Animals Have a Voice (featuring theveganlily)

Warning: Before you read, this article does contain two disturbing pictures of animals being shut in cramped, small cages. If you want skip these pictures, you can scroll down if you wish.  

Animals. Who doesn’t love them? I know I certainly do – I’ve grown up with two, care free border collies and five cats. But, what about animals outside the home? The ones you’ll see at the zoo? Are they being treated fairly and equally like our household best friends? To investigate and answer this question, I’ve teamed up with theveganlily to address this issue, to explain how and why animals are still treated badly in captivity.

Growing up, I’ve always had a huge passion for animals; I loved learning about and talking to them. In the UK (where I live), most zoos claim that they provide excellent care to our animal friends; big or small. But when I read one of theveganlily’s articles about the abuse of farm animals, I was inspired to dig a little deeper. So, I wasted no time and began to start my research on animals – zoo animals to be exact. What I’ve found is shocking and disgusting.

There are currently over 10,000 zoos in the world. They are meant to be fun, educational and a safe haven for all animals. However, not all zoo’s keep their problems. Some of the world’s beautiful, mighty and magnificent are imprisoned, abused, and even murdered by their keepers. So, what’s going on and why is this happening?

Some zoos aboard (including some parts of the Western world) are torturing nature’s creatures, much to the distress of animal lovers everywhere. They ignore warnings and animal acts just because they couldn’t give a monkey’s out of it. In some cases, there’ve been a hanging, involving a young lion, a tiger being fed with formaldehyde in its meat, replacing real animals with taxidermy models, keeping them in cramped, and dirty cages, in solitary confinement and with no exercise.

Even theme parks have done a pretty bad job of taking care of them. Take SeaWorld for example. Not only do they have keep their whales and dolphins in shallow tanks the size of bathtubs (which are forty feet deep), the keepers physically and emotionally abuse them. This includes covering the animals’ sunburns with black zinc oxide, training whales to float on their backs before artificially inseminating and masturbating them; which forces them to breed earlier than usual. In one case, SeaWorld allow one of their female killer whales to inbred – with her own sons! Because of these barbarian acts, SeaWorld have failed to recognise how much they care for their animals; even the whales know that they are being treated unfairly. And do you want to know the worst part? That SeaWorld kidnaps them! Yes, SeaWorld kidnaps Orcas from the wild, before sending them to captivity.

The signs are all there – the collapsed dorsal fins (which indicates an unhealthy and unhappy orca), the reported deaths of trainers. But it’s just Orcas that are getting bad treatment.

In 2010, SeaWorld San Antonio allowed their female Sealion, Singer to drown in the drain in a holding pool, since the keepers did not properly drain the cover “tightly enough”.  This is really appalling as I suspect that all the trainers’ have done a crappy job of taking care of them. And why, may I ask? It’s because of the real profession of SeaWorld’s trainers’ are performers instead of keepers.

Here’s theveganlily to give her thoughts:

As a vegan animal rights activist, I have made the simple life decision of not contributing to the exploitation or captivity of any animal to the best of my ability. This, for me, means boycotting zoos.  I find it difficult to look at an en-caged animal and believe that he or she deserves to be locked up and on display for the public.  If I were to visit a zoo I would effectively be funding and supporting the captivity of many animals who, in my opinion, deserve better.

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The sad reality is the fact that zoos are unable to provide the same amount of space that their natural habitat would provide. Especially for animals such as tigers and giraffes (large animals) who would have around 18,000 times more space in the wild. Even at the best of zoos, the animals’ natural habitats cannot be compared to the enclosures provided. The animals are often prevented from doing natural and important actions such as flying, roaming, running, climbing, choosing a partner and foraging. Instead, these animals are often seen cramped, bored and lonely.

I question the quality of life and mental health of these ‘zoo animals’. ”A study of elephants in UK zoos found that 54% of the elephants showed stereotypes (behavioural problems) during the daytime. One elephant observed during day and night stereotyped for 61% of a 24-hour period.  Lions in zoos spend 48% of their time pacing, a recognised sign of behavioural problems.”

