Vegetarian Actor Cloris Leachman Says Circus Elephants Aren’t Too Different to Elderly, Both Get Arthritis

Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Cloris Leachman has spoken out against elephant cruelty in a new video. Leachman, who has starred in films such as 1971’s “The Last Picture Show” and the TV series “Raising Hope,” features in a clip for the animal rights organization, PETA.

Throughout the video, the star urges fans to join her in taking a compassionate stance against circuses that exploit animals. The actor also comments how elderly people and circus elephants can relate to each other, as arthritis development is a common denominator. In the video, clips of Lisa, an elephant owned by Baraboo’s Circus World, are shown. Lisa displays unnatural behavior as she was trained using cruel methods to perform tricks.

“Elephants are poked, prodded, shocked, and beaten. They are forced to perform ridiculous circus tricks like standing on their head or hind legs, which puts even more pressure on their aching joints,” Leachman states. “Elephants in the circus suffer in silence, but we can speak up,” she adds, concluding, “cruelty is one tradition we can do without.” 

Baraboo’s Circus World rents elephants from Carson & Barnes Circus, a company known for over 100 federal Animal Welfare Act violations. In the past, it was cited for neglecting to provide an elephant named Bunny with veterinary care for the elephant’s arthritis.

“When not performing, they [elephants] are often kept chained and may be forced to stand for days on hard surfaces—conditions that can cause a variety of ailments, including arthritis, an extremely painful condition that can be deadly for them,”
commented PETA in a press release.

Leachman joins many other celebrities and influencers speaking up for animal rights. Recently, Kat Graham, a vegan actor from the television series “The Vampire Diaries,” narrated graphic footage of a Canadian egg farm that was filmed during an undercover investigation. “The most important thing that you can do to prevent the kind of suffering you see here is to go vegan today,” she said. Further, last month, award-winning director Richard Linklater penned a public letter to a leading muscular dystrophy researcher. He dubbed the decades of subjecting canines to deplorable animal testing as “unjustifiable” and urged the researcher in question to cease the experiments immediately.

In addition, in June, many vegan celebrities attended premieres of the animal rights documentary “Dominion.” Some even narrated the film, such as Sadie Sink, Kat Von D, Sia, Rooney Mara, and Joaquin Phoenix.

Image Credit: PETA