Follow the money
July 5, 2018
This film makes very disturbing claims designed to malign the people and families that have been caring for elephants for centuries.
It is effectively participating in the demise of Thai elephant culture and Thai elephantsʼ extinction.
Premise. "You don't need a bull hook to control an elephant. You can guide an elephant with love... And bananas" as quoted by Lek Chailert. Of course it easy to showcase a few good tempered, docile adult elephants that have been trained in the past but what of the babies that Lek herself raised? The two bulls Hope and Jungle Boy. These two elephants have now been sentenced to life behind bars and confined to enclosures for the rest of their lives, because no one there could train them with love and bananas. Love and bananas is simply a clever slogan to sell a product, not reflect reality.
Any credible, experienced, honest, veterinarian, elephant care specialist, conservationist or research scientist, who is a true elephant expert, will agree that the guide is the only husbandry tool effective for managing elephants in a free contact environment, where elephants are not sentenced to life behind bars and confined exclusively to their enclosures.
In the trailer alone there are two of the biggest lies that are being told all over the world against innocent, marginalized, elephant people.
1. The film claims that all elephants are stolen from the wild. This is a lie. It has been illegal to take elephants from the wild in Thailand for nearly 100 years unless government sanctioned for special purposes. So indeed, if this film is claiming that, where is their evidence and why are they not reporting it to the government authorities? Since 2015 all domestic elephants have been registered under a computerized centralized system. Each elephant is microchipped and their DNA recorded in special passports. Any movement between provinces requires permission and entered into the elephantʼs passport. These measures have been championed by genuine elephant people who have spent many months advising, planing and co-operating with the government to produce the results that benefit ALL elephants in Thailand. Please check the links.
2. The other lie that is really outrageous and vile is the one that ALL CAPTIVE ELEPHANTS are tortured and abused to be broken for human use. This is ludicrous.
These lies have been spread for self serving reasons of ego and money.
None of these fabrications have benefited elephants. Instead they line the pockets of those telling them. The people who spread these lies are complicit in creating hate against families, against fathers, mothers, children and babies. Because Elephant people may not be able to read and write or understand what is being said about them and perhaps because they donʼt speak English, you may believe they are fair targets to be objects of hate and victims of lies, but I donʼt see any of the people who are spreading the lies getting up in the heat, in the rain, in the mud and dust, even when ill, making sure their elephant is looked after.
Screening a movie like this is creating more hate and anger toward people you have never met and it does absolutely nothing to help elephants. The elephants are attached to these people, as are the people to elephants and itʼs wrong to screen an obviously biased piece of propaganda which only results in more cyber bullying. You only have to look at the comments that result whenever these lies are spread. Every angry face on a post and every comment that is making judgements about these families shows how much bullying has just become the norm. This should not be encouraged. I do not know when being constantly attacked with false information has become acceptable. I fail to see how thinking inciting hate and bullying is moral or ethical behavior (regardless of what our current administration does.)
You may think this screening is some sort of expose, but it is simply another vehicle spreading lies and hate. The ramifications of hate and bullying are hardly positive, productive or give anyone credibility who engages in it.
It is your decision to screen hate propaganda and spread lies against people you have never met, if so, that is your choice and on your conscience. You are effectively participating in the demise of Thai elephant culture and Thai elephantsʼ extinction.
Much more scientific and truthful information is available here: