Yesterday I saw a film clip on Facebook, that was a campaign agaist elephant riding in Asia. And why not all around the world! I decided to drop a few lines about the theme because I had been thinking about the topic lately. When I was browsing some old travel photos and was looking for a nice throwback pic for Instagram I ran into a picture taken in Sri Lanka and me on the elephantback. I thought, who is she?
I have never visited a zoo (if Open Range Zoo of Melbourne is not counted) neither cuddled a tiger. I have been to a dolphinarium (ouch) and visited a few aquariums. I don’t know why I climbed on that elephant four years ago. Only when I was there I saw that the elephants were poked with a spike stick to move to the right direction. WTF!
It’s easy to have fun and forget or make up untruth that probably the elephant was at least a slightly happy because she was slopping water on us – we were all having fun right!? Maybe she wasn’t ridden too ofter because the village was a bit in a distant place and even we were up only for 15 minutes or so… Doesn’t help! I would poke myself with that spike now for this shit and I swear I will never ever take a use of an abused animal again.
According to the video clip I watched yesterday over the half of the elephants in Thailand are kept in a captivity. They are there for the tourists. To get them do what we want they are taught in a violent way and forced with the sharp-edged weapons. Most of the elephants are traumatized and we all know how good is the elephant’s memory…
Like the human’s capability to learn is lifelong! It is never too late to understand things. I can judge myself aloud TOURIST, TOURIST, TOURIST, you F*** TOURIST! But I can also thank myself for the progress I have made. I wouldn’t whirl a hula hoop as a model to pink dolphins anymore (Singapore 2011) nor I wouldn’t hop on an elephant (Sri Lanka 2013). I’m not an original jesus but I have learned. Thought and learned. The humane learning curve goes from an ape to a monster and then back to the nature, hopefully! It’s always a killjoy feeling when telling the nieces and nephews that ‘no we won’t be going to a zoo’ but that’s our generation’s responsibility. We have to break the pattern and tell the new comers that: no, the animals aren’t for necessarily happy in captivity, it’s unnatural. Let’s browse the picture book in stead and wait the precious moment when we meet them free in nature. (if ever, and that’s ok too)
I could have put that elephant picture on Instagram. The girls are laughing there, the happy elephant slops water on them and even the elephant man is a good guy and everybody’s living life in love and peace. I could have cropped the spike away and modified the truth – just to get a nice Instagram picture. I could have lied I have never done such mistakes. But why would I do so, then I could never affect on the truth. Honesty is the best policy and the only way to change the world. So be wiser that I was: never ride an elephant or at the expense of any animal.