Use boycotts to save elephants
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Today is World Elephant Day, and it should serve as an occasion to give elephants our attention and take action for them. For starters, we can stay away from attractions that offer 'joyrides' on these magnificent animals and encourage others to do the same.
Most tourists have no idea that elephants who are forced to give rides are sorely abused. It has been amply documented that they were torn away from their mothers as babies; confined to tiny wooden crates; deprived of food, water, and rest; and tied down and beaten mercilessly with nail-studded rods - all to prepare them for a life of servitude in one of Asia's many elephant camps.
In nature, elephants would stay in the company of family and friends, but those used for trekking will spend most of their lives chained by two legs, swaying and bobbing their heads to try to abate the mental anguish caused by their captivity.
There is no justification for robbing these highly intelligent social animals of everything that is natural and important to them, or for using them in abusive and degrading ways. It's time we stopped perpetuating these cruel attractions with our wallets.