Despite what you may have heard, very few circus elephants are alcoholics. The reason they perform those crazy stunts is because they enjoy it... or possibly because they don't like being beaten and whipped, which is what happens if they don't do crazy stunts.
I drew this for my daughter's birthday invitations... she had a "circus" party. You should have seen the crazy things we had those kids doing to avoid being whipped. The life of a circus performer seems most unpleasant, but the life of a ring-master is hilariously fun.