Understand that for many circus people, wrote Megan O’Malley, a very gifted and dedicated blogger, musician, and employee of Ringling Bros. for the past five years,”…born into this life, it is more than just a job. It is all they have known, and all their parents have known, for generations. For their whole lives. They know nothing else. These people did not only hear, “you’ve lost your job tonight. They also heard, you’ve lost your home.”
Writing yesterday on Quora.com about Ringling Bros. decision to close the circus down in May after 146 years, O’Malley, who is perhaps the most eloquent writer about circuses in America today wrote: “I am grateful. I was able to be a part of something truly magical. I was able to walk alongside elephants, and the people who worked with them, and see firsthand that no animal abuse was taking place. Thank God I got to see that before the animal rights propaganda got to me. I had five whole years of being a musician. I got to see and do so much. However I feel about the Feld’s decision to end Ringling Bros, I cannot help but be grateful for having worked there.”
Somewhere between 400 and 800 people will lose their jobs when the Ringling Brothers circuses close this Spring, and perhaps their homes as well.
An unknowable number of the Asian elephants who worked in the circus will be sold, will be sent to one of the very few large animal preserves in America, or sent to slaughter. It costs between $600 and $800 a day to feed an adult Asian elephant, and they live for 40 years or more.
Read more at Bedlam Farm.