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Saturday, March 02, 2024

It’s no surprise that the words bully and bullhook are so similar.

Ringling Bros. Circus exists through bullying animals. Bullhooks are heavy batons with a sharp metal hook on the end — picture a fireplace poker.

Elephants are beaten into submission with these cruel devices.

These keenly intelligent, active and social animals spend the vast majority of their lives in chains.

They learn to obey or pay the painful consequences.

Even though female elephants stay with their mothers for life, and males until their pre-teens, Ringling rips these infants away from their frantic mothers, ties them down with ropes by all four legs, gouges them with bullhooks and shocks them with electric prods to break their spirits and make them give up all hope and submit.

They’ll spend their lives balancing on pedestals and jammed in fetid boxcars, traveling from one town to the next.

Why would an institute of higher education support this cruel industry?

Students who care about animals should rise up and demand that UF tell the circus FU.

A version of this letter to the editor ran on page 7 on 1/15/2014 under the headline "UF should condemn Ringling Bros. Circus"

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