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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Animals For Entertainment Purposes

In this essay, I will be investigating the advantages and disadvantages of using animals for entertainment purposes. It is essential that this issue is explored in more depth due to the increases in news reports outlining the effects of this practice. In order to fully understand the extent of this problem, I will be examining case studies both globally and nationally. Within the context of this concern globally and nationally, I will also be reviewing the issue from a variety of viewpoints such as those who work in the animal entertainment industry, animal experts and activists in an attempt to understand this matter to its fullest. This issue exists because it evolved in a time when there was no television and very little entertainment, and the idea has increased globally from circuses, zoos and safaris which have been going on for many years.

One of the advantages of animal entertainment is that it’s a good way to build a business economy. From a business, it also offers a range of employment for society. For example, the Ringling Bros Circus which have been in business for 146 years, in 2017 it had an estimate of 500 and more employees working for the Circus production. The hourly average wage is about $18.83 per hour. The average salary of a ringmaster is $38,240 per year. The circus provides work for employees that have a passion to express their acts and experience new opportunities. On the other hand, there are disadvantages of animal entertainment. For instance, animals in the circus spend 96% of the time in chains or cages. PETA which is an animal rights organization has been protesting against the Ringling Bros Circus for 36 years. This is because of the animal abuse that has occurred during training. A recent report says, that during their period of business, their training has led to the death of 4 baby elephants, name Riccardo, Bertha, Kenny and Benjamin. Riccardo was 8 months old when he had to be euthanized because he broke his legs during training. The Ringling Bros train elephants at a young age, when the calf is born they are separated from their mothers and are tied down and beaten so they are disciplined enough to obey their trainers. Riccardo fell off the pedestal when training and broke his hind legs, the damage to his legs could not be treated so veterans euthanized him.

In the report, there was an interview with a former trainer from the Ringling Bros circus name Archele Hundley. She speaks out on the abuses of the elephants. She says “I saw handlers deliver a beating … for 30 minutes. She was covered with bloody wounds. I’ll never forget her agonizing screams, please, never take your children to a Ringling Bros circus.”. This incident was in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2006 when the elephant was beaten with bull hook that she bled so much blood. Hundley says that the dreadful training occurred every day and it wasn’t just the elephants but the horses and camels were beaten and whipped by everyone, from the animal care trainer to the inexperience animal handlers hired out of the homeless. Hundley was so upset with what she experienced that she complained to the circus management about the daily abuses, but nothing has eventuated. She decided to quit and join the PETA organization and help educate others on animal cruelty in circuses.

Another advantage and cause of this issue are that places SeaWorld, Zoos and Safaris helps educate society on the natural habitats and behaviors of animals. One of the advantages of this issue is that zoos help animals live longer and healthier, rather than hunting for food they would be fed properly daily. Zoos are known for rescuing endangered animals, for example, “Phoenix Zoo” rescued the Arabian Oryx from being extinct in 2011. The “National Zoo” rescued the Golden Lion Tamarin from the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest habitat. But in the other hand, not all zoos treat animals kindly. One of the disadvantages is that some zoos only care about making a profit and this might mean selling and trading animals, buying or taking advantage of breeding. Another advantage is that employees that work at SeaWorld get to experience and train sea animals such as the killer whales, sea lion and dolphins. This helps trainers learn more about the behaviors of the sea animals and it educates visitors on their features. The visitors would come and watch the killer whales perform tricks with trainers.

One of the disadvantages of this practice is that the Tilikum killer whale was responsible for the death of three people. Dawn Brancheau and Keltie Byrne were trainers at the Seaworld and they were dragged down by the Tilikum whale who would perform in front of large audiences. The first incident was in February in 1991 when Keltie was dragged down by the whale during a training session, 10 years later Dawn was dragged down also by a Tilikum whale in front of a large audience. The last incident was a man who was trespassing in SeaWorld Orlando. This suggests that some sea animals aren’t intelligent enough when it comes to confusing and physically demanding tricks for society’s amusement. When it comes to new environments, animals will react in different ways, and sometimes the training cannot control what these animals can do because they have a mind and behavior of their own.

Another disadvantage of this practice is that at least 165 orcas have died in captivity. In the United States, SeaWorld has 22 orcas in its three parks, recently an estimate of forty-eight orcas have died at SeaWorld. Hong Kong’s Ocean Park has an estimate of 7.7 million guests visiting each year. Many of the guests come and visit the popular dolphin show. In a recent article, animal activist and experts protest to stop dolphin captivity at Ocean Park. An animal activist name Suzanne Ackermann tells, “We have to stop the shows – it is not natural or educational for a dolphin to perform tricks for food. We know they were bred in captivity and can’t survive in the wild and keeping them in tanks is inhumane and cruel”. She implies that the dolphins don’t behave like that, they don’t jump through hoops or have balls on their nose in the wild. On the other hand, Suzanne Gendron who is the Executive Director, Zoological Operations & Education of Ocean Park. She disagrees with Ackermann and she believes that keeping the dolphins in Ocean Park is much safer rather than keeping them in the polluted Oceans of Hong Kong. Gendron likewise says that the Dolphins have the right to perform or not, “We believe that our dolphins enjoy and are keen to participate in the shows because it is free will for them whether they do or do not,”. In this case, Hong Kong’s Ocean Park is known to be well cared for and in good condition and health for all animals. In China circuses and zoos are very popular, it draws almost 150 million visitors to 700 zoos. Chinese circuses have defended their shows, saying that the animals are well fed and that teaching them tricks can help them become “stars”. But Animal activists have visited an animal training facilities in Suzhou. PETA investigator documented that bear cubs, including monkeys, dogs, lambs, pigs, tigers are chained or tethered to a wall and forced to remain upright, sometimes for hours, in order to train them to walk on their hind legs. If they can’t hold themselves up, they risk choking and hanging themselves. Many of these animals are forced to entertain people for many hours of the day, and they would end the day having to be caged and chained until their next act. This doesn’t allow any freedom for animals to behave on their own. This is a very common issue of animal abuse that happens not only in China but around the world. By documenting this issue on the media more people are aware of the harm animals go through for the process of making money. Hong Kong’s Ocean Park has an estimate of 7.7 million guests visiting each year. Many of the guests come and visit the popular dolphin show. In a recent article, animal activist and experts protest to stop dolphin captivity at Ocean Park.

