Ethical Animal Tourism

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Full disclosure:

Horse back riding through the ocean in Tobago

Entertaining feather monkeys in Cape Town

Last year I provided a suggestion of activities to do in Phuket that didn't involve exploiting animals.

I hesitated to write this. I am a firm believer in minding your own damn business. I am also a graduate of the school of Know Better, Do Better. Summa Cum Laude.

The savior complex that many humans exhibit apparently extends to animals. Perhaps the desire to save a wild animal that can care for itself began when humans started destroying their habitats? I don't see any other reason a human would want to be near them. 

Elephant "training" [very graphic]

Baby elephant having it's spirit broken

There is a billion dollar industry throughout Southeast Asia that centers on the harm and exploitation of wild animals for the pleasure of humans. In the past few years, I have learned that these innocent animals are broken in order to learn to interact with humans. Elephant Treks, self-proclaimed Elephant "Sanctuaries", tiger temples, all of which have come under scrutiny in recent years, are a no-go for me.

Tiger Abuse: Perhaps it's because most of us grew up in zoo and circus culture, but you know damn well you would avoid a tiger in another other scenario.
Sedated and chained tiger in Thailand
Source: National Geographic

A heavily sedated tiger is removed from Tiger Temple Thailand.
This cat spans four, whole grown men; it took about ten men to remove it.
Do you really think it would play with you under normal circumstances??
Source: National Geographic

Dead tigers and tiger cubs found at the popular Tiger Temple, summer 2016
Source: National Geographic

This one I really, really struggle with. I have never had the desire to be near any wild animal larger than me. Depending on the gangster of the potential bite, I don't even wanna be near those smaller than me [eyeing spiders and bees]! I can't, for the life of me, see how any sane human could think that they'd be able to get near a tiger otherwise-of course it's drugged up. If the animal can't be broken, they are heavily sedated with psychotropic drugs or even alcohol. This is terrible and inhumane. Ever since I've learned about these things, I've endeavored not to give my money to these types of tours.

A word of common sense from PETA

If you have a conscience, and you desire to spend your vacation doing something other than bothering animals that likely want to be left the hell alone, there are tons of other things you can do.

Don't you wanna eat? :)
Are you a beach bum like me? 
Thailand has so much to offer, including some of the best sights I've ever seen.
And I really didn't even scratch the surface of the regions I visited.

Man listen. Thailand has it all. You don't need to fool with them animals :)
Dat view doe

Dat view doe

Personally pledging to leave the animals alone. I wouldn't want anyone on the back of my neck. I wouldn't want to be drugged into submission, ever. I won't entertain horseback riding anymore. I won't entertain non-domesticated animals period, particularly those that have a history of being abused. I won't go to zoos [never liked 'em anyway], I've never been to a circus nor do I desire to.

And Lord help me (no, really!) I'm going to give veganism another go this year. Woosah!

When you know better, you do better! Come on, have a heart. Leave the animals to themselves. It'll be a long time before this industry is brought to its knees but I have hope. We can do this. 

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