As an aspiring writer of fiction, I signed up for a writing challenge on line. The aim was to write at least 500 words over a 31 day period. This amounts to over 15,000 words by the end of the challenge. This is day 11, and I am not sure what to write!
I have found some inspiration from Jeff and Christine Goins themselves, who have originally set up the challenge. They have suggested that we write a 500 word ‘appeal letter’ for any cause that is nearest to your heart.
I have thought long and hard about this challenge. I know that what is close to my heart is helping animals in need. The cause I feel strongly about is the blatant exploitation of elephants who are used as performing circus attractions, and also the cruel practices of bear baiting and the treatment of bears as ‘dancing bears’ as an attraction. Behind the scenes of these attractions are mistreatment, cruelty and deprivation.
Elephants in circuses for example, are shackled together and confined to small spaces when they are not performing grotesque acts for money. Whilst they are being ‘trained’ to perform demeaning acts such as standing on tiny boxes, or rearing up and walking on two legs around the ring, they are beaten into submission until the owners are satisfied that they can perform properly.
Bears are taken as small cubs from the wilds, and then beaten and starved into submission. They have their claws clipped off and have unsightly rings put through their noses as they are shackled to a post and used barbarically in the ancient practice of bear baiting. Whilst they are tethered helplessly, the bears have to defend themselves as numerous dogs are set upon them. The dancing bears are reared from cubs to stand up on their hind legs and ‘dance’ for the tourists. They are malnourished, as they are given just scraps and rubbish to eat. It is barbaric the cruelty at the hands of their owners for small change.
My appeal is to help these animals to lead normal and healthy lives, safe and secure in their own natural environment. Sadly, many of the animals are so used to living such degradation, they couldn’t live independently. Animal sanctuaries must be continuously funded in order that the animals have a quality of life that they are lacking. Funding needs to be ongoing and continuous, as there are sadly so many animals in need today.
I think it is a reflection on the social and economic ‘mess’ in many countries across the world that humans have to use animals in such barbaric practices in order to eke out a meagre living. They regard the animals as nothing more than a commodity to be exploited, which is an abhorrent and cruel regard for our environment and the animal kingdom. As humans on this planet, we have been given the knowledge to look after our environment, which includes our responsibilities to our wildlife. Let’s hope we learn this lesson before it’s not too late.