Feeding baby elephants to inmates? What kind of fuckery is this?  »

[Can’t see the video? Watch on]

I’m posting the video above to illustrate what complicated and emotional animals elephants are. The video is about a poor little baby elephant that lost its family and is totally depressed. Elephants have strong feelings of mourning and loss and as sad as this baby is, I imagine it’s got to be at least that traumatic for an adult elephant to lose a calf.

Why am I talking about this? Because there is a proposition in Zimbabwe to cull baby elephants and feed them to prisoners. The world is going crazy!

Wildlife conservationists are not into this plan. From the Zimbabwe Independent:

Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force slammed the proposal, arguing that the move would result in the extinction of elephants and in the long result in the “killing” of the tourism industry.

He said: “This is the most dangerous thing that they will be doing if approved. One of the biggest foreign currency earners in the country is tourism. How then can we steal from our own heritage? Why are we selling our future heritage down the drain? We should be looking after these intelligent animals so that they are not killed. Government should actually be putting in harsh laws to protect these animals.”

Rodrigues said despite claims by authorities that there were 100,000 elephants in the country, the number had gone down to less than 35,000.

I don’t know shit about the Zimbabwe prison system and it sounds like it is not a good situation (that seems to be a theme in prison systems) but really? Baby elephants? There has got to be an alternative. Some reports are saying the prisoners haven’t had meat in four years—I haven’t had meat in 11 and I’m just fine! But seriously, I don’t feel bad for them, not for lack of meat that is (I generally feel bad for prisoners because I’m always worried they were innocent. Hurricane, guys, HURRICANE). You don’t need meat to reach any nutritional requirements prisoners are lacking. I feel like this really comes from some idea that people have a god-given right to have meat, like it’s abusive to deny people meat. That whole concept is ridiculous. There’s a lot of abuse that goes on in prisons but making people eat vegetarian is not one of them. 

I don’t have a solution but come on, there has to be something else they can do! They could be trailblazers with some innovative sustainable farming set-up! Though according to the Independent, they don’t have enough money for prison uniforms so I don’t know if that’s feasible but it could be cool! And pay for itself in the long run! Maybe Amnesty International can step in or something! Just ANYTHING besides culling baby mother-loving elephants, please. For goodness’ sake.

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