It's no secret that travelling the world is what I hope to be doing until the day I leave it. It, along with animals is what inspired me to start Beyond the Backpack. But combining those two passions inevitably leads to a single topic which is both controversial and hugely popular. Animal Tourism.
Don't get me wrong. I am certainly no expert on the matter, but rather want to explore it. Animal tourism over the past many years has been cruel and horrifying. I'm sure you've seen the same videos I have. The torture so many kinds of animals have been put through in order to provide entertainment for humans. To this day it persists, despite the knowledge to most eveyone of it's unforgivable ways. Documentaries like Blackfish have opened our eyes. Yet despite all of this knowledge, these kinds of animal tourism continue to thrive. And why is it?
It seems the answer to that is a photo. Or a selfie to be more specific. Somehow, it's more important to get a photo with a drugged tiger or riding on an elephant, than actually doing the right thing - avoiding this exploitation all together. The likes on that photo of the moment seems to outweighs the incredible cruelty endured by these living, feeling creatures. That's not ok. I've also heard from parents who take their children to see captive animals that it's educational, and so it's ok. Because seeing a dolphin is the thing their daughter wants most in the world, its ok that it's wrong in every way.
It makes my blood boil. Every single time. And if you're taking the time to read this, I'm sure it does for you as well. I hate the feeling so much. But it's also what drives me forward into doing something about it. Making a difference. That feeling is what told me that I needed to be taking action. It is the reason I started working with animals and to help animals. As much as I hate that feeling, the only time I wish to not feel it, is when the cages have all been opened. The tanks emptied. The chains undone.
It will happen. I have hope it will. And it's why I'll continue to fight for it. For the lives that have no voices. And yet are as capable of love and feeling as you or I. I hope you join me in the fight. Because if you haven't noticed there's a movement abreast. And it's growing stronger everyday. Will you sit back and do nothing. Or stand up and be counted?