The Indian tourist business is all about the elephants, but how much do you really know about their treatment? Evanna Lynch heads out to raise awareness of the cruelty against the majestic animals.
Harry Potter’s Evanna Lynch is making headlines for being against animal cruelty again. Hot off the back of showing the realities of makeup testing on animals, she’s now in India to expose the real horrors of the elephant tourism business.
Elephants are chained for decades and mistreated in the Indian heat, all for the sake of tourism. They’re beaten for wanting to get water and abused to get rid of the wildness in them.(Photo by Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images for Giffoni Film Festival)
Lynch admits that she was one of those tourists who would have snapped selfies and rode on the elephants. It’s one of those “bucket list” things, right? Well, that was before the vegan actress realized the cruelty and abuse the majestic animals face.
Animals beaten just for moving
There is no way we would expect to stand still for hours at a time. Well, no kind and sane person would expect that of us. Yet the elephant trainers in India expect the animals to stand still for hours at a time. If they move, a stick will fall from their heads and then the abusers will beat the animal for its “mistake.” These poor creatures are kept like this all their lives.
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They will be beaten as hard as possible for at least six months. Once they are deemed safe, they can then be ridden, which is when the Indian tourist traps will allow tourists to pay to ride them. It’s abhorrent just thinking about it, but many tourists have no idea what happens to these creatures; creatures that should be wild.
Almost 50% of the animals will die of abuse. Of those that survive, 10% will die of stress within a year of being sold. Those who do live have broken souls that will never repair.
Don’t feel guilty, but don’t stand by
Lynch says that she doesn’t want those who have ridden elephants to feel guilty. People have been lied to and misled. Tour companies around the world promote the chance to ride on the elephants. This is where you can all come into play.
In the UK, there’s a push to make it illegal for tour companies from marketing the abhorrent elephant rides. This is something that can be pushed for in other parts of the world. The fewer tourists that choose to ride and pay to see the animals, the less the Indian trainers will make from them. While it may not save the current elephants, it will save future ones from this treatment.
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