Europe’s Most Dismal Destinations
Traveling to Europe? Fantastic! Everybody needs a vacation, and what better way to spend your time than viewing the history, attractions, and culture of another country? Achtung, though! In your travels, you might stumble (especially if you’ve been pub crawling) across marine parks, roadside zoos, donkey rides, and even captive dolphins.
These animals never get a vacation. Day in and day out, they are confined to tiny cages, forced to dance around in tutus at the St. Petersburg circus, or left to live an unfulfilled life in an inadequate enclosure that is light years removed from their natural habitats. Europe offers so many great opportunities for tourists that your stay can be crammed full of cruelty-free memories. To make it easier on you, PETA Europe has put together a list of places to avoid like the Great Plague on your European vacation.
- Running of the Bulls—Pamplona, Spain Every year, more than 40,000 bulls are taunted, stabbed repeatedly, and finally killed by the matador in front of a stadium full of onlookers. Before the bulls enter the ring, petroleum jelly is often rubbed in their eyes or they might be beaten with sandbags. And the Running of the Bulls isn’t any more humane to these animals, who often crash into the walls when racing down the narrow street. Instead of paying to see these animals slaughtered, join the Running of the Nudes campaign!
- Schwaben Park Chimpanzee Show—Baden-Württemberg, GermanyThe chimpanzee show at Schwaben Park is truly a house of horrors. The chimpanzees are forced to perform demeaning tricks on leashes and are often trained to perform with regular beatings or the use of shock collars. Instead of paying to see these animals perform confusing tricks that they don’t understand, visit a non-animal theme park.
- Donkey Rides—Beaches All Over the U.K.Sunning on the beach is great for us humans: We can take a quick dip or catch a bite to eat when we’re too hot or hungry. But it’s pure hell for donkeys who are confined to the beach and forced to cart children around in the hot sand. Some donkey-ride operators at beach resorts like Bridlington and Blackpool even keep the donkeys chained together at all times. Instead of taking a donkey ride, swim in the sea or build a sandcastle.
- Berlin Zoo—Berlin, GermanyThis zoo might be known best as the home of Knut, the polar bear that the Berlin Zoo mercilessly paraded around in front of media cameras and throngs of visitors. More recently, however, zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz has been accused of slaughtering the zoo’s animals and selling their body parts to be used in Chinese medicines. Berlin is loaded with history; visit a museum or the great Berlin Wall instead!
- Edinburgh Zoo—Edinburgh, Scotland In 2000, a number of endangered Arabian antelopes were bred and then destroyed by Edinburgh Zoo officials. Clearly, zoo officials don’t have animals’ best interests in mind. Instead of the zoo, we recommend visiting a loch, a castle, or the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And if you’re a wildlife lover, go deer-spotting!
- Mediterraneo Marine Park—White Rocks, Malta The Mediterraneo Marine Park uses bottlenose dolphins in performances and offers visitors the opportunity to swim with dolphins. Unfortunately, visitors are often unaware that these dolphins are captured in the wild or imported from conflict-ridden countries. A great alternative is to take a dolphin- and whale-spotting holiday that doesn’t involve capturing or handling these animals.
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky