I’d probably be the one holding the sign saying that the Circus Is Cruel To Animals, although I never used to think that way. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to go to the circus with my parents. It was a dream. The mixed smell of peanuts blending in with pink cotton candy wafting in the air. The taste of the cotton candy melting on my tongue, where did it go? The flashlights we used to twirl around and around in the dark. The twinkling lights, the aura of suspense, where to look, the anticipation, ah, the ringmaster! The whole event was magical, I truly loved it.
When I had children I couldn’t wait to take them to the circus, I was almost as excited as they were, maybe more. There is something about the circus that automatically transforms you into a child…until you grow up. Until you have watched a documentary or two and realized that tigers really don’t ride tricycles naturally and the elephants look old, and tired and do the monkeys really need to ride a motorcycle? Why are there so many whips around? My daughter, a vegetarian, realized it when she was older too and we never went to see a circus again. Why would we?
It’s the same reason that I won’t wear a fur coat. I wouldn’t throw red paint on someone who was wearing one, I think that is extreme, but I choose not to wear one. No act of violence, to me, is acceptable. Now, it is my choice not to attend the circus, but if someday I have grandchildren and they look at me with those innocent eyes, jumping up and down and begging as only children can do, I can’t promise I wouldn’t take them if their parents wanted me to. In fact, most likely, I would, just to see their eyes shine, to hear the jingle of laughter long forgotten, to buy them cotton candy and a flashlight to twirl in the magical magnificence and innocence of childhood.
Without a doubt I’d be a dog, but not just anyone’s dog, but my dog. A dog in my family is loved beyond reason, is treated with kisses and hugs and table treats and secret snacks. She is adored, deeply, fully; we go on walks, we play games in the back yard; I warm my feet underneath her body when she lies on the bed with me. We have a pretty albeit small home, we feel safe here together. My dog, Callie, gives back every ounce of love she gets and more. Every time one of us walks in the front door she is so happy to see us that she gives kisses and hugs and licks; there’s always a celebration at our house. A celebration of love and yes, she gets a small birthday party every single year that my daughter and I throw along with our neighbors. My husband and son are no longer even INVITED.
Besides, the dog and I have a secret promise together, something only we know. I promised never to leave her, ever, but also, not to let her suffer terribly in pain down the road. We will make decisions together, she and I, and that I will be with her, looking into her beautiful velvet eyes, as the last person she sees, the person who loved her the most.
I asked (and answered) this question to myself just yesterday as I was parked on a side street in another town. I sat sipping my cup of coffee and watched a parade of women walk down the street wearing different kinds of fur coats. I know, I know, it’s a controversial subject and I am not really for any type of violence but I was imagining taking large cans of red paint and tossing them on the coats a la like slushies on the television show Glee.
These women looked rich, really rich and they were wearing animals, dead animals and I hated it. Don’t give me the speeches about the animals are bred for fur coats and how warm they really keep you, deep inside I think that it is wrong. My own mother owns and wears fur coats and I hate it. My sister, however, will inherit them all since I have no interest in them. When I took my mother to the doctor the other day she was wearing a dead bunny jacket and it made me sick. She used to try to not wear these things when I was around, now she apparently doesn’t care or doesn’t remember. Given that my daughter is a strict vegetarian, maybe she would be more inclined not to wear it when she is around.
That’s my fantasy crime, I would NEVER do it, I don’t believe in doing it, I don’t believe in any act of violence. I don’t support PETA because they do those type of things but it certainly sends a message. It’s how the message gets across and the act of violence itself that I don’t support….except in my dreams.
What crime would you commit if you could get away with it?
Her name is Callie and I rescued her from an animal shelter nine years ago. She and her sister, 6 week old puppies were returned from a mean old man who took both of them for ONE WEEK and then returned them to the shelter because “they were too much trouble.” I guess I should be grateful to this guy because after all, that’s how Callie, my dog and I, met.
I was seated on the floor of the animal shelter when the woman in charge of the shelter put two puppies down on the floor with me. One was off eating electrical wires, the other one climbed into my lap and never left. I wanted to bring both the dogs home but my husband put his foot down on that idea. I couldn’t help myself, the little puppy that sighed after she snuggled into my lap was my dog forever. I’m sure her sister was a much braver dog, she probably goes for rides in cars and likes to explore things. My dog is happiest curled up next to me on the bed. She’s sensitive and intuitive. The other night I was sad and I was crying. Callie came on the bed and stood in front of me, licking my tears, kissing my face. I put my arms around her now gray and white neck and gave her a hug and we stayed like that for what seemed to be a long time. When I felt better, it looked as if she was smiling at me as she hopped down from the bed to happily lap up some water and go downstairs.