Jump to content
JWTalk - Jehovah's Witnesses Online Community

A Moral Question - Circus Animals


We lock topics that are over 365 days old, and the last reply made in this topic was 2051 days ago. If you want to discuss this subject, we prefer that you start a new topic.

Recommended Posts

I like to see animals performing (they are amazing), but over the years I've come to think that in most cases it is an abuse of animals, especially as they are performing for profit.  The scriptural view of taking care of our domestic animals comes into play here - Jehovah wants us to be responsible custodians of all his creations, animals especially.  There is counsel to not muzzle a bull when it's threshing, as it is working hard and worthy of it's food.  There is mention in the scriptures of rescuing your domestic animal even on the Sabbath, so they aren't left suffering.  If I teach my dog tricks, then I think that is quite stimulating for them, and you can tell they enjoy the human interaction.  But as for those performing animals, do they really enjoy performing?  Some animals really don't appear to be, and having humans gawking at them might be something they really stress over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The performance is one thing but a major consideration would be the living and training conditions.

For travelling shows it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep the animals in a suitable environment as there is no way of replicating natural conditions in the back of a truck.  for non travelling shows then the living conditions can be better but there are also many documented cases of cruelty by trainers as they try and force animals to perform.

Don't forget as well that in almost any situation where an animal is performing or behaving in a non-natural manner there are valid questions about the appropriateness of the interaction.  This includes performing animals on the street (common the world over) or even things like tiger or lion cub petting in so called sanctuaries (very popular in parts of Africa for example).

It's not to say every case is wrong or immoral but, as the Sea World case shows, just because something is popular or deemed acceptable that one should not be afraid to do their own due diligence and determine if the animal can really be willingly particpating and enoying the experience. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is pretty clear to me too ... while there are some trainers who absolutely  love their animals, it's still not a natural environment ... I aren't attracted to animal acts as an adult - was as a child but was seeing through a child's eye. Not even keen on zoos, but there are ones I'm very impressed with too and the chance for many to learn about creation first hand. As with the excess of animals or pests in some areas, the morality for me is an issue with those who create unbalanced environments for the animals be it captivity, exploitation or the unbalancing of natural habitats.  Anyway I better get to sleep gotta go make sure my cat is obeying my every order and is sleeping where she is meant to be. *winks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, all cruelty towards animals, or anything that makes animals suffer innecessarily, is morally wrong. The Scriptures teach that man must take care of creation, and that Jehovah despises those who are cruel towards animals.

 

On the other hand, it depends on the performance. There are people who really care well of their animals. I once saw a spectacle in which trainers controlled horses just with few words in their ears or a snap of their fingers. The horses lied down, turned around, jumped and did everything their trainer told them, and seemed quite happy. I course I can't know for sure, but they seemed to love their trainers. They insisted a lot that their taming method never included beating them or causing them any harm, but rather positive stimulus.

 

I have also seen some shows at zoos with seals, dolphins and prey birds, and again the animals seemed quite happy interacting with their trainers. But circuses in general have an ill reputation regarding the conditions in which they keep their animals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont necessarily agree that just because an animal is not in its "natural" habitat that its being abused.  If so, everyone that owns a dog, cat or hamster is guilty of animal cruelty!

 

I think Jehovah created animals to bring us happiness and if it werent for zoos or circuses, how many of us would ever see a lion, girraffe or rhinocerous? How many of us would really care about these animals we had only heard about or seen in pictures?

 

I dont think training them is always a bad thing either.  Horses have to be "broken" before they will let anyone ride them.  Most people dont have a problem with that.

 

Of course as was mentioned above, the scriptures make clear that as living creatures created by Jehovah we are to be kind to animals and be good caretakers of them.  Abusing or neglecting them out of greed or sport shows disrespect for the creator.

 

At the same time, animals are a resource that Jehovah placed at our disposal.  He gave us animals for food and other materials.  He was pleased when an animal was killed as a sacrifice to him because of what it meant from the human offering it.  Donkeys and bulls were put to work carrying heavy loads to grind grain into flour.

 

So with these thoughts in mind I dont have an issue with animals being used in entertainment or other ways that benefit humans.  As long as they are not maliciously abusing or neglecting the animal and treating it with respect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Drawing upon the agricultural way of life, Solomon teaches two lessons in goodness. “The righteous one is caring for the soul of his domestic animal,” he says, “but the mercies of the wicked ones are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10) The righteous man treats his animals with kindness. He knows their needs and has concern for their welfare. A wicked person may say that he is concerned about animals, but he is not stirred by their needs. His motives are selfish, and his treatment of animals is based on the profit that he might make from them. What such a person considers adequate care for animals might actually be cruel treatment." --- w03 1/15

 

I think when it comes to circus animals in general, this is all too often the case. Usually, it's all about the money first, and welfare of the animals second, or even worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've been to zoos. Though I've never been to a circus since my parents could not afford to buy tickets for all their children.  But, as an adult, I had the opportunity to visit wild game in their natural habitat while visiting Kenya (i.e., elephants, giraffes, pink sea of flamingos, monkeys, crocodiles, behemoths, lions).  Once you see how beautiful Jehovah's creation are as they are roaming on the plaines of Amboseli, in and around Mount Kilimanjaro and in parks, it pains me to come back home and see them behind cages.  (IMO)

 

Also, I visited a public zoo in Cote d'Ivoire in 1998 where I sadly witnessed a caged lion walking around in circles and a female elephant banging her head against a wall. (I was so upset, I told my friends I want to leave.) So, no doubt a wild animal being confined in a enclosed area has detrimental effects on their mental well-being.  That said, I don't think I would visit another zoo at all.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Circus animals. They are trapped. The were not meant to do tricks for humans. I feel the same about zoos. Trapped for us to gawk at them. And, I think behind the scenes, they are abused. And, OT, but I think clowns are hideous. They have always scared me. 

