I am urging everyone to vote yes on ballot measure 4-155 to ban animal circuses in Clatsop County. Be sure to read the three excellent arguments in support of this measure in your voting pamphlet. Between them, they present a host of information that should convince you to vote yes.

Even more important, note the significant absence of any arguments opposed. That is because there are no valid arguments for condoning or continuing to use wild animals for entertainment.

Over the last months, several have publicly expressed the opinion that not all circus animals are abused or the sentiment, “if you don’t like it, don’t go.” These statements are not based on facts or logic, but on fear of change and a perceived loss of status within a segment of the community.

Elephants, lions, tigers and others are torn from their mothers prematurely, brutally trained, (they must be, it is the only way to make them perform) and deprived of any semblance of what would be a natural lifestyle. Confined for days or longer in trains and trucks, they often die from untreated illnesses or injury, or dehydration before reaching their destinations.

If you have ever seen a wild animal pacing in a cage or other small area at a circus or a zoo, this is a sign of severe stress. If you do any research at all, you will know that these animals have social lives, family ties and suffer terribly when deprived of these things. Just as you or I would.

Don’t succumb to outdated ideas. Do some research and deep thinking, and you will see that the only decent, logical and compassionate vote is a yes vote. A vote based on facts, not fear.

Believe it or not, people all over the world are watching to see what we do. Let’s make some history: Vote yes on ballot Measure 4-155.

RITA SMITH

Hammond

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