Ethical Issues of Elephant Rides

2830 words (11 pages) Essay in Society

08/02/20 Society Reference this

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Vacations happen every day all over the globe, some of those vacations involve riding and seeing animals they might not usually see. I have swum with dolphins before and at the time I thought it was a very cool experience to be that up close to dolphins. But the dolphins that I rode on the shoulder of weren’t swimming free in the ocean I had swam with the dolphins that had been put in captivity. Which at the time didn’t seem to matter but I look back on that experience years later and wish I hadn’t. The reason why I wish I hadn’t been because abuse, many animals today like elephant, horses, camels. These animals many tourists fly on a plane sometimes across the globes just to ride. As it sounds cool most of these animals aren’t treated very well. To me I think no animals should be held in captivity like this or be ridden on.

Elephants are some of the largest animals on this earth today. They are strong, beautiful, and powerful. In American there isn’t any native-born elephants here they were all shipped over and put in circus and zoos.[1] “Research done by Vox said that there are 65 elephants used in 17 American circuses, 230 elephants in zoos in the us, and 67 elephants in sanctuary. “– NAVS advancing science without harming animals. As elephants sadly do get abused in the united states mostly in circuses and sometimes in zoos. Elephant abuse happens even more frequent in a place where many tourists go to visit and might come as a shock to some including myself on how bad it could be. I myself have thought about how cool of an experience it would be to ride an elephant just like some other animals would be just as cool to ride, watch, or pet also don’t get treated well. Elephant riding is a popular thing to do on a lot of people’s vacations when people visit places like Asia or Africa, they go on elephant rides. People have also said that they have watched elephants’ pain and do tricks. This all comes with training, and even if some elephants weren’t getting abused during the time while they weren’t with tourist, I still think putting them in cages and training them to do unnatural things like paint is not ok. But just putting them in captivity isn’t some of the worse people have done to elephants. Most people might think that some of these elephant riding places let them Rome in a natural area and rest once they were done with a day of having humans sitting on there back. But these elephants do not get to rest in their natural habitat with the rest of the fellow elephants. [2]As I cannot say that every elephant lives in the same conditions, when they aren’t carrying tourists they are in cages or shacks. Which they can’t even walk in because they are usually chained in place. When they are in these, they aren’t usually surrounded by what you could say family members. A lot of elephants are kidnapped or taken away from their family. [3]Taking these elephants out of the wild illegally is a common way that they bring these into places but there are also other ways. But no matter what they don’t get to live their lives with there families or really any elephants they are usually isolated. If you tried to ride a wild elephant you obviously wouldn’t be able to, so I wondered how they get elephants to be trained to do these things. [4]They are beaten and hit so they are for “tame” and so they will listen to there instructors out of fear. None of these elephants get treated well, and next time people think about riding on an elephant they should remember that the elephant they are riding has probably been abused. [5]From having PTSD, hip and leg problems from standing for so long or sleeping on hard cement, and other mental and physical health problems these elephants also tend to die at a younger age then they would in the wild. I don’t think these elephants deserve to be treated like this. As I have stated I have also wanted to do this, and a lot of other people do because you wouldn’t first off think that riding these elephants and supporting these companies by spending the money to ride them. [6]Many people go to places like Asia and one of the things that they come for is to ride these amazing animals but what a lot of people don’t realize is that it really hurts the animals, but it also can hurt the people riding it to. As I have seen on the news and articles about animals not just elephants hurting the workers and sometimes tourists. As the blackfish movie about the whales in sea world said animals usually act up in retaliation. Overall, I don’t think anyone should ever ride an elephant, not matter if you found a place that didn’t abuse them when people weren’t riding them it still is a pain for the animal itself having people sitting on their backs all day. There are many amazing things you can do and places and things you can see but I don’t think ridings elephants should ever be one of them.

