Fireworks are universally known as a representation of freedom, despite being invented in China. In its earliest form 2,000 years ago, they are one of the few ancient designs that have survived the test of time. Sure it wasn’t until the 1800s that we began to see colored, aerial pyrotechnics, but the concept of humans liking bright lights and loud explosions has persisted through the years. I’m sure fireworks were the best form of entertainment for centuries, but in our modern society, they are nothing more than an expensive tradition designed to keep people slightly amused. If you’re wondering why I’m ripping apart one of the few common joys found between most cultures, it’s because this week a Zebra was killed as a result of these rainbow bombs.
When this baby Zebra heard the loud explosions overhead, she naturally got startled and ran into the fence of her enclosure. The injuries she sustained ultimately were too much to survive. I’m one of those people who value animal lives a bit too much because of how inherently innocent they are. So obviously, this news enraged me. I opted to write this instead of recreating the Boston Tea Party with fireworks. These glorified explosions are expensive, dangerous, and a waste of resources.
All animals hate fireworks. Often their hearing is more sensitive to ours, combine that with confusion, and it’s a recipe for chaos. Every single year I see posts on July 5th of people looking for their dogs that ran away. Not only does it affect our pets, but wild animals get the worst of it. Their habitats and food are covered in ash. Parents and offspring are separated in the confusion from the blasts. Often birds crash as a result of the disorientation, sometimes dying due to the collision.
Not only are animals affected, but so are people. Some humans are born with increased sensitivity to noise and light. I'm positive they don't appreciate us spending tax money just to purposely exclude them and make them uncomfortable. We also have thousands of soldiers who returned home with PTSD, which can be set off by loud and sudden noises. Some soldiers come home after seeing the atrocities of warfare and are awoken from their sleep to the sound of explosions as a thank you. Too many times have budget restrictions been used as an excuse to not help people in need. Whether it’s basic healthcare or a child who can’t afford lunch, yet somehow towns across the nation can scrape together $20,000 each July 4th to put on a 20-minute display.
Overall, this is an ancient tradition that has gone on for too long. Drone displays can easily replace the visuals if people really need bright lights in the sky. The money saved from these displays can go elsewhere, like to feed hungry children or house those who our government sent overseas to fight for us. Sure, it might be weird initially not to see fireworks on July 4th or over the Sydney Opera House on NYE. Eventually, it will just be another tradition cast to the side, the citizens of the future wondering what the appeal was.
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