Britney Spears new video is targeted by Peta for the use of elephants and lions. Personally I wondered why it took them so long to drop their press release. I suppose they were waiting for maximum effect. Kari Johnson, elephant owner, states,
"My husband, Gary, and I do indeed have a long history with elephants. Our love of and infatuation with elephants started for both of us in our teens, 37 years ago. To say we care about elephant welfare is an understatement," Kari Johnson wrote in a statement to MTV News. "Have Trunk Will Travel has never issued a written endorsement, nor does it condone using electrical devices to discipline and control elephants except in situations where elephant or human safety is at risk. PETA very conveniently used a sentence out of context from a USDA request for public comments regarding policies on elephants in 2000."
Johnson went on to write that the elephants used in Spears' "Circus" video were supervised by a representative from the American Humane Association the entire time they were on set and that the elephants were treated kindly.
"The American Humane Association monitors animal action in film and television. A representative was on the set of the Britney Spears 'Circus' video with our elephants, Tai and Kitty, to ensure their safety and welfare," Johnson wrote. "Britney, the director, producers and the entire crew were respectful of the elephants' needs and comfort and a pleasure to work with."
I've known Kari and Gary for over 20 years. This summer I was present at a shoot with Tai for T Pain. Their elephants are pampered and well cared for. They work 24/7 caring for them. Always have.
Next up, "How to smuggle an elephant."
Seems the guard at the border loves the World Cup and for a price will look the other way. The elephants are headed to Thailand to work in the tourist trekking business. Nowadays even an elephant needs to work in order to eat. They've taken part in the decimation of their own forests and are unemployed. Their tusks and body parts are readily available for purchase as well.
In Sri Lanka tourists can visit the Elephant Orphanage, described as paradise.
Notice the large number of captive elephants being ably cared for by the mahouts.
In India " elephants are dying in ever-greater numbers as industrialization, deforestation, the pressure of human settlement and shrinking food resources cut into their numbers."
However this blog tells the story of a live elephant interaction in India in a humorous way.
Let's come full circle back to the U.S. where Peta is exploiting a half-naked woman in a cage to draw attention to the use of elephants in the circus.
This video in it's combination of pics and music was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
Oh, dear, can I say that? Oops, I guess I just did.
As the internets shrink the world in size it occurs to me we really are all one and elephants are an amazing magnetic being drawing attention to themselves and forcing us to recognize the fact that with their demise so goes our own. Heck of a run-on sentence that ;)