Another enornmous issue in Bali that often gets overlooked: animal welfare.
I know New Zealand has more than it's own share of demons when it comes to animal issues (hens kept in tiny, battery cages in horrible conditions, dogs can legally be kept on a chain essentially for their whole life because our Governments over the years have all been useless in that respect, and animal abusers often get away with it or receive a slap on the wrist)..I could go on, but since I'm talking about Bali, a place so viral in social media, often with little regard given to it's animal inhabitants, I thought I'd mention my experiences.
I already knew to stay well away from tourist traps in Bali that use animals as attractions (it's aggravating when a celebrity like Kim Kardashian poses with an elephant at an elephant 'safari', posts the pic on IG and claims the attraction is a 'sanctuary'. A 'sanctuary' where they are often chained at the ankle throughout the day by themselves when they're not being used for touristy duties, and generally don't exhibit natural behaviour as they would in the wild). Even though I tried to avoid places where animals were treated cruelly, you couldn't help but notice the birds in tiny decorative cages hanging in some village streets, or the vendors with their large collection of caged birds trapped in these small cages in the blistering hot sun. I saw one bird hopping around it's small cage frantically non-stop, a behaviour animals in captivity will often display. When we were passing Kuta in a taxi, I also observed some horses looking poorly in the hot sun saddled to a large carriage, waiting for tourists to pay their owner for a carriage ride. I saw large pigs being transported on top of a car in an awful metal crate where they were lying alive, one on top of the other and completely unable to move. Then there are the destitute cats and dogs of Bali, the latter I will cover later.
Even though mum and I actively avoided visiting any Kopi luwak plantations, we came across a few caged luwaks at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. The luwaks had no water at all in their small cages, despite it being stifling hot in the Balinese heat, as pictured. - 1 day ago