While we were walking around in Lisboa, we arrived at a nice touristic place where a man asked if we wanted to be photographed with this beautiful and cute little owl. We said « no thank you. » I asked if I could just take a picture of the owl. He answered « no, WE take a picture of you two with the owl » and put her on my arm without my agreement. They were a few people like this man, holding birds, more beautiful from one another…multicolor parrots, some kind of huge eagles. Very impressive and fun to be photographed with, right? Then I saw the cages where the birds were kept and though that maybe it was OK for the owl but way too small for the eagles… I later noticed that the birds were not freely hovering on their arms but attached with a rope, which seemed to hurt their legs when they tried to escape, feared by a movement of a tourist. Later, we were approached again by a girl who was holding a parrot and I said that we didn’t want a picture and explained why. She answered « well don’t you have a dog or a cat ? » pretending that she didn’t understand my point. .
Well, it is not that cool or fun to pay to be photographed with exotic birds, baby tigers or turtles… and if you want to know the exact reasons why, you can find very informative articles on the subject. I don’t want to be judgmental or give lessons because the sad thing is tourists say « yes » because they truly love animals in the first place. I invite you to open your eyes and ask yourself questions, which I didn’t always do myself. The animal suffering and defense is one thing among so many important subjects that has to be more considered these days. Hopefully it seems to be more and more! .
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