Circus is no laughing matter

Regarding the article ``Even Blase New Yorkers Cheer the Circus,'' June 17: The author presents merely the superficial pageantry of the circus. Glitz disguises the fact that circus animals are captives made to perform unnatural, often painful acts and are forced to undergo stressful training techniques based on fear and physical punishment.

Circus animals rarely breed in captivity, so stocks are replenished from the wild. Many are endangered species and a great percentage of animals captured die during transport.

Surely forcing wild animals to perform unnatural tricks is an inappropriate message to impart to our children. The frivolous use of these animals is in opposition to the idea that, as stewards of wild animals, we should protect natural ecosystems and depleted species, and ensure the humane treatment of all animals. Tempie Stahlin, Dexter, Mich.

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