Mission - Save the Elephants, Save the World
. . . save the world by reshaping the collective consciousness to promote the uninhibited expression of all aspects of Life. This is no small feat, but we are dreamers with a passion to create a more loving existence, and we have the practical skills and connections to make things happen. This mission requires changes to every aspect of Life that currently does not reflect the love that we all desire to see in the world.
Here at Lovelephant we are focused on helping Asian elephants enslaved in the tourist industry in Southeast Asia, to experience a more fulfilling life, one where they can be elephants, not attractions. We are committed to rehoming such elephants to sanctuaries where they can live out the remainder of their days surrounded by other elephants, all of whom have been mistreated and enslaved in the logging, entertainment or tourist industries of their respective countries. Its simple, we love elephants and we want them to feel the love.
True compassion requires action.
The Current Situation - Save Sao Nua
Sao Nua (Means: Star) (Sounds like: Sayoo Na) is a beautiful 40-year-old female Asian elephant located on a small island in Thailand. She spends her days attached to a short chain, beneath a tattered tarp in the scorching sun. She tosses dirt on her back to try and protect her skin from burning. She sways back and forth in obsessive repetition to expel anxiety. She is alone.
Sometimes you find her here with this large metal seat strapped to her back by ropes, one of which runs beneath her tail to keep the seat from sliding forward when the uninformed tourist come to ride her up a mountain side. She is alone.
Other times you may see her surrounded by some friendly faced tourists that just want to feed her because they either don't want to spend the money to ride her or because they refuse to partake in elephant trekking. Either way, they come and go. She is alone.
Her eyes have great depth and her presence is heavy and confused. There is a softness to her though, a feeling of surrender, but one necessity. Behind it a feeling of shame, for feeling hope that perhaps things can be different. So, she surrenders over and over at first sight of this hope. It is a feeling some of us have known and one Sao Nua lives with every moment of every day. She is alone.
Elephants are extremely social animals, just like humans. Moreover, they are self-aware, just like humans. Yes, self-aware! Sao Nua can identify herself as a distinct being separate and apart from others. Given the chance, she would choose to socialize and be with other elephants.
Just like in humans this ability to distinguish self from others leaves a longing for connection. So, the social nature of elephants could be deeply rooted in a feeling of separateness and longing to connect. Sao Nua is the only elephant owned by this elephant trekking business. She has no interaction with other elephants. This is the worst possible fate for a social animal, elephant or human, separation from your species, from those that understand you and can respond and engage with you in a way that allows you to fully express your truest nature - to feel that blissful feeling of belonging.
Unfortunately for this beauty she is not capable of making her own choices, so she remains alone. She is owned, enslaved, subject to her owner's will. 40 years a slave you could say. First used in the Thai logging industry before becoming entertainment for tourist in the Thai elephant trekking industry. She has a strong body laden with evidence of her years of labor - the tip of her trunk has been split, she has scars from the pick ax that is used to control her, and she bears markings from the heavy ropes used to tie the trekking seat to her back. She has been an object, used and abused for her entire 40-year life.
Together we can change this. Together we can give Sao Nua a better life. We can free her from her suffering by removing her chain, taking off that horrible metal seat and reuniting her with other elephants.
So where do we start to rescue Sao Nua? Right here! We try and shift awareness from a self-absorb state, to a compassionate state of being. We educate people about what it means to be self-aware and the responsibility inherent in it. We educate them about the plight of Asian elephants in the tourist industry throughout Southeast Asia. Most importantly, we purchase Sao Nua from her captors and re-home her to an elephant nature park where she can live unchained, free to socialize with other elephants, like these beauties at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand:
These elephants clearly live a more fulfilling life, something not even the biggest cynic could deny. As people become more educated we are confident they will want to take part in ending the enslavement of a fellow self-aware being, so they will spread the word about the nature of elephants, the need to refrain from participating in elephant trekking or otherwise contributing to any activity that does not truly have the elephant's best interest at heart. This seed of recognition will spread compassion for all living things. Now let's change Sao Nua's life.
How We Save The Elephants
We are in our infancy, but we have laid a solid foundation to actually make a difference. Our ultimate goal is to see a world full of self aware people that become collectively conscious of the interdependency and indivisibility of all Life, and consequently accept responsibility for the well being of all Life. To get things moving we are currently focused on the following:
Rescue Sao Nua
We plan on taking every action possible to free Sao Nua and re-home her to an elephant nature park. She is our inspiration, deeply loved and her freedom is our main priority. We visited Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand this past March and discussed our mission. They agreed to assist us with negotiating a sale of Sao Nua for the purpose of placing her in one of their sanctuaries. All we need now is the money, the amount of which is currently unknown and otherwise not really discussed, so to prevent inflating prices. Sao Nua will be the first but she most definitely will not be the last. There are thousands of elephants that need our help to end their suffering.
Help Our Friends
Part of making an impact requires supporting those who are also trying to make an impact. We intend to make regular donations to qualifying elephant sanctuaries and nature parks, such as Elephant Nature Park, so that they can continue to care for their elephants and grow their operations to provide space for more elephants. Each such donation will be fully disclosed on our website at the time of such donation, so our contributors can see how their donations are being used. This means we will be paying directly for the food, veterinary care, medicine, habitat construction, etc., rather than just handing over money.
Spread the Love
We will educate people as to what it it means to be self aware and the significance of it. We will help them understand that elephants have been proven by science to be self aware, like humans, and why this is of significance and what it means for elephants being mistreated in Southeast Asia. A social media campaign will be launched target marketing potential tourist to the Southeast Asia region to inform them they should refrain from participating in certain activities involving elephants. We will be adding a page to the website to provide educational information about self awareness, elephants and of course what it means to truly love.
Raise That Money
Unfortunately hugs and kisses and energy exchanges do not save elephants quick enough, so we need money. We are running a Go Fund Me campaign and hope to begin a social media marketing campaign to encourage donations. We are also offering merchandise, such as t-shirts, children's books, accessories and jewelry, through our affiliate site as an additional means of fund raising. (See the "Trunk" page above.) We will also apply for 501(c)(3) charity status with the IRS once we have the additional funds to cover the costs of doing so. Becoming a charity will enable donors to receive a tax deduction for their donation. This is will help us receive donations from larger donors and corporations.
SECURE THE FUTURE
Give a someone a pile of money for an elephant, they will likely go get another elephant and ask for another pile of money. One might suggest that this is alright because it will continue to bring us more elephants in need, and this could be the case, and it may be in some situations. Our goal is to end the elephant tourism industry complete, and to avoid creating a market for elephants in the process. We see a need to help the individuals involved in the elephant tourism industry to find a new way of earning income, whether it be by investing in retail businesses, hotels, restaurants, or whatever other type of business may serve their market and provide them with the income they require to survive and to thrive. We are not here to point fingers or to create hate - everyone is doing the best they can to survive given the circumstances they find themselves in. So, we will be offering free business consulting to every individual that we acquire an elephant from in effort to help them find another means of survival that doesn't not involve elephant tourism.