When you think about it…summer vacation should be fun for all animals

Photo by Rob Bixby

Where do you like to vacation—seaside, mountains, maybe a trip to Granny’s? All of these places can be fun and enjoyable only if they don’t involve visits to animal amusement parks, zoos, or aquariums; for the animals in these locations, summer is no vacation.

By visiting any animal-related theme park where live animals are on display or visiting any zoo or aquarium where the animals are put on exhibit to be gawked at or made to perform, we harm ourselves and, of course, we harm the animals.

We harm ourselves by closing our eyes and our ears, and our hearts, to the suffering these animals experience. Many are stolen from their family units in the wild or are born in captivity never having the full range of their psychical and psychological needs met. A whale in a huge swimming pool can never achieve what he or she achieves in the wild. An elephant stuck behind bars can never be a true elephant. Birds meant to soar to the heavens can’t when they’re enclosed in netting.

We further harm the animals by assuming they were put on this Earth for our amusement. We harm them by destroying their habitat, by destroying their communities, by destroying their psyches when we force them to live unconventional and restricted lives.

Instead of paying to see life destroyed, make your next vacation one where you celebrate life. Visit local, state, and national parks and view wildlife through a camera lens or binoculars. Take a nature walk in your own community. You don’t have to go far to see wild animals. You just have to open your eyes and look.

When you think about it…vacations are to enjoy, to get away, to experience the world. Animals trapped in theme parks, zoos, and aquariums never get a vacation; and they certainly don’t get to experience the natural world.

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