Even with social media, movies, streamed concerts and workouts, phone calls, texting, FaceTime, and trips to get essentials, many people in Cambodia are reporting feeling lonely while they self-isolate. People for the ethical treatment of animals (PETA) hopes that it can now empathise more fully with the elephants tethered by chains and tigers trapped in restrictive cages at Phnom Penh Safari and all animals held captive for their entire lives for human entertainment.
Animals used by the entertainment industry are warehoused in enclosures that don’t come close to the jungles, prairies, forests, and oceans that they would inhabit in nature. They can’t roam, explore, forage, run, hibernate, climb tall hillsides, dive deep into the ocean, or swim for kilometres. They don’t get to choose their partners and decide when to reproduce. Their babies are commonly taken away from them to be used to make money and they are denied the opportunity to raise their young. The physical and mental frustrations of captivity commonly lead to abnormal, neurotic and even self-destructive behaviour.
Although people may find isolation to be trying, we know that all of our freedoms will soon be restored. PETA is hopeful that people will use that freedom to refuse to support zoos, elephant rides, tiger cub petting and all other abusive exhibits that profit from animals’ misery.
Nirali Shah, senior campaigner at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia