Being an animal-friendly traveller isn’t just about being responsible about the places you visit or the activities you do, it’s also about those souvenirs and knick knacks you pick up to take back home for family, friends or yourself.
Often these souvenirs are made from animal parts such, even legally protected materials like ivory (from elephants or rhinos), shells or animal skins – likely sourced via the cruel and illegal wildlife trade. These purchases are fuelling the demand that has led to thousands of animals being captured and even killed to create necklaces, trinkets or even so-called ‘medicines’.
In some countries, it is also commonplace to eat foods that might be unusual for us. A huge variety of animals are often on menus and it may not always be 100% clear to us on first glance. Be cautious about where and what you eat and avoid places (including street vendors) that sell dog, cat or bush meat, or advertise endangered species such as shark fins, whale and turtle meat. Not only will the animals have endured cruel treatment, but they may have been slaughtered in unhygienic conditions that could pose a risk to your health. Always check the menu and remember many counties offer vegan or vegetarian options on the menu – you can #LiveKinder whilst also trying to Travel Kind.
Tips before you go:
- Learn words like vegan or vegetarian in the local language
- Always read the menu carefully before ordering
- Don’t buy souvenirs made from exotic skins or animal parts
- Always check the rules for importing/export products when travelling, some countries have very strict guidelines about what you can bring in, especially with animal-based products
To read more about these tips and other ways you can Travel Kind download our free guide here.