The anti-bucketlist

Today, something a little different. Normally I chatter to you about trips I took and trips I want to take, but today I want to shine a light on things that I don’t want to do, and neither should any other traveler. Activities that, unfortunately, are still popular with tourists, even if they are cruel and unneccessary. I’m talking about things like bullfighting, taking pictures with tigers or camelriding.

When I was in Sevilla, I came across the bullfighting ring. Me, in all of my innocence, thought that bullfighting had been prohibited for a long, long time. Unfortunately, I was wrong, it’s still a thing. In our vacation, there were no actual fights, but there is a bullfighting museum in the city center and, as you can see on the picture, it is a popular attraction.

When I was in Tangier, I saw more animal cruelty. A snake charmer, for instance, but we also came across some camels that you could ride for 5 minutes for the price of 5 euro’s. The animals weren’t fed well, they did not look happy at all and they were treated horribly. I get that it would be cool to ride a camel, of course you’ll get great pictures, but when coming across something like this, always look a little closer, try to see if everything is alright. And if it does not feel alright, don’t do it. Do not sponsor the people responsible.

Yesterday, I was scrolling through instagram and came across of a girl who had great travel pictures. I looked at her profile for a bit, liked some photo’s, started following her, but then, I came across a picture that horrified me. There she was, smiling, sitting on the floor, holding the tail of a tiger that roared at her. Honestly, it did look great, it was a good picture. But we all know that this can’t be good, now can it? Tigers are wild animals, they are not supposed to pose for photo’s, they are not supposed to be cuddly and cute for instagram. As are a lot of animals that are used for this kind of touristic attraction.

These are only a few examples of animals suffering thanks to the tourist industry. I wonder about these tourists. Don’t they know better, don’t they care? With this post I want to give a little awareness to these cases, these animals, and make a list of things you should not do if you come across them.

  • Seeing a bullfight, or going to a bullfight museum
  • Taking pictures with wild animals, like lions, tigers or snakes
  • Riding a camel or an elephant
  • Visiting a show of dancing animals, like monkeys or bears
  • Holding sea turtles

The list can go on and on and I was actually doing a little research, but the pictures make me sick to my stomach so I don’t want to browse any further. When you come across a tourist activity that involves any kind of animal, use your common sense. Look at them, look at how they are treated. Do you think this bear likes to dance? This baby tiger is cute and of course, of course you want to cuddle it, because it is adorable! But think about it. Where is it’s mother? How did it came to be here? In what kind of conditions are these animals living?

Seriously, I get it. Of course I would love to go swimming with dolphins or otters, cuddle a baby tiger or take a ride on the elephant. But these animals are treated horribly and we should think about them before paying for animal cruelty that would look good on a picture. Use your common sense, do research and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.


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