You should probably reconsider your holiday plans if they involve one of these cruel activities.
In the pantheon of sublime and terrifying animals, tigers deserve a special spot. In an attempt to make these awe-inspiring creatures more approachable, tiger temples were created so tourists could safely take selfies with the felines.
Under the guise of providing a safe haven for the endangered animals, these sanctuaries sedate and mutilate the tigers to complete lethargy, stripping them of the wild nature that once made them majestic.
Dolphin and orca shows
Animal parks all over the world offer dolphin and orca shows, such as the infamous Seaworld.
Confined to minuscule tanks, these exceptionally intelligent marine creatures develop illnesses, suffer from stress, and can even start manifesting psychotic behaviors. Living in miserable conditions, the lifespan of these precious animals is also dramatically shortened in captivity. Leaving dolphins and orcas alone might actually be the only genuine way to appreciate them.
Spending some time with these gentle giants can be the highlight of your trip to Thailand. For the elephants however, the experience is atrociously unpleasant.
Already peaceful by nature, the captive elephants are rendered completely obedient by intense and barbarous training. As babies, they are taken away from their mothers, locked up in cages, beaten, and starved.
When they reach adulthood, the fear of the bullhooks that were used to tame them drive them to submission, which can be mistaken for docility by unsuspecting tourists.
Monkeys' psychological and biological proximity to humans doesn't shield them from cruel treatment. Considered to be smart and compliant animals, many species of primates are exploited for tourists' entertainment.
Chimpanzees undergo intensive training to put on street performances in Southeast Asia, where they are coerced into imitating human behaviour such as walking and dancing. Endangered orangutans are also being forced to box each other for the amusement of crowds in Bangkok. Our closest relatives in the animal kingdom will be grateful to you for not taking part in these spectacles.
Diving with sharks
Diving into the environment of one of the world's greatest predators can be a thrilling experience. Because cage diving allows tourists to observe sharks in their natural habitat, it's usually deemed a responsible and safe practice. However, feeding the animals to lure them to the metal cage disrupts their natural behaviour and upsets the ecosystem. This is one reason why sharks are being found closer and closer to shore, resulting in more shark attacks. A cheap thrill is maybe not worth the far-reaching consequences.