Video: PETA Supporters Crash Sharon Shrine ‘Nobility Ball’ Over Circus Cruelty


For Immediate Release:
February 18, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tyler – “There’s nothing noble about exploiting animals!” That’s the loud message that a PETA member delivered when she descended on the Nobility Ball at the Sharon Shrine temple last night to shame the Shriners for continuing to force elephants and other animals to perform in old-style circus shows. Photos and video footage of the disruption are available here.

The Sharon Shrine Circus is among the last remaining shows that showcase the domination of wild animals, who are confined to small cages or kept in shackles and are deprived of any semblance of a normal, natural, or happy life. The Sharon Shriners partner with notoriously cruel exhibitors, including Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video violently beating elephants with bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end.

Protester at Sharon Shrine's Nobility Ball on 2/17/24

Protester at Sharon Shrine's Nobility Ball on 2/17/24

“Wild animals should be free to live their rich lives, not chained, beaten, and forced to perform in circus acts that harken back to an ignorant era,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Sharon Shriners to stop promoting cruelty under the big top and end animal shows, as numerous other Shrines have done.”

Some well-intentioned people may think that attending a Shrine circus benefits children. But ticket sales aren’t charitable donations: The profits are generally used to maintain the club’s premises and fund its activities.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.



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