1000 Flowers for the Planet - #645 Avoid Having Tourist Photos with Animals
When travelling to all those wonderfully exotic places overseas it’s very easy to get drawn into having your photograph taken with a wild animal. You may think you are helping the animals by paying for the photo, or the animal keeper may insist your funds are needed to ensure the survival of these animals. But think about this. Wild animals do NOT naturally enjoy having their photograph taken with a human being. In order to keep the animals quiet so they will ‘pose’ with you, the handlers/owners may do any or all of the following things: pull out teeth so the animal cannot bite, chain the animal at night to prevent escape, keep the animal in a cramped cage, use cruel training methods to ensure they behave in a particular way, or drugs to keep them quiet while they pose with you. They have likely been taken from the wild in the first instance, and as young animals are easier to train, the mother may well have been killed in order to procure your entertainment.
Humans do need to make a living, but is it the right thing for them to do acts of animal cruelty for financial gain, and how do you fit into that picture (or should I say ‘photo’)?