If you have ever bought shell jewelry, rode an elephant, or had a monkey on your shoulder, you have encouraged cruelty to animals, without even knowing it. For poor animals kept in captivity, every day is filled with torture. In pursuit of entertainment, tourists may not even notice that they are becoming patrons of the ruthless multi-million dollar industry.
Here are seven tourist attractions that are actual torture for animals.
1. Horse-drawn carriages
You may think that rose-drawn rides are excellent for spending some lovely time with your date. And yes, they are pleasant for the passengers but try to look at it from the horse’s point of view. The noise, cars honking, people yelling; in snow, rain, or blazing heat; these poor creatures are forced to work their hooves off for your sake. Sometimes they just fall over and die from over-exhaustion.
Contrary to what the papers say, shells sold in stalls at resorts are usually not collected on beaches. The preparation for the sale is a cruel process, according to National Geographic. Shells are farmed with clams still inside them. The still-alive mollusks are left to dry in the sun. Then they are placed in acid barrels to dissolve the flesh. Next time you decide to buy a shell souvenir, think twice.
3. Elephant rides
I shouldn’t be telling you how cruel the training regime is for riding elephants. When they are little, their legs get beaten into a bloody pulp and tied together with a short chain. Yes, humans always know the most horrible way to break an animal’s spirit. They’re starved, beaten with a stick, poked, kicked, and for what, so some whites could post a pic on their Instagram? For shame.
4. Trained snakes
It is quite an experience to see the snakes “dance” to the flute of the snake charmer. But if you knew the cost at which this barbaric entertainment comes, you’d never look at this attraction the same way. So let me help you! The reptiles always have their sharp fangs removed, and venom ducts blocked. After this operation, even the fiercest cobras become docile and harmless but also can cause a plethora of infections, ultimately making them die in horrible agony.
In an even fight, the toreador has absolutely no chance of winning. So to guarantee their victory, the bullfighters like to weaken the bull before the show. They smear the bull’s eyes with nasty stuff to blind them, drop heavy things on their back, and even inject them with drugs. Then, of course, during the “performance”, the toreadors stab the bulls with swords. Oh, what fun!
6. Dancing monkeys
These street performers can be found everywhere in the world, from Thailand to Ukraine. Monkeys are quite intelligent, but they still need to be trained. And by now, you all know how humans “train” animals. Not to mention these monkeys end up in a cold cage after working all day.
7. Dolphin shows
Such a familiar picture: a smiling tourist swims in clear water with cute, cackling dolphins. Many hotels in Asia offer this kind of entertainment, putting dolphins in pools so that guests can swim with them. Sadly, few tourists think about the life of these poor mammals, which were raised in captivity and placed into a tiny chlorine-filled pool. It’s their own little prison where they get food for doing tricks.