I also question whether zoos exist for the well-being of these animals or simply for our entertainment. It seems unnatural and unnecessary to keep so many animals in unnatural enclosures. I don’t understand how we justify captivating certain animals whose specie isn’t even endangered. And it’s sad to think that the only reason so many species are becoming endangered and extinct is because of us, humans.

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A very touching and powerful video I would recommend watching is titled ”No Place Like Home”.   The video explains in more depth some of the points I mentioned above.

If you get a chance, please pause and watch this video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQHekJaG6fM&feature=player_embedded

Zoos teach humans that it’s acceptable to interfere with animals and claim them as our own. This attitude being passed down from generation to generation is harmful for the animals for obvious reasons. I think that it’s incredibly important for us to educate ourselves as much as we can about issues regarding animal rights and welfare, simply because non-human animals are the most abused, exploited and tortured group of beings on this planet. We need to inform ourselves on how we can take action in stopping this exploitation and I believe that begins with ending our contribution and support to the abuse. The animals may not have voices, but we do and it’s time we put them to use.

Boycotting zoo’s, aquariums and amusement parks, such as SeaWorld can be a dangerous crime. Growing up, I’ve seen zoo’s in London and Hertfordshire were animals are enclosed in small enclosures that are about the sizes of squares or wide, but cramped rectangles. In ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, I’ve seen many animals outside, roaming free in the outdoors (the zoo is actually on top of a hill, in the middle of the countryside) and some of them perform displays were visitors are not only entertained but taught about the species’ lives and how the conversation is saving them from extinction. But is this enough?

Can more tourist attractions follow the example of Whipsnade? Do Whipsnade need to put more effort to meet the requirement standards for the comfort of the animals? Should places like SeaWorld be forced to close down when they don’t meet the full standards? Should world leaders pull forward harsher punishments?

Join the debate; please share your opinions in the comments section below.

Many thanks to theveganlily for her thoughts and the participation in this special article.

That’s all for now. I wish you all a pleasant evening. 🙂

Gigi. Xxx

P.S. If you still have time and you don’t agree with SeaWorld’s ways that they keep Orcas and breeding them, please sign this petition. I haven’t organised this petition, but I’ve already signed my name on this. I hope that you’ll make a difference and help more animals being realised back to the wild and/or treated fairly in zoo’s, theme parks and aquariums everywhere.

Petition Link: https://www.change.org/p/seaworld-end-captive-orca-breeding-program

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Are Birds Dumb? 4 Flightless Myths About Birds

Ever wondered what a bird’s life would be like without all the myths? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with animals and birds are no expectation. They’ve made me feel alive and free when I look at them, soaring into the air.

Anyway, onto the post facts; I’ve researched them through these websites: NWF, Place for Wild Birds and Bird Watchers Digest.

Please note that these stories aren’t mine and belong to the original owners.

Also, I want to decide this post to any bird fans out there I hope you enjoy reading these fascinating facts.

  1. When Birds Sing, Is It Because They Are happy? True/False?

False: Males birds sing; not when their happy but when they’re aggressive. They do this to warn competitors to stay away and attract their personal qualities to the females; female birds prefer to mate with males who either do a lot of singing or sing difficult songs.

  1. Birds Have One Sexual Relationship At A Time and Pair For Life. True/False?

False: In North America, it is estimated that forty percent of young songbirds cheat on their mates due to extra-marital mattings.

Most birds will live with one partner for only a few months or years, before going their separate ways. It depends which species of birds divorce their partners; in recent ratings, 99 percent of separations come from the Greater Flamingo and 0 percent from the Wandering Albatross.

  1. Birds Don’t Have A Sense of Smell. True/False?

False: Although most birds can’t smell as well as dogs, some Seabirds can sense their mate and Turkey Vultures can sense food; all by smell.

  1. Birds can easily adapt to climate change while flying. True/False?

False: Due to global warming, many birds are moving to the north, laying eggs earlier and food supplies are running low (with chicks badly affected); this all down to rising temperatures. If this continues, many species could face extinction.

