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I recently attended the Culpepper and Merriweather circus held in Jefferson. The event was sponsored by the school district, chamber of commerce, and some local businesses. I was there to protest the cruelty of the circus.

I stood outside the bigtop with my sign: “Teach Your Children Kindness and Compassion. Circus Animals never have a nice day.”

Standing there in the rain, I witnessed a tiger waiting for its performance.

In a small cage with some plastic over the top, rainwater running off of both sides.

It nervously paced back and forth (it could only take one step in each direction) anxiously for about 40 minutes.

My point is that the circus is a life of misery for the animals. Don’t kid yourself. They are made to perform unnatural tricks and stunts for our “pleasure” through repetitive pain and intimidation.

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Your family may see the show once a year or every few years, but these animals perform multiple shows a day and are hauled great distances, enduring extreme weather and grueling travel conditions.

Just because the circus has existed for hundreds of years doesn’t make it right. Google “Culpepper and Merriweather” and you’ll find the happy side of the circus. Unfortunately, you’ll also find the dark side.

I will not support schools, businesses, nonprofits or newspapers that promote the circus, rodeo, zoo or animal research facilities.

Greg McLagan, Albany (June 6)

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