What is the ethical observation of animals? Americans swear they love animals. We adore them, observe them, make movies about them, yet as a country, many continue to see zoos and other forms of exploitation as the only way to enjoy wildlife. In the U.S there is a growing movement to change this mindset in the general public by introducing animal sanctuaries. An animal sanctuary is a place where animals can be observed in their natural habitat, unencumbered by glass cases and small spaces. Brittany Peete, an ambassador for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation, elaborated on the subject saying, “People want vacation options where they can observe animals without doing any harm.” … “The best way is to see them in their natural habitat.” Some of the top sanctuaries in the U.S as listed by the U.S.A today may be closer than you think and offer a much more humane alternative to your local zoo.
This beautiful sanctuary sits in the open and green pastures of South Dakota. Here the public can enjoy seeing herds of wild horses and mustangs roaming on the plains. This sanctuary is located near the hot springs in the southeastern area of South Dakota and gives wild horses a chance at real freedom. The sanctuary is also home to native cougars, whitetail and mule deer, coyotes, falcons, and eagles. Founded in 1988 by Dayton O. Hyde, it is one of America's largest private wilderness areas boasting over 11,000 acres of open prairie. The horses living in the sanctuary are rescues, rare breed protections, and sanctuary born descendants. To make it even more accessible, the sanctuary is open year-round and offers many different tour options. This sanctuary shows the Americas as they were for hundreds of years. Free and wild, untouched by the greed and exploitation of human interactions.
The coral reefs of the world continue to be in terrible danger. From pollution to human devastation, to overfishing, our reefs continue to dwindle. The diminishing of great reefs has serious consequences for the Earth that will greatly affect humans. Over 450 million people in tropical areas depend on coral reefs for food and income. Although reefs only cover 1% of the ocean's surface, they hold over 25% of all marine species.
Helping the public to understand living coral reefs through ethical observation of animals is invaluable in the Earth’s current climate. John Penne Kamp’s Coral Reef State Park located in Key Largo, Florida is the nation's first underwater park and sanctuary. This park wants to direct the public away from aquariums and into the real habitat through snorkeling and diving excursions. The park extends over 178 nautical square miles which include the only living coral reef in the United States. The park includes coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and seagrass beds extending over 25 miles into the Atlantic ocean. The park was established in 1963 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1972. The continued preservation of the park is a testament to its dedicated staff and quality of the sanctuary.
The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest located in Cle Elum, Washington is a special animal sanctuary dedicated to saving the great apes. The sanctuary rescues chimpanzees who have been abused in the entertainment industry and from experimental testing. Located on 90 acres of private forested land, it is one of the only sanctuaries in the country to care for Chimps. CSNW was found in 2003 and has continued to rescue chimps from biomedical testing. This includes over breeding females in which their young were taken from them too soon. Thankfully the CSNW sanctuary has trained staff and volunteers that help give these animals a happy and safe life. This sanctuary also has a blog that is continuously updated so that the public can keep up with their favorite chimpanzees from home when not visiting.
Practice ethical observation of animals through animal sanctuaries. A wonderful alternative to zoos, circuses, and other forms of animal exploitation. They offer safety, trained staff, and freedom that many animals do not get to enjoy. Due to human encroachment on many different habitats, sanctuaries are becoming the only thing standing between certain species and extinction. Many sanctuaries exist in the United States, take them into consideration when planning your next vacation or wildlife outing.
How do you practice ethical observation of animals? Let us know in the comments below! At Vegangrit we care about your thoughts and cherish them to make our community a better one.