Friday, April 5, 2013

A to Z: Elephants Evoke Excitement

First, a sidenote about Roger Ebert
I considered changing what I planned to write for "E" today after the death of Roger Ebert. I used to watch Siskel and Ebert with my mother, and have always been a fan. Even when I did not agree with him, I enjoyed listening to his take on a movie. He will be sorely missed.

I decided against changing my "E" simply because it doesn't seem right. It would seem as if I'm using his death as a topic for some challenge. Instead, I am including a link to another article that I think honors the man better than I probably ever could. It's a wonderful article, and conveys what I feel perfectly.

by Flickr user scorbette37
On with the topic: I love elephants!
I wanted to write about elephants because they are one of my favorite animals. Unfortunately, I've never actually taken a picture of an elephant, so all the pictures I've included are from Flickr, with the attributions added.

Elephants are highly intelligent, with complex social structures. In fact, elephants are one of the few species, along with apes and dolphins, that are nearly on par with humans in terms of intelligence. They also exhibit complex emotions similar to that of humans, including depression.

by Flickr user epSos.de
Unfortunately, humans can sometimes revert to cave-man barbarity by killing and torturing elephants just for their tusks or hides. Elephants are truly more intelligent and "human" than some humans!

The saddest thing about the practice of killing elephants is that family members of the murdered elephant may be completely grief-stricken. A young calf that has lost its mother in a violent manner may try to commit suicide. Think about how you would feel if you lost a family member whom you love deeply. With their human-like, complex social behavior, that is likely very close to how an elephant feels when it loses a loved one.

by Flickr user Randi Deuro
I remember watching a show on HGTV about spectacular houses. In one example, the annoying old guy who was showing off his man-cave-like home walked up to a very long bar in his kitchen. He was very excited to announce the pride and joy of his home: his bar, appliqued with elephant leather. It covered the entire side. It was a huge amount of leather. The instant I heard him say that, I got sick to my stomach, and nearly threw up in my mouth.

I don't know whether people such as that man on HGTV are simply ignorant of what they are doing, or if he really cares more about what he thinks is gorgeous design (but actually ugly) more than the fate of the gorgeous elephant. People need to be educated on this form of mass murder!

28 comments:

  1. Great story Kristen, elephants are such wonderful creatures, Thankyou for writing this story.

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  2. Loved the post! I understand your urge to change the content based on what happened, and I wouldn't have thought lesser of you for it if you had. :)

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  3. What a sad story, I don't understand some people. I've always loved elephants.




    Dark Thoughts Blog

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    1. I know, it's hard to understand. Elephants are such wonderful creatures. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I have always been fascinated by elephants. They will return to the same site where a loved one died, year after year, the same way humans visit graves. It is always a bit disgusting to hear about them being killed for ivory and leather.

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    1. Yes, they are so amazing and human-like -- sometimes more than humans, or at least what we think of as human. Perhaps it should be called "elephantness." :)

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  5. Yes, I watched Siskel and Ebert a lot as well. I don't think it would have been wrong to talk about him in this challenge. I actually think he'd feel proud!

    But i do love elephants as well, and it's so easy to forget that the torture and killing still goes on. It's easy to think that once it gets out in the public eye that it all goes away. But of course it doesn't.

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    1. Thank you. I know, I wish there was more I could do.

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  6. Nice mention of Roger Ebert!

    Elephants...I love them too. They are such amazing creatures. Great E post! It is awful what people do to animals, the planet, and each other.

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    1. Yes, I know. We should care about where we live. I want to be able to breath in clean air when I walk outside, and see all the beautiful wildlife and plants the Earth has to offer.

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  7. Elephants are fascinating animals. It's so sad how they're treated. Whether in the wild or in captivity (circuses).

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Yeah, I don't like the idea of people keeping certain animals in captivity. You've got the circus, which is the worst -- I mean, I've always thought the most entertaining thing about the circus is the tricks people do with each other, and on their own. The animals are the boring part anyway, as far as tricks are concerned. Why are they even there? And I also don't think we should be keeping any very large animals, or birds or reptiles in captivity either. It's just cruel.

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  8. One of the most fascinating animal. Good post! :)

    - A fellow blogger from A to Z!

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  9. Memory like an Elephant, love to know where that originates from. :)

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    1. Ah, yes! Elephants have been observed to have very good memories, and may even hand down genetic memory of places (such as burial grounds) and paths.

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  10. I also love elephants and luckily living as I do in South Africa, game park or wilderness parks are fairly accessible. Nothing gives me a greater thrill than seeing these huge leviathans walking so softly in silence. Sady they are also prized for their tusks .. now the greater threat though is rhino horn. Heart breaking

    Susan Scott's Soul Stuff

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    1. You are so lucky to be able to see them whenever you want! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Elephants are such proud and majestic animals. It is sad how they are treated by humans.

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    1. I know. I wish there was more we could do. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Elephants are magnificant animals. I would love to see some in the wild sometime. i went to India with work last year and the company took us to see an elephant, it was all chained up in someone's garden. I hated seeing it like this, it looked so sad. We had to be on best behaviour with it being work or I would have said something.

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    1. Ugh, that's horrible! I don't understand the mentality of people who love to control everything around them. That's just ego, thinking we know better than nature, God, whatever you believe in... that need to control, trying to BE God.

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  13. I recently found a Greek folktale where a hunter is ordered by the king to bring enough ivory to build a palace. In some versions of the tale he massacres all the elephants, in some tamer versions he just drugs them and cuts off the trunks. Either way, not cool. Now I use the story to educate people about wildlife protection.
    Cheers to A to Z!

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    1. Ugh, that's disgusting! I'm so glad you're teaching people though. They need to know why it's a horrible act. With that knowledge, it's pretty tough for someone to kill such a magnificent creature, unless they are the type who doesn't even respect human life. Unfortunately, there are many of those people out there as well.

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