Well, in case you haven’t heard, Beyoncé, Jay Z and baby Blue are on vacation in Thailand. While the mere presence of this royal celeb family might be enough to elicit an enormous amount of press, on this particular vacation, the family is gaining a bit of bad press not because they’re throwing wild parties, or being rude to fans … but for their choice in vacation activities.
Thailand is known for their animal tourism. People come from across the world for a chance to ride an elephant or get up close and personal with a tiger – after all, these are not normal activities that you can do in the U.S.! But, many people do not realize that there is an incredible amount of cruelty that occurs in exploiting these animals for our own entertainment.
And sadly, it seems that these “must-do” animal attractions are on Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Thailand bucket list. Last week we were a little tiffed when Beyoncé was photographed riding on a baby Asian elephant, but we gave her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she was misinformed and didn’t realize what has to happen to these young elephants for them to become tourist props – or that the Asian elephant is endangered – really, we wanted to believe this was a foolish mistake.
… But then we saw this picture.
We’ll pause for your reaction.
While some fans might look at this and remark about how adorable and amazing getting to bottle feed a tiger is … Green Monsters know better. Like in the case with elephant tourism, tiger tourism is an equally cruel and exploitative industry in Thailand.
Many tourist attractions that feature tigers claim to be focused on conservation efforts. There are only around 3,000 tigers left in the wild, but there are many more than that kept in captivity for our entertainment. The tigers kept at attractions are often bred in captivity and taken away from their mothers at a very young age (hence why they are fed by bottles) and hand-raised by humans (i.e. beaten until they learn to be submissive to humans). By doing this, it completely eliminates the possibility that these tigers can ever be released back into their wild habitat and they will be condemned to live the rest of their lives as props for tourists to take photos with (EHM Beyoncé and Jay Z).
We can understand the desire to want to get up close and personal with these majestic, exotic animals … but what we can’t seem to wrap our brains around is how these celebrities, who probably spent a lot of time planning their itinerary, didn’t do any research about the places they were going!
These animal attractions seem too good to be real for a reason, there is a massive amount of cruelty and abuse behind the guise of “helping” animals that is completely driven by the desire for profit.
We have said it before, and we will say it again: Celebrities set the tone for their fans and it is imperative that they recognize what specifically they are representing and promoting … and we’re pretty sure spreading a message that exploiting endangered animals is what they were aiming for. Major fail guys.