If you have been following me for a while,you must know that the defense of the animal cause if a subject that is particularly close to my heart. Wherever I travel, I see things about animals that revolt me. And there is no need to go beyond our borders to see this : marine parks, zoos or exploited horses … The well-being of an animal should never be compromised for the pleasure of humans. I wrote you an article of the top 6 world’s cruellest tourist activities with animals. I would now like to point out each of these activities to show you how bad they are. Here are the six reasons why you shouldn’t ride elephants while traveling.
6 Reasons why you shouldn’t Ride Elephants
Elephant is a wild animal
Starting with a basic postulate, the elephant is a wild animal unlike a cat or a dog. This means that it is not genetically selected to depend on humans. Its place is in nature, just like lions, zebras or giraffes.
In the logical sequence, to be able to tame a wild animal, it must first be captured to remove it from its natural habitat. Most of the time, baby elephants are caught because it’s much easier to train. You must know that elephants live in community in the wild and are very protective to each other. Elephants can be separate only by death or capture. It says a lot, isn’t it ?
Unsustainable dressage ritual
Like any wild animal, the elephant does not submit to humans, so it must be tamed. The traditional dressage ritual, known as Phajaan, consists in starving and torturing the young elephant until breaking his will, nice isn’t it ? The ultimate goal is to bring fear of the human into the elephant’s head so he can be a slave the rest of his life.
These elephants are places in narrow cages for several days so that they don’t move. After that, they are hitting on their most sensitive body parts with a hook. During these few days, they are kept awake and starved. Once the elephant is judged to be broken, then the training phase required for elephant riding begins. It should be known that 50% of elephants do not survive the Phajaan.
I put a video of this ritual below, to show you that I absolutely do not exaggerate !
Support the torture
To accept riding on elephants is to support all this torture. This torture does not end at the end of the training ritual, far from it. Elephants are still deprived of sleep and live in deplorable conditions. They are malnourished, but over-exploited, as for the assholes who own them, time is money. Abuse, carelessness, loneliness, poor diet, chains are the daily life of the “happy” elephants who survived the phajaan.
It should also be pointed out that an elephant can’t carry more than 150 kg despite its build, which is significantly lower than the weight of two (or four) adults plus the trainer and the elephant saddle.
Encouraging animal exploitation
In addition to support torture, riding an elephant is also an encouragement more generally, to animal exploitation. Even though most tourists who pay for this activity say they love animals, they encourage a business based on animal distress to make money. These same stupid people will not hesitate to leave a positive comment about the “magical moment” they just have experienced on the internet, hiding the misery of animals and encouraging others to do so. Can I also speak about the glorification of this type of photos on social media. No guys, you’re absolutely not cool when you post a picture of yourself on an elephant.
Torture continues as long as there are idiots to pay
Despite all the petitions, documentaries, articles or videos that are increasingly turning around the world against this activity, I do not think it is ready to stop soon. As long as there are idiots without conscience to pay, so as long as this activity will bring back money, it will continue.
So what can we do on our small scale? To talk about it seems important to me so do not hesitate to relay the facts. I usually go for hashtag #elephant on Instagram and leave comments to people who proudly pose on their elephant on vacation. Without hatred, I ask them if they are aware of all the torture that are involved. I don’t know, I think that maybe it can educate some people…
So how to see elephants ?
If seeing an elephant up close is one of your dreams, don’t worry, there are alternatives that respect the well-being of these extraordinary animals. I had the chance to test these two alternatives and the safari was for me, by far, the most beautiful experience.
- The best solution seems to me to be a safari, where you will have the chance to admire them in their natural environment. This can be done in many countries in Africa and Asia, in nature reserves where elephants live with other incredible animals, such as zebras, lions or antelopes.
- You can also visit a refuge center or sanctuary. These places gather the abused elephants and take care of them. After being illegally captured and tortured for years, an elephant obviously can not be released into the wild where he has no landmarks.
I really hope that this article could make you give up riding elephants and change your view of this activity as cruel as inhuman.