Here’s an interesting story that highlights why I believe it’s possible to be opposed to animal cruelty without falling into the hypocrisy of “animal rights.” Ice-skating Bear Kills Circus Head
From the story:
_A circus bear killed one person and injured another during rehearsals for an ice-skating show. The bear, which was part of the Russian State Circus, killed Dmitri Potapov, 25, a circus director who was visiting the show in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. An animal handler who tried to stop the attack suffered bruising to the brain and lacerations to his scalp. It is unclear why the bear, which was wearing ice skates at the time, attacked Mr Potapov. The bear was later shot by police. Deadly attacks are rare in the country’s circuses, which often train bears to wear skates and play ice hockey.
We read all the time about animal trainers getting mauled by their students. This generally occurs as the animal trainer is coercing a large and/or dangerous animal into doing something completely alien to its nature for the purpose of entertainment. It’s just one more side-effect of our species’ stubborn insistence on inflicting Bambi fantasies on wild animals.
Watch this Youtube video of Russian bears actually playing ice hockey:
I find this sickening. I don’t understand why anyone would want to watch these apex predators “performing,” doing something so alien to what they are and the wildness they symbolize. I don’t think it’s entertaning, I think it qualifies as cruelty.
However, that doesn’t make me a supporter of the concept of animal “rights” and it doesn’t make me a hypocrite for seeing absolutely nothing wrong with things like rodeos, horse races and retriever field trials, either. Why, because those activities don’t try to turn animals ino something they’re not. Regardless of human involvement horses will run, bulls will buck and dogs will hunt. But the day I see a bear – of his won free will – strap on a pair of ice skates and start playing hockey is the day I check myself into therapy.