Gandhi is quoted as saying “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
If this is true, our “moral progress” is not doing so well.
Last time I wrote about some of the ways in which humans exploit animals for profit, entertainment and sport. The list is long and getting longer.
Bullfighting has been a “sport” for ages. A tradition, some call it. Some tradition. Bulls are kept in the dark before their “fight” so that it is more difficult for their eyes to adjust when they are let into the ring. There they will be teased and tormented, stabbed with spears to draw out their blood and drive them crazy. Meanwhile the brave matador minces around in his little tights and funny hat until the bull is weakened enough for the final thrust of the sword. How can this be something that people enjoy watching??
Every year, calves at the Calgary Stampede are chased, roped to a jarring halt, picked up and thrown to the ground and tied up — all for the sake of entertainment. Many of them die. They are just a few months old. How can subjecting animals to fear, stress and pain be entertainment?
The same question can be applied to big game hunting. I’ve seen videos of these “hunts” that rich people pay up to thousands of dollars for the right to kill some magnificent animal. When they finally manage to bring down their trophy, they are thrilled and excited. Why? They have guns and bows, the animals have no defense at all. These so called hunters are not brave, only full of themselves.
Last week I watched a video of a circus where lions were an exciting part of the entertainment (sarcasm). Only this time the lions had had enough. Instead of obeying his trainer, one lion lashed out, attacking the man, trying to bring him down. The others in the ring used hoses to subdue the lion and managed to get it under control. It looked as though the lion had been declawed, as his swipes appeared to do no damage to the trainer. I can only imagine what happened to the poor lion after it was out of the ring. Who can blame the lion for rebelling?
I watched another video showing how they train lions and tigers to be submissive. It wasn’t pretty. One young tiger was forced to sit on a stool. One of its handlers would hold out a fresh steak up to the tigers face. When the tiger naturally reached for it with his paw, he was punched in the head. This went on for a very long time, until the tiger realized that trying to eat the meat would only bring him pain.
I suggest that you watch a few circus training videos on youtube. If you have a soul, you will never want to go to the circus again. ALL of the animals are trained , not by love and rewards, but by brutality and torture.
Why do humans classify these acts as entertainment? How is watching an animal being tortured or killed something that we want to see?
It’s time for the human race to gentle itself. There is enough suffering in this world that we do not need to inflict it on animals. By supporting events that cause injury to animals we are just as guilty as those who cause that injury.
Let’s teach our children that all life should be respected and cherished. It can only make our world a better place to live in.