In a history-making and headline-grabbing announcement, Ringling Bros. has told the world that it’s closing down (officially this May) after more than 140 years in business. Why? Reasons cited by the Big Top giant include dropping attendance over the years as well the public’s changing view on the use — and abuse — of animals in entertainment.
Indeed, this historic moment comes after decades of animal advocates speaking out and pulling back the Big Top’s curtains to expose the hidden cruelties. In our earlier years, COK was there, organizing and participating in various efforts — and every year supporting teams of volunteers and local activists — to shed light on the truth whenever Ringling Bros. came through our nation’s capital. Watch the below clip featured in COK’s 2005 highlight video, celebrating our first 10 years of compassionate action for animals!
Congratulations to all of the amazing organizations and passionate individuals who have fought for this day! Together, we’re celebrating, in memory of all the animals who have suffered in the name of Ringling Bros., and we’re also celebrating in honor of those animals who will be spared such misery.
A wave of change is moving through SeaWorld too. Inspired in part by the documentary Blackfish and the heartbreaking stories of orcas like Tilikum, who was captured from the sea and died at SeaWorld after more than 30 years in captivity, many people have stopped going to aquariums.
While majestic wildlife like elephants and whales suffer in chains and tanks, farmed animals too are enduring cruelty on a massive scale in cages and dark windowless sheds. But change is happening on this front, too. As Compassion Over Killing has shown time and again, undercover investigations are vital to expose the cruelty kept hidden from the public by animal agribusiness, and can create major change impacting millions of animals.