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Why A Camel Ride in Egypt Commands a Conflicting Ethical Decision

After returning from Egypt and reflecting on my emotionally and ethically conflicted experience riding a camel at the Giza Pyramids, I feel compelled to share this information with you from PETA, the animal rights organization.
PETA says eight major travel companies have agreed not to promote or sell tickets for exploitative animal rides at the pyramids of Giza—including a luxury tour operator, the most-awarded jet expedition company in the world, and the largest seller of luxury cruises and tours in the travel agency industry. PETA is now upping the pressure on Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to outlaw all camel rides and horse-drawn carriages at the Giza site.
The policy changes at Scott Dunn, TCS World Travel, Wilderness Travel, Travel Leaders Group, Tauck, Abercrombie & Kent USA, Grand Circle Corporation, and Artisans of Leisure follow a recent video exposé from PETA Asia showing that camels used for rides at the pyramids of Giza and other top Egyptian tourist attractions are beaten bloody, prodded, yanked, tugged by the nose, forced to walk on their knees, and tied up. The animals’ legs are tied tightly together to prevent them from moving or escaping, and some camels are tied to the backs of vehicles and dragged through the dirt. When their bodies are too worn out to use for rides, they’re sold to be killed for meat. In light of the findings, PETA Asia has urged the governor of Giza to investigate the traders who were caught abusing camels.
“Top travel companies across the country are dropping camel ride promotions like hot potatoes,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is celebrating these in-the-know companies for cutting ties with cruelty to camels, and we’re calling on Egyptian authorities to take note and ban these shameful rides that harm animals and disturb tourists.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.
Camel
I will say my experience with the camel handlers at the Giza Pyramids was unpleasant. I witnessed the terrible treatment of the camels and repeated attempts by certain camel handlers to scam the tourists. In fact, my travel companion, a woman, was bullied into paying $80 to get her photo taken on the camel.  Thankfully, our tour operator, Cairo Transport & Touring, reported the camel handler and got her money refunded.
As a world traveler and journalist, I aim to record and report my experiences with honesty and integrity. I share with you my personal journeys, firsthand knowledge, and transformative growth and evolution. A camel ride is a personal choice on your travels, just make an informed choice that aligns with your own values.
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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a freelance writer living in Orlando, Florida with many published bylines in magazines, newspapers, and multimedia sites. As a professional lifestyle writer, Karen specializes in art, architecture, design, home interiors and personality profiles. Karen is the writer, producer and host of the streaming series, The Design Tourist (www.TheDesignTourist.com) that brings viewers a global dose of design inspiration with episodes featuring the latest looks and trends from the world’s premiere design events and shows. She also publishes a quarterly magazine on design travel that you can read by clicking the link: https://thedesigntourist.com/the-magazine/ Her journalism background includes seven years on-air experience as a TV news reporter and anchor covering a range of issues from education to politics. Her educational credentials include a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from Northeast Louisiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Louisiana State University. Throughout her career, Karen has written and produced dozens of documentaries and videos for educational, commercial, corporate, and governmental clients and appeared in many TV and video productions as a professional host.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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