Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus protesters through the years

+-

Not everyone who heads to the circus is there for fun and games. In Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's relatively recent history, animal activists including PETA have lined up outside the Big Top holding signs and dispersing information regarding treatment of the circus' elephants, tigers, lions and other animal performers.

Ringling Bros. stopped using Asian elephants in May 2016, and acknowledged the drastic drop in already-declining ticket sales is one reason the traveling troupe will end its 146-year run this year.

Here's a look at some of the circus' protesters through the years. You can submit your photos here. (Captions are submitted by readers who share their photos.)

This photo was taken the year I was
(Credit: Unknown)

reader photosUnknownThis photo was taken the year I was born. It's a reminder that compassionate people have been speaking out against the cruelty behind Ringling Bros. for more than 27 years, and that persistence pays off.

From 1989 again, more than 27 years of
(Credit: Unknown)

reader photosUnknownFrom 1989 again, more than 27 years of telling people that Ringling beats animals, and the message wasn't fully received until 2017

Pamela, Monica, and Josh at Ringling Bros. protest
(Credit: Unknown passerby)

reader photosUnknown passerbyPamela, Monica, and Josh at Ringling Bros. protest in Phoenix Arizona.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE
Holly Marie Combs protesting Ringling Circus
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownHolly Marie Combs protesting Ringling Circus

Children lead Ringling Circus protest
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownChildren lead Ringling Circus protest

Kids lead Ringling protest
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownKids lead Ringling protest

Jillian Michaels Protesting Ringling Circus
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownJillian Michaels Protesting Ringling Circus

Ringling Bros Protest, Phoenix, 2015
(Credit: Carrie LeBlanc, Las Vegas)

reader photosCarrie LeBlanc, Las VegasRingling Bros Protest, Phoenix, 2015

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE
Las Vegas Ringling Protest
(Credit: Carrie LeBlanc, Las Vegas)

reader photosCarrie LeBlanc, Las VegasLas Vegas Ringling Protest

Kelly & Kat protesting in Norfolk, Virginia
(Credit: Kelly Fidler, Chesapeake, VA)

reader photosKelly Fidler, Chesapeake, VAKelly & Kat protesting in Norfolk, Virginia

Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) protests Ringling
(Credit: Long Island Orchestrating for Na)

reader photosLong Island Orchestrating for NaLong Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) protests Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Nassau Coliseum in Hempstead, NY.

Children, some in costume, stand up against the
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownChildren, some in costume, stand up against the in Los Angeles in 2014.

A group of activists in 1990 hold a
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownA group of activists in 1990 hold a huge sign explaining why we should never attend the circus.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE
Woman walks with the group of protesters holding
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownWoman walks with the group of protesters holding sign showing elephant forced to perform for the circus. Taken in 1992 in D.C.

Children in Los Angeles in 2014 lead a
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownChildren in Los Angeles in 2014 lead a protest against Ringling Bros. circus.

Activists dress up as animal prisoners showing how
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownActivists dress up as animal prisoners showing how Ringling Bros holds animals captive like prisoners. Taken in 1992 in D.C.

Lauren A.R. Koslow posing outside US Cellular Center
(Credit: Michael Koslow, (as with myself,)

reader photosMichael Koslow, (as with myself,Lauren A.R. Koslow posing outside US Cellular Center in Asheville NC in 2013 after a successful protest with two dozen participants, when we distributed educational literature, children's coloring books, and had conversations, some of which had immediate discouraging impact and others that may have sunk in later.

This is me and an elephant friend at
(Credit: Judy Kaplowitz, Norfolk, VA)

reader photosJudy Kaplowitz, Norfolk, VAThis is me and an elephant friend at a demonstration protesting against the cruel treatment of the animals who're forced to perform in circuses. Baby elephants are separated from their mothers, tied up, and beaten until they submit and learn to perform behaviors that don't come naturally to them such as standing on their heads. For the animals' sakes, I'm glad that Ringling is closing down.

