We’ve all been to county fairs, local community picnics, or other venues where people get together to celebrate heritage days, the passage of a milestone, the coming of fall, the blossoming of fruit trees, etc. At many of these events, animals may play a role. However, some of the roles these animals play seem to be far from conventional and often seem to be downright cruel.
Whether it’s releasing doves or butterflies from cages or boxes, tossing live turkeys from planes, or using live animals at “duck shooting” galleries, we each have to draw the line on what is fun with animals and what is cruel and inhumane.
So, the next time you attend a country fair, community picnic, or other event, find out before you go just what animal exhibits are going to be present. Will children be pitching pennies into goldfish bowls? If so, you might want to stay away. Or better yet, contact the organizers and let them know you won’t be attending their event because you find such an activity inhumane to the goldfish, who rarely live very long after the trauma of being won by a 6-year-old.
Even the seemingly benign pony ride for children may be inhumane as the animals are forced to circle endlessly for several days during the fair with a child who might not know the first thing about being astride a pony as he or she digs into the pony’s side or bounces roughly on the pony’s back.
If you are at a fair where you believe an activity is inhumane, contact the local animal control office or the sheriff’s office and let them know that the animals are being mistreated. Even if you are a visitor to the area, you should make such contact. Often we attend events on a regular basis and don’t really see what’s right in front of us. As an outsider, you may see more clearly than those who regularly attend these events that the tradition of terrorizing animals is inappropriate in today’s society.
When you think about it…animal cruelty can take many forms—some of them often labeled as entertainment. But just how entertained are the animals who are forced to participate?