Domestic animals. Jehovah gave them to us to care for, and enjoy. Which has been horribly abused. I am so looking foreword to not seeing starving cats and dogs. Strays. Dead animals along the roadside. 

In service, I have gotten so I just can't look at them. I have been known to go buy dog food for the poor things that are left to starve. No food, water. I try to control that, though. We are not there to feed animals. Feed humans spiritually. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Miss Bea said:

Circus animals. They are trapped. The were not meant to do tricks for humans. I feel the same about zoos. Trapped for us to gawk at them. And, I think behind the scenes, they are abused. And, OT, but I think clowns are hideous. They have always scared me. 

Domestic animals. Jehovah gave them to us to care for, and enjoy. Which has been horribly abused. I am so looking foreword to not seeing starving cats and dogs. Strays. Dead animals along the roadside. 

In service, I have gotten so I just can't look at them. I have been known to go buy dog food for the poor things that are left to starve. No food, water. I try to control that, though. We are not there to feed animals. Feed humans spiritually. 

I am also waiting Satan's gone too :thumbsup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a side point, I thoughtthis was interesting regarding the muzzling of bulls while threshing.

http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000838?q=1+cor+9%3A9%2C10&p=par

Quote

 

The apostle Paul applied to God’s Christian servants the principle embodied in the Law with respect to not muzzling a bull while it is threshing, indicating that just as the working bull was entitled to feed on the grain it was threshing, likewise the one sharing spiritual things with others is worthy of receiving material provisions. (Ex 23:4,12; De 25:4; 1Co 9:7-10

 

I had always thought of the muzzle like on a dog to prevent them from biting.  Thats not a concern with a bull.  Evidently the muzzle was to prevent it from eating the grain it was threshing.

 

It wasnt that Jehovah viewed the muzzle itself as wrong but that because the bull was doing the work, he deserved a share.

 

Thought that was interesting. 

Edited by JSmith
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding zoos it depends on the zoo. I have seen some where the poor beasts where enclosed in miserable cages, but now they tend to be different.

 

There is a zoo in northern Spain in a town named Cabárceno. The place has been an iron mine and a quarry from the time of the Romans until recently, so the whole mountain is like a Swiss cheese full of huge several-mile-wide craters. Those have been adapted to resemble different habitats and they're so huge that the animals that live there do not even notice they are enclosed. Species that usually live together are in the same habitat, for example giraffes, ostriches, gazelles...

 

If you love animals and ever have a chance to visit Spain you shouldn't miss that place. Animals there are happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, carlos said:

Regarding zoos it depends on the zoo. I have seen some where the poor beasts where enclosed in miserable cages, but now they tend to be different.

 

There is a zoo in northern Spain in a town named Cabárceno. The place has been an iron mine and a quarry from the time of the Romans until recently, so the whole mountain is like a Swiss cheese full of huge several-mile-wide craters. Those have been adapted to resemble different habitats and they're so huge that the animals that live there do not even notice they are enclosed. Species that usually live together are in the same habitat, for example giraffes, ostriches, gazelles...

 

If you love animals and ever have a chance to visit Spain you shouldn't miss that place. Animals there are happy.

Shawn mentioned going to the San Diego Zoo, there is a wild animal park about 30 miles from the zoo where the animals for the zoo are raised. The animals are in large specie compatible habitats and appear to be well cared for, we'd rather go there instead of the zoo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding zoos it depends on the zoo. I have seen some where the poor beasts where enclosed in miserable cages, but now they tend to be different.

 

There is a zoo in northern Spain in a town named Cabárceno. The place has been an iron mine and a quarry from the time of the Romans until recently, so the whole mountain is like a Swiss cheese full of huge several-mile-wide craters. Those have been adapted to resemble different habitats and they're so huge that the animals that live there do not even notice they are enclosed. Species that usually live together are in the same habitat, for example giraffes, ostriches, gazelles...

 

If you love animals and ever have a chance to visit Spain you shouldn't miss that place. Animals there are happy.

There are some really great zoological gardens where animals are studied, sheltered and treated well. Circuses, however, cannot possibly allow for animals to live under similar conditions as their wild counterparts. They are not like our domesticated animals. The elephants, for example, need the wide open spaces or large forests depending on the type.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only zoo I liked, was the Orana Park in Christchurch. When we travelled a few days down to our Convention in Dunedin a few years ago ... we visited this free range park.

 

www.oranawildlifepark.co.nz if you have a peek at the video ... you'll see it's very natural with the animals running in natural habitats rather than cages, Lions/Tigers being the exception. But the other animals ... there was only a thin electrical wire separating us. You could touch the Rhinos and feed the giraffes. If I lived in Christchurch I'd be there as often as I could.  

 

I don't mind dog tricks if it's obvious the dogs are happy and they love their trainer there has been a few on BGT that were quite good.

 

But anything that oppresses the animals just for money or through ignorance or cruelty is not on.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I don't see anything wrong with it as long as their not abused in their training. At the same time though, I don't like the idea of wild animals being in captivity. They need to roam in the wild. Here's an interesting scripture... 
image.png

To some, keeping non-domestic animals in captivity is a form of abuse in itself.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

About JWTalk.net - Jehovah's Witnesses Online Community

Since 2006, JWTalk has proved to be a well-moderated online community for real Jehovah's Witnesses on the web. However, our community is not an official website of Jehovah's Witnesses. It is not endorsed, sponsored, or maintained by any legal entity used by Jehovah's Witnesses. We are a pro-JW community maintained by brothers and sisters around the world. We expect all community members to be active publishers in their congregations, therefore, please do not apply for membership if you are not currently one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.

JWTalk 22.1.2 (changelog)