Animal Abuse At The Colorado Renaissance Festival

I have always been a huge fan of Renaissance Faires.  They have great energy, fun entertainment with comedy shows, music, jousting, etc, and beautiful crafts to look at and buy.  It’s been a tradition to attend Ren Faire every summer since I was a kid when my family would take us down to the WI/IL border for the Bristol Renaissance Faire.  It was always a highlight of the summer!  So here in Colorado, I naturally looked up if and where they have a Ren Faire here.  Luckily, there is one that happens in beginning of summer in Larkspur, a small town between Denver and Colorado Springs called the Colorado Renaissance Festival.

Unfortunately, this Festival uses animals for children’s rides and petting area, including having elephants and large cats.  I am beyond disappointed they feel the need to have these animals at this event.  The presence of hooks by the handlers and the elephant’s general appearance both speak to their neglect.  And all for what?  So a child can say they rode one?   There are so many other, humane (non-animal) rides a Ren Faire can provide that would have the same lasting impression on a child. Seeing the elephants, camels, and llamas being ridden by children, seeing the “exotic cats show”, and seeing the random assortment of animals in the “petting zoo” ruined the day for me.  There is nothing fun, entertaining, or positive about seeing animals forced to be ridden all day long in the heat nor the animals forced to stay in small pens all day in the heat with children “petting” them, nor the exotic cats being forced to perform.

It disgusts me that the organizers of this otherwise wonderful event approve and support this type of animal use and abuse.  In an age where even the circus has phased out using animals, one would think a progressive organization would want to also phase out animal abuse and instead focus on humane entertainment.

I plan to write to the organizers of the Colorado Renaissance Festival, and I encourage you to see if your local Faire/Festival uses animals and, if they do, join me in writing to them to encourage them to stop this abuse.

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