CARING ABOUT HUMANS - PETA'S NEW WEAPON FOR FIGHTING ANIMAL ENTERTAINMENT
You have to give them credit. When PETA (or any other animal rights group for that matter) sees an opening, they take it.
The group who recently called for a man to be hung is claiming that it wants to protect its fellow humans from harm as a tactic in the fight to end all animal entertainment. Recently, SeaWorld lost a legal battle to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after the safety of its trainers was called into question following the death of a whale trainer at one of the parks. This led to the release of a documentary called Blackfish, which put SeaWorld and its animals in a negative public spotlight.
OSHA’s legal victory has forced SeaWorld to physically separate its trainers from the whales to avoid any potential workplace hazard. This ruling actually makes the SeaWorld trainers’ jobs harder, and it could negatively affect the whales also, but that is an argument for another day.
PETA has now seen that it can use human safety as a means to achieve regulations on the animal entertainment industry, specifically circuses and zoos. Courtesy of The Washington Post, we found that the group has filed a petition with OSHA to “prohibit humans from physically interacting with elephants in captivity."
Once again, it should be mentioned that without physical interaction, these animals would not receive the proper treatment and care necessary if they are to be in these parks or circuses. PETA knows this, and it knows that these restrictions would force many to follow the lead of companies such as Ringling Bros., which has announced that it will phase out its elephant performers from traveling shows by 2018.
The owner of a Florida-based circus, Justin Loomis, strongly disagrees with the notion that decreased physical contact is a good thing for all involved:
“I think protected contact is totally a bad thing, for a lot of reasons. Man and elephant have worked together for 100s of years, and to try to take that away from us is kind of crazy. I think there’s a danger in almost every profession, whether you’re an airline pilot, or in the military. The circus is an easy target, because we’re not a huge industry. Are they going to stand up and say the horse racing people are next?”PETA attempted this strategy with elephants back in 2011, but OSHA denied the petition at the time. However, with the recent SeaWorld controversy and OSHA’s decision on that matter, the door was open for PETA to take another shot as the circus industry, for which it shows great scorn.
Public support has shifted in PETA’s favor on the basis of animal entertainment, or at least in the media, which seems to give the animal rights industry very favorable coverage. This latest attempt by PETA is a thinly-veiled excuse to gain more public support, which in turn would lead to more money. Ringling Bros. spokesman Stephen Payne agrees with this opinion:
“Recognize that this is coming from an organization that doesn’t know anything about caring for elephants. This has nothing to do with safety, this is a publicity stunt.”Human safety is very low on PETA’s priority list. Its policies, words, and actions over the years substantiate this. The depths it will plunge to achieve success are despicable to most who are aware of them, whether it be the exploitation of women and children, the comparison of animal use to human tragedies, and even supporting a dog kill shelter in Virginia.
PETA may one day gain enough influence to eventually see an end to all animals in circuses, but we hope that the public will at least see this group for the radicals they are, now and forever.