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Even from a young age, children seems to be naturally drawn to animals. We are given fuzzy plush animals to snuggle with, and it seems like every children’s story features an animal protagonist or sidekick. Research even proves that kids who grow up with a cat or dog in their house are more sociable, have higher self-esteem, better immune systems and are more compassionate. All signs point to the fact that kids and animals are kind of a dynamic power-pair. However, children are highly impressionable and depending on how they are brought up to relate to animals can greatly influence their future actions.

While we love and adore our pets, there is a strange dichotomy between people who view their pets as individuals and those who view their pets as property. When children are taught that companion animals, or animals, in general, are meant for human use and entertainment, their future treatment of and relationship with these creatures is altered. Instead of feeling compelled to protect and defend their animal friends, they want to own as many as they can and treat them as personal accessories (just look at Paris Hilton).

Children and Exotic Pets

What is especially troubling about the construct that pets are expendable accessories is that it seems to contribute to the exotic animal trade. In the United Arab Emirates, owning exotic species, such as cheetahs, crocodiles and lions became a commonplace and children were often the proud guardians of these highly dangerous, and sometimes rare, species. Surprisingly, these animals even replaced dogs and cats as the go-to companions for school-aged children.

Why We Need to Teach Kids That Exotic Animals Are Not Pets or Toys

 

Not only is this concerning because, well, these exotic animals could easily make a snack of their pint-sized caretakers, but also because buying and selling exotic animals fuels the illegal wildlife trade.

Noting the increase in the market for exotic pets, Dr. Elsayed Mohammad, regional director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare explains, “If you compare how many lions, how many pythons were imported to the UAE, you will see that the big problem is driven by kids, teenagers. When we worked with kids before, we noticed that almost 100 percent of the kids had had exotic pets at least once in their lives.”

The UAE only recently enacted a ban that would ban private ownership of exotic animals in an effort to quell the trade of exotic pets. Despite the normalization of exotic pet ownership, the UAE is still considered a leader in combatting the wildlife trade and their willingness to enact this legislation illustrates a commitment to strengthening restrictions on the trade.

Why We Need to Teach Kids That Exotic Animals Are Not Pets or Toys

The Epidemic Elsewhere

While the UAE may serve as one example of what can happen when exotic animals are regarded as tradable commodities, rather than wild animals, they are hardly alone in this regard.

As Dr. Jane Goodall so poignantly noted when she was in the UAE, “Unfortunately, it’s [the exotic pet trade] not just here. This illegal trade, if you go to the US, is about people who just want to show off.”

The exotic pet trade is extremely prevalent in the U.S., but somehow private ownership of exotic animals has been allowed to go largely overlooked within the bounds of our own country. To say that the U.S. has a captive exotic animal problem is a gross understatement. There are currently more tigers in U.S. backyards than there are in the wild! And it hardly ends with tigers.

Seven states in the U.S. have no regulations or restrictions for private ownership of exotic animals and only 18 have bans for “dangerous” exotic species, such as bears, big cats, primates, and wolves. This leaves a huge margin for exotic animals to be traded at will. Not only does keeping exotic animals pose a risk to public safety – exotic animals carry many diseases that can be passed to humans and in the past 20 years alone, over 1,600 incidents involving exotic pets have been reported in the U.S. – but keeping them as pets poses a threat to their survival.

“Species are becoming extinct,” explains Goodall, “And a lot of it is because of people who have it as a hobby as adults, and yes children too.”

Changing Attitudes and Teaching Our Children

In the past 40 years, around 52 percent of the world’s wildlife has disappeared. Sadly, human industry has been a driving factor in this loss. When we treat the animals who share the world with us like commodities that we can buy and sell and use for our own gains, we pose a serious threat to their survival. If we teach our children that all animals – exotic and domestic – are theirs to play with and exploit, then we are condemning even more wild species to extinction.

The argument can be made that keeping exotic animals as pets helps to protect them from poachers or the potentially fatal impact of habitat loss, but in reality, what good does keeping a tiger in your backyard do for that animal or the ecosystem? These exotic species do not exist in a vacuum, their presence in the wild is tied to the well-being of many other animal species and natural systems.

We all have a responsibility to keep wild animals wild. By changing our attitudes towards wild animals and passing on the knowledge that we have of the dangers of keeping them as pets, we can help to create a paradigm for our children that will someday lead to the end of the exotic pet trade.

When we know the truth, it is our duty to share the truth, so why not start with our children?

Image source: Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr



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78 comments on “Why We Need to Teach Kids That Exotic Animals Are Not Pets or Toys”

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David L, Ollis
2 Days ago

Hi, My wife and I have been married for 15 years. For over five years I have been dealing with jealousy issues because of flirting and her having emotional type affairs with other men. I felt like my masculinity was in question and if I said the way she was acting bothered me, it seemed to make matters worse or I was accused of being controling. During this period I did state I wanted a divorce if the behavior was not going to end: texting men a night, leaving for the weekend without letting me know where she was going or not responding to messages. We do have a son and basically it\'s been him and I for the last year on the weekends. She disconnected completely from being a good wife and mother. In April she said she wanted a separation and I said no we need to get into marriage counseling. We did try that, but she was not very responsive and didn\'t give any effort. Afterward she was adamant about separation and divorce. I continued to say no and that we needed to save our family. She presented a separation agreement and I had to hire a lawyer. Because of the above behavior my lawyer suggested a private investigator. The investigator discovered my wife was having an affair with a close friend of the family who also is married with children. We know the extended families. I feel like I should tell this man\'s wife about what happened. This adultery has devastated me emotionally, I feel betrayed and I\'m physically drained. I know my wife is passionate in terms of her sexuality, and I can\'t get the thought of them out of my head. It makes me question my own manhood, and I feel very inferior or that he must be a better lover or what ever. The problem is my wife pursued him. She would go to him and she lured him into this adultery. I felt this was coming for some time and could not stop it. She was not only lying to me but also to our son about what she was doing and where she was going. My family is important, my son loves her and as crazy as it sounds so do I. Can you respond with a course of action on how to proceed? I was still have a very huge place in my heart for her. so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my wife came to me and apologized for the wrongs she did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I, my son and my wife are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: [email protected] or call/Whats-app: +2348160153829 save your crumbling home and change of grades its 100% safe. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.


Reply
JANEANDREWS
2 Days ago

My name is jane from USA.
I am here to give testimony on how I got my husband back,
my husband left me for no reason months ago. He moved in
with another woman, I felt like killing myself,
my life became very bitter and sorrowful.
Then one day a friend of mine told me about a great spell caster
that is very good and she said that he told her all about her life
history and the problem she is facing, i didn\'t believe it because
I\'ve worked with so many of them and it didn\'t work.
She begged me further so I decided to try this great spell caster
called Great Dr fraser . I still didn\'t believe but inside me
i wanted to give a try and as God will have it i used the spell solution
he gave me and the next day and I really received a call from my darling husband,
He apologized and came back to me.
I\'m very happy now with my family it worked for me and i believe it will work for you,
give him a try and follow up, this is a clear truth from a testifier.
Thank you Dr Fraser once again, if you want to reach him via email:
[email protected] or call him on 09067531271


Reply
Jessica Phillips
4 Days ago


I am Jessica Phillips and i want to share my testimony on how i got the blank ATM card. I was so wrecked that my company fired me simply because i didn\'t obliged to their terms, so they hacked into my system & phone, which makes it so difficult for me getting any other job, i did all i could but things kept getting worse by the day that i couldn\'t afford my 3 kids fees nor pay light bills. I owed so many people trying to borrow money to survive because my old company couldn\'t allow me get another job, they did all they could to destroy my life just for declining to amongst their evil deeds. haven’t given up i kept searching for job online then i came across the testimony of a lady called Vanessa regarding how she got the blank ATM card. Due to my present state, i had to get in touch with the hacking organization & ordered for the card worth $500,000.00..... i was told the procedures & told me that the Blank card will be deliver to me within 72 hours, i hold on to their words & to my greatest surprise, i received an ATM card worth $500.000.00 Usd. All thanks to GHOST HACKING TEAM. { [email protected] }.


Reply
jeffery
6 Days ago

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Reply
Jessica
18 Days ago

Hey guys, Get your ex back fast with the help of a real and genuine spell caster called Dr.Unity.
I\'m so excited my broken Marriage has been restored and my husband is back after a breakup, After 2 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: [email protected] ,
you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
his website:http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .
Jessica, 26 years, Texas, USA.


Reply
Junia Noel
18 Days ago

Hey!I was in a relationship for quite along time almost 7 years, he cheated with a girl almost 11 years younger than him I took him back because I love him so much. He promised me the world never to leave me never to let me go to make me happy and to make it up to me everyday. 7 weeks later he has broke up with me after a few arguments .. he told me he can’t do it that I’ve ruined everything I deserve it all I’ve treated him bad he gave up his job overseas but he only gave it a week afrer he quit. he has left me in bits and is 1 week later out with other girls please help I don’t know what to do he is telling me he will never ever get back its over and he will never give it a go I have begged and I don’t know why I don’t no why he has done this to me I feel so lifeless… one day in my office going through the internet i saw a post of a lady giving testimony on how she got her husband back,i also come across a blog site on how to reunite and get your ex back with a love spell it was really amazing to see this so i copy his email id on http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ i explain my situation to him and gave him all the details he requested from me, he give me 3 days assurance that my boyfriend will come back after the spell i was so overwal to hear that so i just keep calm and follow up his order coz i really love my boyfriend and want him back. on the third day after the spell as he promise me, my ex call me also show up in my office begging me to forgive him and accept him back with out no delay, i lift him up with a kiss and was so very happy to have him back all my happiness was from Dr happy he is indeed a true man a father and a god sent. plz contact Dr happy on his email id direct at [email protected] or call his mobile number on +2348133873774


Reply
Junia Noel
1 Months Ago

My ex and I were together for 5 years. We lived together and were engaged. We went on a trip with friends and his family and had a nasty fight and broke up. We both moved out of our home and with our parents. We decided to go no contact for a month and 2 weeks in he started dating a girl and took her on a trip to California ( where we’ve gone the last 2 years on my bday) on my birthday weekend! After battling it out thru emails and a few meetings we finally came to see each other all of last week, i love him so much and i was so desperate to have him back coz i new that girl was not the right person for him so i have to save my relationship and reunite with me ex again so i try all i could to bring him back but all to avail i have be in contact with so many spell caster who only too my money and still nothing good work out of it, i ws so confuse and devastated one day trying to search on facebook, i come across a wonderful testimony of a lady on how a spell caster who she contacted also for love spell help her and bring her husband back to her with-in less day 2 days after the spell i was so fill with joy coz this lady meant my day and i regain my hope back so i directly and desperately email http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ coz i love my ex so much and i want him back all to my self so with-in 5 min, Dr happy email me back with hope and told me that i have found solution in him that i should worried no more so i did all he ask of me and he gave me assured and guarantee that my ex will come back so i believed and was so gifted all to my surprise after the spell my ex call, come to my working beg and apology for his mistake,and he said sorry for the nasty break up that he was inconsiderate of my feelings nt in tend to hurt me. i can testify with the power love spell of Dr happy me and my ex are happily married now thank you Dr happy i will for ever be grateful to you and keep sharing your testimony if you need help or love spell fine it difficult to get back with your ex, email [email protected] or call his mobile number on +2348133873774


Reply
Junia Noel
1 Months Ago

My ex and I were together for 5 years. We lived together and were engaged. We went on a trip with friends and his family and had a nasty fight and broke up. We both moved out of our home and with our parents. We decided to go no contact for a month and 2 weeks in he started dating a girl and took her on a trip to California ( where we’ve gone the last 2 years on my bday) on my birthday weekend! After battling it out thru emails and a few meetings we finally came to see each other all of last week, i love him so much and i was so desperate to have him back coz i new that girl was not the right person for him so i have to save my relationship and reunite with me ex again so i try all i could to bring him back but all to avail i have be in contact with so many spell caster who only too my money and still nothing good work out of it, i ws so confuse and devastated one day trying to search on facebook, i come across a wonderful testimony of a lady on how a spell caster who she contacted also for love spell help her and bring her husband back to her with-in less day 2 days after the spell i was so fill with joy coz this lady meant my day and i regain my hope back so i directly and desperately email http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ coz i love my ex so much and i want him back all to my self so with-in 5 min, Dr happy email me back with hope and told me that i have found solution in him that i should worried no more so i did all he ask of me and he gave me assured and guarantee that my ex will come back so i believed and was so gifted all to my surprise after the spell my ex call, come to my working beg and apology for his mistake,and he said sorry for the nasty break up that he was inconsiderate of my feelings nt in tend to hurt me. i can testify with the power love spell of Dr happy me and my ex are happily married now thank you Dr happy i will for ever be grateful to you and keep sharing your testimony if you need help or love spell fine it difficult to get back with your ex, email [email protected] or call his mobile number on +2348133873774


Reply
mbee11
1 Months Ago

My mother always loved animals and at one time she had a wolf and a puma in the house at the same time roaming free. Nobody got bit and they lived with each other without a problem for years. The term wild animals as used in this story is simply untrue. Animals if they are social will make pets, putting them in cages and making them live in unhealthy conditions is not making them pets. You simply have to recognize that animal species are different and have to be dealt with not as you want but as they are. You can make a hippo a pet, some have done that, making a hippo a pet and expecting them to not poop on your living room rug is simply stupid even if you can make a pig to be house trained. like a cat or dog.


Reply
MyExoticWorld
1 Months Ago

Hey,
Great Post! Loved it!
Keep Writing such amazing posts! Thanks!
Cheers!
-<a href="myexoticworld.com/finger-monkey-pet-diet-cost/">MyExoticWorld</a>


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