The following letter by one of CEASE's board members was published as an opinion piece in the Patriot Ledger, a regional newspaper, and in the local Braintree newspaper. Subsequent to its publication, thanks to the efforts of the South Shore Humane Society and local residents, Braintree passed an ordinance banning exotic animals from performing in Braintree.
To the Editor:
I saw a live bear today in Braintree. He had been trained to stand upright and motionless while a woman bounced a huge rubber ball repeatedly off his face. I was at the circus.
I saw elephants, born to range majestically over the plains of Africa and Asia, intelligent, emotionally complex, altruistic, family oriented. I saw them reduced to spiritless automatons, bowing to human domination, kneeling, rolling over, submissive, obedient, robbed of their majesty. I was at the circus.
I saw tigers today, a whip cracking about their heads. It is no wonder that when elephants and tigers snap in the ring and rampage, it is their trainer they go after first. They seem to be saying, "I've had enough and I'm not going to take it anymore".
I wondered what the children learned from watching these sad specimens. They learned nothing of the true nature of the animals. Instead they learned that it is okay to torment animals and be amused by it.
When the circus was over, everyone went on their way, off to home and dinner, TV, a soccer game. The animals went back to their cages or trailers. Another dreary day of forced labor done, they stand or pace in their prisons cells, awaiting transport to the next location of "family fun." Was anyone thinking of them now?
I went to the circus to bear witness for the animals. Each camel, llama, tiger, bear, horse, elephant, each unwilling captive who cowered to the whip and the bullhook should be remembered next Fourth of July when the the Braintree Parks and Recreation Department spends the do re me they made off this seedy spectacle.