You may be like me and you may be a massive animal lover. You may care about animals so much that you google more animal videos and pictures rather than everyday news. You may love animals so much that your heart skips a beat of joy when you see a bundle of puppies or a family of whales. You may care for animals so much that you tear up every time you see or hear of an animal trapped or troubled. You may want to be the voice for the animals that are being treated unfairly by humans. So naturally, you may also ask yourself how to help stop animal cruelty.
Animal cruelty – a massive issue.
Coming by a story of animal cruelty is very easy. Turn on the TV, scroll up and down on your social media, check the newspapers or talk to a fellow human. Chances are, you will be confronted with a tale of a helpless animal that has been taken advantage of in one way or another. Animal cruelty as a whole is such a broad and overwhelming term. There is so many ways of cruel behavior towards an animal.
It is a long list. To only mention a few, it can be cruelty causing death due to starvation and thirst. Or it can be cruelty causing injuries due to beating or similar physical mistreatment. Or it can be cruelty that is disguised to be a fun environment for animals. An environment that the owners of those establishments may even dare to call ‘conservation’.
Safe to say that all form of animal cruelty is likely to cause emotional harm to the animal. So it will be cruelty upon cruelty. A chain reaction that many do not care about or do not recognize.
A personal encounter of animal cruelty.
I recently took a trip to the Spanish island of Mallorca. I stayed at one of the many touristy resorts. One that has it all. Pool and wellness, beach access, buffet-style eateries and of course the opportunity to book a day tour to many of the sights and attractions of the island.
On my first morning there, I strolled towards the breakfast venue and passed the tourist information corner where you can find all sorts of flyers and leaflets. One of those leaflets stuck out for me. It was of ‘Marineland Mallorca’. It is an animal park that includes a tropical zone housing iguanas, snakes, frogs and primates, an aviary with numerous types of birds and aquariums. Other ‘inhabitants’ of this animal park are seals, sea lions and dolphins.
And here is what appalled me. They offer dolphin shows twice a day. I must admit, I did not expect to find that. I was hoping there is some sort of law in Europe that calls for discontinuing any kind of animal shows. But clearly, this is not the case. While many circuses around the world have abolished their animal acts, this is not the case for an animal park like Marineland Mallorca. Clearly, animal shows are still very real there.
What people don’t realize is that animal shows are a massive NO NO. They are a big contribution to animal cruelty. While a lot of people may think it is all fun and games for the dolphins, it is not. Dolphins are naturally a playful species. If you were lucky enough to see them in the wild, you would have maybe seen them alongside your boat, riding the waves. And you would have also not seen them alone. While they are not alone as such in an animal park, chances are that the fellow dolphins are not part of their natural family.
But let’s say, there is a mother and a baby dolphin in an animal park performing tricks for human entertainment, this doesn’t mean that they are happy because they have their family with them in this prison-like situation. NO! There is nothing happy about this, no matter how, no matter what. Fact is that dolphins should be in their natural habitat, in the vast ocean with endless space to live in. Fact is that dolphins do not want to be in an animal park, performing tricks. Fact is they are forced into this kind of life. Fact is that greedy humans see dolphins not as animals but as currency, as money.
Dolphins – a currency for humans. A moneymaker. A means to earn a living. And what is the cost for this gain for humans? The cost is that the dolphins are being exploited. The dolphins’ natural way of life is being destroyed. Instead, they are made to have a life that humans want them to have. So I ask you, who has the right to tell another person or an animal what their life is supposed to be like? Why do humans think they are in the position to make this decision for an animal that has no voice – and often no choice.
People are made to believe that the dolphins are looked after well by their trainers. And yes, they will most likely get a level of care and an amount of food for them to survive there. Because after all, if the dolphin is dead, who is going to do the shows? And if there are no shows, the number of visitors may decrease and therefore also the amount of money made.
Be the voice for the voiceless.
