Not all fun and games: The missing ethics of animals in tourism
Macbeth, J. (2012) Not all fun and games: The missing ethics of animals in tourism. The Conversation, 10 October .
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Animals are a mainstay of global tourism development. They’re consumed in fishing and hunting, and used as part of “experiences” - horses in trail rides, marine mammals in theme parks, whale sharks for us to swim with.
In Sea World USA, orcas (killer whales) are kept for the entertainment of the public. We deprive them of their liberty to do this, but it is rarely questioned – except, ironically, when a captive orca kills or injures their human “trainer”, or when animal rights organisations launch a specific campaign on the issue.
Recently, an article on The Conversation stated:
Because animals don’t have the strong protections that come from legal personhood, we don’t give their interests serious consideration when we make decisions about habitat destruction.
A similar problem occurs in tourism, where the denial of personhood,or failure to recognise the individual, leads to a lack of care for the rights and welfare of animals, even in so-called ecotourism.
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