Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Students deserve kudos for proposed ban on exotic animals

    The Sage School students involved in the project to ban circuses that rely on the use of exotic animals have done a considerable amount of research in an effort to prompt a change.
    The facts are indisputable. The training and confinement practices used to control elephants, lions, tigers, bears, chimpanzees and other exotic wild animals are cruel and abusive. Without exception, all exotic animals must have their spirits broken in order to train. Training techniques include the use of bull hooks, whips, electric prods, ropes, chains, social isolation and withholding of food and water. Traveling circuses are especially cruel because they need to confine animals in small spaces for excessive periods of time. This practice creates stress and disease, which is why most exotic circus animals prematurely die at a very young age.
    The level of ignorance relative to this abuse in the people who choose to support these circuses is unbelievable. What is even more disheartening is the number of parents who are aware of these facts and choose to turn a blind eye to this information in order to provide a couple hours of amusement for their children. Shame on them. Kudos to this amazing group of young people. Congratulations to their parents. You have raised children who are not willing to let someone else fix the problem. As parents, we want everything for our children. We want them to be happy. These young men and women have hearts as big as the animals they are trying to protect. In raising them to be compassionate human beings who navigate their lives based on love, you have assured them happiness and an inner peace that will be with them always, whatever their lot in life. I am humbled by them. Thank you to the city of Ketchum and the members of the Blaine County Commission for listening to these students and considering their proposal to affect change in this Valley.
Julie Gates

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