, which would fail anyway, because times and tastes are changing .. Let us “anti-single issue, anti-speciesists”, be the ones who are not confusing the public and who actually want to see the end of animals used as objects, the end of animals be seen as property and the end of speciesism.

    • Vanda Kadas

      I regret you have experienced challenges to “get through” this brilliant article. But I don’t think it is a very helpful thing to call anyone a “dying breed” just because they happen to disagree with us. I agree however that “ego” can make us use those kinds of personal insults. It is indeed a “gross”.well, I prefer to say an undesirable act.
      I am not “blind” to see that much. However I don’t think it is fair to others who actually do have visual impairments just to casually throw around the word blind, by the way. I am comfortable being referred to as a “Francione bot” though because Professor Francione actually consistently makes sense during his decades of vegan advocacy work, and “bots” can be rather fascinating and cute.
      Thank you for reading this!

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