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Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Rescue Awareness

Feb

05


Picture from website of Tsavotrust.org

Picture from website of Tsavotrust.org

This blog post is about four years overdue. Even as I write this, I am staring down at my navy elephant leggings and have experienced several signs pointing me in this direction. It feels really good to finally move forward with this energy and intention that has been locked inside my heart for awhile.

Here we go…

Let me first say I’m a HUGE animal lover. The first show I saw on animal cruelty really woke me up and expanded my consciousness on a fundamental level. After watching a 20/20 undercover story in a chicken coop displaying the cruel and abusive treatment, I immediately lost my appetite for it.

The chickens were in such poor, filthy living conditions that they would have to BLEACH the chicken poo stains off the meat to sell it. And then I was going to eat bleached out poo-stained chicken? No thanks.

I never ever ate chicken again.

This video is decades later in 2010 and is equally disgusting and inhumane. It’s HNAT for the faint at heart but as you will read in this post, it’s a privilege to say “I don’t want to watch this.”

Clearly I was traumatized by the show. I know there is ample food on this planet for me to eat that doesn’t involve disgusting and shameful cruelty to animals.

Moving forward… I recall the year we left for Aspen when my new web desiger was in the midst of a major digital botox to my site. I was involved with the transformation process and that meant a lot of late nights and revisions. How I was functioning on three hours of sleep is a mystery, but when I get obsessed about a project, passion can often trump, I mean override sleep.

So we’re on the plane heading to Colorado, and I’m vacillating between binge watching movies or collapsing to catch up on some well-deserved shut eye. Flipping through the movie selection, I stumbled upon a documentary by Village Beat Films about elephants in Africa called Gardeners of Eden.

I’ve always wanted to go on a safari and see the majestic creatures in their natural habitat, but would have to settle on a 2-dimensional version. So I was ready for a feel-good documentary on these gentle creatures.

Spoiler alert: I started bawling right from the get go.

The films intro statistics were staggeringly depressive to me in my vulnerable state and while I really wanted to check out with an easy movie and sleep on the plane, my animal welfare heart strings were whispering, “watch this one, please”.

My overwhelming display of emotions cause me to hit the pause button followed by a lil verbal confrontation with my spouse. In essence, the sleep-deprived me was accusing him of being inattentive to my current emotional needs.

What I wanted was him to grab my hand and squeeze it, and ask if I’m okay – cuz he’s a mind reader, right? Instead he responded, ”why are you watching that? You know it’s going to upset you and you’ve reminded me {a thousand times} that you’re on 3 hours of sleep.

But something inside told me to toughen up, hit the play button and soldier on past the ghastly images. Playing the I don’t want to see this brutality/privileged card I was leaning towards didn’t feel like the right decision.

And then, mindfully sitting in this deeper, perhaps purpose-driven awareness, I realized that THIS is why I created the recent 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge (we were in the middle of working through how to add them to my site).

What I was feeling was “YOU HAVE TO ENDURE THE TRAGIC + HEARTBREAKING INFO + IMAGES SO THAT YOU CAN EVOLVE AND GET INVOLVED.”

Here’s my take: If you can’t dedicate 70 minutes of your life to educating yourself and watching this film then I question if you can really call yourself an animal lover. Yeah, I know pretty harsh statement but that’s my opinion.

So I did. I watched the entire film. I cried. And took notes. I cried a lot.

No really, a lot.

Ever since I was a wee child, I’ve been a big animal lover. I’m like a dog whisperer to my babies. And these inhumane animal situations in the world hurt my soul. It’s all about how to get involved. To create awareness. To donate money towards the cause to help end suffering of animals.

I’m already trying to help humans on their mindful path, and in doing so I want to donate towards causes I feel drawn towards. While I don’t have the financial integrity of Bill Gates or Tony Robbins, every little bit helps.

At the end of the documentary/therapy session and I walked to the back of the plane. I noticed that no one chose to watch the elephant documentary and that made me even more sad.

