Ethical Bucket List
The aim of Ethical Bucket List is to inspire travellers to opt for ethical choices in relation to animal tourist destinations / attractions and ensure that the value in tourism is focused on restorative and conservation animal projects. We will achieve this by raising awareness of the cruel realities and dark undertones that support much of the animal tourism/entertainment industry. A checklist with criteria is also available providing help in identifying which attractions may be unethical. Our ethical criteria will assist travellers to share their experiences, both good and bad, to our platform, which will create a database of user-generated reviews. In addition to this, Ethical Bucket List will offer a free consultancy service to investigate potential destinations/attractions which are against our ethical criteria.
Our aim is to raise awareness of the dark underbelly of animal tourism attractions and inspire travellers to opt for ethical choices. We all began our activism careers in a group called Action for Elephants and have long campaigned against the ivory trade as well as unethical tourist attractions. We have decided to focus on the animal tourist industry and include all animals. We will likely use some of your images for our website (and are very grateful for this initiative). I have included a summary of our project below and attached links some our successful media campaigns.
Ethical Bucket List (EBL) is a web based ethical tourism tool that will launch in June 2019. It was conceived to fill a niche in the travel/tourism market with regard to animal welfare concerns as regular review sites, for example Trip Advisor, contained reviews that were submerged within more reviews of a generic nature and not specifically highlighted. Advice on animal rights issues and ethical choices are generally reactive and cursory. EBL has been set up to fill this void and is aimed at all tourists who may visit destinations, attractions and sanctuaries. EBL are aware that the level of knowledge about the ethics of using animals as a tool for entertainment varies greatly. The website, specifically the review process, is designed to be inclusive. The EBL site offers an educational element based on providing information regarding the animals most likely encountered, the destinations where they may be present and the practices that might constitute good and bad welfare. EBL have developed criteria indicating good animal welfare practices and have included this within a checklist for prospective tourists.
Phase one of the launch will be light touch website with a blog function for people to leave reviews which can be shared to raise awareness of attractions. We are hoping to obtain grant funding for phase two (which will be launched by the end of the year). At the heart of the review system, the user is asked to consider each of the following points and award marks via drop down boxes. EBL are aware that reviews will be subjective and will be from the perspective of the user.
Nature and extent of contact – is the contact overbearing or stressful for the animal, such as overcrowding, riding, washing the animal for the benefit of visitors, unnaturally close such as selfies/petting tigers or lion clubs, painting animals, climbing on the animal, sitting on the animal, blessings or begging animals.
Unnatural behaviour – such as animals painting, playing football, dancing, riding bikes, skating, water tricks, juggling, snake charming, boxing, being offered to ride, etc.
Instruments of control or restraints – observations of physical means of control such as the use of billhooks, nails, spikes, pokers, sticks, shackles, chains, ropes.
Overall impression – was the animal’s welfare and comfort more important than your entertainment? Was there an educational element included?