Ostriches are nomads, designed by 90 million years of evolution to roam over vast tracts of land. Their long necks and excellent vision enable them to survey the land for miles in all directions at once. If they appear awkward in captivity, it is because these fleet birds, with their strong family ties, are meant for wide open spaces, where their grace and intelligence can be exercised.
"Forcing ostriches with their long thin necks and legs and their large fragile eyes, that can easily be injured, to race around a track with a bully on their back, pull chariots and do other dangerous, unnatural and degrading things, is a type of entertainment that is losing public support," said Davis.
Ringling Bros.' recent announcement that it is eliminating elephants in circuses represents the trend away from entertainments like the Ostrich Festival that make animals suffer for fun. "A better informed public is looking for clean fun, not mean fun," Davis said, noting that "there is nothing wholesome about demeaning any creature and teaching children this terrible lesson. Compassion and respect for animals and for one another is the only good lesson. Clean fun, Yes. Mean fun, No. The Chandler Ostrich Festival is both cruel and obsolete."