Change Starts with U

Ok so it actually starts with ‘C’, but give us a chance to explain!

Over the past week, we’ve had people ask us the same question: what can I do to help? The business of animal attractions is a growing one, and it’s hard to stop it because the demand for it is so high. With more and more people traveling, tourists are looking for things to do, and sadly, animal attractions sit at the top of the list.

While it’ll be difficult to shut down these entertainment venues, we’re hoping that raising awareness of the cruelty that animals have suffered to be a part of them will stick in the minds of tourists, and deter them from visiting these places.

So we’re come up with 3 simple things you can do in support of driving down the demand for these cruel animal attractions!

  1. Do your research before you travel

And by research, we don’t mean go to Tripadvisor and do the top 10 ‘things to do’ in the country. Venture out and find out what you can do as an ethical traveller. We’re not saying you can’t go and see elephants in Thailand, but there are ways to do it that don’t cause harm to the animal. Look for sanctuaries which care for animals and let them live in a more natural habitat. The Elephant Nature Park in Thailand is a good example. They’re a rescue and rehab centre for elephants, and instead of offering rides with elephants, they give you the chance to help bathe the gentle giants, which, if you remember from our previous post, elephants love to do because they absolutely love water!

Find out ways that you can still enjoy interacting with animals that doesn’t involve hurting them. It’s more rewarding to see a wild animal in their natural habitats than paying a ticket to pose with one that has been tortured.

  1. Don’t ‘like’ photos that contain cruel animal attractions, even if they’re posted by your friends/family

Many tourists don’t realise that they’re supporting animal cruelty when they ride an elephant, but you know better than that. ‘Liking’ a photo shows your support. The more likes a post receives, the more people think of it favourably. And then before you know it, your friend who uploaded that photo kissing a dolphin has caused her friend to go visit the attraction and get the exact same photo.

It came out 2 years ago that there was a rising trend in men on Tinder using ‘tiger selfies’ as a way to make their dating profiles seem more attractive, but there’s nothing attractive about a man posing next to an animal in pain (am I right, ladies?) so PLEASE, don’t date the idiot with a tiger selfie.

  1. Tell your friends!

Obviously, this issue isn’t one that’s commonly spoken about. It’s definitely not one that regular people would read up about either. But if you do care, tell somebody about what you know! People learn better when they hear it from somebody they know. And who knows, maybe they’ll tell others, who will tell more people, and as the information keeps spreading, more people will be informed about the issue.

Better yet, know somebody who’s traveling overseas soon? Then tell them about what you’ve found out about this animal tourism industry – inform them of what they’re really paying to see when they buy tickets to an animal attraction, and maybe they’ll decide to go and do something else instead, and you would’ve helped prevent a little less pain from a defenseless wild animal.

5 Reasons You Should Love Elephants Too!

September 22 marks Elephant Appreciation Day, but let’s be honest, these beautiful giants deserve to be appreciated every day! So we here at FAA have compiled a list of 5 reasons you should be loving elephants any day of the year!

  1. Females rule!

The elephant society is matriarchal, which means the oldest female leads the group. Adam Stone from Elephant Sanctuary says:

“This is not your typical social hierarchy that’s based on aggression. It’s based on respect. They follow the oldest female because she has the most memory and knows where the safe haven is, where the food is, and where to go in a storm.”

  1. They live nearly as long as humans

The average life span for an elephant in the wild is around 50 to 70 years!

  1. They have amazing hearing

The most famous sound made by an elephant is their trumpet, which is made during moments of excitement, distress or aggression. They can hear one another’s trumpeting for up to 6 miles.

  1. They love the water

Elephants love to play and frolic around in the water, and how can we blame them? It’s just so fun! It also gives their joints a rest as they swim around, taking the weight literally off their feet.

elephants-1221577_1280.jpg(Image from Pixabay)

  1. They ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ too!

Elephants use mud as a sunscreen, protecting their skin from ultraviolet light. Although their skin is tough, it is also very sensitive (they can feel when a fly lands on them!). They take regular mud baths to protect them from burning, insect bites, and moisture loss.

elephants-1638451_1280.jpg(Image from Pixabay)