Camels are often used as a method of transportation and cargo for their ability to carry heavy loads for long periods of time. Camels are often exploited because of their special abilities. An annual camel weight-lifting competition in Pakistan forces camels to carry loads so heavy they’re equivalent to small cars.

Over 20,000 people watch the contest and this year, a 20-year-old from Britain won the event. His camel was forced to carry a 1.7 tons, about the same weight as a car. At the start of the contest, the organizers of the event weigh heavy bags of stones in front of the competitors. Then they keep piling on the bags on the humps and backs of the camels. The camels are then forced to stand and walk around briefly with the heavy loads.

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The recent winner says, “This is just a way of people coming together and enjoying each other’s company. You win the respect and the reputation from the people around you, I felt like a champion when I won.” The camel isn’t even considered. It’s all about their owners feeling a sense of pride.

Rightfully so, the event has been criticized by animal activists. PETA director Elisa Allen says, “If anyone wishes to enter a weight-lifting contest, they should train and have a go at it, but leave the animals out of it. Camels are intelligent, sensitive individuals, and treating them as living cranes for human amusement adds to the many types of abuse, including their eventual slaughter.”

She also explains that young camels used in such displays are taken from their mothers at just days old, then bullied and intimidated into doing things that cause them stress and physical injury.

Hopefully, as people continue speaking up against such cruelty, this contest may no longer take place. Unfortunately, they’re already planning on having next year’s competition, but if the organizers feel the heat, they may discontinue this tradition.

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If you want to do something for other animals who are also suffering cruel fates, sign this petition to demand the Government of Spain ban bullfighting.

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