I grew up between the city and the mountains my whole life. My father hunted every year providing us with our yearly source of red meat with elk and venison. I was no fan of the overly cooked steaks. My mom and siblings and I had to help my father pack out the meat. He built a wood shack we called the meat house where he hung the animals to finish skinning them. He did all the processing and packaging himself. It was part of my father's contribution toward keeping food on the table for our family. We didn't have a lot of money. Even though I'm vegetarian, I understand hunting from the perspective of "needing" the food. I do NOT understand killing for sport and trophy. How does a rational, healthy minded person look at killing that gorgeous lion and pose for a "look at how powerful I am!" photo? What kind of twisted ego and heartless soul is that?
When I was a child, my parents and I would visit this rich oil family who had a summer cabin near us. They went on African Safaris (this was in the 60's) and I remember seeing pictures around their place with the Mrs. and her elephant gun sitting on the leg of a huge and beautiful (but quite dead) African elephant. I was horrified and confused as a child that someone would fly half way across the world to go to a continent (that I longed to visit) for the purpose of shooting one of the most gorgeous, emotional, intelligent animals on the planet for any reason, much less as a trophy and for some lousy photographs.
It's barbaric that trophy hunters feel what I can only guess is a sense of triumph and empowerment by killing and then capture their kill for posterity and ego showings by posing for photos with their dead victims. In the 21st Century man vs. beast?! Come on! Are there people out there who admire these killers? I won't even go into the whole stuffing and wall mounting the poor animal. That's a whole other level of creepy and aghast. These people must have such empty, egocentric souls. Okay. Enough. Now off to reheat my coffee and take a few slow, deep breaths.
*A repost blog from 2011
9/16/09 -- This is Kaew (pro: gow) I used to spell it Gao
This is the elephant I'm riding in my website's banner. I always refer to Kaew as "my" elephant because I spent three incredible days riding him, bathing him, and learning from him in my mahoot elephant training course in Thailand in 2007. This is a current photo of Kaew taken today --Sept. 16, 2009 -- by Supat, the young Thai man who runs Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Thailand. It was posted on their website. More pictures of Kaew under the ME tab.
I periodically follow Kaew on their website to keep up with how he's doing and see how the other elephants are doing. As far as I know, this commercial operation treats its elephants well. If anyone knows otherwise, please, please contact me. See my BLOG FOR CHANGE written today about elephant abuse in circuses. My website is having linking issues at the moment. Click here to go to the conservation website: http://www.changthai.com/
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
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