MEGAN McMILLIAN: Animal Rights Advocate
While walking into the Akdar Shriner’s Circus in Tulsa, Ok., one snowy February morning, I noticed two protestors outside. They waved hand-made posters by the main road of 21st Street near the Expo Square building.
I was suprised to see they were two young women out here advocating for the animals that were to be used in the very circus I was headed to. Although the ladies were only two, and their signs mentioned Ringling Bros., these strong, powerful women braved the cold and the snow to raise community consciousness about something they believed in wholeheartedly: humane treatment of animals. The sight was significant in that these ladies are bold and awesome. As a woman, with affinity for animals, and for social action, I felt connection enough to speak with them. The following is what protester, Megan McMillian, shared with me that snowy day. 💙
My friend, Holly was the person who aroused my interest in advocacy. I saw her social media post regarding protesting the Shriner’s Circus and I wanted to participate. I was really ignorant to the maltreatment of animal by hospitality/resort companies and became interested.
Many of our friends are animal rights advocates, to the extent that they are also vegans (absolutely no animal byproducts such as: meats, milks, eggs, butter). They are serious about their convictions.
As an empathetic person, I feel animals should not specifically be utilized in circus-type shows, due to their inability to consent, as opposed to acrobats, magicians, fire-breathers, etc. who are paid and who choose to do the act.
“I believe they should leave the animals in their natural habitats to remain free to do what animals do.”
It’s been reported that these animals are chained, trained via fear and intimidation tactics. If animals are used in circuses, 90% of their lives are spent in captivity. They’re used to perform unnatural and sometimes dangerous feats: elephant head-stands, tigers leaping through rings of fire, and bears strapped in chairs to pose for souvenir photos. That is inhumane.
In all seriousness, if one wants to define humane, one should ask if you want to be chained or locked up. I have a cat and I wouldnt teach him to leap over a hot toaster, let alone into a firey ring.
This circus was my first protest, but if ever any cause is dear to me and needs my voice, I will definitely do this again. Other than that Im just a hard worker who believes in free speech; weather wont stop me.
Contact Megan: firstname.lastname@example.org
for further questions or protests!
Or to read more about circus animal maltreatment: