I gave out leaflets with In Defense of Animals (IDA) against the Ringling Bros. animal circus at the Rose Arena. In just one short hour I came away disheartened and sad.
More than a dozen people stood with animal cruelty signs as I walked around trying to give the educational leaflets. In my soft words I asked them to look into an elephant's eye and see their pain. I asked them to THINK, do you have a brain? Cannot you see that it's archaic and a holdover from the days when the empire threw people to the lions, just for the entertainment of violence? No, they walk past you with smiles on their faces and children in their hands to pass on the sick entertainment to future generations.
I just don't get this lack of passion, especially for the elephants. Would they allow this to happen to their pets? Then what's the difference? Then I read troops are engaged in Baghdad to protect the Iraq military. Grey wolves, an endangered species, will be shot from helicopters and their pups gassed. Wild horses are rounded up and taken off the free range.
Standing with peace friends in resistance is more elevating. You don't see the troops march past you to shoot a civilian, whereas you do see parents and grandparents walking in to observe the animal abuse.
I happened to remember the song with lines, "The corn is as high as an elephant's eye. Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day. Everything's coming my way." It wasn't beautiful standing outside the circus and nobody seemed to care to look into the elephant's eye. Next time I will not interact with the public, I'll stand silent with a sign. I'll look for a glimmer of caring in human eyes.