I have no doubt that Ray Appen is a terrific grandpa. But his disconnect between the circus and cruelty to the animals exploited in the circus is puzzling. I’m positive Ray wants to shield his granddaughter from violence, but hitting elephants with bullhooks (a heavy baton with a sharp steel hook on the end) and whipping tigers into submission is SOP in the circus industry.
Pretending animal abuse does not exist at the circus does not make it any less real; shielding children from the truth is unfair to them and to the animals.
—Jennifer O’Connor, Senior Writer PETA Foundation