Friday, December 17

Goodbye to the Circus

After two weeks of leafleting and holding signs outside the circus, the craziness is winding down. There are only five circus shows left - and we will have them all covered! While I'm so relieved that the demo is behind me, and most of the leafleting too, I think I'm mostly pleased that I won't have to drive past the circus every time I go to Fourways. It hurts my heart every time I see it, and think about those poor animals
The demo made photo of the day in a German newspaper.
While I'm relieved that it'll be over soon, I'm also keenly aware that it is never over for the animals. On Monday they will load the animals into hot trailers and truck them for hours to their next destination. Then the animals will have to perform complicated tricks twice a day, under the constant threat of punishment. For them, it really never ends

For me? I am tabling at the Bryanston Organic Market tomorrow, so stop by to say hello!

To find out more about future campaigns, please email me so we can add you to our activist network. 

Tuesday, December 14

News and Updates

  • This morning Ashley from PETA Asia and I were on Chai FM to talk about our anti-circus campaign. I am so grateful for the opportunity to talk to the public about what really happens to animals who are victims of the entertainment industry.
  • After the interview I went into a nearby shop, where someone saw my PETA tshirt and gave me her contact information so that I can let her know about our next campaign! It's always so fun to meet another activist and vegan.
  • This evening five activists and I leafleted outside the circus so that circus goers know what really goes on! I got to meet some really wonderful people, and we had a very positive response from the public. One of the activists - a first-timer - commented that doing this kind of work "really feeds your soul". I completely agree!
  • I am tabling at the Bryanston Organic Market this Saturday. Come along to get some literature and free stickers, or just to say hi! 
  • Email me if you would like to get involved in work we do in the future. 
  • I just found a really fun game: Super Chick Sisters! No need to ask what I'm doing with the rest of my evening.
  • Have a look at this amazing anti-fur march in Tokyo.
  • PETA has written a letter to Santa.

Sunday, December 12

CLAW Goodwill Christmas Carnival

Every year, the good people at CLAW put on a Carnival for the underprivileged children of Durban Deep, and surrounding areas. For just one day, the Cecil Payne Stadium in Roodepoort is transformed into an exciting fete, with clowns, a wizard, jumping castles, balloons and face-painting! 

My friends and I hosted our own stall, where the 780 children who attended could play fun games and win great prizes! 

We had treasure chests, where the children wore blindfolds and dug for fun prizes: 

A hula hooping contest: 

Musical statues: 

Fortunately, it didn't rain until the Carnival was over! I guess the Universe decided it wouldn't be fair to ruin the day! 

Cora Bailey, founder of CLAW, said: "The kids loved it!! For most of them its the only day out of squalor all year. They start asking about it early in the year. Bus trip, food, games, presents - loads of stuff we take for granted. Its not possible to host a day like this without the help of others." To make a donation to CLAW, click here

Wednesday, December 8

PETA Demo Makes the News!

We also made photo of the day

Anti-Circus Demo 07-12-10

What a fun, fantastic demonstration today! I was so overwhelmed by the turnout. We had over 40 people, which was far more than we expected. Thank you to everyone who came, brought friends, and did such a great job! Thank you also to everyone who dressed up as convicts - and to Pinnacle Digital Solutions for the posters and banner - the visual was fantastic.  

The news outlets who came were the Star, and Fourways Review. There was also a photographer from EPA. Please let me know if you see the demo in any of the media! 

Radio presenters Grant and Anele (5FM) apparently talked about how terrible the circus is, and gave the information about the demo on their show! Some people showed up because they had just heard about the demo on the radio, and decided to join us at the last minute! 

Thursday, December 2

The Circus

A 2008 study by NGO Public Watch found evidence that circus animals are "mistreated". This is not news, really, as animal rights organisations have been asking people to steer clear of the circus for decades. 

Photograph from the Sunday Times
The undercover investigation by Public Watch found elephants "chained by their legs for 19 hours a day; left outside in extreme heat with no shelter; given water only twice a day; and made to urinate on command." Elephants should not have to endure this unnatural lifestyle. 

Photograph from the circus's own website. I wonder what you have to do to an elephant to make him dance?
While acrobats, trapeze artists and clowns thrive on the thrill of performing, and the praise from the crowds, wild animals don't want to perform, or be anywhere near huge crowds! Studies of circuses around the world confirm this. I would love to attend a circus with only human performers - people who are skilled artists demonstrating their own agility - instead of one where animals are made to do tricks! 

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has photographs of "a chimpanzee in an 'extremely emaciated state', and another with broken teeth."
I am concerned about the basic logistics of a circus that performs six days a week, and travels on the seventh. As anyone who drives past the circus can see, the elephants are chained to a trailer when they're not performing. They spend the seventh day driving in a hot trailer to the next venue. This doesn't seem to leave any time to, you know, just be elephants. 

In this very moving video, renowned wildlife rehabilitation expert Karen Trendler talks about the methods that are typically used to make elephants do tricks. 
Brian Boswell and his lions. Photograph from
If you would like information on the Johannesburg anti-circus demo, please email me

Wednesday, December 1

The First of December

I have had some really fun experiences today and I just have to share them.  

First, I went to the Johannesburg Metro Police Department to tell them about next week's circus demo. (Email me for more info.) The first thing they asked was whether the last demo was a success - actually, whether we "won"! I thought this was very sweet! They also told me they would come to protect us from the circus people

While at JMPD, I was approached by representatives of the Golden Triangle Community Crisis Committee (Golcom). They were there to apply for a permit to protest about their right to housing, but wanted to talk to me about PETA. They have concerns about the dogs in their community, who are chained and caged for long periods. It always warms my heart when people who are living in shelters they have built themselves, with no electricity, reach out for help for mistreated dogs! They told me their own dogs sleep indoors, and they don't like to see dogs left outside

I contacted Community Led Animal Welfare, and received a positive response right away! Cora Bailey agreed to speak at the Golcom Community Meeting this Sunday, and take a team into the community next week to help them with their dogs. Please consider donating to CLAW to help with their fantastic work! 

I came home to discover that a friend had dropped off a whole bunch of toys for the stall I am hosting at the CLAW Christmas Carnival (an event that ensures 600 underprivileged children have a fun Christmas!). When I went to yoga, more toys had been collected for the carnival! 

Oh, and I also got to visit some of the happiest rescue animals I have ever seen!

Today set a pretty high standard which tomorrow probably won't meet.