Most people wouldn’t want to bond with a current or potential partner over the suffering and imprisonment of animals—so roadside zoos, marine parks, and other places where animals languish are no place for a date. People who visit such establishments are usually there because they like animals and want to interact with them—but the truth is, they’re putting their money into the wrong pockets. Here’s where not to go on a date this summer and why:
There’s nothing cute about the exploitation of animals by businesses that try to sell tickets by locking pacing and terrified living beings behind bars or confining them to actual pits. Roadside zoos and drive-through “safaris” are horrible for animals, who are typically bred at these facilities all year long because their babies bring in the big bucks. But babies grow up quickly, and older, unwanted animals may be warehoused like inventory or quietly shipped out. Because of inaccurate and nonexistent paperwork, it’s nearly impossible to know how many “surplus” animals end up at auctions, in slaughterhouses, or on hunting ranches. Captivity isn’t cute—so visit an accredited animal sanctuary instead!
Marine parks are just as exploitative as zoos are. This billion-dollar industry is built on the suffering of extremely intelligent beings who want nothing more than to swim freely in their stimulating natural environment. Many animals at marine parks die far short of their natural life spans. In captivity at places like SeaWorld, marine animals can only swim in endless circles in tanks that are the equivalent of bathtubs to us, and they’re forced to perform meaningless tricks and often torn away from family members when they’re shuffled between parks. *heartbreak* Instead of visiting one of these, have fun at an amusement park that doesn’t hold animals captive.
Up to 90% of the fish brought into the U.S. for the aquarium business are caught illegally using poison. As if that weren’t alarming enough, interactive experiences that are offered at many aquariums typically feature small, shallow prisons that give marine animals no escape from near-constant, nonconsensual grabbing and poking. And let’s not forget that at least 41 people were injured at SeaQuest’s Colorado location in less than a year—there were shark bites, and a stingray barb got stuck in an individual’s hand. Sounds like a surefire way to ruin a date!🎉A much better idea is to visit a local water park where animals aren’t held captive.
Tell your date, “This ain’t my first rodeo protest,” and let them know that you are compassionate and would never support cruel rodeos. Most animals used in them are docile, but electric prods, spurs, and bucking straps are used to anger or irritate them and force them to perform. A bucking strap is a strap or rope that’s tightly wrapped around the abdomen of horses and bulls. This is what causes them to buck—they’re trying to stop the pain. Rodeos are nightmares for animals, and there are countless other ways to spend your time that don’t cause harm to anyone. Go to a local music festival or check out a concert where the only performers are willing participants.
Why visit a circus that abuses animals when you could visit one that doesn’t? Animals suffer and endure unnatural, depressing conditions in circuses. Elephants, tigers, lions, camels, bears, and others animals are terrified into performing under the threat of punishment with cruel devices like bullhooks and whips. The suffering doesn’t end once the show does, either. When not being trained or performing, animals are kept chained or caged or are crammed into small trailers (in all weather extremes) and hauled to the next destination, where they’ll be exploited all over again. Luckily, there are many circuses that refuse to use animals—so visit one of those instead.
It’s simple: Animals are not ours to use for entertainment. Thankfully, there are tons of ideas for dates that don’t harm anyone. Visit an accredited animal sanctuary, a park, or a hiking trail! You could also hit up a sports game and munch on some vegan food—the possibilities are endless when you’re staying compassionate. Enjoy your date!