Ethical Elephant Tourism in Thailand

Everyone who travels to Thailand wants to trek with the Asian elephants who are advertised for trekking, riding, and shows....more

A Sliver of Hell: How to Keep the Faith?

There was that familiar feeling of wanting to vomit, knees buckling, light headed, inner stillness as the surrounding environment became secondary, difficulty breathing, and a question of how is this part of the Divine's Plan?  It wasn't as violent, but it was a version of the "dog with the broken jaw" reaction.  I had said "bring it on," but I was only going to see the elephants at their house......more

Donald Trump Jr.

Blog DirectoryIf I could interview #$%^$^ this is what’d I’d ask. it’s also what i’d imagine he’d say:me: can you give me any good reason why you didn’t explore Africa? like maybe for its history?dt jr: i wanted to go to a country where i couldn’t translate in english what people were cursing at me.me: it’s enough that you’ll never have to want for anything. why can’t you give back? like for AIDS in africa?...more

Dancing With Elephants, Part 3

One of my favorite things that we did on a family trip to England (besides walking five feet ahead of everyone hoping that some dashing young British man with proper dentition would come and swoop me away for tea and crumpets) was to visit the ancient city of Bath (which my dad embarrassingly pronounce "B-ah-th" in spite of his being, you know, American.) It was all just so ancient and so Roman and it thrilled my little preteen soul to walk on those cobblestones and smell the sulphur and know that I was gawking at the very tiled seats wher...more

Dancing With Elephants, Part 2

Reason #2 For the Recent and Alarming Contemplation of Elephants:...more

Dancing With Elephants, Part 1

Elephants have been on my mind for the last few days. That sentence is alarming to me. Not being a zoo keeper or a safari leader, I don't have a whole lot of good reasons to be contemplating elephants. Do I really need a good reason? I have three reasons, anyway. Reason #1 For the Recent and Alarming Contemplation of Elephants:...more

Fighting the Ivory Trade

Elephants are among the most interesting, visually-appealing, task-oriented animals in the kingdom, called upon for everything from hauling human beings to shooting water on command. And, all too frequently, they are killed and maimed for their ivory tusks, skins, and meat, or abused in situations where they are called upon to perform stunts for human audiences. I don't think it's true that they never forget. How could they? I couldn't. Could you? ...more
When I was young, my father traveled to India on business. Whenever he traveled, he always ...more

Circus Animals: Performers or Prisoners?

Late last month, the Vienna-based owner of the Ringling Bros. circus agreed to pay a $270,000 fine to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to settle allegations that it violated federal animal-welfare laws in its handling of elephants, tigers, zebras and other exotic animals....more
I haven't been to a circus since I was a very small child and I would never go to one again. ...more

A Unique Love Story

Last year Steve Hartman of CBS news reported on a unique love story. Tarra is a 4½ ton elephant living at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, and Bella is a dog. Female elephants are social animals and apparently the deal is that when an elephant arrives at the sanctuary they seek out another elephant and bond with that elephant....more