Tourists often have no idea what elephants have to go through in order for them to experience them on treks, rides, see them painting, begging on beaches or any other number of things that elephants naturally would not be doing. In order for elephants to perform including being ridden they have to be ‘broken’. Elephants are wild animals. I believe that if people really understood what they were contributing to when they participated in or supported any of these activities that they would not do it.

For elephants to be ridden or used in tourism in any way they go through a process called “phajaan” meaning ‘breaking an elephant’s spirit.” Elephants after all are wild animals. The process of phajaan is when a baby elephant is taken from its family and its mother and aunties are killed. They are put in crates, starved and beaten, its legs bound closely together…

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