The Relationship Between Food, Culture and Travel
A blog about the links between food, culture and travel, written by Emma Pietropaolo based on her firsthand experiences.
October 15th 2019
Only two months till Christmas. What about making it quite different for some loving elephants in Thailand this year?
Elephant sanctuaries around the World are working hard on educating people that elephants don’t belong in the tourism industry, whether it is riding them or watching them perform in a circus. The sanctuaries take in elephants from this industry, retire them and in many cases offer their owners a new means of income. The elephants then get to live how they are meant to – roaming free and just being elephants.
The wonderful people at our Elephant volunteer project in Thailand took in their first elephant 5 years ago. Now taking care of several, the elephants roam freely during the day under the watchful eye of their caretakers. However, during the night it is quite different, as they have to be chained and secured for their own safety. Thus the project has decided to take a new step. They wanted to have their elephants fully roaming free – day and night.
They spent almost a year raising the funds, but finally got to start the building three weeks ago. They have been working tirelessly to build the first new enclosure for their old golden girl, Thong Dee. The weather conditions were not making it easy, but this lucky elephant finally got to move in a few days ago, and is now roaming the nights free of chains!
The sanctuary hopes to make this a reality for their other two elephants, Mae Kam and Mae Jumpee, and this is where you can help! You can become part of this great project by volunteering your time, whether it being a single or several weeks, and help make a different Christmas for these elephants. Not only will you play a key role in making a difference for the animals, but you would help make an impact on the local community living in the middle of the Thai countryside. You would be part of the important change that is taking place by educating people to another way of life than elephant tourism.
Even Tripadvisor recently decided to stop sales of shows or trips that involve direct interaction with wild animals. Many governments around the World still haven’t taken the much-needed step to protect wild animal populations. However, companies of many industries are slowly responding to what people want – to end an entertainment industry involving wild animals. So join and become part of the change you wish to make!
To find out more about volunteering at our Elephant Volunteer Project in Thailand, please click here.