9 Kinds of Entertainment No Animal Lover Should Take Part In
A normal adult person would never take their child to watch a dog fight because it’s cruel and immoral. But a circus or a dolphin show seem like something completely different. It’s possible that some people either don’t know or prefer to ignore the obvious: sometimes, the kinds of entertainment we are used to and we love are just as cruel as dog fighting.
We at Bright Side value all animals equally and we want everyone who agrees with us to know what is behind these seemingly harmless kinds of entertainment.
Animals in the wild never do the things they are forced to do in circuses. They don’t want to ride bikes, jump through burning hoops, or dance. But they know what will happen if they refuse to do it. In the breaks between their shows, animals live in tiny cages and are constantly moving from one place to another which turns their lives into a nightmare. Animal rights activists are trying to have zoos all around the world banned. And they’ve achieved their goal in many countries. But unfortunately, not in all of them yet.
Alternative: A circus without animals.
Sea life shows
In their natural habitat, dolphins and whales live in small groups and can travel hundreds of miles in just one day. But locked in small pools, they suffer without having a family and without being able to move. Their muscles become weak, this is why adult killer whales have very small flippers. The business of shows that feature sea life is based on the suffering of animals, both when they are caught and when they die in the dirty waters of the pool. In many countries, this business is considered illegal, especially after some animals have attacked their coaches.
Alternative: boat rides or snorkeling.
Thanks to Indian movies and children books, many people have the wrong idea about elephants. They think that elephants are kind animals that are always happy to serve people. But in fact, elephants’ obedience is based on cruelty and violence. A scared baby elephant is separated from their mother and psychologically broken to give them one simple idea: that a human is to be feared. This process is no different from torture. A scared animal is taught to listen to their coach who hurts them if they disobey. So, there is nothing surprising about the fact that from time to time tourists become victims of the elephants’ aggression.
Alternative: visiting a rehabilitation center for elephants.
In many Asian countries, there are shows with poisonous snakes that are put on for tourists: they are teased and forced to attack each other. The trainers also allow people to touch the snakes and this is not always safe. After the show, the snakes are put away in small containers or sacks and not let out until the next show. Snakes get injured because of the attitude and treatment from their trainers: they get fractures and cuts (yes, snakes also have bones and they can feel pain). But few people worry about it, because snakes don’t live long in these places: soon enough, they are killed to be used in the production of handbags or for medicine.
Alternative: Watch a movie about snakes.
One of the most dangerous and cruel ways to interact with a horse is horse racing. Any speed competition is a huge stress on the animal. Their sensitive skin is torn, their legs are broken, they have joint pain, and they feel bad at a psychological level. There have been cases when horses have died during the race because of exhaustion. The sports career of these horses is usually around 10-15 years long. After that, the injured and psychologically broken animals are eaten.
Alternative: Visit a rehabilitation center for horses.
Petting zoos are one of the most popular kinds of entertainment for children. Parents love taking their children to these places to let them touch kittens, foxes, raccoons, etc. They believe that this is a way for children to learn to love nature. But few people think about how the “nature” really feels about it. The animals are touched and petted thousands of times a day. And animals probably don’t like living in malls without sunlight and fresh air. This is the only reason why petting zoos exist and earn money.
Alternative: Work as a volunteer in an animal shelter.
Crocodile and alligator shows
Crocodiles that perform in front of people are usually kept on farms in small rooms that are full of other reptiles and they are let out in small groups only for the shows. The people who perform with the crocodiles are supposed to do certain tricks, including putting their arms or even heads inside the crocodile’s mouth. Sometimes, viewers are unlucky and they witness accidents.
Alternative: Take a safari in the crocodile’s natural habitat.
Photos with exotic animals
Photographs with monkeys or parrots on people’s shoulders are a popular thing in places where there are a lot of tourists. Many people can’t resist taking a picture with these charming animals. So, they end up supporting this profitable, but very cruel business. These animals are made safe for the benefit of the clients: their claws and teeth and removed and they are drugged with tranquilizers. And at the end of the season, most monkeys, parrots, and other animals are put down because it is very expensive to keep them when tourist season is over.
Alternative: Take pictures of animals in their natural habitats.
Horse riding can be a pleasant past time both for a person and for a horse. In order for this to happen, there should be a special connection between them that is based on trust and care. This connection is impossible to establish when you just use the horse. The organizations that offer horseback riding usually just want to earn as much money as possible. So they give horses to amateur or very overweight riders that could easily hurt the animal. This is even worse when it comes to riding in parks: they usually buy very cheap horses from butchers and return them as soon as they don’t need them.
Alternative: Professional horseback riding lessons that are taken on a regular basis.
Of course, it’s not that easy to give up visiting places where we normally have so many positive emotions. And every time we go to these places, we want to believe that the animals there don’t suffer. But it’s a lie: animals can have a good life only when they can be who they are — animals. Not artists, not a means of transportation, and not a photo background.
What is your attitude toward zoos? Do you think that this kind of business is unethical or do you think that animal rights activists just exaggerate things?
Preview photo credit ARahMar / Pikabu