And there you are – four myths about birds. So the next time you see a bird in the street or countryside, just remember that the birds are living normal lives just like us humans.

And there you are – four myths about birds. So the next time you see a bird in the street or countryside, just remember that the birds are living normal lives just like us humans.

Animals

These are the pictures from my day out to London Zoo; I love animals so much and what I love more is animal photography. So, I wanted to share these with you and write a poem about them. I hope you enjoy them. 🙂

Animals,

Big or small;

I love animals,

Whither tiny or tall.

Like human beings,

Animals also have feelings.

They are special,

So please,

Respect, save and love them!

Photos Taken from Sony Xperia™ smartphone

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© 2015

Is It Wrong To Keep Wild Animals As Pets?

Note: I originally wrote this article as a guest blogger but I’m not sure what happened there. So, I’ve decided to upload my latest article. 

Is It Wrong To Keep Wild Animals As Pets?

There is no doubt that nearly of the world’s population love animals, but there are some people who don’t own domestic pets; instead, they keep wild animals in their homes. But is it wrong to keep wild animals as domestic house pets?

Every year, there are people who many own all kinds of exotic “pets”; animals that you would normally find in zoos. They include Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, Emperor Scorpions, Skunks, Fennec Foxes, Servals, and Two – toed Sloths, Wallabies, Muntjac Deer’s, Squirrel Monkeys, Macaws, Chimpanzees, Bush Babies and Boa Constrictors.

 

Fact: Did you know that there are more tigers, living as exotic “pets” than in the wild? In America, they cost more money than a purebred dog.    

While you may think keeping wild animals may be cool, there are many negatives than positives. Imagine if you are thinking of buying an exotic “pet” and want to buy it in the next week. Well, you have to think of these important points:

  • Unlike domestic pets, exotic “pets” do not well in homes. Some of them grow, sometimes into large sizes. They will have no room, whither they will be kept in a house, garden or cage. Instead, they will need special housing.
  • What environment does the pet need? If they are not provided with the correct carefully-controlled environment, they will become obese, sick and die.
  • They will need a special diet and owners need to research about how much their exotic “pets” eat.
  • Will they need a companion or are they alright by themselves.
  • They will need around the clock care – some exotics are nocturnals. Are you prepared to stay up in the night looking after an animal?
  • Animals carry diseases like Herpes B, Monkeypox and Salmonellosis that are deadly to humans.
  • If an exotic “pet” is ill, is there an exotic vet in your local area who can cure it?

Secondly, what happens to the wild animals before they come into your home? Do they travel comfortably and settle down once they landed in another country? Animals can be treated unfairly.

Some animals are kidnapped from their habitats by exhibit collectors, kept in small cages, sold in pet shops, sold at auctions, and black markets and sold on the Internet by backyard breeders. However, some of the exotic “pets” get abandoned, put to death or dumped to live in extremely bad conditions when their owners had enough of them.

And finally, will countries accept exotic “pets”? In the UK, you need to acquire a private license from local councils. It’s the same in the US; in thirteen states. Seven states (like South Carolina and Naamloze Vennootschap) do not restrict dangerous exotic “pets”, while eighteen other states ban those “pets”.

So with that information, do you really, truly want an exotic pet?

My answer to this is no way.

I maybe an animal lover but I am certainly not a thief. I believe it is utterly wrong to keep exotic “pets” and treat them as domestic pets. It is a disgrace that countries, even Western countries, to allow members of the public buy wild animals; this shouldn’t be allowed! If I was a world leader, I would abolish exotic “pet” licenses and pass a law that only zoo keepers are allowed to export wild animals, so their zoos can continue look after and breed them to rescue all wild animal from extinction.

If a law does exist and someone breaks it, I think they should be behind bars for a very long time. It is wrong to commit abuse to wild animals. They have a right to live, be free and feel secure. If I had the nerve, I would write a letter to my Prime Minister and persuade him to change the law for buying these so called ‘exotic “pets”’. To me, they are more than animals.

