Featured Letter: Standing with Marilyn against the circus

Protestors outside the Cole Bros. circus in Greenport in 2013. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)
Protestors outside the Cole Bros. circus in Greenport in 2013. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

To the editor:

I’m writing to thank Marilyn Flynn for her bravery despite the consequences for her protest actions against the Cole Bros. Circus. Since I’ve moved back to the North Fork 16 years ago, I am always dismayed to see posters announcing the circus is back in town. Marilyn is right about circuses promoting cruelty to animals. One of the biggest shows on Earth is put on by Ringling Brothers, which has been cited repeatedly for animal cruelty and abuse to elephants.

I don’t think that most of 5,000 spectators who attend the circus, as event chairman Kenny White says, would enjoy it so much if they knew how these animals are trained through a mixture of abuse, fear and intimidation. But everyone who does buy a ticket is in their own way perpetuating this abuse; most certainly, the Greenport Fire Department, which continues to make money off the backs of these abused animals.

If people don’t pay, circuses would fold.

Mr. White states that the animals are treated very, very well. But he does not see them when they are being trained. He only sees what the Cole Bros. want him to see. My father was a Greenport firefighter and an animal lover, and trust me, he would be appalled by the way animals are being treated in circuses.

As Anthony Douglas Williams stated: “If animals could speak, mankind would weep.”

Greenport Fire Department, Mr. White and ticketholders, please stop subsidizing cruelty.

And Marilyn, know that all animal lovers and people of good faith stand behind you in your efforts. My greatest wish would be to see all the wild animals in circuses retired and sent to sanctuaries where they can live out the rest of their lives in freedom.

Chrystle Fiedler, Greenport