Why Freeing Elephant Performers Is Not Nearly Enough

The costumes are coming off, the shackles are being unlocked, and the boxcars are opening. After more than 130 years, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus will retire its elephants. It's an important step — but animals need legal rights, and not just laws that treat them like things. »3/18/15 11:20am3/18/15 11:20am


In the 1930s, daredevils would drive up walls with lions for passengers

Last week, we met a lion tamer who used his powers of persuasion to transform his cats into a stately throne. Today, we will examine the defunct practice of corralling large, semi-unpredictable cats into motordromes, training them to sit in sidecars, and tearing ass up perilous inclines with these apex predators in… »8/27/12 11:15am8/27/12 11:15am

In 1916, a circus in Tennessee sentenced an elephant to death by hanging

In the early 1900s, it wasn't uncommon for humans to use their waxing technological prowess for the express purpose of torturing the hell out of animals. In one particularly mind-boggling incident, a five-ton circus elephant named Mary was condemned to death by hanging after her owners nixed executions by firearms,… »5/24/12 12:35pm5/24/12 12:35pm