For some reason, humans are obsessed with riding elephants. And yes I get it elephants are magical, beautiful and amazing creatures. Who wouldn't want to get up close and personal with one, right? Sorry, I hate to be the one to break this to you but someone has too.
Dear all travelers that think riding an elephant is totally necessary to live a life full of adventure; you are participating in animal abuse on an endangered species.
Let me break it down for you, if you do not want to participate in the kidnapping, killing, torture and spirit breaking of an elephant, stop riding on the back of them just to get likes on an Instagram pic, #travel am I right?
Diana Edelman a travel writer and worker at the Save The Elephant Foundation has written an amazing article explaining just how terrible and abusive elephant riding really is. And trust me it will make you feel bad for ever wanting to do it.
But she makes amazing points that need to be shared if we hope to keep elephants walking free and happy!
Elephants are intelligent, emotional and very expressive, just like humans. And like humans they have very strong family ties. Unlike humans, elephants are HUGE!
Did you ever wonder how such a big and intelligent animal ended up under the control of a human? Thats right....torture. (If you can't tell, this elephant is chained by the ankle to that tree.)
In order to have complete control over the elephant, they are ripped away from their families (some of the grandparent elephants killed in the process), put into a tiny cage and are starved, sleep deprived and stabbed until they are submissive.
The act of "training" an elephant is known as crushing their spirit because once their spirit is destroyed, they have no more fight in them, and no more joy.
Check out this video to see just how terrible the crushing of the spirit really is.
Edelman makes it clear that there is no such thing as a humane elephant ride. All elephants have strong spirits and if they are not broken, there is no way they would let a 200 lb seat be slung across their back every day. That is heavy even without all of the tourist climbing on top and acting like they can ride an elephant.
But just because you should not ride elephants does not mean you have to totally cut them out of your trip! Observing elephants in their natural habits (which means on sanctuaries since they are endangered and poached), is an amazing way to interact with happy and healthy elephants.
People find they can actually be quite cuddly when they are nurtured instead of tortured. Who would have thought right?
To see her reconditions check out the bottom of her article here!
Stop treating elephants like they are simply a human play thing, existing only to do work or entertain humans! Instead of paying the elephant torturers, pay to see actual happy, lovable, full of life elephants in the sanctuaries and donate to their protection!
And if you did ride an elephant don't feel bad, feel informed and keep the education going so that soon elephant rides will no longer be apart of tourism.
I mean really, wouldn't you rather see this guy, and then depressed, in captivity elephant you would have to ride?