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circus elephants blessed before the show tonight

January 4, 2008

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Short article. My comments at the end.

Tampa Bay Online

TBO.com staff report

The Rev. Jerry Hogan, chaplain to the nation’s circuses, blessed the Ringling Brothers elephants before the opening of the circus’s Tampa run tonight.

Hogan, who works under the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, sprinkled the beasts with holy water and said a prayer in the plaza outside the St. Pete Times Forum.

The half-dozen elephants were treated to a meatless feast of fruit, bread and vegetables. Circus clowns rolled watermelons to the animals, who made a show of squashing the melons with their feet and swigging the pieces back with their trunks.

Hogan has blessed trapezes and tigers, train cars and tents, and serves as chaplain to an estimated 10,000 circus workers in the United States.

“They’re people who have a tremendous talent,” Hogan told The New York Times in a 2001 interview. “They feel it’s a vocation.”

O.K., look. My personal religious (or should I say “non-religious”) beliefs aside, this is a total joke. First off, the circus is one of the oldest forms of animal cruelty around, besides the meat industry and the fur industry. If you don’t know this already, read up on it. This guy, this Reverend Hogan, thinks he’s going to throw some water on them and make everything safe and a.o.k.?

I probably shouldn’t be writing a blog after I’ve had a little to drink, but I really don’t care at this point. Besides the fur industry, the circus is something I loathe even more. You can’t contest the cruelty involved in developing fur. You just can’t. And the circus? You think it’s educational? Really?

You know what? This makes me want to really do something about the circus that come to Chico every year. I mean, I’ve been saying that since I moved up here, but for some reason this article pretty much cements the idea.

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