*Russell Simmons is urging fans to boycott zoos and circuses, insisting both tourist attractions are just another form of slavery.
The rap mogul and entrepreneur is encouraging all his Twitter followers to take a stand after watching lions and elephants in their natural habitats while on safari in South Africa this week.
In a blog posting on his website GlobalGrind.com, the vegan writes, “As an animal rights activist I am well aware what a gift it is to see animals in their natural habitat vs. seeing captive animals in zoos, where they are deprived of everything natural to them, often suffering from a condition called ‘zoochosis’ – we have all seen it. That’s where the animal rocks back and forth endlessly trying to cope with their boredom, loneliness and the fact that most of these prisons don’t offer enough space, proper climate control, places to hide and find shelter, etc.
“Zoo animals are enslaved for our entertainment, especially the traveling zoos where animals are usually kept in small concrete cages with near-constant confinement without being allowed to have appropriate social interaction with their families.
“These magnificent animals I encountered on the safari aren’t riding on bicycles or jumping through rings of fire like kids see them do at the horribly cruel circuses, where they are routinely beaten and neglected. These great beasts were tending to their young, running free and just being left alone to live their lives.
“This is, in my opinion, the only way kids should see them. If they can’t see them this way then seeing them in slavery should not be an option. I realize how expensive this trip is for most people but its better they miss the firsthand experience and watch a nature show on TV, rather than teach kids that slavery of any kind is acceptable.”