When you travel, do you think about animal welfare?
When you go on a camel ride in the Sahara desert, are you interested in the hook to which the camel is attached? When you go to see dolphins breeding in marine parks, do you think about what they could have gone through to perform these sort of tricks? When you go on a Safari cruise, do you know how much the carbon emissions from your car affect the air around the animals?
The publication of some statistics from World Animal Protection, a non-profit organization, has shown that people do not understand what is acceptable in terms of animal welfare or do not realize how much cruelty happens to animals behind the scenes or at the beginning of their lives when they are subjected to training.
Camels and sharks
Camels are used in tourist activities mainly in North Africa. Camels wear cloth muzzles or are chained and pulled to the point of broken bones.
It takes 6 to 8 years for a camel to mature and bone formation does not end until later. If camels under 5 years old are used for camel riding, their growth can be seriously affected. Unfortunately, it is common in many places to see camels that are too young being used. Knowing this, are you comfortable climbing and putting all your weight on what could be a baby camel?
To another interesting trend – shark diving. For some, it is a dream to lock themselves in a cage and watch the sharks swim around, attracted by the food you throw away to get their attention. But is caging with sharks an ethical way to see the top predator of the ocean? Due to shark feeding or ‘chumming’ links have been established to an increase in shark attacks.
Some believe that this is an unnecessary activity whose ecological implications are largely unknown.
According to World Animal Protection 550,000 animals are snatched from the wild, ‘trained’ by inflicting pain are living in severely inadequate conditions or are chained and isolated just to entertain us tourists. Why don’t we change this? There is a balance to everything and the pursuit of travel can be done responsibly, with awareness of the environment and its inhabitants.@NyashaKMutizwa