Ringling Brothers Circus Comes to an End

I was lucky enough to see one of its last performances, in early April.

Kenneth Feld, the chairman and chief executive of the circus owner Feld Entertainment Inc, said at the show: "It's incredibly heartwarming to see all of you that have come out for the final performance".

PETA is giving itself far too much credit.

More than 146 years of dazzling audiences, the Ringling Brothers circus will still go down as "The Greatest Show on Earth".

Many in the audience had tears in their eyes as they sang, and performers on the show floor hugged.

Over the years, he had taken his children to the Ringling circus as many as 25 times.

A clown holds up his cell phone to record the end of the final show of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Uniondale, N.Y.

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Although the animal activists never prevailed against Ringling in court, they were victorious outside.

Feld Entertainment, the company that owned Ringling Bros., announced in January that the shows were ending because of to declining ticket sales after it retired its troupe of elephants in the wake of battles with animal rights groups, The New York Times reported. In May 2016, the company removed elephants from its shows, but ticket sales continued to decline.

Unless your heart is forged of titanium, you can not be in favor of cruelty to animals. The circus has long defended its treatment of animals as humane.

If there was angst over the remaining Ringling animal performers, it was not evident at the midday performance. "No matter what it is, they rise to the top", he said. Now she is turning her efforts toward other USA circuses that still use animals. For the truest believers, the idea is, any use of an animal by a human is abuse.

The secret of the circus's success, he told the crowd, was "the people - it's the spirit, the dedication, the perseverance of everyone that you'll see tonight that makes the impossible possible". It opposes not just experiments on living animals in labs but the dissection of already dead animals in school biology classes.

Ashley Byrne of Brooklyn was also at the final show Sunday night, but she was standing outside the arena with about 50 other protesters holding a sign that read "Send the animals to sanctuaries!" Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer, a self-professed opponent of "speciesism", wrote in 1979 that "the life of a newborn [human] is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee". And don't even think about buying a sweater (sheep exploitation), let alone that fur coat.

Washington-based Charlotte Allen writes about social and cultural issues.

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