A normal adult person would never take their child to watch a dog fight because it’s cruel and immoral. But a circus or a dolphin show seem like something completely different. It’s possible that some people either don’t know or prefer to ignore the obvious: sometimes, the kinds of entertainment we are used to and we love are just as cruel as dog fighting.
We at Bright Side value all animals equally and we want everyone who agrees with us to know what is behind these seemingly harmless kinds of entertainment.
Animals in the wild never do the things they are forced to do in circuses. They don’t want to ride bikes, jump through burning hoops, or dance. But they know what will happen if they refuse to do it. In the breaks between their shows, animals live in tiny cages and are constantly moving from one place to another which turns their lives into a nightmare. Animal rights activists are trying to have zoos all around the world banned. And they’ve achieved their goal in many countries. But unfortunately, not in all of them yet.
Alternative: A circus without animals.
Sea life shows
In their natural habitat, dolphins and whales live in small groups and can travel hundreds of miles in just one day. But locked in small pools, they suffer without having a family and without being able to move. Their muscles become weak, this is why adult killer whales have very small flippers. The business of shows that feature sea life is based on the suffering of animals, both when they are caught and when they die in the dirty waters of the pool. In many countries, this business is considered illegal, especially after some animals have attacked their coaches.
Alternative: boat rides or snorkeling.
Thanks to Indian movies and children books, many people have the wrong idea about elephants. They think that elephants are kind animals that are always happy to serve people. But in fact, elephants’ obedience is based on cruelty and violence. A scared baby elephant is separated from their mother and psychologically broken to give them one simple idea: that a human is to be feared. This process is no different from torture. A scared animal is taught to listen to their coach who hurts them if they disobey. So, there is nothing surprising about the fact that from time to time tourists become victims of the elephants’ aggression.
Alternative: visiting a rehabilitation center for elephants.
In many Asian countries, there are shows with poisonous snakes that are put on for tourists: they are teased and forced to attack each other. The trainers also allow people to touch the snakes and this is not always safe. After the show, the snakes are put away in small containers or sacks and not let out until the next show. Snakes get injured because of the attitude and treatment from their trainers: they get fractures and cuts (yes, snakes also have bones and they can feel pain). But few people worry about it, because snakes don’t live long in these places: soon enough, they are killed to be used in the production of handbags or for medicine.
Alternative: Watch a movie about snakes.
One of the most dangerous and cruel ways to interact with a horse is horse racing. Any speed competition is a huge stress on the animal. Their sensitive skin is torn, their legs are broken, they have joint pain, and they feel bad at a psychological level. There have been cases when horses have died during the race because of exhaustion. The sports career of these horses is usually around 10-15 years long. After that, the injured and psychologically broken animals are eaten.
Alternative: Visit a rehabilitation center for horses.
Petting zoos are one of the most popular kinds of entertainment for children. Parents love taking their children to these places to let them touch kittens, foxes, raccoons, etc. They believe that this is a way for children to learn to love nature. But few people think about how the “nature” really feels about it. The animals are touched and petted thousands of times a day. And animals probably don’t like living in malls without sunlight and fresh air. This is the only reason why petting zoos exist and earn money.
Alternative: Work as a volunteer in an animal shelter.
Crocodile and alligator shows
Crocodiles that perform in front of people are usually kept on farms in small rooms that are full of other reptiles and they are let out in small groups only for the shows. The people who perform with the crocodiles are supposed to do certain tricks, including putting their arms or even heads inside the crocodile’s mouth. Sometimes, viewers are unlucky and they witness accidents.
Alternative: Take a safari in the crocodile’s natural habitat.
Photos with exotic animals
Photographs with monkeys or parrots on people’s shoulders are a popular thing in places where there are a lot of tourists. Many people can’t resist taking a picture with these charming animals. So, they end up supporting this profitable, but very cruel business. These animals are made safe for the benefit of the clients: their claws and teeth and removed and they are drugged with tranquilizers. And at the end of the season, most monkeys, parrots, and other animals are put down because it is very expensive to keep them when tourist season is over.
Alternative: Take pictures of animals in their natural habitats.
Horse riding can be a pleasant past time both for a person and for a horse. In order for this to happen, there should be a special connection between them that is based on trust and care. This connection is impossible to establish when you just use the horse. The organizations that offer horseback riding usually just want to earn as much money as possible. So they give horses to amateur or very overweight riders that could easily hurt the animal. This is even worse when it comes to riding in parks: they usually buy very cheap horses from butchers and return them as soon as they don’t need them.
Alternative: Professional horseback riding lessons that are taken on a regular basis.
Of course, it’s not that easy to give up visiting places where we normally have so many positive emotions. And every time we go to these places, we want to believe that the animals there don’t suffer. But it’s a lie: animals can have a good life only when they can be who they are — animals. Not artists, not a means of transportation, and not a photo background.
What is your attitude toward zoos? Do you think that this kind of business is unethical or do you think that animal rights activists just exaggerate things?
