The Breaking Of An Elephant’s Spirit

 The Breaking Of An Elephant’s Spirit

Anywhere in the world – the breaking of an elephant’s spirit using torture is deliberate – brutal  – selfish – unnecessary and motivated by money or driven by the need for personal gain. Elephants are herd animals who can live in the wild for 60 to 70 years. They stay in the same family for an entire lifetime. The Matriarch is smart and profoundly wise. She has incredible knowledge in her mind – an accumulation of the wisdom of her ancestors. She leads and protects her herd with this knowledge.

NOTE: Some Pictures or Content May be Graphic or Disturbing To Younger or Sensitive Readers

Elephants touch one another with their trunks and communicate in many amazing ways. They thrive on interaction with their herd members. They love to splash and swim and play in the water. They are smart, gentle, loving and social and have a deeply felt emotional life.  They grieve with heartfelt sorrow. They are loyal and protective and will give their lives for their babies. Every day in the wild they roam for miles and miles through familiar pathways – to grazing areas and watering holes. Late at night when everything is still and quiet they will sometimes lie down together to sleep and dream.


This is how elephants should live


For many of these magnificent creatures – man is the great leveller – the robber of those peaceful dreams – the thief in the night. If you see a working elephant – in the logging industry – in the tourist business – begging with his owner on the street – creating “art” with a silly little paint brush – carrying tourists who should know better on his back – doing an elephant trek for paying travellers or performing silly tricks in any circus or roadside show – you need to know that his spirit was broken and crushed when he was a very young elephant. An elephant has no idea of his own strength. How do you get a massive 12,00 pound animal to obey you?

The Bull Hook – the preferred and ever-present Tool of  Torture 


You rip him away from his mother when he is just a couple of months old. You isolate him. You make him fearful. You hurt him seriously and often. You exert your dominance over him. You beat him – especially on the face – around his eyes and ears and on his trunk – because that is where his hide is the most sensitive. You hurt his ankles because he will be chained later and that will increase his pain. An elephant’s skin can be up to an inch thick and you puncture it deeply and often with a sharp bullhook.

The points of greatest pain for an elephant


You use electric shock on him when he is belligerent. You chain him up and force him to stand on concrete in very painful positions. You yell at  him constantly and show him your bull hook many times a day. You deprive him of food and water. You confine him in small, dark and lonely places.  You are relentless and barbaric in your cruelty. Because he is smart he soon learns that he will be hurt very badly when he does not do your bidding. You never show him affection or kindness. When you have broken his spirit and the light and the spark are permanently missing from his eyes – he will obey you.

Crushing a baby elephant for the circus. Look at his eye!



Note the bull hook


What is this little being thinking?



Deprivation and Isolation – sometimes for 23 hours a day


 At the end of it all – you get this and call it entertainment


In Asia the month long “crush” is brutal and barbaric. Many baby elephants are blinded in one eye. Some do not live – their bodies and spirits broken beyond repair. They are simply unable to survive the extreme torture. Look at the children watching this brutality. The adults are passing along the belief from generation to generation that cruelty is acceptable.


 The bamboo clubs have nails in the end

the crush

For those who do survive – this is the life they are forced to endure for 40 – 50 – 60 years or until they are just too worn out and weary to live. Note how tightly bound the ropes are around his middle to hold up these eager and ill-informed tourists. And as always – the bull hook …


At the end of every day –  always the same …



You may not be an animal lover – not everyone is. Many people feel that animals are inferior beings – put on earth for our collective amusement, use and consumption. A commodity with a dollar value.  An entity to be used and then discarded.  You may think that animals do not feel and suffer – that they are not capable of love and loyalty – fear and sadness and pain. If you think that – you are wrong. You’re entitled to your opinions but NEVER pretend, once you become aware of this torture – that you just “didn’t know”. No one can make you care but you can’t hide from the truth.

Ten years ago I didn’t know what I do now about global animal issues. If I’d been in Thailand I would probably have gone for an elephant ride because I had never heard of the breaking of an elephant’s spirit.

Now I know – I understand –  I am different. If I can do some good for these magnificent, richly emotional beings by writing and then sharing information – I will never stop. If you feel the same way please share this post and do whatever you can to help. Talk to people – tell them – show them!

This Picture Is Powerful – Haunting – Unforgettable


I do believe that every human being is accountable – in this life – or perhaps in the next. For those who have engaged in this – or any other type of deliberate animal cruelty – there is a price to pay. You may not think it now – secure in your dominance of helpless beings – but the world works in mysterious ways and your contribution to cruelty has been noted!


A Lament For Every Abused Animal

When I was small and had no say

My life was changed one dreadful day

My fault they say – I didn’t obey

So again and again I had to pay


Confined and beaten – starved and alone

I’m defeated to the bone

My time has passed – my strength is done

My will has slowly gone


As death draws near – it’s very clear

That my spirit will soon be free

My fears retreat – old memories sweet

Let my soul depart – I know in my heart

You can’t hurt me now …


My broken parts are finally whole.

I’m flying now

I’m running now

I’m swimming now

I’m free.

Rosemary Wright – May 2, 2013