I feel like I need to address this out in the open, because a lot of people are not educated on how to recognise animal cruelty - even if it is staring them in the face. The other day, I scrolled through my Insta feed and saw someone posing with an elephant. (with many more ellies in the background). I assume this place was one of those parks that they call an elephant 'sancturies'. Leaning on the elephant's side was a massive bull hook, taller than the elephant. The person who posted the photo is someone who I know definitely doesn't support animal cruelty - I assume they just simply don't know what a bullhook is or what it is used for (many people don't) and probably thought it was just a normal piece of training equiptment like a leash, or he just didn't even notice the bull hook in the first place.
For those of you who don't know, a bull hook is a long wooden rod with a hook and sometimes an additional ball at the one end. These rods are specifically designed for one reason: to inflict pain. They are used often in circus training and to 'train' elephants to do other tricks like painting. It is NEVER neccesary to use a bull hook for elephant training - Ellies are extremely intelligent and emotional animals who have been taught numerous tricks and have been trained by kind, gentle trainers. Bull hooks are often carried around by trainers, leaned against elephants or put in full view of the elephant while performing for crowds, to instill fear in the animal that if the trick is not performed to a certain level they will get hit with the bull hook (which tears open the thick elephant skin and causes open wounds which could lead to infection. A bullhook is the cruelest device invented by someone who obviously had no respect or love for animals.
Now here's the twist: as soon as I saw the bullhook (it took me 0.4 seconds to spot the thing) I wanted to report the image on Instagram so that it would be taken down. I was absolutely horrified to see that instagram had NO OPTION TO REPORT ANIMAL CRUELTY! Nothing. What Instagram DOES have, is an option to report a woman's nipples. Yes, you read that correctly. If someone uploads an image on the gram where a female nipple is uncensored, you can flag it under 'Nudity or pornography' and it will be reviewed and taken down. There is no option to report animal cruelty. I triple checked, so did my friends. You can report it under 'graphic violence', but that's not the same. It seems as though Instagram thinks nipples are a more pressing issue than animal abuse, implying both that feminism ain't shit and that female nipples are unnatural (even though they provide food for our children) and should never be seen AND that Animal cruelty isn't all that important. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound all that logical to me...
You see the difference between violence towards people and violence towards animals is the fact that animals:
I was so deeply upset by both the fact that there are still 'trainers' who use bull-hooks but also for the fact that there was no option to report animal cruelty on Instagram that I took matters into my own hands. I emailed the CEO of Instagram and asked him to consider changing these settings in an update. Be assured: if he doesn't respond or gives me a half-arsed, fence sitting answer; I will keep emailing him until he responds and gives me some sort of solution. If he does respond well (which I'm sure he will), great! I'll keep you updated on the response; but I want you urge you to do something about it. Email him (you can find his address on google easily) or send him a (polite) private Instagram message asking him to change this( his username is @kevin ).
I really hoped this post sparked some thought, and motivates you to get on board and be proactive in sorting these pressing issues out - one step at a time.
Until the next post
-The Traveling Oyster
P.S. If you are the person who posted the image, or you know the person who uploaded it ; I am not trying to 'target' you or offend you. I'm just using this image as an example for the many other images depicting animal cruelty out there and trying to educate people on how to spot it. The image just lead me to discover the error in Instagram's reporting system and I would have rather reported the image anonymously than have to have an awkward conversation about it later.