Dolphins, the only time I have ever seen a dolphin the wasn’t in a place like sea world was when I was on a boat in Hawaii. I saw them swimming past me and I thought that was amazing, these dolphins were free. The other times I have seen a dolphin is when they have been held in captivity. As I do understand some people do not get the chance to go somewhere like Hawaii and try to see dolphins in the ocean. So, people go to places like sea world in Florida or other places were you not only get to see the dolphins, but you can also swim with them. When I went, I was young, so I got to “pet” them and hold onto a shoulder of a dolphin and swim with them. My cousin who was a couple years older than me got to stand on them and ride with them as they swam through the water. During the time I was having a fun time and so was the rest of my family. Many people go and do the same thing we did, because I didn’t really think about what happened to the dolphins while I was there. But I look back now and wish that I hadn’t went to take pictures with these amazing dolphins that were held in captivity. [7]Dolphins have been in captivity for a while now the one of the first dolphins in captivity in 1947 there was a bottlenose dolphin. Capturing dolphins from the wild and taking them away from there families has gone down in some countries because you just breed them in the aquarium. Even though that is better then taking them from the wild, they shouldn’t breed more dolphins so they can be captive all their life. [8]Sea world did announce that they weren’t going to bre////              qbed or take in any more Orca whales and the program would naturally die out, while I think that is great, I think dolphins should be included in the same program. [9]Even if some of these dolphins aren’t taken from the wild a lot of times they are still separated from their family and put into groups with other dolphins. An unlike other animal who leave there family once they grow of age dolphins are known to stay together for there whole lives. But when they are put in captivity they are separated from there family. Separating these animals from there families could have health effects on these animals. Just in a similar way as the elephant’s dolphins in captivity also must go through lots of training. [10]They get trained to do tricks, so I have seen like flips or catching a ball and fetching it and swimming with humans. Just like the elephants the things some of these animals learn to do isn’t natural. [11]A lot of times they have ended up getting hurt by other dolphins because its such a confined space and have no where to go. Not just dolphins have gotten hurt dolphins have bitten workers and tourist. It is a far more dangerous safety hazard for the dolphins to be in there, but I think it is a side affect of having wild animals in captivity. when I went to swimming with dolphins the pool, we swam in seemed big to me. I thought wow the dolphins have such a big tank to swim in, because when I went swimming the pools I swim in or half that size. [12]But then I had to realize that these dolphins if they weren’t in captivity would be in the ocean where they swim many miles a day. So, to them it is probably the size of a bath tub. Instead of swimming in the vast ocean these dolphins must be swimming in circles every day for their whole lives. No matter if they didn’t abuse, they in training being in captive messes with there brain and physical health.

Next time people go on vacations and want to ride animals like dolphins or elephants, they should think again. Looking from the outside I wouldn’t have thought that these animals could live such horrible lives, but I was wrong. As elephants get abused from being in captivity but also getting hit and chained up, dolphins get tortured by being in cages and other things like being separated by there family. Although there are differences on how these animals get abused it all is still abuse. I think wild animals shouldn’t be doing unnatural things like painting. So next time people want to go see these kinds of animals or any other kind that also get abused, I think we should all think again and try to put a stop to it.

History Bibliography


[1] NAVS advancing science without harming animals, Elephants in captivity in the united states, https://www.navs.org/what-we-do/keep-you-informed/legal-arena/wildlife/elephants-captivity-united-states/#.XMngyPZFzZs

[2] CNN travel, Opinion: Your Elephant riding selfie could kill the animal, Carmel De Bedin, May 1st 2016, https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/elephant-tourism-earsasia/index.html

[3] PETA, 9 ‘jumbo’ reasons not to ride on a elephanthttps://www.peta.org/blog/9-jumbo-reasons-to-avoid-elephant-rides/

[4] PETA, When you discover just how cruel elephant rides are you’ll remove them from your bucket list, April 9, 2019https://headlines.peta.org/say-no-to-elephant-rides/?utm_source=PETA::Google&utm_medium=Ad&utm_campaign=0518::gen::PETA::Google::Grant-Dynamic::::searchad&gclid=CjwKCAjwhbHlBRAMEiwAoDA343s2laXhYfyLF2OzA4LzJGNIcre5er3RIxk-jMQbvxywpe6MiFKi-xoC6YcQAvD_BwE 

[6] AnimalsAsia, how are animals abused and exploited from Asia? https://www.animalsasia.org/us/facts-about-cruelty-to-animals-in-asia.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwzPXlBRAjEiwAj_XTEXWg-wbMSzl-XZnMlGmoIiKSROpW8g4GXKB__AtFmSp92O44YIMtchoCPs0QAvD_BwE

[7] One Green Planet, how did we get here? The evolution of whale and dolphin captivity in the us, Corrine Henn,https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/evolution-of-marine-mammal-captivity-in-the-u-s/

[8] HuffPost, Sea world has stopped breeding orcas but what about their other whales, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/seaworld-beluga-whale-birth-breeding_n_57af65f6e4b071840411a36f

[9] Dolphin Project, Facts about captivity, https://www.dolphinproject.com/campaigns/captivity-industry/facts-about-captivity/ 

[10] Sea World Of Hurt where happiness tanks, Orcas (who are actually dolphins) aren’t the only ones being mistreated at sea world, may 5 2017, https://www.seaworldofhurt.com/features/dolphins-whales-dont-belong-at-seaworld/

[11] The Human Society Of The United States, Swim-With-The-Dolphins attractions https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/swim-dolphins-attractions

[12] The dodo, The Disturbing Truth Behind Your Swim With The Dolphins, Christiana m. Russo, https://www.thedodo.com/swim-dolphins-caribbean-1094674999.html 

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