Letter to the editor: Let’s retire circuses as fundraising efforts

Ringling Brothers Circus in 2011. — photo via anjanettew on Flickr

By Lynn Gallagher

Unfortunately, there will be a circus that includes wild animals again this year at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. If people read my letter in advance, maybe some people will avoid it.

Why do the Shriners continue to raise money from animal abuse?

Many people have seen what happens behind the Big Top. They understand that wild animals in circuses have lives of despair and deprivation and are trained using intimidation and abuse. Ringling Bros is out of business.

Why do the Shriners continue to sponsor and promote circuses that use wild animals? Don’t worry about the Shriners Hospitals losing funding. [Much] of the hospital funding comes from an endowment. The El Kahir Shrine homepage and flyer state that proceeds [from events] go to the El Kahir Shrine and cannot be deducted as a charitable donation.

If you want to support the hospitals, contribute directly to the hospitals. If you are against animal abuse, do not go to the circus. If you are a Shriner, please help your organization transition to a different type of fundraising. Thank you.

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