Shriners Are Still Abusing Elephants & Defeating Elephant Protections
Shriners across the U.S. hire traveling circuses for fundraising. That makes them responsible for the circus elephants who are forced to perform grotesque acts as they endure sad, deprived lives on the road. Shriners in Maine recently defeated the proposed legislation, LD396, “An Act To Limit the Importation of Elephants” that would have protected elephants. Shriners got their wish and they will continue to exploit elephants for fundraising.
The money that the Kora and Anah Shriner chapters (temples) raise by exploiting elephants and other captives in circuses does not go to the twenty-two Shriner Hospitals for Children. It goes to fund the operations of the chapters including such things as building maintanance. This is true of Shriners across the U.S. who also exploit elephants, making them one of the biggrest sponsors of captivity and abuse of fellow animals. Shriners also hold many non-circus fundraisers that actually go to Shriner Hospitals for Children. They are creative and successful without exploiting elephants. Obviously, they can choose to raise money for their administrative expenses this way as well.
Shriners across the U.S. have tricked the public into believing their circus fundraising is harmless family entertainment. They hide from children how elephants suffer during long trips in close confinement as they are trucked from town to town, month after month. This stresses and harms elephants physically and psychologically in ways unique to traveling circuses. Their elephant sensibilities are assaulted by crowds of shouting people and demeaned when children and adults pay to ride on their backs.
Shriners effectively lie to children about what their circus tickets pays for. This, and elephant abuse, runs counter to the Shriners Creed, described in The Fez Owner’s Manual: “As individuals, we pledge ourselves to integrity, virtue and nobility of character.”
We are moving as a society to understand that elephants belong in Africa, and if already captive, they should be moved to accredited sanctuaries where they can live as close to normal lives as possible. Shriners are doing their best to prevent that and should not be supported.