An investigation by the NGO World Animal Protection reveals the harsh reality that lions and tigers are experiencing to be used for commercial purposes. Action must be taken now to save their lives.
The NGO World Animal Protection, with more than 50 years fighting for animal welfare around the world, carried out an investigation that exposes how lions in South Africa and tigers in Asia are stolen from nature in order to be bred in captivity to satisfy medical needs, to although there is no evidence of the benefits that such practices can generate on health.
The terrible evidence documents the suffering these incredible animals are subjected to, caged in small enclosures, which resemble those of intensive production farms. In Asia, for example, rows of cells and sterile environments were observed housing hundreds of tigers and lions. In South Africa, lion cubs have been seen crying while walking, as well as others immobile and deformed due to loss of limbs through inbreeding.
But the problem that these bloody practices exist is not only of those who work for this dark and chilling business, but also, of those who choose to consume it. Without demand, there would be no consumption.
Alarming numbers: people choose animal enslavement
As a result of World AnimalProtection research, it is possible to say that:
- In Vietnam, four out of five consumers of traditional Asian medicine (89%) strongly believe in these unproven medical products that are made from tigers and lions, while a quarter of its population uses wildlife products such as “patches of tiger balm ”and“ tiger bone wine ”.
- Of the people who consume these products in Vietnam, 9 out of 10 people (84%) prefer big cat products that have been captured in their natural habitat, to those that are bred in captivity.
- In China, two out of every five people (40%) surveyed had used drugs or health products that contained big cat products.
- More than half (55%) of Chinese consumers would prefer their big cat products to be wild-sourced, with 72% stating that wild-caught animal products are more potent than from animals that have been raised on farms and in captivity.
As a result of these data, it is possible to deduce that this industry exists because there is a market that demands and supports it. If people were to become truly aware of the animal abuse that what they are defending implies, and of the suffering that animals experience, they would surely begin to opt for other friendly options with nature and the environment. But to achieve this, there is a great job ahead, and that is everyone's responsibility.
And the right to a decent life?
Today, there is a concept that organizations, farms, supermarkets and different companies that work with animals aspire to more and more. This one is known as the five animal welfare needs all animals in the world should have access to:
- Need for a suitable environment.
- Need for an adequate diet.
- Need to be able to show the normal behavior of the species.
- Need for accommodation in the company of, or apart from, other animals.
- Need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury or illness.
However, it is clear that animals exploited under the wing of this aggressive industry (including leopards, tigers, jaguars, and lions), are being outright deprived of their five undeniable rights. And sadly, this violation and suffering begins when they are very young.
On the ranches of South Africa, for example, big cats (mainly lion cubs) are born into a lifetime of exploitation. Some are snatched from their mothers in the wild and many others are born in breeding facilities, so their lives begin on pet farms. When they are a little older, they are used for “fun and unusual” experiences, such as “walking with lions”.
But as if this were not enough, after a while, their lives come to an end since the hunting farms where the hunting takes place are moved. famous canned game (in English, "canned hunting"). The skins and heads are taken as trophies and Bones are legally exported through the Lion Skeleton Quota, which is exclusive to South Africa. The bones are exported to Asia to complement the illegal trade in tiger bone products, where it is processed into medicines and wines.
In China, industrial-type farms have row upon row of tiny cells that house large felines, who lead miserable lives. These facilities only provide the bare minimum needs for the cats to survive, such as food and water. Sadly, many animals that were documented in the investigation were emaciated.
In addition, as if this were not enough, it is possible to find numerous entertainment venues that offer the possibility of seeing tigers perform in shows and take pictures with them, for fun. In some of these places, it is even possible to buy tiger products.
The question is: how can fun or cure be found at the cost of the suffering of another living being?
Our Global Wilderness Advisor Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach said:
“Does the life of an animal mean nothing at all? These big cats are exploited for greed and money, and for what? For a medicine that has never been shown to have healing properties at all. For this reason alone it is unacceptable. But since at every stage of their lives they suffer immensely, this makes it an atrocity at all.
“Many of these animals will only see the world through metal bars, will only feel the hard concrete under their legs, and will never be able to experience their most basic predatory instinct: hunting. Instead, they are taken away from their mothers as young cubs and forced to interact with people. Also, they must perform tricks so that people can then shoot and kill them so that their bodies can be used to obtain products.
“This shouldn't be the life of these incredible animals, whether it's on these farms or entertainment venues. These animals are majestic predators, they are not toys and they are not medicine. Big cats are wild animals and they deserve to live a life worth living.
Towards a better future
The investigation of consumer attitudes carried out by the NGO shows some worrying trends, but luckily some promising results. The report describes viable herbal alternatives recognized by Asian traditional medicine for the treatment of conditions for which consumers would often purchase products from large felines.
Since World Animal Protection, is working hard to change the attitudes and demands of big cat products looking for viable and sustainable alternatives based on herbs., as well as scientifically proven.
We know that it is not necessary to subject other living beings to suffering, or even to slaughter, in order to improve our lives. More and more people are joining these practices, opting for solid shampoos and conditioners, hygiene and cosmetic products that are not tested on animals or do not contain ingredients of animal origin, among different alternatives.
We all belong to this planet, therefore, we all have the right to a dignified life. Share this message and let's put animals back where they belong: nature.