Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Cirque Gruss

The French love the circus. At winter time going to the circus is a popular activity for the family, and there are many to choose from in Paris. In fact you can find a circus all through the year. Today my daughter's class took a field trip to the Cirque Gruss in the Bois de Vincennes. We went to the circus a few weeks ago that was, shall we say, very clown heavy. This was a completely different experience. This show was primarily about the animals: Lions and their tamers, Elephants relieving themselves (I think the kids liked this best... so much laughing and screaming), Camels playing with a yak and zebra, Dogs of all types jumping through hoops, and Horses running around the circle. It was one animal show after another.
But the show bothered me. I think each of these animals had a trainer with a whip. Did you ever think you were part of something that you just didn't know even existed anymore? With all the concern about animal cruelty in the US, I guess I didn't realize shows like these still exist and I was uncomfortable. My daughter jumped every time the whip was used. It makes an awful loud sound. On top of this, we are signed up for yet another circus in a few weeks.
But the animals were magnificent.. here is a picture of an elephant.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
9:34 PM



We(my husband and I) have issues with animals in the circus as adults. The conflict I have is it was such a magical treat when I was a child and something I still remember with awe and wonder.

Besides, where else can you see animals relieving themselves with wild abandon...LOL.

# posted by BohemianMama : 12:12 AM  

I know how you feel. As a child I loved the circus and the zoo, now I just cam't get past feeling bad for all the critters.
Were there any animal rights activists there?
Seems when Ringling bros makes there way to town there are always activists politely handing out flyers to patrons. A dialogue with regards to circus animals has been opened here primarily because a few elephants went berserk and because of the Siegfried and Roy incident.


# posted by Anonymous : 4:17 AM  

The whip itself isn't as bad as it may sound. It's more like clicker training for dogs, only in a negative sense. Do this or worse will follow. What is really disgusting is the use of electricity - that's how the elephants are trained to climb: that's the only place on the arena where they don't get electric shocks. I don't want to lecture, but here's a thought:

"Please say no because the animals can't."

Ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show? It's a great alternative.

# posted by AnneV : 3:43 PM  

Thanks for the comments. My daughter did have a great time. It's absolutely amazing to see these beautiful magnificent animals up close, but I think I'll try to stick to the shows without animals in the future -- like the Cirque du Soleil, as Anne suggested.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 9:30 PM  

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