Animal entertainment refers to any animal
Animal entertainment refers to any animal(s) used to act, perform, fight or even kill for the enjoyment of humans. This includes a number of different types, which include: circuses, zoos, bullfighting, safaris etc. Except for a few situations, most animals are removed from their natural habitat and may be starved, beaten and maltreated to become submissive to a trainer. However these types of activities provide a personal experience with animals as well as they educate people regarding the various animal species and their respective behaviours. Archeological findings in Macedonia that date back to 2,000 B.C.E. unveil that lions were kept in cages for the benefit of humans. Furthermore, The Maximus Circus which is a popular and one of the most well-known entertainment venue, set about in 2 B.C.E. It was popular for human and lion gladiators who would fight each other to death, and for the chariot race which often resulted in death to both the horse and the rider. This proves that animal entertainment has been going on for a very long time.
Using animals for entertainment means taking animals out of their natural environment, breeding them in captivity, and keeping them confined in cages and engaging them in unnatural behavior, all for our amusement. In fact when a facility breeds too many animals they are sometimes sold to laboratories, traveling shows, canned hunting facilities, or to private individuals (“Ten Fast Facts”). When animals are bred in captivity, they do not inherit their natural instincts and become completely dependent on humans. According to the University of California, habitat loss is probably the greatest threat to the variety of life on this planet today. To add on, keeping animals in enclosed territories makes them depressed and get a condition called Zoochosis where the animal keeps swinging back and front.
For most acts to be successful, entertainers have to train the animals and, the standard form of training in circuses is punishment. Training methods are often brutal and dangerous and can include use of whips, beating canes, electric pods and deprivation of food. Trainers use this form of training to break the animals’ spirit and make them fearful enough to listen better (“Animals Used”). The forms of punishment are appalling to even think about, let alone read in detail. Some animals are drugged to make them “manageable” or to increase their performance. E.g. Horses are injected with cocaine and other illegal drugs to disguise the pain they might feel during races.
Circuses do not typically stay in one location for long periods of times, meaning that all of the animals must be crated, chained, and caged to travel. Many circus animals are transported for 11 months a year in box carts, without temperature control, nor separate spaces for sleeping, eating and defecating. Horses and ponies spend up to 96 percent of their time tied with short ropes in stalls, or secured to trailers, whereas, lions and tigers spend between 75 and 99 percent of their time in severely cramped cages on the backs of trailers, and, elephants spend 58 to 98 percent of their time chained by at least one leg. This leaves animals with very limited if not any time to walk around freely. Transport has been shown to cause many indicators of stress including increased heart rate, raised hormone levels, lowered immunity to disease, hormone levels that affect pregnancies, weight loss, aggression and stereotypic behaviors.