As humans we exploit everything we can grasp. We exploit ourselves with countless gimmicks and tricks to make money. The sex industry, human trafficking, and the global unequal wealth distribution stick out immediately in my mind when I think of humans in regards to “exploitation”. Aside from exploiting our own species, we as peoples go as far to exploit our environment, and the other species we share the planet with. Us evolution believers, alike, explain our creation from “The Big Bang” in the universe followed by millions of years of mammal transformation.
Aside from my long intro, I find it completely depressing that we are systematically killing off the mammals in which evolved with us, and also the planet which we inhabit.
I spent time today at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. http://wfft.org
Home to over 400 mammals, WFFT features volunteers from all over the world, to care for sick and exploited animals. Although housing many different species, WFFT features different apes, monkeys, and elephants.
As an American – species like apes, monkeys, and elephants are only seen in zoos or at the fair or circus. Paying to see a monkey with an outfit on doing a trick is normal with the ignorant justification that “it’s just a pet” and that anything can be domesticated. Siegfried and Roy’s Las Vegas tiger shows (with frequent billboards in the 1990s and early 2000s everywhere of them sitting in luxury with “pet” tigers) and common places that showcase “swimming with dolphins” prove why the typical mindset doesn’t think twice about a monkey in a hat or an elephant ride.
Did you know only about 2200 elephants currently live in the wild? A documentary (in combination with the Australian program Bondi Vet) was made about WFFT describing how after years of giving “elephant rides” Elephants develop severe spine problems, remain in constant pain, and develop large skin abscesses (just to name a few of the issues)!
Monkeys and apes share a similar fate to the elephant in extinction and exploitation rates. Several different types of Gibbons are on various levels of the endangered species list. Today, while volunteering, we were in charge of cleaning the animals’ food bowls, changing the water dishes, making the meals, and feeding the animals. Working with mainly the primates, each different habitat at the sanctuary, housed a different species. Each individual primate had a different attitude and reaction towards humans (aggressive, gentile, etc.). One of Gibbons, in a habitat alone, swung by every time an interested human walked near her, and hung her large orange arm between the links of her cage sticking out her gentile black hand. She left her hand outside her cage for as long as you wanted to hold her. Assumingly previously exploited as a pet, this gentile Gibbon will never be able to assimilate to wildlife due to explanations only caused by human greed.
Animals are incredible as are humans as are the planet earth. To put it simply, even if we attempt to end the exploitation of these beautiful creatures with which we share our world, we would also have to learn how to stop exploiting the planet, and ourselves.