In my head I was thinking, “If I owned Delta, I would ONLY show this film to increase awareness of the tragedy taking place in our world RIGHT now. Or perhaps have the flight attendants make an announcement to watch it and create awareness, and you can donate sky-miles to help save elephants. Something, anything.

My ever entrepreneur mind, even while sleep-deficient, was going in a million directions.  

I totally understand why people would avoid watching these documentaries. A) it’s the holidays and everyone is heading to Aspen. B) everyone else probably got a good nights rest. C) it’s the holidays and the majority of people don’t give a crap.

But it’s our social responsibility to redirect this horrid poaching industry because the killing is only getting worse.  We used to have 3.5 million elephants on the planet and were down to <300,000.

For those new to elephant poaching, they brutally remove the ivory tusks, while alive, and these orphaned baby elephants have witnessed the brutal killing of their mother. Imagine if that happened to you as a human.

They have legit PTSD with flash backs to the event and think that may happen to them (just like humans).

Like peeps in the modern world, orphaned elephants are under serious stress. They are surrounded by people who they perceive as the enemy, causing them to lose a significant amount of weight.

They are quite fragile and can easily slip into a coma from the sheer trauma and tragedy of losing their family. Like humans (and other animals), they need constant nurturting TLC to manage the psychological damage of losing their family.

It takes years for them to fully recover and there are dozens dying out in the African bush. 

Elephants are similar to humans and are extremely intelligent. We don’t give them enough credit to their level of love 💕 and understanding. That’s an unfortunate belief system that must be reeducated for us to continue living on this planet.

International ivory trade is no different drug tradings; one elephant’s ivory can be worth a lot of money and when people are hungry, the will do anything.

Some “ethical” poachers hunt with poison arrows and receive $550 USD for 95 pounds of elephant ivory which split with four men can be a lot of money to them.

The system is broken because a man arrested for poaching will be fined $11 and set free the next day. 

The unfortunate truth is that illegal wildlife poaching is out of control. According to UN statistics it was a $213B industry in 2014 and continues to grow… 

Just for context, the US diet industry pales in comparison at <$80B.

China is the largest market for finished ivory products – the value of the illegal tusks in China is disgusting to me. It was absolutely shocking to learn that the US is right behind China. Shame on us. Shame on us.

What we’re looking at is this: if this market continues to trend at the current pace, it is estimated that there will be NO elephants in the year 2025. This is far too shocking for me to sit by the sidelines and let elephants become extinct in my lifetime, or my nieces. 😂

Watching the caring compassionate peeps dedicate their lives to rescue the traumatized orphaned elephants cultivated faith in humanity. We need more caring individuals like these humans (thank you Kristen Davis for caring about animal rights and your no doubt, generous contribution) who are taking care of these vulnerable, endangered creatures. I want to give back to the people making a real difference on the planet.

And a portion of the Winter recipes ebook sale will be donated to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (see update below). There are so many animals to help rescue and each season a portion of the ebook sales will go towards an endangered animal foundation or trust.

In my eyes, the life of an animal is like the life of any other human.

They have a right to live. And it is up to us, the human species to take a stand and say this is not tolerated anymore. The tragedy is that Ivory is worth more than gold.

When I first started learning about karma and energy, it made sense that killing animals (or humans) can take a toll on the soul. It’s no different than killing a human… it’s still a LIFE.

Humans are responsible for this planet. We are also responsible for crushing illegal wildlife trade, elevating the collective consciousness of our endangered species and saving these gentle creatures from extinction 🐘!

From every square inch of my animal-loving heart, a genuine thank you for supporting this cause and purchasing the Winter ebook!

UPDATE:


Thank you everyone for your support I adopted Malima (since she was born the day after my birthday!) and it’s in honor of the Nutrition Atlanta Ebook Participants :)

Thank you everyone for your support I adopted Malima (since she was born the day after my birthday!) and it’s in honor of the Nutrition Atlanta Ebook Participants 🙂

Elephant love,

Jennifer

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