Animals have no means to object to what humans are doing to them. They have no way to communicate with humans in power that make decisions that affect animals negatively. They cannot negotiate, they cannot sue humans for their cruel actions, they cannot speak up. What they hope to do is rely on people like you and I.
So as someone who cares for animals, someone who wants to help them, someone who wants to make a difference in the valuable lives of non-human creatures of the world, you can do it. You can make an impact.
There is so many things you can do for the animals. Even just little things will go a long way. As long as you stand up for what is right, you will be a true voice for the animals who have no voice to defend themselves And this is what I like to be for them.
In the case of Marineland Mallorca, I took all leaflets that I could find during my stay and ripped them apart and threw them in the bin. I also marked a few to educate people of this animal cruelty and to urge them not to support this animal park in particular.
While I know that I certainly didn’t have the means to get my hands on all the leaflets in the world for Marineland Mallorca, I did what my situation made possible for me to do. I saw a leaflet, I took it and removed it. If this means I prevented one person from going and supporting this animal show establishment, then this was already a win. A win for me and a win for the dolphins. It may only be a tiny drop in the ocean but if everyone, including YOU, can do your bit to prevent animal cruelty like this, then we are on a very good path to a better world for animals.
Marineland Mallorca exposed.
While I encountered all of this anger towards Marineland Mallorca, a simple Google Search made me realize that my anger was more than warranted. It showed reviews on Tripadvisor from people who have visited the park and who have gained clarity over how Marineland
Mallorca treats their animals. The Google Search also showed a couple of articles about animal abuse happening at the park, including a video on YouTube.
So while ripping up all leaflets was one thing I wanted and needed to do, I also needed to approach Marineland Mallorca directly. So I went onto their Facebook page. To start with, you are not able to leave reviews. This alone is very suspicious and an indicator that they know that they are doing the wrong thing. If they ran an ethical business, why would they feel the need to disable people to leave a review of their experience?
While I had no option to leave a review or send a private message, I had to opt for comments. So I commented on numerous posts and confronted them about the animal cruelty they are practicing. Not only did my comments get removed, they also disabled me from further leaving any comments on their Facebook page altogether.
I did the same on Instagram. I went on their official page, commented on their posts, confronted them. Within minutes, I was blocked from their Instagram account.
If those three facts don’t scream GUILTY, I don’t know what does. Marineland Mallorca, you are doing the wrong thing and you know it. You are exposed!
The next step will have to be to educate people. The ones that still support these kinds of parks and shows. If it wasn’t for people supporting them, they wouldn’t be able to run a business like this. So while the business itself is to blame for offering animal entertainment and cruelty like this, the blame for continuous animal cruelty also goes to the visitors. One has to stay away from these so-called attractions. If nobody supports them, they are forced to re-think their marketing strategy and either forced to shut the business or make it an ethical experience.
How a simple YES can create smiles all round.
To conclude and give an answer to the initial question, I think we can all agree that it is a big, fat ‘Hell yeah’. Or in other words ‘YES’. Yes, we can help animals. Yes, we can stop animal cruelty. Yes, we can make a difference.
Think of all the stories of misery that animals have to endure. Think of all the unfairness, all the injustice, all the misery. And now, to reflect on the other side of the coin also, think of all the funny animal videos you have watched. Think of how happy they look, how looked after they are. That is the goal. That is what we want. That is what we work towards. That is where our prayers go. To have all animals happy and looked after, just as they deserve it. They deserve to have a life of happy memories, a life full of heart-filled moments. A life full of love. And YOU can give them that love.
Even if you are far away from a cause that is happening, think of what you can do. There will always something you can do to make the situation better. Even if it is only a tiny bit. Just bundle up all the courage you have and go for it. Just do it. Do it for the animals and put a smile on their faces again. And those smiles will put a smile on your face too. It will be a party of smiles all round. And you know you have done something right when everyone is smiling.
Now, how do you feel about all of this? Are you smiling? Are you overwhelmed? Confused? Please share it with them and leave a comment below.