It’s been awhile since I last wrote on this blog. Almost a year, actually. At first I wasn’t blogging because my husband and I were in the middle of moving back to Georgia from Colorado and I couldn’t find time to put my thoughts together. After the move was behind us, I kept opening up a blog template to write something but felt like with the state of affairs across the nation and the world, every topic I wanted to address seemed insignificant and small. Not that any of that has changed, and in actuality it’s possibly going to get worse. However, I wanted to pick back up with this blog for a number of different reasons: Running on Vegan has provided me with somewhat of a recipe book and has helped me remember parts of my vegan journey that I would’ve otherwise forgotten; has served as a way for me to start a dialogue with friends, family, coworkers, and complete strangers about lessening animal suffering; and has helped me work through both human and non-human issues that have perplexed me or have weighed on me – and hey, let’s face it, writing is a lot cheaper than therapy. So, I felt like with the New Year here, it’s time to jump back into it and write more on this blog.
To kick it all off, let’s talk about Ringling. I’ll never forget when I first became vegan, I was reading The Bond by The Humane Society of the United States’ Wayne Pacelle. This book opened my eyes to all kinds of animal exploitation and abuse, and helped broaden my view on what was happening to animals outside of factory farms. I hadn’t quite finished the book and I was only on maybe week 3 of being vegan when I was invited to go to the Big Apple Circus with my mom, sisters, and nephew. I used to love the circus as a kid, and even as a teenager, my boyfriend and I went to the circus per my request (although my friends teased me that it was childish, nothing was going to stop me from attending). With the feelings of nostalgia coming on, I agreed to go to the circus with my family.
On the morning of the circus, I was frantically scouring the internet to make sure the Big Apple didn’t mistreat animals like Ringling. Although my search came up empty, I went home from the circus feeling like something wasn’t quite right, so I blogged about in this post. That particular blog post gained a lot of attention among animal rights activists and created such an amazing conversation about animal exploitation at all circuses – even the Big Apple. I learned so much that day and even more since then.
Fast forward to present day – four years later – and I have attended several peaceful protests to make people aware of the animal abuse and neglect that occurs at the circus. And, the amazing part about these nationwide protests is that people are listening. First, Ringling announced last year that they were removing the elephants from the show. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, we got the incredible news that Ringling is shutting down! This is such a big leap forward in the animal rights movement, and I’m excited for what this may bring for the future of closing down abusive places like SeaWorld, aquariums, and zoos.
I believe it’s important to remain hopeful and stay positive, especially in the current climate of our country and our planet. I will continue to do my best in making small contributions on providing a voice for the voiceless by writing on this blog, and in the coming years let’s hope we have more victories to celebrate such as the closing of Ringling.