spent some time chatting with a friend who sent me a photo of a van transporting frozen sharks fin.
“is it legal?” she asks.
“its not illegal” i reply. and as i discovered earlier this year, it not illegal in Australia either to sell sharksfin! In a country that i prided to be animal conscious.
she talks abt China’s tiger trade and the lucrative tiger wine business. i talk abt the rhino horn business. and why im against captive dolphins.
one of my previous housemates asked, “what makes a dolphin different from a seal? Why is captive dolphins wrong and not captive seals? or captive snakes?”
and i told him that i never said it was right. but it is a fact that some animals cant be domesticated. and some animals dont do well in captivity. like what Ric O’Barry said, the place where reptiles are kept in zoos are well designed. soil, water, tree branches, stones to hide under,etc – while it is not the actual habitat for these reptiles, it is simulated to resemble as close to the real thing as possible. what do dolphins have? concrete floor and walls (worse with glass panes), enclosed with the inability to swim the vast distances and speed they were used to in the wild, denied of social cohesiveness which is crucial to their behaviour. some animals just dont do well in captivity. and i just think that it is plain nonsense that aquariums that keep captive dolphins claim that it is for educational purpose. what you can possibly learn from abnormal animal behaviour?!?!?
i dont generally blame the mass public. most of them are just not educated on these issues. i, for one, just got educated on elephant cruelty. imagine anyone daring to walk in the wild and decide to climb up an elephant in its territory. that elephant would probably go nuts! so imagine the amount of whacking the elephant in zoos must have gone through to become as docile as it seems. remains tied to a pole from birth.
often times its not just that they are kept captive, but that they manner in which they are caught is not ethical. separation from family is cruel. and it makes me wonder why we would feel sad if this happens to a fellow human, but not if it happens to an animal. we twinge if we see pictures of ill-treated cats and dogs, and curse the man who did that. but, ppl still go into restaurants and order sharksfin soup and savour the seasoning (which is the only reason why it taste nice in the first place)
cage eggs and non-free range chickens. i mean, the list can go on. how different is slaughter house from this:
yet we find fault in this, but keep quiet abt poultry..
all of these seemed too much for another housemate that i was chatting with one day. who said, “what difference is it going to make? im not going to stop eating chicken. you eat chicken.” and i do. so perhaps the only way i stop being a hypocrite and pass on the word is to turn into a vegetarian.
i think making a change to lifestyles isnt easy. to check for dolphin safe logos on tuna cans. or free range chickens. dont pay to see animals that arent meant to be kept captive.
but, being skeptical, who checks if free range chickens are really free range? or that the tuna in cans was caught without harming other marine wildlife? animals have gone extinct even before humans came into the picture, so what difference does it make? or like a friend once said, “if these animals cant evolve fast enough to cope with the threat of humans, then its simply a case of the survival of the fittest”
perhaps all of these are just stuff to make ppl like me feel like im doing something meaningful in life, but then it actually amounts to nothing?
i know i have spread the word and i know there are several ppl whom i have educated to stop sharksfin. and i know these ppl are now actively passing the word. i am one person, but i have educated several others who are educating several others. as long as the children of the future generation are education on being animal-conscious, i think we still have a future. morality does not only involve behaving in a respectable way to other humans. it is about having consideration for all life forms.