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Should the County Commission ban traveling shows and circuses with exotic animals?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 5, 2005

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Photo of Naomi Pennington

“Yes. We have enough exotic animals in town already.”

Photo of Kate Edell

“You can’t ban shows with exotic animals. It wouldn’t be fair to the children. Every kid goes to the circus.”

Photo of Jeff Reese

“No, because you have to keep circuses around for the kids. They’re an American tradition.”

Photo of Jeremiah Teller

“I guess it would depend on who it was and how they were treating the animals. It would be nice to have some sort of review process.”

Comments

doodlebears2020 9 years ago

I suggest, everyone who thinks children should get a chance to see abused, enslaved and imprisioned animals for their well-being, do some research. Try doing a google search for CIRCUS CRIMINAL Charges. Or why not watch some news footage? http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=circuselephants yeah, yeah its Peta TV but the footage was obtained from INSIDE EDITION. so dont even try to discredit it. Do you also condone your child contracting Tuberucolosis from sick elephants? (do a search for TB ELEPHANT HUMAN CENTER FOR DISAEASE CONTROL) Do you also agree your child should come into contact with clowns who are busted with internet child porn charges? (again, google search on cnn) Please do some damn research people, before flying off the handle, putting people down cuz they care about animals being abused. Serial killers started out killing and abusing animals. Agian do some research. I cant believe you all want your kids to be exposed to this type of crap. What kind of parents are you anyway?

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elejenn 9 years ago

Yes, such shows and circuses should be banned. Chaining animals, caging them and beating them is not what I want my child to see. I do not condone such behavior as being a tradition for the kids!

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italianprincess 9 years ago

How sweet of you to post all of that in here.

Yes, I may be returning home to Cali this next July after my son graduates from Free State but will always come back to the LJWorld daily to put in my view.

Thanks for your kind words and storms are coming now so its time to shut down until it passes.

Have a wonderful night.

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kns 9 years ago

Gee, Shad, you're a meanie! :( Yes, some of the questions here are kind of silly, I will grant you that.....but can't the rest of us daily/regular posters have a little fun with the questions anyway??

Italianprincess, you're right. I, too, miss the RR board. And I miss your daily posts. You were one of the warmest, kindest, most courteous, and thoughtful posters over on that board. And the same goes for this board too. :) I thought I heard you say once a while back that some day you may return to California. I hope that day isn't any time soon! Because if and when it happens, we're all gonna miss you around here when you're gone!

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italianprincess 9 years ago

I really miss the Reader Reaction.

It was my thing during my lunch break, and after the kids were in bed.

Its a wonder why some questions on here get more answers then others.

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kutwitch 9 years ago

This question is so assinine it makes my head hurt. For an area of the state that so gets off on it's reputation of liberalism it's seems that the leaders here prefer to make peoples decisions for them rather than allow free choice. If the people of Lawrence and Douglas County don't want to support acts that they feel contribute to animal cruelty than no one will buy tickets and these acts will be in essence banned by lack of financial support and not banned by legislation. The same is true for Wallmart or any other business that Lawrence or the surrounding areas try and stonewall. If the people of this area really don't want these things here than no one will give them patronage and they will go out of business. Don't want Ann Coulter coming here? Then don't go and see her even if it is to heckle. The fact of the matter is that the county and specifically the city don't really care what the people here want. Sure there are large, vocal groups who are against these things but they are not everyone and possibly not even a majority. The local governments here are so set on keeping Lawrence's liberal appearance that it is now often becoming just that, an appearance. So what if the homeless people of Lawrence routinely commit acts that would result in a citation to any non-street person. We, it seems, would rather be seen as a welcoming liberal town than enforce the laws equally for everyone. As a proud liberal I am often confused by the actions of our civic leaders. Of course animal cruelty is wrong and should not be supported but I will make the decision for myself about what I will support and what I won't. All these bans and decisions made by commisions and not by the people make me wonder wheter or not Lawrence is not just a conservative in sheeps clothing.

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Shad 9 years ago

you guys need to get a life. How can there be 27 comments on such a stupid question

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Das_Ubermime 9 years ago

Circuses are not excluded from the Kansas animal cruelty law. Supporting this ban for this reason is both misplaced in intention, and redundant to existing laws.

i_tching: Tigers are becoming extinct in the wild due to habitat loss and poaching. Until those issues are solved, taking captive-bred tigers from zoos and circuses and placing them in the wild will only hasten the extinction of the remaining tiger species.

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italianprincess 9 years ago

I certainly read the words wrong today ( city vs county ) when I posted this morning. I must have had the city on my mind at the time ( voting day you know ).

I have agree with my_Two_Cents though on this one.

The county is going to do what they want anyway, so I guess I will be taking my son elsewhere to see a circus show.

Have a great rest of the day everyone.

