*The photos below are by Kirsten Luce from a great article on National Geographic about wildlife tourism that can be found here.*
I’ve been seeing photos like these since I was in college and 10+ years later they still break my heart the same way. I know that we’ve had improvement, but sometimes it still feels like nothing has changed. Is that possible? As the issue of animal welfare becomes more ~mainstream~ and ~hip~ we’re seeing a collective shift away from the public seeking out animals in captivity and instead looking for ~wild~ or ~natural~ excursions. Now, as opposed to simply worrying about wild animals in blatantly abusive facilities, the public needs to be aware of those that operate under the guise of genuine sanctuaries.
After reading the National Geographic article I was desperate to find something positive to say, hopeful, optimistic… but I kept coming up short. Some days it feels like we’re shouting into an echo chamber and those left who need to be reached are apathetic and have long since made the decision that they simply don’t care. I mean, millions of children are literally being bought and sold as sex slaves globally. If we can’t care enough to change that, how can we possibly expect people to care about animal welfare?
I know that it’s important to not give up hope, but I think it’s also OK to feel tired and jaded sometimes. At least that’s what I’m telling myself today, and I’ll give myself until tomorrow to get back to a fighting spirit…
Featured photo from Dangers of Ecotourism.