So you may have read my rant about the direction Instagram is taking(in my opinion) and how I believe Instagram has zapped people of creativity and individuality in their quest for being liked and followed. We can argue that there are many people true to themselves and just how creative are, let’s leave that argument for another time for a moment or take it to that post I published. In this post, I wanted to discuss something else that has been bothering me. There are a couple of tourist activities that seriously make me cringe. We are in an age where almost everyone has The Internet. Certainly true for those that travel, otherwise how are they booking their tickets to travel. Those are the people this post is targeting. It’s no longer an excuse to play the ignorant card. When I travel I research where I am going, the activities I want to do in the city I am visiting and all sorts of things. With that, I also love at reviews about what people think of those activities. Which ones are good, which are just a waste of my money, which ones are free? So with all that is involved in planning travel people cannot just pretend not know what why they shouldn’t be participating in certain activities.
We all see these posts in Facebook groups where people are posting pictures riding on elephants, selfies with tigers or throwing live squid down their throats. Almost with a total disregard for the suffering of these animals. Have we become so self-absorbed, and numb to the suffering of others and animals that we take these pictures for the sake of Instagram shots and Facebook profile pictures that we no longer care or want to address the cruelty these animals have to endure just so you can post a “cool shot” for your social media? I also notice that the more people post these pictures the more people want to do them because “hey that would look cool on my *insert social media outlet*”.
Below are 5 of some the tourist activities that I think people need to stop engaging in or better yet do enough research and ensure you are going to actual sanctuaries. Ask yourself if you can honestly say the animals haven’t been harmed, drugged out, overworked, chained or beaten just you can take that photo. Can you honestly sit and take this photo knowing the animal is suffering just so you can create this memory? Also, stop using these crazy excuses and trying to deflect with statements like its the same as eating meat. We should all be vegan and such(yes, I have even seen a vegan trying to excuse his participation in elephant rides with similar statements). My post my lack eloquence but hopefully my point is clear enough, in that we can do better by these animals and just think about these activities and ask ourselves these questions before taking part. Don’t do it for the social media, knowing your participation is causing harm.
Please share in your comments on what you think about these or if you thought you were going to a sanctuary and it then turned out to be a place that was mistreating animals. Also, share below any other activities you think alt to be on this list.
1. Elephant Rides
“We believe that if Western tourists stop being customers for elephant rides, this will immediately change the scenario and improve the welfare and lives of elephants across India,” – Seshamani.
These animals are forced to work in the tourism industry. Many are tortured during training. Forced to work long hours. From Vietnam to Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, India and Cambodia. This is a popular activity that many people now engage in and choose to ignore facts and research in how many of these animals are tried instead choosing to believe that they are visiting a sanctuary all without evidence shown to them in the care and treatment of the elephants. Instead, research and ask those providing the activities about how their elephants were captured, how they are taken care of, how long they work. If you need more on the level of cruelty that goes into the training of these animals so they are submissive enough for you to be able to ride them then check out this post by Right Tourism on Elephant Trekking
2. Eye of The Tiger Selfies(Or pictures with lions)
Chained and drugged out tigers with an endless queue of tourists waiting to take pictures with tigers. What tiger would allow a human to come that close without chewing them down like KFC hot wings to a group of hungry teens? Most of these tigers are taken as cubs from their mothers just so that you can take a picture curled up with them. These tigers are forced to work long days with streams of tourists with little to no exercise. There are many reasons not to do these tours, better yet let some who has worked in these places tell you why you should think twice before visiting a tiger temple
in Thailand or any other country for that matter. Then there those increasing numbers of tourist going to Africa and taking the now popular pictures with lions. I would say the same to you. Ensure you research as much as possible about these so-called sanctuaries. Check out this video showing the mistreatment of a lion in Indonesia while tourists are queuing up for pictures
with an obviously suffering animal. This is cruel! Stop taking part in these activities and YOU have the power to reduce and end the suffering of these animals.
3. Eating Live Animals
This one is as disgusting and cruel as they come. I really cannot say any more than that. Instead, I will show you a Youtube video.
4. Tours of Slums
These as been around almost as long as poverty itself has been around. From when wealthy Londoners took to London’s East End to check out how their poor counterparts were getting on. South Africa’s Apartheid fueled township tours to poor neighbourhoods in, Soweto. Tours in Brazil’s favela, Kenyan’s tours of Kibera slums and since the popular movie of Slumdog Millionaire such tours in India’s slums have increased tenfold. Tours like this rub me the wrong way. Bus loads of tourists in their air-conditioned buses with their Nikon and Canon cameras dangling around their necks all waiting to take those pictures of poor folk just seems rather absurd to me. If you are going to do such tours, find out how much of the proceeds of these tours goes back to help the people in these neighbourhoods. Take the time to interact with local people and not treat them like circus animals that you just go and watch. Look into who runs the tours, what benefit they are serving to the people and the betterment of the communities you are exploring.
5. Animal Hunting Tours
We have all seen news of the dentist that managed to kill Cecil the lion and the circulation of Melissa Bachman and her lion. You have companies like AfricanSky
that claim the pointless killing of these animals to help with bringing back species from the brink of extinction. Look at the picture above and tell me that is not for some self-serving desire for trophy killing. This is the same as those pointless bear killings just so you can have the head of the bear on your wall. Why take part in this cruelty? Also don’t believe the nonsense that you are somehow helping with wildlife conservation. This is purely to satisfy your desire to injure and kill the animal for no reason other than your thirst to see it suffer and die as you take a picture like that of Melissa Bachman above. These pointless and cruel activities need to stop.
Pin It and Share