More than half a million people have demanded that TripAdvisor stop profiting from the cruelest wildlife attractions across the globe
The appalling cruelty inflicted on Indian elephants to meet growing demands from the tourism industry for elephant rides and shows has now got the attention of the Indian government – who might shortly take a huge step to end elephant rides in popular tourist destinations in Goa and Rajasthan this year.
Most tourists go on elephant rides because they love elephants. They don’t know about the intense physical and psychological pain involved. Baby elephants are cruelly taken from their mothers, and beaten into submission to give rides and perform tricks for tourists. They endure horrendous captive conditions for decades. This includes chaining and close confinement, loneliness and isolation from other elephants – with whom they would naturally form bonds – and deprivation of food and water.
World Animal Protection continues to expose the abuse being inflicted on hundreds of these magnificent animals in India and highlight how tourists and travel companies such as TripAdvisor can stop tourist rides in their tracks before it’s too late.
If left unchecked thousands of elephants in India and across the world will face lifetimes of cruelty and abuse for tourist entertainment. The once in a lifetime opportunity of riding an elephant can mean a lifetime of misery for it – if you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with it, the chances are it’s cruel for the wild animals, so don’t do it.
Filming at Amber Fort in Rajasthan
Amber Fort, also known as Amer Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan is one of India’s major tourist hotspots offering elephant rides to people visiting. The fort has an estimated 5,000 people visiting and taking rides from one of the 114 elephants trained to carry tourists up steep roads in blistering heat.
The welfare concerns at Amber Fort:
• Elephants used for entertainment in their early years suffer an extremely cruel and intensive breaking-in process. This is done so they can be used to perform and be ridden for tourist entertainment. This process involves severe restraining with ropes or chains and the elephant can only move when commanded. Severe pain is often inflicted with pointed metal bull hooks, wooden battens, and whips.
• 90% of elephants at Amber Fort had one or more problems with their foot pad, abscesses on their eyes and severe wounds from the seat on their back.
• The elephants are not fed properly with a natural diet. Instead they are given chapatti (roasted bread made of wheat) and sugar cane– too much of this is bad for them.
• 68% of elephants were reported to have insufficient or non-existent provision for water.
Day in the life of an elephant at Amber Fort:
• Elephants used for rides are chained up in small stables, by trees or in private houses.
• There’s no possibility for the elephants – highly intelligent and social animals – to interact with other elephants. They are kept in confinement and there is no prospect of free movement after a gruelling day of carrying tourists on their backs.
• Elephants are taken out in the mornings to offer rides to tourists and their first port of call is to descend through chaotic road traffic in Jaipur.
• They are equipped with riding benches on their backs and adorned with garments, blankets and head covers in extreme heat.
• Once tourists are on their backs, elephants make an exhausting walk up a steep hill to the Amber Fort palace.
• Also accompanying the elephant is a mahout, sat on the elephant’s neck, guiding it with a bull hook and ready to beat it at the top of its head to direct the elephant.
This is an unnatural way of life for elephants because wild animals belong in the wild. For example, female elephants are highly social, living in matriarch-led family groups which can consist of up to 20 females and sub-adults. Males travel alone visiting matriarchal herds or form temporary social groups with other males. This is very different to the life they have held in captivity.
Images and video
• World Animal Protection can provide images and footage from Amber Fort to help paint the picture of the day in the life of an elephant. There is also an opportunity to film there.
Interviews with wildlife experts
• Julie Middelkoop, World Animal Protection Head of Wildlife Not Entertainers
• Shubhobroto Ghosh, World Animal Protection Wildlife Project Manager in India
• Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection in India
World Animal Protection has secured 108 global travel companies to no longer offer visits to venues with elephant rides and shows in any of their markets. Among these are popular brands from across the world, like World Expeditions and Kuoni Travel UK.
The cruelty endured by elephants and other wild animals at tourist attractions is gaining attention amongst the public, as well as the travel industry. Despite this large number, there are still a number of travel companies who are yet to commit to ending elephant rides and other cruel elephant entertainment, such as TripAdvisor.
Call to Action
World Animal Protection has a long history of campaigning to end the use of wild animals for entertainment. We ended bear dancing in India, Turkey and Greece by working over a decade with local partners and government officials.
Over the past four years we’ve engaged travel companies across the world and 108 have committed to no longer sell and promote elephant rides and shows to their customers. World Animal Protection will continue to expose the suffering of wild animals in entertainment and look to educate the 4m tourists who will visit wildlife tourist attractions every year.
We now want TripAdvisor, the largest online travel website, to recognize the huge opportunity to help protect the 550,000 wild animals suffering at the hands of irresponsible tourist venues. With 300 million web hits per month their influence is immense, they need to put that to good use and do what is right for wild animals.
Over half a million people have signed our petition, join the movement: http://www.worldanimalprotection.org.uk
Facts about Elephant Riding
• There are simply no responsible elephant rides or shows. Elephants are not domesticated. They are wild animals in captivity that need to be tamed and trained in order to be ‘safely’ used for rides and shows.
• All elephants used for riding and performing need to be ‘broken’ at a young age in order to accept human control. By the time you come to ride an elephant, it may look at peace; but this is because its spirit has been broken.
• The breaking-in process of elephants for any type of activities that require direct contact with people (like rides or performances) requires severe physical and psychological abuse. Furthermore, their physical well-being is forever damaged by the jobs they are forced to do.
• Keeping elephants for tourism damages their conservation status. Reproduction rates of elephants in captivity are extremely low and do not meet the demand for new elephants in the tourism industry. Consequently, elephants are poached from the wild to fuel tourist entertainment. This is considered a major threat to the wild Asian elephant population, which has declined dramatically over the last century, also because of habitat loss.
• The animals that are now used in these venues are old working animals and also captured from the wild or bred in captivity to spend their lives in chains. Across Asia it is estimated that as many as 75% of the adult elephants, used for tourist rides today, have been wild caught, although the number is difficult to validate.
• Many tourists see elephant rides as the highlight of their holiday. However, this wish often stems from a lack of awareness of the abuse involved. As soon as they become aware of the suffering caused by elephant rides and shows, their enthusiasm quickly wanes.
What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?
A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.
When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.
New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.
This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.
Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.
With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.
Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.
The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.
Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.
Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy
Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.
Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.
Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.
How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:
- They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
- They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
- They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
- They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.
Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.
Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use
The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.
Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.
Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers
Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.
Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.
Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy
Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:
- Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
- Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
- Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.
You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.