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Maya 9 years ago

Of course exotic animals in entertaining acts should be banned. Cruel treatment of animals should be prohibited across the board to include traveling circuses. Those animals spend most of their time in box cars traveling from town to town. As a result, they have joint and foot problems, among other things. I am sorry that some of you condone cruelty just so your children can see exotic animals. If you want to teach your children about animals, open a book or take them to the zoo, where the animals actually get to roam around. Have we actually reached a point where we consider the CIRCUS educational???

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kns 9 years ago

As a kid, I remember watching the movie The Elephant Man. (I've watched it several times since.) And after watching that movie, and seeing how "circus freaks" are so poorly treated and exploited....I am totally against any kind of circus! I mean, bearded ladies, midgets, and the sight of a three-legged man really don't do anything for me, entertainment-wise. I don't know about the rest of you!

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Fangorn 9 years ago

Sakuraba: Have you noticed those little boxes scattered around this site with business names and phone numbers in them? (Just in case you didn't catch their purpose, they have the word "advertisement" above them.) LJW gets paid money to put these ads on its site. And it's because people like us come to the site at all that allows them to do this. (no audience = no ad revenue) This is true whether or not a poster subscribes to the paper. neopolss' right to gripe about inane questions remains intact.

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i_tching 9 years ago

To Fanghorn: I too read the books decades ago (as an "escape" from Kurt Vonnegut!) and I've enjoyed the films in this, the 2nd time around. Though I well remembered Treebeard, I had forgotten the name Fanghorn.

The moniker "i-tching" is a pun on the Dao De Jing, which was called the Tao Te Ching way back when "Peking" was the name for Beijing, not just a way of cooking waterfowl.

When I first started posting on the Reader's Forum many years ago (during the great Creationism fuss,) I aimed for an inscrutable, provocative, enigmatic persona, and the cryptic-yet-wise sayings of the Tao serve as my unattainable models. Some other posters have addressed me as "itchy," I suspect in attempts at anemic ridicule.

But back to the circus topic. I have been to small circuses and have found these to be sad and pitiful. Hence I do not recommend these to anyone, and if these circuses were to go away altogether they would hardly be missed.

The fantastic Cirque du Soleil looks great on video. You just have to see the "Two Strong Men" to believe it. I was fortunate enough once to have seen that show in Montreal, but certainly the videos offer much better viewing vantages.

I contribute small amounts on a semi-regular basis into an international mutual fund (a Templeton fund,) in order to save enough for my own child to perhaps have that highschool trip to Europe that was so unaffordable to my family when I was of that age. Perhaps you could save a little in some similar way.

One of my old highschool associates used to parody Ben Franklin by saying "Save a quarter every day and pretty soon you'll have a dollar."

There are so few tigers left on earth that I fear there will be too few to reproduce in the wild at some soon date. I was actually thinking that your progeny someday visit a wildlife preserve to see these fine creatures, should any survive the next few decades. However, it is more likely that they will never, ever see a living tiger at all.

Lastly a personal question for Fanghorn: Are any members of your family gay? and if so, how might they stand on the marriage issue?

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Sakuraba 9 years ago

First of all, as the question states, should the County Commission ban . . .? The city commision and county commission are not the same thing. That's why they have different names. Although I do agree that Kansas in general should take a breather from the ban craze. Furthermore, if neopolss actually bought the LJW, he would know that Robert Riley comes up with the questions, interviews the people and writes the section. It's really not fair to complain about a publication you don't even pay to support. So in the future, please express your discontent to some poor kid who probably gets everyone their coffee and doughnuts. Peace out. signed, the Gracie hunter.

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macon47 9 years ago

i do not want any animal to be mis-treated, but the country commissioners surely have matters more important to address. our city commissioneers already have tried to micro manage our lives with their silly rules, Every time they pass a new ordinance, they have to re-write it because it was not thought out clearly from the get go i dont think the county needs to be as stupid

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Carmenilla 9 years ago

I guess I should add that a ban is a silly thing to do. We don't need no more stinking bans!!! Let the people make informed decisions please.

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Carmenilla 9 years ago

I think this ban is addressing the growing concerns of informed folks who realize that many exotic animal circuses often have neglectful and abusive tendencies pertaining to the care and treatment of their animals (esp. elephants-I consider these animals to be some of the most intelligent and beautiful in nature). The sad reality is that circuses have fallen out of favor in our modern world. The lack or revenue is probably why these animals are being mistreated. The money isn't there to purchase new animals so often the old ones are forced to keep going, way past their prime. Other economic conditions and underpaid staff probably contribute as well. There is a desperation there for both people and animals. It is so sad to see such a proud tradition fall to the wayside. I remember going every year with my family and loving the show. Now my activist animal lover of a daughter cringes at the sight of a circus poster.

Lastly, thank you Fangorn for taking the time to respond to my query. Obviously we stand on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to that hot-button issue. I voted today with my conscience knowing full well the friends and families that would be affected. I really believe that gay marriage would only strengthen our new way of looking at "the family". Family is often who you choose to love. And for me, its about creating more love in this world, not less.

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remember_username 9 years ago

Hey, maybe the LJW is attempting to affect the outcome of todays election by implying that the current city commission has gone completely around the bend.

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my_Two_cents 9 years ago

Okay NEW QUESTION " Should the people of Lawrence allow 4 people to decide what 80,000 people can do or not do"

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years ago

Hellsbells lets just ban fun of any type in Douglas Co.

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Das_Ubermime 9 years ago

IP: I agree with the sentiment, but think that it should be noted that this is the county commission, not the city commission. Additionally, if the only thing that the commissioners can bring against these businesses is that they have exotic animals, then what is the big deal? If they abuse their animals or workers, cite them for that. If they are a danger to the public, cite them for that. There is a proverb about babies and bathwater which these people really need to pay more attention to.

By the way, the exotic animals which Ms. Pennington is refering to are probably the people who hang-out on Mass.

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Fangorn 9 years ago

i_tching, I didn't see your post at the end of yesterday's question until just now. Fangorn is a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". (I was a fan decades before the recent movies opened this epic story to a wider [and younger] audience.) He is also called Treebeard and his race are called Ents, large tree-like creatures that are the oldest living things in Middle-Earth. When I started playing on-line games a few years ago, I got the feeling that I was a bit older than most of the other players. I adopted this name to reflect that and then began using it in other venues, like this forum.

Our screen names are an interesting part of this little on-line community. I've been considering yours. I think it's either a reference to a Chinese philosophy or an expression of a hesitency to scratch (thus the pause "_"). Am I close or clueless? (I realize some of you would have a ball answering this question about me, but it's directed to i_tching!)

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my_Two_cents 9 years ago

Italian princess I read you reply. What do you mean should we allow the city commission to bay another thing? They didn't ask anyone last time. they just do it.

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The_Original_Bob 9 years ago

Where's the article relating to this? What an odd question. Although, I'm not surprised the city commission is trying to ban something else. I have secretly obtained a list of other things the commission has lined up to add to the ban list for later in the year...

Alcohol Rock Music Spring Dresses Non-national chain businesses Pork products Cats Rational thought

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neopolss 9 years ago

Haven't we banned enough things yet? Instead of having the choice to go or not to go, let's simply have no choice at all!

Who thinks up these questions?

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remember_username 9 years ago

Traveling whatever with exotic animals should already have ordinances that protect the animals from abuse and protect the domestic population from disease, so why ban them. I couldn't find an associated article so I don't understand the problem.

I admit I'd much rather show my children exotic animals in a zoo setting than a tiny circus. It's much more realistic and often cheaper than a circus. I agree with i_tching regarding the Cirque du Soleil. If they ever come through KC don't miss it - it's like Dr. Seuss live.

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Larry 9 years ago

kns,

I believe that Naomi is talking about all the liberals.

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kns 9 years ago

We have enough exotic animals in town already??

Huh? What?

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Fangorn 9 years ago

Um, i_tching, I don't quite have the budget to send my daughter to those places tigers are most likely to reproduce in the wild. Perhaps if you and others started contributing to a travel fund I could set up, then in 20 years maybe enough will have accumulated that I could send one of my grandchildren to see one and report back to the family. . . . Excuse me, I need to go find a napkin; I seem to have some sarcasm on my chin.

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italianprincess 9 years ago

The question should be........

Should we really allow the City Commission to ban yet another thing here in Lawrence.

I have taken my son to two of the traveling circus shows that have come through Lawrence and he has a great time when there. He enjoys them just like any other child would.

Banning the circus wouldn't be the brightest thing to do. Some of the citizens of Lawrence already have problems with certain bans, why would they want to upset the children as well.

Have a great day everyone.

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i_tching 9 years ago

The best circuses, such as the formidable Cirque du Soleil, no longer use animals.

If you like sad little third-rate circuses, then I suppose you will see lame old animals jumping hoops with all the excitement of a cow stepping over one of its own pies... or not.

So give yourself the best. See Cirque du Soleil.

Leave the tigers free somewhere to reproduce as much as possible, so that maybe there'll be one or two left in a decade for your grandchildren to see, not just read about.

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Bowhunter99 9 years ago

Yes, they should be stopped. Howard Dean and the rest of the clows on the Democatric Three Ring Circus should not be allowed to performed around here.

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lunacydetector 9 years ago

i haven't seen the article yet, but!, i don't know why it's a big deal. Who is making this a big deal?

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Fangorn 9 years ago

Jonas: Sorry, you'll have to wait at least one more day for your "Roy's championship" question!

Children love to see interesting animals at the circus. It would be a shame to ban them. btw, what exotic animals does Lawrence already have? Having been raised in a rural area, last week's run-away rooster doesn't qualify.

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