Putting animals at risk for fun has been criticized previously, notably in a 2006 Daily Mail story in which the picture of a bear made to ride a bike over a tightrope, part of China’s “cruel” animal sports event, drew strong condemnation from animal rights advocates. Kangaroos taking part in boxing matches, bears chained and pitted against each other in fights, and other such degrading and risky sports being part of these Animal Olympics have made animal supporters ask whether such entertainment is not hazardous to the lives of these life forms as well as to our own intelligence and attitudes.
While it was thought back then that the Chinese government felt the force of protests and the hurt feelings of animal rights supporters around the world, there won’t be any more of these animal sport events in China. Not really, as late last month another Animal Olympics event started in Shanghai, China. Held at the Shanghai Wildlife Park, these Olympics have been condemned again as abuse of animals. A petition was launched at Care2, asking China’s President and the Communist Party of China to close the Shanghai Wildlife Park and end the abusive sporting event involving animals.
The use of animals in sports may not sound like a big deal in world where animals are slaughtered for eating, tortured in science labs under the excuse of research, and even hunted for fun. Yet, as we realize the respect they deserve as co-inhabitants of this planet, such sport does sound barbaric and we feel the need for acting more intelligently, more responsibly toward life in this world.