Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Indiana Animal Rights Alliance

Today the Kelly Miller Circus was visited by members of the Indiana Animal Rights Alliance. I had not heard of this group before but a quick look at their Facebook page demonstrates supporters of veganism and staunch anti-zoo/circus beliefs. For a rainy "pre-show" time I was surprised at how many supporters the group had - only three when I first spoke with them but the number had increased to seven before I left. I could count less than a handful of protest activities we have had this year, though it seems this group had planned demonstrations against KMC for several of our towns near Indianapolis.

I approached the group with the purpose of introducing myself and opening a dialogue between two factions on a spectrum of "moral" issues regarding animals in a circus performing environment. I was pleasantly surprised that several of the individuals were open to communication. In short, I introduced myself and my position as owner and trainer of the tigers on this show. I gave them a short summary of my history here and described the daily routine of my animals. I asked if anyone had come earlier today to see the animals prior to their protest this evening. None had, though one I saw walking around before grabbing her placard. It's a shame - the tigers spent the day socializing and playing in their pools. The leader of the event asked me how I train my animals. It was with great pride I described how's two year old has learned to sit-up over the last several weeks. There are videos of the process on my YouTube channel.

My 2 year old's ground sit-up after the rollover - Day 2 ( second from left )

The purpose is the dialogue I wished to open was to explain that animal trainers are not all the same - nor are all police officers, priests, pro or college sports coaches / owners. Everyone should be judged on their own merits. Keep an open mind before you vilify an individual trying to make a living by doing something he loves and doing the best he can to be the best he can be.

I do not represent the Kelly Miller Circus; I only represent myself and my animals. I take it personally when I am accused of mistreating my animal on baseless and slanderous accusations.

Thank you to the members of the Indiana Animal Rights Alliance for humoring me with a civilized conversation ( sans the individual who would not shake my hand and was very apt to argue needlessly ). Anyone who wishes to contact me regarding my animals, their care, their treatment or our lives is welcome to contact me. TigerGuy[at]ShowMeElephants.com.

All photos taken today in Lebanon, Indiana.

Holder's Tigers
Kelly Miller Circus