You are traveling in S.E Asia. You see an animal in a cage. What would you do? What should you do?
This is an interesting article that will get you thinking about the animal trade around the world.
Remember, when you travel DO NOT take part in animal tourism. Elephant rides, monkey activities, parrot pictures are all very damaging to the animals, the ecosystems and the economy.
Those animals were stolen from the wild, their teeth were ripped out, they are suffering from malnutrition and improper enrichment.
The families who are using these animals as a source of income are taking part in a cruel and unsustainable practice because they have seen short term gains and see that this can get them an income to feed their families. Once the animal they have dies, they will just have to get another one from the wild. These people don’t want to see cruelty happen to the animal they are exploiting. However, they choose their families financial dependance on tourists because this has proven to be a way they can feed themselves. Break this cycle and support sustainable, fair and humane economy.
The forests that depend on a complex food web are becoming less balanced and suffering as they get emptied with the flora and fauna tourists want to see, play with, touch and own. Some animals we may never have the luck to see. Just as not everyone will be able to go into space, not everyone will be able to see a slow loris. We must work past our entitlement and remember that animals are not for us. They are for themselves.
When you support the animal trade- through the purchase of animal products or through animal exploitative experiences, you are giving them your seal of approval. Your actions show your endorsement.
It’s not just a quick ride on an elephant. It’s a long life of suffering and torture for the elephant who was ripped apart from their mother when they were young.
It’s not just a picture with a happy monkey. It’s feeding a system that takes monkeys away from their families, has their teeth ripped out and chains put around their neck for their entire lives.
It’s not just a macaw in a cage at a cafe. It’s one less animal in the wild. One less chance for that species to survive, one less important piece to a very complex puzzle that needs all the pieces for it’s health.
Cages keep animals in, they exist because without them animals would escape. They would go where they want- and that is NOT a night market so they can be purchased by a human to live in another cage.
Keep animals in the forests, the deserts, the oceans, the plains- in the wild where they belong.
Do not support the animal trade or animal tourism.
What do you think about these tourists? Do you think they did the right thing?
Nora and Dr. Heather