The price of entertainment

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A vast majority of people in Pakistan are amused by the sight of a dancing animal. Little do they realize, wild animals are not actors or dancers so performing tricks is not something that comes to them naturally.

Scores of families are still reliant on these helpless animals to earn a livelihood. Wild animals such as monkeys and bears are poached from the wild before they are trained to dance. These animals live their entire lives in captivity and it’s the fear of pain and punishment that drives these animals to learn the dance moves that their masters teach them while they are only a few months old.

A lot of people do not realize that animal dancing is anything but adorable primarily because masses are unaware of the havoc that is wrecked by the masters on unsuspecting wild animals. A recent campaign titled Are You Not Entertained? is raising awareness about the animal cruelty that takes place in the name of entertainment and encouraging people to take a pledge to discourage animal dancing.

Performing animals are snatched away from their mothers before the mothers are killed by poachers. These animals are then sold into the exotic pet trade, designated for use as a dancing bear – a cruel practice where bears “dance”.

To force the little cubs to perform, the masters pass a rope through the young one’s muzzle – this enables the masters to control the movements of the bear in order to make them “dance”.

Every day, for years, the bears are beaten and starved into submission so they quickly learn to obey their owner in order to avoid being hurt.

Just like bears, monkeys are also poached while they are merely a few months old. Their mothers are shot right in front of their eyes before the monkeys are then sold across Pakistan. Afterward, the owners of the monkeys extract their teeth and mutilate their genitals in order to tame them. The feeble monkeys are starved for days and beaten up while they are trained to “dance”. It’s the fear of being beaten up with sticks and the constant tugging of the ropes that make these monkeys perform for their audience.

Wild animals are not capable of performing confusing tricks but they do not have a choice. However, if the masses discourage such spectacles by refusing to pay the owners of these animals, the cruel practice of animal dancing could be abolished from Pakistan for good.

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