Opening Night Demo 2015, Hampton, Virginia
(Credit: Michelle Diamond Hampton, Virgin)

reader photosMichelle Diamond Hampton, VirginOpening Night Demo 2015, Hampton, Virginia

Opening night demo, 2014 Norfolk, Virginia
(Credit: Michelle Diamond Hampton, Virgin)

reader photosMichelle Diamond Hampton, VirginOpening night demo, 2014 Norfolk, Virginia

Robbyn Taylor, along with other protesters, take part
(Credit: Katie Arth, Los Angeles)

reader photosKatie Arth, Los AngelesRobbyn Taylor, along with other protesters, take part in a demonstration in 2010 in Washington DC.

Robbyn Taylor participates in an anti-circus entry in
(Credit: Katie Arth, Los Angeles)

reader photosKatie Arth, Los AngelesRobbyn Taylor participates in an anti-circus entry in Atlanta's Pride Parade in October 2013.

Protesting RBBB Circus at United Center in November
(Credit: Jesse in Chicago, IL)

reader photosJesse in Chicago, ILProtesting RBBB Circus at United Center in November 2016.

Me at my first circus protest!
(Credit: Michelle, Denver)

reader photosMichelle, DenverMe at my first circus protest!

Protester in
(Credit: unknown)

reader photosunknownProtester in "chains" to protest circus abuse of elephants

Actresses Renee Olstead & Megan Park protesting Ringling
(Credit: PETA, Los Angeles, CA)

reader photosPETA, Los Angeles, CAActresses Renee Olstead & Megan Park protesting Ringling Bros. Circus.

PETA
(Credit: Ashley Byrne)

reader photosAshley ByrnePETA "elephant" follows President Obama to the Late Show asking him to call on the USDA to confiscate Ringling's suffering elephants.

Ellie the mechanical elephant giving a presentation at
(Credit: Unkown)

reader photosUnkownEllie the mechanical elephant giving a presentation at a school. Ellie teaches the importance of being kind to all animals and why people shouldn't support circuses that use animals.

Protesting the saddest show on earth with Ellie,
(Credit: Joshua, Cleveland)

reader photosJoshua, ClevelandProtesting the saddest show on earth with Ellie, PETA's mechanical elephant.

A massive protest against Ringling Bros. Circus in
(Credit: Unkown)

reader photosUnkownA massive protest against Ringling Bros. Circus in 2011 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Delilah Williamson (L) and Mary Beth Collins protesting
(Credit: Indiana Animal Rights Alliance,)

reader photosIndiana Animal Rights Alliance,Delilah Williamson (L) and Mary Beth Collins protesting the Ringling Bros. Circus in Indianapolis, IN in front of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, December 1, 2016.

I'm protesting outside the Verizon Center in DC-
(Credit: Taylor Mason)

reader photosTaylor MasonI'm protesting outside the Verizon Center in DC- one of the countless demonstrations I've done in the last 7 years against Ringling Bros.

Overjoyed to never have to protest cruel Ringling
(Credit: Annie Leal, Los Angeles, CA)

reader photosAnnie Leal, Los Angeles, CAOverjoyed to never have to protest cruel Ringling Brothers again! <3

A family posing for picture after learning about
(Credit: Emily Rohr from Lexington, Kentu)

reader photosEmily Rohr from Lexington, KentuA family posing for picture after learning about the cruelty that happens to animals at circuses during a PETA protest against Ringling Brothers outside of the Staples Center.

Claudine Erlandson, Stephanie Bell, and Amy Webster--all of
(Credit: Stephanie Bell, SeaTac, WA (at t)

reader photosStephanie Bell, SeaTac, WA (at tClaudine Erlandson, Stephanie Bell, and Amy Webster--all of SEA--protesting Ringling in Tacoma, WA in 2012. One of countless circus protests the three of us have attended over the past two decades. Whenever Ringling came to town, we were there to speak out against their despicable abuses.

This is my son Mikey (4 years old
(Credit: Jenee Sheffield, Virginia Beach)

reader photosJenee Sheffield, Virginia BeachThis is my son Mikey (4 years old in photo) helping educate circus goers in Norfolk last spring about the cruelty that goes on at the circus. He was really excited to tell the other kids they shouldn't go to the circus since they hurt animals.

