Opinion| Save the Poodles, and America.

Last week, in pointing out that cities and towns are left on their own to wrestle with whether to allow circuses and mobile zoos using exotic animals to hold performances or shows within their boundaries, I wrote that it is time the federal government got into the act, initiating a nation-wide ban to take the onus off provincial governments and communities.
I goofed. I didn’t go far enough.
I should have said that it was time the federal government banned the use of all animals in circuses or mobile zoos.
I came to this conclusion a couple of days after my column appeared when I discovered an advertisement in my mailbox touting the appearance here on May 26 of the Super Circus Spectacular, which features clowns, animals, aerialists and motorcycle daredevils.
This circus does not use exotic animals. It uses horses, ponies, and dogs.
To exclude them from any ban doesn’t make sense.
They are transported from place to place in cramped quarters, just like the exotic animals.
Should they be treated any differently than exotic animals when it comes to a ban.
I don’t think so and if I had had my head on straight when I was writing last week’s column I probably would have come to that conclusion then.
But better late than never.
However, I realize my lone voice won’t get anything done. But I live in hope that over time more and more people will come to realize how abhorrent it is to inflict life in a cage on animals for our viewing pleasure.
Sixty years ago I didn’t give anything like this much thought. In Calgary at the time, I covered the Stampede  as a reporter for the then Calgary Albertan and also attended it as a spectator.
I enjoyed the chuck-wagon races, the riding of bulls and horses, and calf roping.
But over time that changed, a sensitivity to the plight of the animals involved becoming my focus.
Some in these events were not only injured but killed.
This turned me against rodeos and eventually against the use of exotic animals in circuses or mobile zoos as well.
I have now come to the point where I believe no animals, domestic or exotic, should be used in this manner.
 I note from a story on the Internet that show producer Cindy Migley said there will be no exotic animals involved in the show, something that has caused controversy in the past. Instead,  a beautiful dog act will replace exotic animals in the show.
I say again. It is time to ban all animal acts, domestic as well as exotic.
This is not a life’s path they would choose. It was laid out for them by humans with an eye on profit.
We should be better than that.
In conversations in coffee shops, restaurants and even malls, prime ministers and presidents are called lots of names.
But you usually don’t hear it on television and radio or see it in major newspapers as is the case these days with Donald Trump.
The newly-minted U.S. president is called a liar, unhinged, sniveling coward, delusional, petulant, just about anything you can imagine, by not only late-night talk-show hosts but regular contributors to news networks and major newspapers as well.
And he replies in kind via Twitter, his own words his greatest enemy.
I have followed American politics for some time but not like now.
I am becoming a Trump junky.
I can’t wait each morning to see what outrageous act he has committed or words that have come out of him.
But probably the saddest fact in all this is that he still has support among the U.S. electorate, not what he had prior to the election, but still enough to make someone like me wonder what their thinking is.
I guess the answer to that is they are not thinking.
Actually, I feel sorry for U.S. citizenry as they become the butt of jokes around the world courtesy of their president.
And as much as I find Trump’s antics damned good entertainment, I do fear for where they might take us all.
After all, Kim Jong-Un of North Korea has nothing on this guy when it comes to crazy.
Doug Millroy can be reached at dmillroy@gmail.com.


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