Ringling Bros. Elephant Abuse Show Comes to Nashville This Weekend

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The Greatest (Animal Torture) Show on Earth comes to town this weekend when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus hits the Sommet Center for seven shows today through Sunday.

You don't have to be a vegetarian or hardcore animal rights activist to be pretty disgusted by the treatment circus animals receive. In fact, it's mind-boggling that so many people condone this behavior just so little Tommy and Susie can see an elephant ride a Harley or whatever the hell it is they do. I'm sure Tommy and Susie would be screaming and crying if they saw the hellish lives these animals lead when they're not onstage.

That's not to say the Ringling folks don't have a sense of humor. Take this page from their website, devoted to their Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, which was no doubt developed to counter the increasingly negative publicity they've received over the years (and to keep them stocked with more doomed elephants):

A lifelong symbol of The Greatest Show on Earth®, the Asian elephant is a respected and revered member of the Ringling Bros.® family. In the interest of the species' present and future well-being, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation® was established in 1995. Located in central Florida, this 200-acre, $5-million, state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the conservation, breeding and understanding of these amazing animals.

A respected and revered member of the family, huh?

Like the saying goes, "There's a sucker born every minute." Damn, who was it who said that again? I used to have a memory like an elephant's, but I'm drawing a blank.

For more on the happy lives of circus animals, visit PETA's website devoted to the subject. You can also see our slideshow of PETA's Nashville protest here.

And don't even get me started on how creepy clowns are.

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