Humans often forget that all cohabitants on this planet have their rights and responsibilities. Apart from our duties, we all have our freedoms to enjoy, and as long as we understand this, the Earth will be a nice place to live for all of us.
Unfortunately, this is far from the harsh reality.
Does “slavery” mean horrible to you?
For it doesn’t to many since more than half a million animals are enslaved in the tourism industry worldwide. The life of these animals is miserable from the beginning until the end, filled with fear, domination, and punishment.
The death of a poor elephant, Sambo, back in 2016, has enraged many. Sambo was forced to ferry tourists to Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, which is the biggest religious monument in the world.
She had been working under the scorching heat for 45 minutes carrying two tourists, one at a time, to the temple complex. Overworked and overheated, as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees, she collapsed beside the road and is believed to have suffered a heart attack.
It was reported that a veterinarian that examined her, determined she died “due to high temperatures, heat exhaustion and lack of wind that would have helped to cool her”.
It was reported that passersby wept over the body of the poor animal.
Sambo worked with Angkor Elephant Company since 2001, and manager Oan Kiri stated that the company was saddened by the loss.
Elephants like her are typically taken away from their mothers when they are just babies and are often given no water, food or breaks for hours while carrying tourists around.
When they do not give rides, they are chained, almost unable to move, and grieve in loneliness, due to being separated from their families.
Jack Highwood, who runs a charity that supports elephants in captivity in Cambodia, the Elephant Valley Project, said:
“It is the smoothness of the trekking elephant’s foot that always amazes me and [is] testimony to how many kilometers they must have traveled to get into this situation. Very sad.”
Doesn’t this just break your heart?
The Change.org petition that followed the death of Sambo read:
“There is no such thing as cruelty-free elephant rides. What you don’t realize is that a ‘once in a lifetime’ or ‘bucket list’ item for you, means a lifetime of misery for wild animals.”
Asian elephants are classified as endangered by the International Union For Conservation of Nature, and elephant rides are listed as the top most cruel holiday activity by the World Animal Protection.
There should be no excuse for violating animal rights, and we should never disregard the consequences that our actions have on them.
We need to treat animals in a way that is best for them, and we should not exploit them for food, clothing, experiment, or entertainment. This applies to all animals, regardless of the way we feel about them.