Is Your Holiday Harmful?
Updated: Mar 16
Well, no holiday is ‘Evil’, in fact most holidays are full of fun, sun with some incredible sites and possibly some amazing wildlife. However, these amazing feats of nature or once in a lifetime experiences from the most alien like environment to the most exotic animal, may not be what it seems. My goal for this post is to highlight some of the key ways your holiday may not be what it seems and how you may be causing more harm by contributing or participating in certain activities or adventures. Before I start, I want to clarify please do not see this, as a post stating that you should not go on holiday or cancel your current trip but to consider these factors in the future. Additionally, I believe you should go on holiday and see as much of the world as you can and gain an insight to other cultures and new experiences. By seeing more of the world, it broadens your knowledge but also awareness of our effects on the world and wildlife by highlighting these issues, so you can start doing something about it.
Now, I know it is hard to restrain yourself from potential once in a lifetime experience, especially thanks to social media and the possibility of obtaining an amazing picture that will make all your friends jealous. However, before you do please try to ‘stop and think’, even if everyone around you is doing it and it all looks okay, this is rarely the case. Importantly, you should consider that just because you cannot see any harm that doesn’t mean there isn’t any. This is primarily seen in animals that look fine physically but can be sedated, have been tortured to behave in a certain way or have psychological affects from the abuse they have suffered. To help you with this I have highlight some of the things you may want to look out for, before you book your next trip away or an extra excursion. Here is how your holiday or holiday activities may be affecting the culture, environment & wildlife you visits:
Seeing another culture is fascinating and it can in turn help those in that culture. This can especially be beneficial for people in Less Economically Developed Country (LEDC), where tourism is a huge source of income for them. Having said this there are those who will take advantage of them. You want to be careful when giving money to the organisation of a trip, as you want to ensure that the money goes to the locals and not in their back pocket. Additionally, remember these are people too, who are often very proud and belittling them as some helpless individual can be an insult and undermining to them, so treat them with respect. Having said all this, learning new culture is an amazing experience you should enter with an open mind and to help that culture is another great feeling.
Now, you may have the opportunity to ride an animal or you may be going on an adventure, where an animal will carry your baggage. Well both are bad and you should not support either. Usually, this is seen with donkeys, elephants and camels but can be other species too. Although you may think that this does not have a huge effect on them, I am here to tell you it does. The animals that have to do these daily tasks of carrying heavy loads often lead to their short lifespan, as well as many health problems and pain during it. Most commonly, the heavy loads they often endure create severe back problems and deformed feet and toes that will often never heal in their lifetime. Additionally, many are worked in horrendous conditions with little water leading to them collapsing and dying. If this was not enough to make you think, these animals will often be ‘trained’ in a cruel and violent way to continue to work in these terrible conditions. This is often seen in elephants, infact to training of elephants is often called "breaking of the spirit". Finally, an often overlooked feature is the psychological effect on the animal from the way they are treated. Whatever you do, please do not ride an animal.