Fireworks; harmless fun or wanton destruction?
An Entertainment Abuses Articles from

FROM There's an Elephant in the Room blog
October 2021

It’s time to realise that humans are not the centre of the universe. We can’t distance ourselves from the effects of the activities and atrocities we demand as consumers. It’s time to stop refusing to be vegan. Because everything in the world depends on it.


As someone who used to love the spectacle and the theatre of firework displays, the whizzing, whooping, whistling, screams, pops, and thunderous bangs, the sparkling, light-blazing skies and the gunpowder smoke hanging heavy in the crisp frosty air, the past few years have been a journey of discovery leading to a 180 degree turnaround in my perspective. As with so many things in my life, getting used to saying, ‘I was wrong, I’ve changed my mind’ has been very humbling and necessary – I can thoroughly recommend it and it gets easier with practice. Now I hold the view that this archaic practice should be completely banned with immediate effect.

I suppose my mind started to change on Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve) a few years back, on a night when my thoughts moved beyond my erstwhile childish delight in things that sparkle and go bang. Afterwards I wrote,

‘At midnight last night it began; a volley of deafening noise and lights that seared the sky, echoing in the silence of a frosty night. The polluting stench of gunpowder hung in the air. I wonder how wild creatures survive in the bitter cold of Scottish nights. Do they hide? Do they huddle together in whatever shelter they can find? The world that we are ruining belongs to them, every bit as much as it belongs to any other species, our own included. With their survival balanced so precariously, this terrifying disruption to whatever peace or rest they had managed to find may have cost some of them their lives.

I realised then, that beyond the exhortations to ‘check bonfires for hedgehogs before lighting’ that seemed to be the limit of ‘concern’ advocated by animal ‘welfare’ organisations when I was younger, I had given little thought to the true impact of firework use.



Return to Entertainment Abuses Articles