Fodor's: Stop Promoting Elephant Cruelty

  • by: Lacey Kohlmoos
  • recipient: Robert Brisco, President and CEO of Internet Brands, Fodor's parent company
"The pachyderms here are treated well and seem to enjoy showing off their skills. They certainly like the dip they take in the river before demonstrating log-rolling routines and giving rides."

"The younger [elephants] evidently enjoy the routines they perform for the tourists—not only the usual log-rolling, but painting pictures."

These are just two of the descriptions of elephant attractions that you can find on Fodor's website. The description for the Elephant Conservation Center (now called the Measa Elephant Camp) in Chiang Mai, Thailand also describes with joy the elephant band where the "trumpeter is truly a star" and opportunities to take elephant rides around the center's grounds.

Elephants don't do tricks because they "enjoy showing off their skills." They do them because they will be hurt if they don't. The only way to teach wild elephants to paint, play instruments, roll logs, and carry people on their back is by torturing them into submission using bull hooks and other cruel methods. This is well-documented, and yet Fodor's doesn't mention a thing about the abuse on their website or in their books.

They also never mention that elephant rides can damage the animals' spines. And they never write about how exploiting elephants for entertainment and profit is just plain wrong. There are so many cruelty-free ways to enjoy the world, but Fodor's has shamelessly decided to promote attractions that exploit and hurt elephants.

Fodor's is the world's largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information, and they are sending tens of thousands of people to these attractions each year. But if they exclude elephant rides and shows from their guidebooks and website, then a lot less people would go to these types of attractions.

Sign this petition to demand that Fodor's follows the lead of Lonely Planet by making a commitment to stop promoting elephant rides and shows on their website and in their books.
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