With Ringling Bros. headed to Brooklyn this week, Emmy-winning actor and Brooklyn native Edie Falco is starring in a new PETA video in the hope that her fellow New York City parents will keep their kids far away from the circus.
In the video, she says, “I’m a mother. I cannot imagine having my children taken from me and forced to spend the rest of their lives away from everything that matters to them.” Falco’s video reveals how baby elephants—with whom females would have stayed for their entire lives in the wild — used by Ringling Bros. are stretched out, slammed to the ground, shocked with electric prods, and mercilessly beaten with bullhooks to teach them to obey and perform the confusing, unnatural, and physically taxing tricks of a circus routine.
“Mother elephants in the circus cannot help their babies, but we can,” concludes Falco. “Never take your children to the circus. Let’s teach our kids to respect and show compassion for all beings—both human and animal.”
Ringling Bros. has a long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and paid the largest penalty in circus history to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to settle numerous violations of the AWA. PETA documented and reported that Ringling handlers beat and shock elephants to keep them in constant fear of punishment. The USDA is currently investigating Ringling for abuse after an arena worker reported in a sworn affidavit that he witnessed a Ringling employee strike a chained elephant with a bullhook violently, angrily, and excessively.
Falco, who has won multiple awards for her starring roles in Nurse Jackie and The Sopranos, is part of a long list of celebrities — including Pink, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cloris Leachman, Demi Moore, and Alec Baldwin — who have joined with PETA to condemn circuses that use elephants.