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Animals in Captivity

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At this very moment somewhere, far or not too far from us, there is an animal being held captive and raid out of its wild natural habitat. It’s also a fact to say that during these actions of captivity to slavery animals suffer extraneous torture, discomfort, fear and in a lot of cases food deprivation leading to agonizing deaths. Despite of the struggle of several pro animal rights organizations against these horrific procedures, there is an intrinsic bizarre human instinct that keeps these heinous industries at full throttle. When a person is incarcerated he/she committed a criminal act against our society hence there will be a punishment to which it makes sense. What possible crime could animal suffering incarceration be paying for? Animal exploitation industries have no conscience, no concern neither respect for the environment and they continue these repugnant actions punishing innocent beings. Is it right to affirm that humans have a urge to make animals suffer? Zoo’s, circuses and aquariums are the villains of this commerce.

Using hooks, whips, electric rods, and other blunt painful instruments they force abnormal behavior in the lives of these creatures. These awful places claim to be ‘educating’ us when they’re just trapping animals to make profit. We are basically paying to go into a place where animals a suffering torture for a living. Although these establishment’s try to portray us that’s the animals are happy and well treated the truth is they aren’t. These hopeless animals can’t release their energy in any way except for pacing back in forth in their cages. At times their paws start bleeding from the wear and tear of their psychological behavior or they self end their lives as seeing in documentaries like “ The Cove” and “Black Fisk”. Growing up as kids, everyone thought Flipper the Dolphin was happy and living the best life a dolphin could live.

But little did we know that flipper was putting on a show for the whole world to watch. Ric O’Barry in his book “Behind the Dolphin’s Smiles” says “ The smiles we see on these animals are not true reflections of happiness. In actuality, they hate to be enclosed in their holding tanks and are often not fed until it is time to perform their daily routines”. Mr. O’Barry has also heavy heartedly revealed on the movie “The Cove” that the biggest regret he has in his life was to have been an initiator for this business in the past. These animals constantly have a smile on their face weather there happy or not and that’s what makes them a moneymaker. Just for the records, Flipper the Dolphin committed suicide by taking a deep breath and not coming back up for another one. “Black Fish” is another documentary that shows the effect of how nature can get revenge on man when it’s pushed to the limits of incarceration.

This impressive and shocking film investigates what appears to have been a conspiracy to conceal the number of attacks, several of them fatal, made by captive orca whales on their trainers in the US, Canada and the Canary Islands. According to experts, orcas are sensitive, intelligent, socialized and not natural killers, except when turned psychotic by the conditions in which they’re kept and the humiliations to which public display subjects them. Astonishingly many people feel as though keeping animals in captivity is saving them from the dangerous in the wild. They are “wild” creatures. Nature made animals equipped for that type of terrain and circumstances. It’s better for them to live and die in their natural course than to have their lives pathologically extended in a cubical. In a year more than 100 million Americans visit zoos, aquariums and circus daily and even though more than half of them are against animal captivity, it doesn’t stop them from supporting these horrendous businesses.

The only acceptable habitat for a wild animal that was rescued from an endangered episode would be to reside is in a rescue sanctuary. Far away from human degradation a place where that animal would be in contact with nature and not asked to perform tricks and actions to people. Although captive enclosures can never substitute for wild habitat, all sanctuary enclosures are designed to provide grass, trees and an enriched environment for individual animals with consideration for any health or psychological complications, which might preclude their ability to engage in normal activities. These enclosures are designed to replicate, as closely as possible, wild habitats for that species; specially designed areas are constructed for older, arthritic or injured individuals.

True wildlife sanctuaries do not breed or exploit for commercial activities. How obscure and heartless can we be in regards of causing so much pain and suffering to these creatures? Albert Einstein wrote a reflection that expressed very well how humans are limited and imprisoned in our own vindictiveness. Einstein suggests that even being part of a thing so huge and (perfect) like the universe, our ways of thinking and feelings differ ourselves from what is not “ human” but part of this creation. And this delusional selfish conscience imprisons us from truly embracing the meaning of “whole”. So we think we are free but are not free. We are incarcerated in our own cage of hatred and disdain for the universe.

As for the animals they are part of this “whole” not limited to time neither to space. As the philosopher says “…Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” he also says “Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. Cruelty and vindictiveness is part of human nature and a strong indicator that what we do to animals is against the creation and the creator. Let’s free animals from suffering so we can reach a higher ground as humans.

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