Sunday, 28 August 2011

Old Friends

Earlier this year, along with someone I "virtually met", I set up a Facebook page, Save Anne the Elephant from Circus Cruelty, when, like many, many others, I was appalled by the secret video taken of keepers abusing the last circus elephant in Britain. Many people joined up in just a few days, and it was just one of several such groups as well as rather more major campaigns run by animal rights and welfare groups like Animal Defenders International (who took the secret video). For once genuinely catching the public mood, the media also called for the elephant to be released to a safari park and in due course Anne was moved successfully to Longleat.

Within months, legislation had been passed to ban all wild animals from circuses - bizarrely, the Government opposed this Bill, which was brought in by a Conservative MP and passed nearly unanimously in a debate where just one MP spoke against.

Covert filming of Anne's abuse by her keepers
So, while circuses are still not entirely free of animals, at least chained elephants and de-clawed lions will be things of the past. But across the planet, animal cruelty continues as we selfishly destroy habitat and use our fellow creatures either for food or free labour. Conveniently, we play down the possibility that they may experience emotions or even pain the way that we do, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

In the video below, we see the moving end of the story of two elephants, raised in a circus before being separated for nearly 25 years. Animal welfare specialists rescued them and in the film reintroduce them - one of them has not seen any others of her kind for over two decades as she has been kept alone and chained for the entertainment of humans.

Please watch this short film and ask yourself if these abused and exploited creatures, who in the wild bury their dead and shed salt tears to weep in bereavement, are really that different from us, or we from them; and then ask yourself what are we doing?  

And what will you do?

ADI led the campaign for Anne; and have saved many animals from cruelty. 

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