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Shriners International claims to be dedicated to compassion and service to others, yet its member clubs continue to host notoriously cruel animal circuses. PETA recently obtained horrific footage showing an emaciated tiger named King in desperate need of veterinary care as well as tigers pacing in cramped transport cages that are so small they can't even fully stretch.
An animal behavior expert reported that, while circus trainers, ringmasters, and staff 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."
In the following video of Shrine circuses, an elephant is jabbed with a bullhook (a sharp steel-tipped weapon resembling a fireplace poker), a tiger is whipped in the face, a bear urinates on herself while being forced to do a handstand, and many other animals suffer in despair.
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. .
Tell Shriners International to require its chapters to host only animal-free fundraisers.