Friday, May 21, 2004

Elephants limp free at last

I have been involved with non-animal circuses, and I am a lifelong vegetarian, so I have never really enjoyed zoos or animal circuses ever since I became conscious of other beings....although, when I was young,it was fascinating to be taken backstage at the London Zoo, and handle snakes and baby alligators and stuff.

I just always felt real empathy for fellow mammals. It's the eyes. I wasn't brought up to think humans were a 'special creation'. We're mammals.

So it was excellent to hear from Crissie that a couple of middle-age elephants are going to walk free. Detroit Zoo is letting 45-year-old Wanda and 51-year-old Winky go to a more spacious sanctuary, with other elephants for company. It's like hearing Nelson Mandela was getting out. No-one could ever apologise enough - the thing was to go forward, and use what time is left. Mr Mandela's ability to forgive was what was so impressive.

I hope the elephants can forgive us, even if they can't forget...

And it reminds me that the very first show that made me want to be a performer was Le Grand Magic Circus (no animals), who had on their poster the subtitle "et ses animaux tristes" - or, in English, "with it's sad-eyed animals" - who were the human performers, of course.

mammals, all... "I miss my mammary!"....."Thanks for the mammaries..."

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