As summer is now upon us and lots of people will be beginning to either book holidays or preparing to head off somewhere I wanted to do a post on animal cruelty while you are off on holiday. First thing is first, I have been to SeaWorld, many Zoos and on a horse drawn cart through Central Park in New York. I am sure most people who are reading this will have done these things too. I am first to admit I am utterly ashamed to have gone, but then at the time I didn’t know. I was no kid when I went to SeaWorld it was like 6 years ago, but I am honestly that dim I thought we were right beside the sea in huge tanks and these were animals which could not be released back into the wild, I thought they were loved and cared for by the keepers and like dogs, they enjoyed learning and doing tricks. I am annoyed at myself for believeing this even while I write it!!! But I genuinely did, I was sucked in and believed what I was shown and didn’t think for myself.
So back to the post, no matter if you have participated in things in the past it does not mean you can’t now stand up for what is right and really start to think about what you are going to do when you are on your holiday. In a nutshell, if it involves animals, they are being treated cruelly whether you can see it or not. I think people are now pretty wise to the big corporations, but I still see friends going off on holiday and doing these amazing things with animals, generally those things we have on our bucket list:
- swimming with dolphins
- hugging a tiger
- spending a day with elephants
- horse drawn carts
- shows involving animals
I don’t believe for a second people do this knowing that actually the animals are being mistreated so I just wanted to highlight, briefly, what the problems are with these experiences.
When you swim with dolphins it may seem great but the reality is the dolphins are often stolen from the wild and many die on route. They are highly sociable creatures and are removed from their families. When you get the chance to swim with them no matter how sweet they look, trust me by doing it you are causing suffering. The places you would go to see lions or tigers are often made out to be orphanages or sanctuaries. Those who visit actually think they are doing a good deed, they may even been cleaning them or the area they stay. Sadly all is not what it seems, the animals are often either stolen from their mum in the wild or their mum will be tied up out back and beaten, starved and generally treated horrifically. The animals you encounter are also generally drugged so they will participate. Those who go do not see this cruelty at all, but it is a horrific life for the animals and when they close for the day you can probably bet the animals are treated very differently to when the paying public are watching. If people stopped paying to go, these places would close. I think the horse drawn cart thing speaks for itself, I must admit in New York the horses seemed to be treated fairly well but in Rome I literally cried looking at the poor horses. They were clearly hot, hungry and extremely tired.
Zoo’s are a funny old thing. We have a couple in Scotland where they are trying to help species and also look after animals who have come from terrible backgrounds and it is this or being put down. An example of this is Five Sisters Zoo just outside Edinburgh. They recently took in four lions who had spent their entire lives on a truck. Now their situation is still not ideal, but they now have a large space with things to entertain them. The only other option would have been for them to be put down. There is no denying it is not ideal, but it is sadly the best they can ever have given the way humans have mistreated them in the past. If Zoos and Circuses did not exist these animals would still be happy in the wild so maybe before going to a Zoo consider what the Zoo is. If it exists purely to allow you to see animals, don’t go animals should not be kept in cages, they should be in their own habitat.
I wanted to keep this short and sweet as I don’t like to preach, especially as I think people can quite easily turn off to learning about things if they think it is rammed down their throat. I just wanted to highlight why these things are bad and maybe get people to reconsider the attractions you go to on holiday. My advice, if it involves animals just don’t go!!!