When international supermodel Sherlyn Chopra learned how animal “performers” are beaten and broken under the big top, she jumped at the chance to pose for a PETA India anti-circus ad. In the provocative pic taken by renowned photographer Rakesh Shrestha, Chopra poses with a whip next to the tagline “Whips and Chains Belong in the Bedroom, Not in the Circus”.
Why is Chopra fighting mad? Despite the glittering image projected by circus advertising, performing animals’ lives are miserable. Handlers force them to engage in unnatural behaviour, such as walking on tightropes, riding bikes, sitting on seesaws and doing other meaningless tricks. These animals do not perform because they want to; they perform because they are afraid not to. Trainers use whips, chains and bullhooks (a baton with a sharp metal hook on the end) to beat animals into submission and force them to obey.
Follow Sherlyn’s lead and steer clear of circuses with animals. Write to the Ministry of Environment & Forests and ask officials to ban the use of animals in circuses.