Now that the Christmas holiday fever has ended, social media is splashed with images of beautiful landscapes by travelers across the world. Looking at the pictures of most of our friends with beautiful yet defenseless animals, I was compelled to write this piece.
Often while travelling, we get an opportunity to witness amazing animals from various cultures. However, this opportunity comes with an obligation to respect the natural setting of the animal, the environment and the local community. We usually accept culture and entertainment as an excuse for animal cruelty. Here are top three activities we need to put an end to:
RIDING AN ELEPHANT
Be it the forts of Jaipur, the forests of Thailand or temples of Bali, riding an elephant is one of the most common tourist activity involving animals in South East Asia. Tourists are often blissfully ignorant of the ordeal faced by the animal and often believe that the animals enjoy the trails. However, this is far from reality. Most elephants are separated from their families at a very young age and violently forced to obey the orders of the handlers, usually called the Mahouts.
The elephant also revered as God Ganesha in India, is subject to constant distress, malnourishment and dehydration to satisfy the greedy community. Mahouts even pierce some animals' sensitive ears and drilled holes into their tusks, maiming them for life. Its time to end the not-so-joyful rides on elephants.
PETA had recently held a campaign to end elephant rides in India. Please click here to read more.
Thankfully a lot of cities around the world are banning the once famous circuses with performing animals. Tigers, lions, monkeys and elephants do not perform the tricks and entertain audiences because they enjoy doing so. They are forced to perform the tricks by circus trainers who abuse them with muzzles, tight collars, electric prods and other cruel tools of the circus business. Training sessions are rarely recorded, which is why circuses get away with these evil practices.
Circuses constantly travel around the year, in all weathers and the animals are kept in the confines of their trucks, trailers or cages. Not only are circuses cruel, but they can also prove extremely dangerous for the public. There have been several instances of animals snapping and running for their freedom, inturn endangering the public and damaging property. So the next time, you are about the visit an animal performance, ask yourself if it is worth amusing yourself at the cost of the animals basic right to life and freedom.
TAKE A TIGER SELFIE
No visit to Thailand is usually complete without a selfie with the tigers at the Tiger temple. However, the plight of the tigers is usually hidden from the enthusiastic tourists. Tigers are usually confined in small concrete cells for 20 hours a day with no stimulation. The time that they are out of the cell, they are chained and forced to lay still for the sake of the tourists’ selfies. There also have been reports of drugging the tigers to make them docile and amore amicable selfie beings. The beautiful wild beasts are punched and pushed around by their handlers to get into more appealing positions for the photographers. Take a selfie with the beautiful trees and rivers instead, just leave the tiger alone.