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Shriners International claims to be dedicated to compassion and service to others, yet its chapters continue to host notoriously cruel animal circuses. In the following video of Shrine circuses, an elephant is jabbed with a sharp bullhook, a tiger is whipped in the face, a bear urinates on herself while being forced to do a handstand, and other animals suffer in despair.
An animal behavior expert reported that although circus trainers, ringmasters, and other staff members have claimed that the animals at Shrine circuses perform tricks through rewards and trust, “what actually occurs is environmental and physiological neglect, psychological abuse, and coercing the animals to behave through dominance and fear-based techniques.”
Keeping far-ranging tigers inside cramped cages, forcing sensitive elephants to perform uncomfortable tricks under the threat of punishment, and dressing up curious bears in demeaning costumes is a form of speciesism—a human-supremacist worldview—and it must end.
Tell Shriners International to require that all its chapters’ fundraisers be animal-free.