Just when you think you have seen all the crazy, cruel and completely inhumane ways we could exploit animals for our own amusement and entertainment, you discover another tradition or cultural event centered around the abuse of innocent beings.
As part of the May Day celebrations in the popular tourist province of Changsha, China, a ‘pig racing’ event was set up over the Shiyan Lake. A group of pigs with numbers painted onto their skin were herded up onto a makeshift bridge approximately 20 feet up in the air, where they were pushed off the edge. Once the pigs plunged into the lake below and resurfaced, they had no option but to begin swimming for their lives until the reached the ‘finish line.’
Shortly after the event took place the region’s local news channel posted pictures of the event on their Facebook page, and it wasn’t long before people began to send complaints to the local tourist board about the clear case of animal cruelty which had been allowed to legally take place.
Not an Isolated Incident But a Worldwide Trend
While it’s easy to criticize certain countries when we hear of incidents such as this pig racing event, the sad truth is that animals are abused for our entertainment all around the globe. Events such as the goose pulling festival, bull running and rat whacking in Spain, tiger photo booths and elephant riding in Thailand, and the oxen chase in Brazil are all examples of how animals are cruelly exploited for our entertainment.
Many of these events are allowed to continue due to the fact that they are considered to be part of historic cultural celebrations, but it’s time for us to stand up against this abusive and humiliating treatment of animals and put a stop to these events once and for all. Tourists should boycott events and activities which involve the exploitation of animals, and locals should take action and make petitions to local governments to ban such events.
It’s Not OK to Exploit Animals for Our Amusement
Too many cultural events are centered around the humiliation and abuse of animals and it’s time we send a message to authorities that these kinds of activities need to be banned, not showcased as popular events to attract tourists.
Animals are not here to entertain and amuse us, especially not at the expense of their well-being or their very lives. If there is an event happening in your local region or country and you do not speak out against it, you’re allowing it to continue unchallenged. Authorities are often most concerned with public opinion, and when they realize that these events are actually hurting their public image and that there is a large movement of people who are against it, they will be more inclined to act in the right way and put an end to the suffering.