CIRCUSES, ZOOS, RODEOS: ENTERTAINMENT OR ANIMAL EXPLOITATION?
Nick News With Linda Ellerbee Listens to Kids on Both Sides of the Debate in "Animals? Show Me The Money" Premiering Sunday, Aug. 12, at 9:00 PM (ET/PT) on Nick at Nite
Special Features Appearance by Zookeeper Jack Hanna
NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2012 - Nick News with Linda Ellerbee hears from kids discussing whether or not it's fair to use animals for entertainment in the new half-hour special, "Animals? Show Me The Money," premiering Sunday, Aug. 12, at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nick at Nite. The special features commentary from zookeeper and TV host Jack Hanna.
"There was a time, not so long ago, when people rarely discussed or even thought about how we treat all animals," says Ellerbee. "But we know more now, and so we ask the big question -- what does how we treat all animals say about us?"
The special features 14-year-old Amanda who says making animals perform for circuses is like enslaving or imprisoning them. "Haven't we already learned that lesson as humans that things deserve to be free?" she says.
12-year-old Kylie of Tarzana, Calif. disagrees. "I think it's fair we use animals in entertainment because it's socialization for them and also they like to do it."
Research has shown that zoo animals often live longer than animals in the wild.
"These animals get a good nutritional diet and we have great veterinarians and zookeepers who constantly have an eye on them. And definitely, they don't have predators here," says 15-year-old Shreya, a volunteer at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. "I feel like the animals have a better life here."
"We're taking advantage of them just for entertainment purposes saying it's education," says 12-year-old Reese. "Living in a zoo is like living in your room for all of your life and not going outside ever."
The rodeo and marine parks are also big topics of debate.
"Rodeo's a really big American tradition," says 13-year-old Quincy. "I've been competing in rodeos since I was four years old."
"When I see a rodeo, it makes me feel angry because I don't think people understand how much pain they're inflicting on a living creature," says 16-year-old animal rights activist Gillian. "The very nature of rodeo is cruel."
13-year-old Trevor of Austin, Texas, volunteers at the Sea World summer camp. "With the shows, people come thinking they're going to be entertained, but they leave being educated," he says.
"Just putting these animals in a tank is wrong," says 14-year-old Hunter of Parish, N.Y. "It is a bit like seeing your favorite celebrity in prison."
Nick News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is now in its 21st year and is the longest-running kids' news show in television history. It has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about the important issues of the day. Over the years, Nick News has received more than 21 Emmy nominations and recently won its ninth Emmy Award for Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics in the category of Outstanding Children's Nonfiction Program. Additional Emmy wins for outstanding children's programming include: The Face of Courage: Kids Living with Cancer (2010); Coming Home: When Parents Return from War (2009); The Untouchable Kids of India (2008); Private Worlds: Kids and Autism (2007); Never Again: From the Holocaust to the Sudan (2005); Faces of Hope: The Kids of Afghanistan (2002) and What Are You Staring At? (1998). In addition, in 1995, the entire series won the Emmy. In 2009, Nick News was honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award for best Network News Documentary for Coming Home: When Parents Return from War - the first-ever kids' television program to receive this prestigious award. Nick News has also received three Peabody Awards, including a personal award given to Ellerbee for explaining the impeachment of President Clinton to kids, as well as a Columbia duPont Award and more than a dozen Parents' Choice Awards.
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