Look at How Much “Game of Thrones” Characters Have Changed Over 8 Seasons
During the summer of 2019, the final season of Game of Thrones aired. The show had gone on for almost 10 years which is a long time not only for the characters but also for the actors who portrayed them.
Bright Side is remembering what characters looked like in the very first episodes of the groundbreaking series and is comparing them to what they look like in the final season of the show.
1. Cersei Lannister
2. Jon Snow
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Daenerys Targaryen
5. Sansa Stark
6. Arya Stark
7. Jorah Mormont
9. Jaime Lannister
10. Sandor Clegane
11. Brienne of Tarth
12. Samwell Tarly
13. Davos Seaworth
14. Theon Greyjoy
15. Brandon Stark
Did you watch Game of Thrones? Did you enjoy season 8? Tell us in the comment section below.
Baltimore’s ransomware attack, explained – Vox
Thirteen bitcoins are standing between the city of Baltimore and many of the services and processes its citizens rely on after hackers seized thousands of government computers at the start of the month. The ordeal has been going on for two weeks, and there’s no clear end in sight.
Here’s what’s happening: On May 7, hackers digitally seized about 10,000 Baltimore government computers and demanded around $100,000 worth in bitcoins to free them back up. It’s a so-called “ransomware” attack, where hackers deploy malicious software to block access to or take over a computer system until the owner of that system pays a ransom.
Baltimore, like several other cities that have been hit by such attacks over the past two years, is refusing to pay up. As a result, for two weeks, city employees have been locked out of their email accounts and citizens have been unable to access essential services, including websites where they pay their water bills, property taxes, and parking tickets. This is Baltimore’s second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city’s 911 system for about a day. Baltimore has come under scrutiny for its handling of both attacks.
The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other local governments across the US demonstrate that as ransomware attacks spread, and as common targets such as hospitals and schools beef up their online systems’ security, there are still plenty targets vulnerable to this kind of hack. It also exemplifies the conundrum that ransomware victims face: pay up and get your access back, or refuse — potentially costing much more in the long run.
What’s going on in Baltimore, briefly explained
Hackers targeted the city of Baltimore on May 7 using a ransomware called RobbinHood, which, as NPR explains, makes it impossible to access a server without a digital key that only the hackers have.
The Baltimore hackers’ ransom note, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, demanded payment of three bitcoins per system to be unlocked, which amounts to 13 bitcoins to unlock all the seized systems. The note threatened to increase the ransom if it wasn’t paid in four days, and said the information would be lost forever if it wasn’t paid in 10 days. Both deadlines have now passed.
“We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!” the note said.
The city government is refusing to pay, meaning that the government email systems and payment platforms the attack took down remain offline. The attack has also harmed Baltimore’s property market, because officials weren’t able to access systems needed to complete real estate sales. (The city said transactions resumed on Monday.)
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, who’s officially been in his office less than a month, said in a statement on Friday that city officials are “well into the restorative process” and have “engaged leading industry cybersecurity experts who are on-site 24-7 working with us.” The FBI is also involved in the investigation.
“Some of the restoration efforts also require that we rebuild certain systems to make sure that when we restore business functions, we are doing so in a secure manner,” Young said. He did not offer a timeline for when all systems will come back online.
The Baltimore City Council president also plans to form a special committee to investigate this latest attack and try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
A similar attack using RobbinHood hit government computers in Greenville, North Carolina, in April. A spokesperson for Greenville told the Wall Street Journal that the city never wound up paying, and that while its systems aren’t entirely restored, “all of our major technology needs are now being met.”
More than 20 municipalities in the US have been hit by cyberattacks this year alone. And such attacks can be expensive, perhaps especially if targets say they won’t pay. In 2018, hackers demanded that Atlanta pay about $50,000 in bitcoins as part of a ransomware attack. The city refused, and according to a report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, the attack wound up costing the city $17 million to fix.
Ransomware attacks aren’t new — but we’re still figuring out how to deal with them
In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry targeted tens of thousands of computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems in more than 100 countries. Officials in the US and the United Kingdom eventually blamed North Korea for the attack. Also in 2017, corporations in the UK, France, Russia, Israel, and Ukraine experienced ransomware attacks. US hospitals were also targeted.
Here’s how Timothy Lee explained for Vox what was going on and how ransomware had become more prolific:
The basic idea behind ransomware is simple: A criminal hacks into your computer, scrambles your files with unbreakable encryption, and then demands that you pay for the encryption key needed to unscramble the files. If you have important files on your computer, you might be willing to pay a lot to avoid losing them.
Ransomware schemes have become a lot more effective since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009. Conventional payment networks like Visa and Mastercard make it difficult to accept payments without revealing your identity. Bitcoin makes that a lot easier. So the past four years have seen a surge in ransomware schemes striking unsuspecting PC users.
Some ransomware schemes are so sophisticated that they even invest in customer service, helping victims who want to pay their ransoms navigate the complexities of obtaining bitcoins and making bitcoin payments.
Since then, a number of sectors and organizations have made improvements to their security practices to protect against ransomware. But the latest Baltimore attack exemplifies what a whack-a-mole game this is: One area improves its practices and hackers just go looking for another.
Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.
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