The Force of the Horse

Elephant Retirement: Will Ringling Bros. move be a game-changer?

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  1. As my pet cat whose 18 laid dying I told her I loved her and through hot tears would miss her. She. Put her head in my hand and wrapped her left paw around my fingers tightly. She pulled through for awhile longer. She knew my pain and held MY hand. Later she popped upon the arm of the couch and placed one paw outstretched on my leg. She looked at me with adoration and pity and seemed to say here now…it will be ok. If a kitty can relate my sorrow and pain to her probability of expiration and defy the vet to come home to comfort me….then what have other people been missing? On the otherhand…..I have mixed feeling about elephants and circus. I saw many circuses as a child and longed for the animals to be heard and understood however part of me is frustrated that they will be on display no matter how natural instead for the profit of sanctuaries. Its the way of it. No matter where theres a string attached. As for other animals in the show I dont want suffering but we also see sanctuaries misleading people. They say no you cant have wild animals for pets and show animals and then they are on tv showing those folks rolling on the ground laughing with tigers. The double standard is appalling. I knew an untrained wildlife expert who had well cared for animals be more professional than many degreed trained experts that have been lax and even attacked yet they wanted to prevent him from having those animals. Theres a balance missing. The intelligence of the person and the animals is compromised when you think in terms wild animals. That indicates untamed….unwanted…useless…detrimental…and thats where proslaughter and supposed animal vigilantes come into the picture. So when we see wild we see. natural…free and spiritual. See the difference in views. Thats n y honest opinion and I cane to it by observing all things wild and tame. Degrees are nice but paper isnt teaching sentient and openminded thinking in fair treatment. The circus isnt archaic it just needs to be revamped on how to communicate and handle animals. Opening a new training and communication removes abuse. Yes sanctuaries for elephants are pleasant but theres has to be more human development. The more animals removed from in front of children the less they will give a damn. Remember the next generation may be looking at glow sticks but they are absorbing everything thats going on. Either we train them to care about animaks and communication or they care about cars and guns. I am happy the elephants will be retired however there will no longer be exposure to wildlife in captivity for millions of people. Look at the attitude of the ranchers towards wild horses and ren ember we dont want the rest of the World to become that way. Thats a hard cowpie to swallow. Teach the circuses better animal handling and teach more open communication or youve changed nothing. Even as animal advocates you can retire or save animals but without teaching change and proper handling and developing communication youve changed nothing by simply removing an elephant. And if you dont change human beings you cant complain about their actions.


    J. Allen Boone

    Excerpt from the book:

    Whenever I think of the great lessons that animals have taught me, I feel special gratitude to a wise little philosopher who for some time was my clandestine companion and tutor. Our friendship was clandestine because this particular fellow adventurer happened to be a skunk. Not a “home-broken” specimen but one who lived a bold and independent life of his own with great skill and success considering the general disapproval of him.

    His name was Zephyr. Somewhere in the hills near by he had an undiscovered hideaway where he could safely spend his days without being shot at. Nearly everyone in the neighborhood hated him for his nocturnal visits and feared him for the things he did to the surrounding atmosphere when they violated what he regarded as his rights as an American citizen.

    Zephyr specialized in prowling around in back yards, cellars and garages in quest of food and adventure. This naturally brought him into frequent conflict with the neighbors. They often mistook him for a big cat in the darkness and used indiscreet methods in trying to evict him, thereby reaping dire results. They used almost every known method to end his career, but none of them had ever been successful. He was too smart for them with his defense and offence techniques.


  3. Sometimes, Wild Animals and Humans can have the best of both worlds.
    We can learn so much from them

    J. Allen Boone


    When I was a tiny tot we had a skunk that sometimes shared our house. Not a pet skunk, mind you, but a wild skunk with all stinkbombing apparatus intact. This skunk slept in the bottom drawer of a built-in bureau. Mr. Skunk had somehow found his way in through the walls and into that drawer. My mom let him stay. She communicated with him both verbally and mentally. Somehow she made him understand that he was welcome as long as he confined himself to that one drawer and never sprayed his scent anywhere on the property. He cooperated, and got a nice, cozy indoor bed.

    One of my earliest memories is of opening that bottom drawer, thinking “Skunk is sleeping,” closing the drawer, and continuing on with my diaper-clad day. It was the most natural thing in the world to me that Mom communicated with critters, and I’ve always done the same.

    So we come to late 2010. My frail, elderly mother says to me, “I have a book I want you to read,” and she hands me Kinship With All Life. “This is the philosophy I used when I was raising you kids.” All these years, and I never knew she got it from a book!

    Now I’ve read the book, and I feel fortunate to have grown up with the philosophy. None of it seems strange or ridiculous to me, because I’ve been doing it from infancy. All it takes is respect, humility, and the recognition that real communication is silent and comes from the heart—yours and theirs.


  4. “The children are innocent until proven guilty. For their sake, not ours, we must soldier on, muddling our way toward frugality, simplicity, liberty, community, until some kind of sane and rational balance is achieved between our ability to love and our cockeyed ambition to conquer and dominate everything in sight. No wonder the galaxies recede from us in every direction, fleeing at velocities that approach the speed of light. They are frightened. We humans are the Terror of the Universe.”
    ― Edward Abbey


    • No wonder the galaxies recede from us in every direction, fleeing at velocities that approach the speed of light.

      I love it. Well said! Any other life form is wise to avoid us. I don’t think seeing elephants in captivity is teaching children anything but how to maintain animals in captivity. It is up to parents and schools to teach children. I think Ringling Bros. has seen the writing on the wall and wishes to update its entertainment for the future – which isn’t Victorian-era zoos, circuses and ‘freak’ shows!


  5. Every time I sign a petition to stop the slaughter of Africa’s elephants I leave a comment stating they may only have 10 years at the most. One village elder has said the the herds of elephants that used to pass their village going to water have all but disappeared which tourists made special trips to see. The US is one of the major markets for ivory, the crooks dye the ivory a brownish color to make it appear old so no one will notice or ask where it comes from. The Chimps that used to number in the millions at the turn of the century in Africa are going the same way they are being killed for bush meat which is sold in the open air markets. This was the reason the labs all over the world started breeding them in captivity including the US decades ago. By the time the human race finally dies out every country if countries still exist will not have much if any wildlife left to kill.


  6. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth. ~ Henry Beston


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