1. I’ve once been this ignorant child, unfortunately. Kids just don’t know it any better and sometimes adults neither. Education is key for everything. I’m now traveling with much greater awareness and I even do fundraising for a wildlife conservation NGO and I love it. I quit my normal 9-5 job to see the world and do some good for this planet. If everybody would do a little bit, that would already help a lot.

    1. That’s great! Well done you. So inspiring to hear your story of trying to do some good for the planet. You are completely right, if we all did a small amount it would make a huge difference overall. Well done and keep doing what you’re doing!

  2. This is such an important topic – thank you for helping to raise it’s profile. To me it feels like an important part of asking what is truly authentic about our travel experiences. It’s also a part of questioning and putting aside things which might feel a part of our heritage. In the UK, there’s still a lot of nostalgia for donkey rides along British beaches – and sometimes it’s hard to put aside the memories of previous generations and postcards of the past and remember that these animals deserve not to work in hot weather, on difficult surfaces and with heavy loads. When you put it that way, it can be easier to realise it may not be the kindest thing to participate in. It’s important to always try to look at things with a fresh, and questioning, pair of eyes.

    1. Yes! Anything which involves animals I tend to stay well clear of. Even if the trainers/keepers swear they look after the animals well, we just don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. It doesn’t take much effort to research an attraction online and it can make a small but significant difference if we spread the awareness on this topic! Thanks for your comment 🙂 x

  3. 100% agree. The people that make me saddest are not those who don’t know better, but are saddened and reformed once advised of the realities behind their experience… but those who do know and don’t give a damn. What does it say for humanity if we cannot put being humane above our selfish pleasures?

    1. Those are my thoughts exactly. I was one blissfully unaware of the horrible truths in this industry, but as soon as I realised I was so upset that I had contributed and vowed never to support animal cruelty again. All we can do is try and spread awareness of the issues and hope people listen!

  4. So important! When I was a kid I went to SeaWorld and swam with dolphins, but felt uncomfortable even then. Now I know better, but I still make mistakes. I went dolphin watching in Bali and was assured the tour did not harm the animals, but once we were out on the boats I realised I’d been lied to – boats full of tourists chasing pods of dolphins. The best we can do is learn from our experiences and share them with others so that they are better informed too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s so difficult, isn’t it? Naturally, we want to see animals, because they are amazing, beautiful creatures. But it can be really tough to decide which experiences are ethical and which are destructive! I agree, learning from our experiences and sharing with others is the only way to help. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  5. Thank you for this!! I know people are attracted to these experiences because they love the animals, but we need to get the word out that if you truly care for these creatures, you should NOT be exploiting them. As you said, there are so many options for ethically interacting with wildlife – it just takes a little research, which is well worth it!

    1. Yes! I would love to cuddle a tiger, who wouldn’t!? But not one that has been drugged, beaten and starved. Just no! It’s really important to spread awareness and get the word out 🙂 thanks for your comment x

  6. Ooooh, some really interesting thoughts here. I completely agree that voting with our tourist $$, as you suggest (well, I’m paraphrasing, but accurately I think), is the best way that we can protest and ultimately shut down inhumane practices. Plus, there are definitely ways that you can ethically support animal rehabilitation and conservation, with amazing experiences to boot – directing our $$ to those causes will leave the world a better place. Thank you for sharing your insight!!

  7. I agree completely! Whenever I see photos of people riding elephants or posing with tigers, my heart breaks a little! Sometimes people are just unaware, and other times people just don’t care, which is crazy to me. This is an issue I’d love to see brought up into conversation more often.

    1. It upsets me lots too! I tried to make a friend aware today and unfortunately she deleted my comment and didn’t reply. Makes me very sad that people make an informed decision to support these disgusting places 🙁

      1. Oh noooo that’s awful! I see some posts about well-informed bloggers riding elephants and I just never know what to say!! I mean, they know how awful it is, and I’m just absolutely dumbfounded how they support the activities!

  8. Best blog yet 👍 well written and diplomatically put. I agree with you totally but the only thing I also think is that these poor people in 3rd world countries are just trying make a living by any means possible and it raises the question – for which greater good?

    I unfortunately don’t think I’m going to be able to afford to go to Berlin 🙁 Sorry to let you down. We’ll have to plan somewhere in the new year perhaps when I have my finances a bit more sorted! Xxx

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Thanks Laur. I see your point but personally, I don’t think that justifies brutal and disgusting cruelty to a living thing, animal or human. This is just my viewpoint and I don’t want to be a part of any kind of cruelty. I want to raise awareness so people can use the facts to decide if they support it or not. It’s surprising the amount of people that don’t even ask the question of how these animals are treated, as I once didn’t. And I think it’s important to be aware of these things.

      Don’t worry about Berlin. Thank J and I will take a trip to Italia instead 🙂

Join the conversation