PETA sets UniverSoul Circuses in its crosshairs

After claiming success for the closing of Ringling Brothers circuses, People for the Extortion, Torture and Abuse of human beings (PETA) now sets its sights on a new target: UniverSoul Circus.

The group lists UniverSoul circus as number two of the eight worst circuses and, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, has taken its harassment campaign to North Carolina where a circus event will be held.

Ford and others with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stood at the intersection Tuesday to protest UniverSoul, which kicks off its run in Greensboro tonight at the Greensboro Coliseum. The interactive show combines circus art, theater and music.

Tricia Lebkuecher, a PETA campaigner, said if kids knew how animals were treated in circuses, they would run “kicking and screaming” from the shows. She said animals are often beaten to get them to perform tricks.

In a statement on its website, UniverSoul Circus said “all animals are entitled to humane treatment.”

“We care about the [well being] of each of the animals that travels with and performs in our shows and we regard all of them as valued members of our performing cast,” the company says.

Two years ago, PETA tried to lie about two elephants that were slated to perform at one of UniverSoul’s performances in Detroit. The claimed the elephants were infected by tuberculosis (a disease common to the species). The company responded saying that the elephants were healthy and cleared to he used by the US Department of Agriculture.

UniverSoul was also sued by PETA in a Washington DC court for violations of its consumer protection ordinance amid allegations of animal abuse that was settled out of court during February of this year.

The fact that PETA expends so much time and effort to harass circuses, like UniverSoul, and takes credit for the demise of Ringling Brothers shows that they are less concerned about the welfare of elephants than they are about preventing humans from being entertained by them. Animal rights groups only use their rhetoric of humane treatment of animals as a tactical talking point. Their ultimate goal is to stop the use of animals for any reason by humans. In this case it is for entertainment purposes.