Protesting Ringling Brothers Cruelty.
(Credit: robbie thomas Huntsville)

reader photosrobbie thomas HuntsvilleProtesting Ringling Brothers Cruelty.

Dozens of compassionate citizens protesting the cruel Ringling
(Credit: Kimberly Spiegel, Norfolk, VA)

reader photosKimberly Spiegel, Norfolk, VADozens of compassionate citizens protesting the cruel Ringling Bros Circus in Norfolk, VA, because animals are not ours to use for entertainment!

Local magician, Matt Bruce, and a teenage boy
(Credit: Amy Meyer, Salt Lake City)

reader photosAmy Meyer, Salt Lake CityLocal magician, Matt Bruce, and a teenage boy in an elephant costume gave a free show to everyone boycotting animal cruelty outside the Ringling Circus in September 2010.

My friend Amber (right) and me (left) protesting
(Credit: Alexa Neidigh, Bloomington India)

reader photosAlexa Neidigh, Bloomington IndiaMy friend Amber (right) and me (left) protesting Ringling Brothers in 2015. It was a powerful annual tradition. There were always ticket holders who talked to us and decided to not go to the performance, their stories are a wonderful reminder to standing up for what is right.

Absolute favorite memory. I'm so glad you're letting
(Credit: IARA)

reader photosIARAAbsolute favorite memory. I'm so glad you're letting the animals go free, thank you, after 146 years of torture they're saved.

My happiest moment of Ringling Bros.and Barnum &
(Credit: Fellow Protester)

reader photosFellow ProtesterMy happiest moment of Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Bailey is protesting them outside of their "shows." RBBB is now known for stealing baby animals from their mothers and using bullhooks and whips to make the animals do unnatural acts out of fear of punishment. As people became more aware of RBBB's training methods, their ticket sales declined and led them to "shutting their doors."

Activists protesting Ringling Bros. cruelty in Los Angeles
(Credit: Keith Burgeson, Brooklyn, NY)

reader photosKeith Burgeson, Brooklyn, NYActivists protesting Ringling Bros. cruelty in Los Angeles in summer 2014.

Carley Bowering and Michelle Feinberg protesting Ringling's abuse
(Credit: Stephanie Shaw; Indiana)

reader photosStephanie Shaw; IndianaCarley Bowering and Michelle Feinberg protesting Ringling's abuse of animals; 2015.

Protesting RBBB Circus November 2016 at United Center
(Credit: Jesse in Chicago, IL)

reader photosJesse in Chicago, ILProtesting RBBB Circus November 2016 at United Center because animals are not ours for entertainment.

Jean White at a circus protest in 2015
(Credit: Passerby (name unknown), using m)

reader photosPasserby (name unknown), using mJean White at a circus protest in 2015

Been protesting Ringling Bros for almost 4 years.
(Credit: Abraham Santamaria)

reader photosAbraham SantamariaBeen protesting Ringling Bros for almost 4 years. I'm glad they are going away. It's about time. Any company that hurts or kills animals deserves the same fate.

My fiance and I are protesting the exploitation
(Credit: Tim Murray. Pittsburgh PA)

reader photosTim Murray. Pittsburgh PAMy fiance and I are protesting the exploitation and cruelty towards animals caused by circuses. Pittsburgh PA

Good Riddance Ringling Bros.
(Credit: John)

reader photosJohnGood Riddance Ringling Bros.

Slc ut
(Credit: Vegans united)

reader photosVegans unitedSlc ut

Show More

Subscribe to the Entertainment newsletter

Sign up

By clicking Sign up, you agree to our privacy policy.

Related Media

David DeGroot (4) & Kathy DeGroot (2) visiting Your Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus memories Christie Brinkley with then-husband Peter Cook and family, Celebs at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Lottery.broadwaydirect.com's lottery offers discounted tickets to select shows, 13 sites offering free, discounted LI, NYC tickets

Comments

Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy policy.

OK