TODAY -

Cruelty Towards Animals
- Part 3 -

Angelina Naorem *



ZOOS

Zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, marine parks, traveling zoos, roadside zoos, and other similar attractions imprison animals who long to be free in order to profit from the people who come to gawk. The living conditions at these attractions are often dismal, with animals confined to tiny, filthy, barren enclosures, but even the best artificial environments can't come close to matching the space, diversity, and freedom that animals have in their natural habitats.

This deprivation—combined with relentless boredom, loneliness, and abuse from the people who are supposed to be caring for them—causes many captive animals to lose their minds. Animals with this condition, called "zoochosis," often rock, sway, or pace endlessly, and some even mutilate themselves. Some zoos resort to administering mood-altering drugs such as Prozac to address the public's complaints about abnormal behaviors. Many of these animals end up at auctions or slaughterhouses or hunting ranches.

Some highly intelligent animals who were meant to swim up to 100 miles a day to small, concrete, chemically treated tanks; and force the animals to learn silly circus tricks, often by withholding food. Whales and dolphins at these facilities typically die decades earlier than their counterparts in the wild, and some have reportedly even committed suicide by choosing to stop breathing or by slamming their heads against the walls of the tank, have been mauled by tigers, primates, and other animals who are used as props in photo shoots, and countless people have been sickened—some have even died—after contracting diseases from animals in petting zoos.

Animals are often deprived of adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. These cruel exhibits can only stay in business because people pay admission to visit them. Learn about animals by watching nature documentaries or by observing them in their own habitats instead.

ANIMAL ACTORS

There is nothing glamorous about showbiz for primates, big cats, bears, and other animals who are used in television, film, or advertising; exploited as sports mascots; or used as props in novelty displays. These animals are subjected to abusive training methods and forced to spend most of their lives in small, filthy cages, deprived of everything that is natural and important to them. Social animals such as primates, elephants, and wolves are often forced to live alone, causing them severe psychological stress and anxiety.

Chimpanzees and orangutans used in entertainment are typically torn away from their mothers shortly after birth—a horribly cruel process that causes irreversible psychological harm to the baby and the mother. In order to force young apes to perform on cue, trainers often beat the animals with fists, clubs, or even broom handles. Systematic abuse causes the animals to be constantly anxious and fearful—always anticipating the next blow. In fact, the chimpanzee "grin" so often seen in movies and on television is actually a grimace of fear.

When apes become too large and strong to handle (usually at around age 8), they are often dumped at shoddy roadside zoos and other substandard facilities, where they may spend decades in small, barren cages—often in solitary confinement. With all the highly advanced technologies that are available today—including animatronics, animation, computer-generated imagery, and more—there is no reason for subjecting apes to a lifetime of misery as "actors." After learning about the cruelty that these animals are subjected to behind the scenes, numerous companies and advertising agencies have pledged never to use great apes in their productions.

Big cats, bears, and other live-animal mascots don't belong at athletic events. The bright lights, loud noises, and screaming fans are terrifying to animals, who don't understand what is happening and can easily become defensive and aggressive. No amount of training can stop a wild animal from behaving instinctively, and trainers cannot protect themselves or the public from an angry or terrified animal's claws, teeth, and sheer strength when he or she rebels against the trainer's dominance.

Injury and death are dangers for handlers and spectators who place themselves in a wild animal's path. There's no reason to subject animals to the chaos and stress of sporting events. Costumed human mascots can lead cheers, react to the crowd, and pump up the team—all things that a frightened animal cannot do. Most universities use costumed human mascots.

Highly intelligent, sensitive animals deserve better than to be treated as if they were props for our amusement.

ANIMAL CIRCUSES

Circuses attract the public, especially children, for being colourful, fun and original. Sadly the reality is a sad one for animals incarcerated in them. Because circuses often travel many miles between different sites, animals invariably suffer. The temporary accommodation for animals, confined quarters, aswell as abusive training practices inflicting pain and stress means a life of misery for lions, tigers, elephants and domestic animals in circuses. Natural behaviours are thwarted and animals have to endure performances several times a day.

Visitors to animal circuses learn nothing about the natural behaviour of animals only that is acceptable to enslave them. The practice of enslaving animals and teaching them tricks implies that the animals' own lives hold no inherent value in their own right. Animal Equality urges people to visit animal-free circuses, as these are indeed fun. For everyone Some years ago, The Empire Circus was found to be travelling with 10 tigers, 10 lions and a Himalayan bear in violation of the Supreme Court ruling banning the Circus Federation of India from using lions, tigers, panthers, bears and monkeys in shows.

Elephants were forced to spend all their time shackled by three feet, horses were tied with short ropes and unable to move freely, dogs suffered miserably in cramped cages and cockatoos were kept in small cages without perches, forcing them to cling to the sides of the cage. PETA India immediately filed a report on this cruelty with the Animal Welfare Board of India.

CRUEL SPORTS

There is nothing remotely "sporting" about sports that involve unwilling animal participants. For the animals who are forced to participate in them, these activities are no game—they are about survival. Even the "winners" emerge physically and emotionally scarred—and the losers pay with their lives.

Bulls who are used in bullfighting are deliberately weakened before the fights by being drugged and sometimes having their horns shaved down in order to disorient them, sandbags dropped on their backs, and petroleum jelly rubbed into their eyes to blur their vision. The tortured bulls never stand a chance against the matador, who tries to kill them slowly with repeated stabbing.

Animals who are used in dogfighting hog-dog rodeos and cockfighting are typically kept chained outdoors in horrific conditions with little or no shelter. They are starved, drugged, and beaten to make them aggressive. If they don't die in the fighting ring, the "losers" are killed by their trainers by being electrocuted, drowned, hanged, burned, or shot. Many others are abandoned to die slowly from their injuries.

Animals who are used in racing—including horses greyhounds and dogs used indog-sled racing are often drugged to mask sickness and injury and are forced to race. When they stop winning races, most of these animals are euthanized, shot, sold to laboratories for experiments, or sent to slaughterhouses. No animal deserves to be abused or killed for "entertainment"

To be continued


* Angelina Naorem wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is BBA-LLB (Hons.) , School of Law, ITM University, Gurgaon and can be contacted at angelinanaorem(aT)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on June 02, 2015.


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