The Manchester By the Sea actor urges families to avoid circus shows because of the animal abuse

By Kelli Bender
February 23, 2017 12:00 PM

Casey Affleck has taken a break from the award season frenzy to speak out on an issue important to him.

The Manchester By the Sea actor teamed up with People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to create a PSA video about circuses. In the exclusive clip, premiering on PEOPLE, Affleck, 41, asks families to avoid circuses like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, which recently announced its upcoming closure.

While it markets itself as “The Greatest Show on Earth,” in his spot, Affleck explains how circuses keep their big cats in tiny cages with no enrichment and force them to perform.

“I choose to work in the entertainment industry, but animals in circuses and other traveling shows are never given a choice,” Affleck says.

Adding, “This industry tears families apart and subjects individuals to a life of torment and deprivation. [Trainers] drag the big cats around by heavy chains or ropes around their necks and hit them with sticks, poles, and whips. They beat them mercilessly and bully them into jumping through hoops.”

This the second time Affleck has joined up with PETA this year. The actor also lent his voice to a video asking owners to keep their dogs indoors during the harsh winter months.