In an increasingly urbanized world, many of us live isolated from nature and it is therefore understandable that we are attracted to experience nature in our leisure time. However, depending on the leisure activity we choose, our decision can seriously affect animals.
It is important to learn how animals are, the how and why of their behavior, and to discover their role in the ecosystem into which they are born and are adapted to. Nonetheless, in the vast majority of activities with animals, what we see are creatures torn away from their natural habitat and placed into an artificial one where they suffer and are forced to perform in ways improper of their species.
Encounters with animals should reconnect us with nature, reminding us that we are part of it and that we share this Planet with other living beings that have the same rights as us to be here. We have a moral obligation towards animals and owe them respect.
Using animals for entertainment purposes causes serious problems to the welfare of the animal and, in some cases, for the conservation of species. The situations in which animals are being used for the entertainment industry are diverse. In most of the cases they cause problems to their welfare, and in the most extreme cases they cause immense suffering and death.
The values that are transmitted by using animals for these purposes reflects a belief that animals are here for our amusement and exploitation, which not only degrades the animals but also desensitizes society towards acts of cruelty. We should not forget that for many the use and exhibition of wild animals is a business where economic profit is usually more important than the welfare of the animals.
The Treaty of Amsterdam signed 1997 acknowledges animals as sentient beings. And Brambell's Five Freedoms form the basis to guarantee a minimum of animal welfare:
An increasing concern for environmental and social issues starts influencing the decisions tourists take. As tourists we have the power to improve the lives of animals and this section will discuss some activities that are offered to us when traveling and on which we should reflect on how they affect animals.
The tourism industry needs to work towards the goal of minimizing the impact on nature, of which animals are a part, and promote a responsible industry.
We must begin to see animals from another point of view, we must look beneath the surface and discover the hard and cruel circumstances under which these beings live, only for profit..
Often the best way to see animals is by watching magnificent documentaries, movies, videos on the Internet or even webcams located in natural environments or rescue centers. Our fascination with nature can be satisfied without the need to keep animals in captivity..
Rescuing wild animals from abusive situations is extremely difficult as there are no public facilities to relocate them, and the few private facilities do not have enough resources to accommodate all animals in need. Help us to avoid the need to rescue these animals from a life of deprivation and suffering by not participating in activities that would increase the demand.
FAADA questions the captivity and entertainment industry using animals both on a national and European level, we investigate cases of neglect or abuse, expose the suffering and exploitation of wild animals, we campaign for the adoption of stricter laws to protect and want to create awareness among all stakeholders..
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