By MAEVE GRAY
Imagine growing up in the wild and living a care-free life only to have it all taken away due to humans wanting to indulge in animal entertainment.
Zoos are known for being a happy and family fun environment where many kids interact with animal themed activities. Although zoos are a source for multiple childhood memories, it is trapping animals in caged areas for entertainment purposes. Without any consent, animals are forced into small, closed spaces and are watched by hundreds of people every day. Not only can the mass attention scare the animal, but putting them in smaller spaces than their original home can make adapting much harder, making zoos very detrimental to animals.
Back in 2016, a seventeen year old gorilla named Harambe was wrongly shot due to the lack of supervision from a child’s parents when he decided to climb over the large money’s wall. Everyone knows the story of Harambe due to the tragedy and shock it had caused. Although it was not the child’s fault, Harambe did not deserve to die. This would have never happened if Harambe was out in his original habitat.
Additionally, a puma that had escaped a zoo in Korea in 2018 was shot as well. The female cat, known as Bbo-rong, had dodged the tranquilizers that the officers were shooting at her. According to authorities, the death was “inevitable”. This event had sparked protests from the Korean public over animal rights and how they were being mistreated. Apparently, the National Institute of Environmental Research had even requested to have the body taxidermied for inspection and research. Many were outraged since Bbo-rong had been held captive against her will for 8 years and had escaped for a couple hours of freedom due to someone unintentionally leaving the door unlocked. Zoos unethically trap these animals and do not care about how they are treated and solely focus on profit.
Furthermore, animal based theme parks are just as problematic as regular zoos. For instance, SeaWorld is very popular for their aquatic animals and rides. Unfortunately, these marine parks also do not care about the animals they are keeping caged. It was reported that dolphins, whales, and other fish trapped are put in tanks with incompatible animals. This creates dangerous fights and large injuries; yet, it is not enough to get SeaWorld to help. SeaWorld also forces their animals to participate in different tricks in front of large audiences by using food as rewards. It is really sad because these living, breathing creatures are being objectified into entertainment pieces for money.
In addition, there is also animal cruelty present in multiple industries such as circuses and amusement parks. For example, L.A. County Fair used to utilize animals, such as camels and kangaroos, to gain a crowd of people. There were numerous booths that incorporated animals like the petting area and the bird section. These species have to spend years of their lives just effortlessly walking around in barren pens to accommodate people who do not know how to take care of them. For circus animals, they are estimated to spend 96% of their lives in chains or cages in establishments that forcefully teach them tricks to grow attention. From all the pressure and methods to make animals learn, no one can blame the animals for retaliating against the people attempting to train them. Since the 1990s, there have been over 123 reported situations of captive wild cats attacking humans and only 13 have been fatally injured, but this reaction shows they do not want to be there.
Whenever circuses travel, they place these large animals in small caged crates that can be very uncomfortable. It is in nature for these creatures to want to move around but the abrupt and noticeable shaking from the crate being moved will most likely cause the animal stress or fear. It is also reported that animals can face health related issues due to not being out in the wild.
Furthermore, there is also documented footage and evidence of trainers physically abusing animals whenever they do something wrong or mess up a performance. They use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks and more as “punishment”. Circus trainers are allowed to get away with this behavior due to the lack of monitoring from the government. Although we may not see direct consequences of these horrific actions, industries that use animals for greed should not be able to continue to make money. These animals are being caught at a young age and are forced to go through training to make them “human- friendly and are severely disciplined for years.
Different forms of animal cruelty are taking place throughout multiple entertainment industries and it is continuing to happen today. To help prevent this from continuing, there are many donation websites and petitions that could help bring more awareness to shut these corporations down. An example is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a large organization that is striving to get animals out of the entertainment business. Supporting them and other similar foundations can assist with their determination and cause. With people’s help, animal abuse within this industry can be stopped.