It is the dream of many holidaymakers and others alike to ride an elephant in Thailand in India. It sounds romantic; setting off across the wilds of India or Thailand atop a majestic elephant, especially at sunset.
However, what these holidaymakers and other dreamers often don't know is that these elephants are often badly mistreated, and the use of these magnificent creatures for riding is threatening their existence in the wild.
Baby elephants are often stolen from their mothers in the wild, or born in captivity, and then subjected to phajaan - the cruel breaking process whose name means "to crush" (as in "to crush the elephant's spirit"). The elephants are beaten and kept chained in isolation in order to "break" them for riding and condition them to fear humans. The elephants will then suffer in misery throughout their lives, being forced to carry loads of tourists up and down the hot Indian streets, the hot pavement burning their feet. They may suffer like this their whole lives unless they are rescued.
Elephants are wild animals. They shouldn't be forced to work for humans. They shouldn't be exploited by us. They were not made for us. They are sentient beings whose lives and feelings matter just as ours do. We wouldn't tolerate this kind of abuse if it were done to human beings; why should we tolerate it being done to poor elephants?
India is a beautiful country and among the most animal-friendly countries in the world, along with the UK, USA, Australia and Bhutan (did you know it is illegal to slaughter animals in Bhutan? Good on them! Good on you, Bhutan!). Let's make this wonderful country even better by outlawing elephant riding!
We, the Undersigned, ask with greatest kindness for the Indian Government and India Embassies around the world to do your part to ensure that elephant riding is outlawed, with strict and harsh (yet compassionate, kind and fair) punishments for those who break the law. I LOVE India, but hate the elephant riding...
On a side note, even if a place seems good to their animals, even if they call themselves a "sanctuary", if they offer rides, please don't go to or support them!
Thank you 😊.
Best Wishes to all,
Have the best day and night ever!