I have always wondered about the job some animals have to perform for tourists all over the world. One of them are donkey and mule rides. Those small relatives of horses are pretty strong animals and people are using them for centuries for help with transportation and carrying stuff in their villages. But how is it related to tourism?
I decided to write this article after reading in the news about Santorini Island and its campaign about restrictions on using donkeys by tourists. This is a very small limitation as compare to what the whole world is doing to the animals for fun and money gain.
What is my idea about?
I believe, we do not need a government restriction to stop people riding donkeys and mules on vacations. As long as we do not pay and do not use those services, the business will slow down. Some people would think, that this is the only way for locals to earn money and they will have to go find something else to do. Yeah…But I believe, nobody should earn money by harming others. Right?
Note: I am not against of locals who are using donkeys and mules for their everyday life in a village in the middle of nowhere. I am against of touristic purposes and fun.
Why I think that animals are suffering?
There are 3 main reasons why you should give up on riding small animals:
- In case if you are overweight or a really big person in general
- Some owners treat to animals really bad and you never see it
- Animals have to wait for their clients in the sun and even if there is some shade provided, the air temperature is really high (Santorini, Greece -as an example)
Speaking about cruelty…
I would not blame every donkey owner. But there are some proven cases of neglecting animals and you never know if this or that cute donkey you ride ate enough today. Or had enough water. Or maybe even sick and the owner is trying to get as much money as possible before it dies. I feel terrible when I think of that. That is why, even if it is just your kid riding you never know if you support a bad or good owner. Animals are alive…it is not the same as riding a car from a car rental company with bad reviews. Look at this picture and donkey’s sore back. You never know what is under saddle.
Advantages of NOT riding donkeys or mules
Now, when a lot of people are overweight and weight loss if one of the most popular trends – time to have a walk! Walking, especially up the stairs is very useful. Helps to melt down all-inclusive meals from your hotel, trains your body, you feel like You Did It Yourself! T-shirt “I hiked Grand Canyon” will scream the true. There are no t-shirts “I hiked Grand Canyon on a mule”.
There are people, who are not advised to walk in heat or high stairs. Well…why not to pick another destination? There are lots of beautiful places to visit other that those with donkeys and mules. If you need help with picking one – just contact me. Please, share this article in your social media accounts and let people know. I will appreciate your thoughts and ideas about this article in comments. Thank you for reading.