There is a way but at the moment, I can’t see how to raise this issue. This makes me frustrated because I want to end as soon as possible. Maybe, one day change will come and all the animals will be free from slavery from humans. I can only hope, pray and dream for this event to come true, but please let it happen soon…

The Top Ten Endangered Animals in the World ~ Animal Rights Article

During class at Drama School last week, I asked my friends about what they thought was the most endangered animal. All of them said, chimps, gorillas and lions. However, a close friend answered, “every animal is endangered and there are some we don’t know that have been existed yet”. She’s right; there are many animals that are in danger of excitation due to the actions of human beings.

However, that doesn’t mean these animals haven’t got a voice; like us, they have the right to be heard. In other words, they have the right to be left alone in their natural habits. But, what a lot of people don’t know is that poachers and even citizens are invading animals’ personal spaces and doing things to them that are unthinkable.

So to share this awareness, I have found (with a little help from my friends) ten of the most endangered animals in the world, based on our opinions:

  1. White Tiger – White tigers are rare; most of them are kept in captivity. There are hardly many of these tigers in the wild because they are so rare. Because of this, people are inbreeding them so they can increase the population of white tigers. However, doing this can cause problems when mothers give birth to their cubs and other illnesses.
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My picture of a White Tiger, taken in 2014
  1. Whales – Whales have been haunted for many centuries; they’ve been hunted for food, oil to make candles, and soap, tools and other things. However, if people will continue to hunt Whales, we won’t have anything left to make things. So, I guess we need to find alternatives.
  1. Snow Leopard – Snow leopards have been haunted for Asian medicine (the medicine contains bones, skin and organs) and have been killed by farmers, after these big cats have been hunting their livestock and habit loss.
  1. White Shark – This species of shark is on the verge of extinction, due to trading, with poachers using their teeth and jaws and pills, using their meat.
  1. Bonobo Apes – I’ve recently discovered that Bonobo’s exist in the wild. However, my recent discovery doesn’t mean that they are safe. Habitat loss, disease and poaching are the reasons of Bonobo’s are being threatened  There is a law in the Democratic Republic of Congo, were Bonobo’s are recognised as a fully-protected species. But sadly, that isn’t enough to stop hunters from killing them.
  1. Hippo – Hippo’s are being hunted for their meat, which goes on sale in the black market, their ivory, habit loss and drought.
  1. Rhinos – There are many species of rhino, but rhinos are endangered, due to poaching. If you are a big lover of the rhino, you will know that rhinos are being hunted for their horns. Because of this, few rhinos are surviving outside reserves and national parks. Today, the Javan and Sumatran Rhinos are Critically Endangered, Southern White Rhinos have been labelled as “Near Threatened” and in 2011 a subspecies of the Javan became extinct.
  1. Yangtze Finless Porpoise Dolphin – This species of dolphin had been labelled from “Critically Endangered” from “Endangered” in 2013. This is due overpopulation, pollution, habit loss, dam-building and electro-fishing; all these things are happening in the Yangtze River, all caused by humans.
  1. Leatherback Turtle – The Leatherback Turtle is being threatened due to habit loss, trade, people collecting eggs and meat for medicine and/or food, global warming and pollution.
  1. Sumatran Orangutan – The Sumatran Orangutans are endangered, due to illegal trade or being taken out of their habit and being forced to live as pets. In the wild, the Orangutans live in the trees; the females never travel to the ground and the males do, occasionally. So, people may hunt them while they are in the trees. It’s sad that they can’t have protection in their lives.

Why do these animals suffer? Are we doing something to protect them? Isn’t it enough or do these animals need more? These are the most important questions that we need to think today and in the future, because if we don’t take action, there’ll be no animals left (apart from humans) in the world. It’ll be a shame to lose many magnificent creatures, all due to human greed.

What can you do? You can go to your local zoo frequently and when you do, sign up for membership; this can help zoos to raise money to continue help saving animals. Or you could raise awareness to your friends; after all, words have actions.

No matter how difference you’ll make, the fight for animals will still go on. I hope that one day, there’ll be peace between animals and humans. Power to animal’s rights and power to peace!