by Rachel Swan
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey have been under fire for several years, now, for what animal rights activists describe as a whole litany of abuses — from making animals jump through rings of fire, to keeping them in cramped quarters, to beating and whipping the animals. So guess what — the circus is (almost) back in town, and once again a slew of local animal shelters are calling for a boycott. Ringling Brothers' manager of animal stewardship training, Janice Aria, argued in an interview with KQED news that the animals are not mistreated, and that, moreover, their lives traveling with the circus are "full and rich and stimulating." But try telling that to the 1,912 members of a Facebook group to condemn Ringling Brothers. They're currently organizing protests throughout California.