As kids, zoos and aquariums are places of wonder where we get to learn about all kinds of animals. Unfortunately, like the Easter bunny and tooth fairy, there’s no escaping the hard truth that we’ve been fed lies.
Here’s why you should avoid all places where animals are held in captivity:
Using animals for entertainment is wrong.
Even though zoos and aquariums profess the noble goal of preserving endangered species and educating the public about wild life, they have the same end purpose as circuses and events like bull-fighting. That is – exploiting animals for financial gain!
Keeping animals in captivity deprives them of their right to live in freedom and the respect they deserve.
From an animal welfare standpoint, even if animals are kept physically healthy, they are still denied a natural habitat, may have too little room, and are forced to live in unnaturally close proximity to other species (including humans).
These conditions can make animals experience the symptoms we associate with depression.
Are you part of the problem?
If you want to avoid contributing to this cycle of animal abuse, here are the main places and events (other than zoos and aquariums) you should absolutely boycott.
- SeaWorld (and other aquatic parks)
Orcas and dolphins living in pools suffer greatly. Highly social creatures, they experience trauma from being separated from their families. They are also forced to perform tricks in their unnatural environment (the equivalent to swimming in a bathtub).
Elephants, tigers, and other animals performing in circuses are doing so under inhumane treatment. Whips, collars, electric prods, and other weapons are commonly used to beat them into submission. Animals are also confined to small cages and boxcars in traveling circuses.
- Horse-drawn carriages
Horses are forced to pull heavy loads, while breathing in car fumes, being exposed to the stressful hustle and bustle of cities, and subject to all sorts of extreme weather conditions. There’s nothing romantic about that!
- Elephant rides
Increasing in popularity due to touristic appeal in Asian countries, elephant rides are a serious issue. Often beaten into submission, chained, and kept in abysmal conditions, elephants don’t deserve to be ridden for a quick Instagram picture.
Still want to be close to your animal friends? Here’s where you should go instead!
Contrary to zoos, sanctuaries are places where animals are housed in their natural habitat with plenty of physical and mental enrichment.
They are rescued animals from circuses, roadside zoos, laboratories, and other exploitative industries like animal agriculture.
Check out the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries to find a sanctuary near you!
And one piece of good news
On October 23, the Canadian Senate passed Bill S-203, which bans the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity. It’s expected to pass through the House of Commons in May.
Want to learn more about ways you can improve animals’ lives? We’ve got all the info!
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