SelfishMe Travel pledges to never knowingly sell tickets to places, properties, shows, or events where you can:
- ride a captive wild animal
- swim with a captive wild animal
- touch, pet, hold, kiss, or hug a captive wild animal
- wash or bathe a captive wild animal
- pose or walk with a captive wild animal on a leash or chain or other bondage
- watch a captive wild animal dance, play a sport, perform tricks, give massages, paint pictures, or any other kind of entertainment.
Admittedly, I used to love going to the circus as a child. However, the behind the scenes cruelty that was exposed in the Barnum & Bailey circus practices plus going on safaris in South Africa and Botswana changed me and my thoughts on wildlife mammals (land animals) but not as profoundly as it should have.
And, I continued to watch shows that included dolphins, seals, and orcas performing tricks at famous aquariums. Yes, even after the Sea World exposé, it still did not penetrate my subconscious.
However, when I went to an “approved” Elephant Sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2018, everything seemed above board, at least that’s what I thought. But then one of the employees rode back to town and quietly explained to those of us sitting in the back, that we should not be washing the elephants. These mighty pachyderms have lived through millennium beyond any records and know how to wash themselves. These were rescued animals not ones in need of special care. So this add-on “to keep the tourists entertained” was one he did not agree with at all but he still needed a job. I’m glad I did not participate in the washing but I was more concerned with what was in the mud pit as opposed to whether it was ethical or not.
Anyway, that conversation struck me hard. Finally. There must be something that I can do to help. But what?