retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus's three-rings will be a little less crowded in coming years, as the company has announced its intention to stop using trained elephants in its shows by 2018.

The Daily Beast story says that this is is a reactive decision: "Jurisdictions from Georgia to California have outlawed the use of 'bullhooks,' goads that animal rights people decry as cruel but circuses insist are humane and needed to control elephants.

"However humane present-day circuses may or may not be, the history of elephants in America is dominated by unconscionable cruelty. The Ringling ban can be seen as a kind of retroactive victory for the hundreds of elephants that were beaten, tortured, shot, and hanged over the years."

In fact, the Daily Beast writes, Ringling Bros. may "simply ... weary of fighting proposed bans in ever more cities, towns, and counties."

The circus folks may be weary of fighting legal issues, but I have to say, as a guy who used to love going to the circus (even going once or twice by myself when I was young and single, just because I liked it), I'm weary of what more and more seems to be the wanton abuse of animals. I'll never go to SeaWorld or any of its ilk again after seeing Blackfish ... not because I'm entirely convinced that everything the movie says is absolutely true, but because I'm tired of animals being manipulated for my pleasure.

The world has changed. We know more now about how these animals are treated by these profit-driven businesses. The magic is gone, and a greater level of transparency is in place, which affects how people feel and how they spend money.

Every business should pay attention. It is about who controls the narrative, and it is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: