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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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Nikki rose
1 Months Ago

At last my happiness has been restored by a Man called Dr Believe,, my name’s are Mrs Nikki Rose i want every one on this site or forum to join me thank this Dr Believe for what he just did for me and my kids. My story goes like this i was married to my husband for 5 years we were living happily together for this years and not until he traveled to Italy for a business trip where he met this prostitute who be witched him to hate me and the kids and love her only so when my husband came back from the trip he said he does not want to see me and my kids again so he drove us out of the house and he was now going to Italy to see that other woman. so i and my kids were now so frustrated and i was just staying with my mum and i was not treating good because my mama got married to another man after the death of my daddy so the man she got married to was not treating i and my kids well so i was so confuse and i was searching for a way to get my husband back to me and my kids so one day as i was browsing on my computer i saw a testimony about this MAN Dr Believe of [email protected] shared on the internet by a lady and it impress me too so i also think of giving it a try at first i was scared by when i think of what me and my kids are passing through so i contact him and he told me to stay calm for just two days that my husband shall be restored to me and to my best surprise i received a call from my husband on the second day asking after the kids and i called Dr Believe and he said your problems are solved my child so this was how i get my family back after a long stress of brake up by an evil lady so with all this help from Dr Believe of [email protected] and [email protected] or you can also contact him through his website: http://authenticspellcaste.webs.com i want you all on this forum to join me to say a huge thanks to Dr Believe and i will also advice for any one in such or similar problems or any kind of problems should also contact him for help you can call him on his mobile number: +2348159740630


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Mary Silva
2 Months Ago

My name is Mary Silva, I just split up with my boyfriend of 7 years. We were great together, completely in love and talked about marriage and growing old together, we traveled the world together, everyone knows us as a perfect couple, we never fought always laughed together… however the last 2 years have been very difficult. We have been living together for over 5 years but the last 2 years have been a stressful living situation as I had to take in a friend that was in need. I also started my own business which kept me extremely busy. I am completely devastated, hurt, lost and just want him back. I love him completely. We had a few discussions before he left about trying to work things out, and he felt I took him for granted…I had stopped treating him with appreciation and love. I agreed that I have to be more romantic and be an equal partner in the relationship. Over the course of the following days I showed him love and appreciation, treated him like I had done in the past however he still wanted out. he said he needed time and space to figure out what he wants. I told him I would not give up on us but I would give him space that he wanted. he said he still loved me and care a lot about me but was just hurting.i was totally down because i need my man back one day a friend of my introduce me to a spell caster online who lift me up gave me hope and with-in two days after his spell my man who told me he needed space, call me and come back home to me i must say today we are happily married not only married but have two lovely kids all thanks to Dr happy a father and a real spell caster.

Contact email address [email protected]
Call and Whats-App him +2348133873774
Also contact and know more about his service at http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/


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JANEANDREWS
2 Months 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


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Jessica Phillips
2 Months 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] }.


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jeffery
2 Months Ago

PLEASE READ!!!! I know this might sounds crazy to everyone and seems too good to be true, but i am a living testimony to others who commented about this great hackers called Cindy. I was in search of loan to enhance my business when i got scammed 4 times by fake lenders who claimed to be loan lenders, i was so doomed that i got worse in debts that i was evacuated from my home secondary to the fact that i was unable to pay my bills. My business fold up that i could not even feed my family and i had no one to run to nor was ready to help, so i ran to the pastor for shelter with my family which he wholeheartedly received us. One morning i was on the internet trying to give it a try if i could get in touch with the real loan lenders so i could get back on my feet, i came across a comment of so many people thanking the great ATM HACKERS WORLD WIDE name cindy for giving them a blank ATM card that can withdrawn the sum of $5,000.00 per day. I found this too good to be true but due to my present condition, i decided to give it a try so i sent a mail to [email protected] and two days later i got a response and was told the procedures needed before getting the card thus i agreed i still find its too good to be true, so i proceeded in giving them what they required and i was shocked when i got a call from the courier three days later that i have a parcel in their possession which belongs to me and i was wondering what it was before this hackers gave me a call and told me that they got a mail from the courier that my parcel has been delivered so i rushed down to their office and i got my parcel and on getting home, i found out that is was my blank card,. so headed for the ATM machine The blank ATM withdraws money from any ATM machines and there is no name on it, it is not traceable and now i have money for business and enough money for me and my family to live on .and i almost passed out when i heard the machines counting and dispensed the sum of $5,000.00 Instant and now i have $60,000,00 . I pray if am dreaming, i don\'t ever want to wake up because i know that this still sounds too good but its the truth & am a living testimony that\'s why i decided to take my time to share my testimony to any one who might be interested She is giving it out for free to help people even if it is illegal but it helps a lot and no one ever gets caught Cindy\'s email address is [email protected]


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Jessica
2 Months 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.


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Junia Noel
2 Months 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


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Junia Noel
3 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
3 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


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mbee11
3 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.


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