An animal activist name Suzanne Ackermann tells, “We have to stop the shows – it is not natural or educational for a dolphin to perform tricks for food. We know they were bred in captivity and can’t survive in the wild and keeping them in tanks is inhumane and cruel”. She implies that the dolphins don’t behave like that, they don’t jump through hoops or have balls on their nose in the wild. On the other hand, Suzanne Gendron who is the Executive Director, Zoological Operations & Education of Ocean Park. She disagrees with Ackermann and she believes that keeping the dolphins in Ocean Park is much safer rather than keeping them in the polluted Oceans of Hong Kong. Gendron likewise says that the Dolphins have the right to perform or not, “We believe that our dolphins enjoy and are keen to participate in the shows because it is free will for them whether they do or do not,”. In this case, Hong Kong’s Ocean Park is known to be well cared for and in good condition and health for all animals.

In China circuses and zoos are very popular, it draws almost 150 million visitors to 700 zoos. Chinese circuses have defended their shows, saying that the animals are well fed and that teaching them tricks can help them become “stars”. But Animal activists have visited an animal training facilities in Suzhou. PETA investigator documented that bear cubs, including monkeys, dogs, lambs, pigs, tigers are chained or tethered to a wall and forced to remain upright, sometimes for hours, in order to train them to walk on their hind legs. If they can’t hold themselves up, they risk choking and hanging themselves. Many of these animals are forced to entertain people for many hours of the day, and they would end the day having to be caged and chained until their next act. This doesn’t allow any freedom for animals to behave on their own. This is a very common issue of animal abuse that happens not only in China but around the world. By documenting this issue on the media more people are aware of the harm animals go through for the process of making money. Animal entertainment in circuses has been going on for many years. One of the solutions for this practice is to stop exploiting animals in circus. For example, Circus Smirkus and Cirque du Soleil are animal-free circuses that don’t use animals for entertainment, instead, they have a variety of entertainers that perform.

In recent news more than forty several countries around the world, from Europe, Latin American to some countries in Asia have already started this practice. The government in Europe has pledged to stop using wild animals in circuses by 2020. By removing animals from circuses, this might decrease the number of attendance and sales but as an alternative solution circus owners can hire more performers to act on the show. One of the advantages of this solution is that there will be an increase in job employment for society. Which means performers will have the opportunity to show their talent for society’s amusement. Also, animals will not continue to be abused by circus trainers, they will be free to live in the wild or be sent away to sanctuaries. The circus will not only be supported by Animal rights organizations but other businesses would want to sponsor Circuses that are animal-free, which will increase the business’s economy. One of the solutions for SeaWorld is to stop using Tilikum Whales and Orcas for entertainment, due to the high death rate at 165. This should be done because large whales like the Tilikum need to remain in the wild and not in tanks. The Orcas that are in captivity bite on the iron bars and the concrete tanks this increases their levels of stress, anxiety and boredom. This results in them breaking their teeth which leads to painful dental drilling without anesthesia. By stopping this practice these sea animals are free to live in the ocean, where they aren’t sharing tanks with other whales. One of the consequences of stopping this practice is that it will cause SeaWorld a lot of money and it will definitely decrease their economy. This will lead to conflict between stakeholders that profit on this business also by stopping this practice is that it will leave people without work. Personally, I believe you can pledge to stop attending circuses, aquariums and other forms of animal entertainment. From this you can lead petitions or sign up for a petition to stop animals for entertainment, or spread awareness and educate others on this issue, this issue still happens mostly around Asia as for Europe and Latin American they’ve banned this issue.

In conclusion, I think there’s a diversity of cases relating to this issue. I believe that in some cases animals shouldn’t be treated in this condition because they should have the freedom to behave in the wild and in their natural behavior. I believe this due to the animal abuses that have been investigated by PETA organization, the elephant abuse at the Ringling Bros Circus has been going on for about 200 years according to an Article on Odyssey. Also, according to an article on SeaWorld it shows at least 165 orcas have died in captivity at SeaWorld. This has changed my perspective on this issue and I’ve learnt a lot from undertaking this investigation. I’ve personally been to circuses in Florida when I was a child and I didn’t realize what kind of abuse animals suffered through because I was there for the amusement of myself. I think this topic has expanded my knowledge about the different animal cases that happen around the world and the advantages and disadvantages on this issue.

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