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PETA Says Glendale Invites 'National Embarrassment' With Circus Elephant Float

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Despite PETA's protests so far no changes have been made to the float | Photo: Reut R. Cohen
Despite PETA's protests so far no changes have been made to the float | Photo: Reut R. Cohen

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said they will continue to protest the city of Glendale's float, which features a depiction of a circus elephant, for the 2012 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

Animal activists are pointing to inhumane treatment of elephants in the circus. They say the name of the float, "Just Imagine the Music, Fun, and Freedom," presents a misleading idea of what circus animals endure.

"These chained and beaten animals enjoy no freedom and have no fun; theirs is a life of misery and torment. This is like changing the name of the slave novel 'Roots' to 'Fun and Freedom,'" said David Perle, a senior media coordinator for PETA, in an email.

Perle added that city officials are inviting "national embarrassment by cozying up to such a horrifically cruel industry."

Glendale City officials considered altering the float design during an Aug. 30 council meeting. Glendale's Mayor Laura Friedman suggested the design could be altered to feature an elephant in the wild. Another council member, Rafi Manoukian, suggested featuring a disclaimer.

However, so far no changes have been made to the float despite protests from animal rights activists.

Over the last few weeks PETA has received national attention for its campaigns, which include a veganism porn website and an ad that ridicules a shark attack victim.

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Reut R. Cohen is a graduate student at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, which has partnered with KCET-TV to produce this blog about policy in Los Angeles.

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