When I was 22-years-old, I backpacked around the world by myself for nearly a year. For every country I visited, I had a Lonely Planet guide in my pack to help find my way.
These books helped me find the best $2-a-night rooms without bedbugs. They told me where I could find the best street food. And they advised me on which tours, attractions, and treks were the ones I just had to experience.
I love Lonely Planet, but I also love elephants. That is why it is so upsetting to me that Lonely Planet promotes elephant rides in their books and website. A lot of people don't know about the cruel training techniques used to turn wild elephants into tourist attractions.
While Lonely Planet may have disclaimers about how these types of attractions are cruel to the animals they exploit, that is not enough. Riding an elephant in Southeast Asia makes for such an exciting selfie that a lot of people ignore the disclaimer.
There are so many cruelty-free ways to enjoy the world; Lonely Planet does not need to include attractions that hurt animals. And as the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, it should lead the way in responsible tourism.
Lonely Planet has the power to help end an entire industry centered around exploiting and hurting elephants. If they exclude elephant rides from their guidebooks and website, then a lot less people would go to these types of attractions.
Please sign my petition demanding that Lonely Planet stop promoting elephant rides in their books and online.