21 responses

  1. Matthew Harrow
    February 10, 2016

    Some valid points here. We are fast to throw scorn on others while our own countries still participate in cruel practices. Last I hear the horse racing community (a wealthy one) keep telling people horses enjoy being raced and beaten with a whip while being injected with steroids.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      Yes, I find it very abstract to have animal rights activists protest and try to cripple an industry and why of life here that is changing for the better yet back in their home countries little has changed over the years.

  2. Mark
    February 10, 2016

    I would never consider visiting Chitwan due the treatment of elephants there. Metal poles are used to beat elephants and make them bleed. How can anyone agree with this?

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      Mark, did you read the article or just the headline? I wrote that metal poles have been REPLACED in Chitwan! No one agrees with it. Try Thailand if you want to talk about metal poles still being used.

  3. Ann
    February 10, 2016

    Very interesting. I didn’t know about the mahouts or that there was more than just elephant rides. Its true, we are quick to push our way of thinking on others without looking at their unique way of life.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      It is a unique way of like and not the same as life in Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya or even India.

  4. Timothy
    February 10, 2016

    I’ve visited Thailand but not Nepal. The actions in Thailand are terrible. I have read your points and am of two minds. Would the government in Nepal really let elephants and people starve if there was a ban?

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      Considering that 10 month after the earthquake families just spent a year with no government rebuilding and considering the government still chain elephants in Chitwan there is very little doubt that the government would not financially aid Sauraha or Mahouts nor elephants should there be an outright ban. Aside from that, there would be a conflict as the park rangers would have no way to reach the dense areas of the jungle elephants can take them where poachers often work.

      • Elen
        February 11, 2016

        Agreed, Dave. The Nepali government cannot be relied upon for anything. They are criminally inept, and it is only due to the resourcefulness of the people that anything works at all here. So yes, I also believe that they would have no qualms about unemployed elephants.

  5. Susanna
    February 10, 2016

    Totally agree about people interfering in other cultures when their own has issues too. SPAIN AND BULLFIGHTING? seriously why?

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      Because there’s less money in Nepal and less high powered opposition?

  6. Subi
    February 10, 2016

    Cambodia? Everyone talks about Thailand but has anyone written about the treatment of elephants in Cambodia or India?

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      Valid points Subi.

  7. Elen
    February 10, 2016

    I agree with this very much. But there are some important typos–you write ‘condone’ a couple of times when I’m sure you mean ‘condemn’. Just wanted to point that out :)

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      Thanks Elen. I made some typo changes. Wrote it with a fever! Ho hum :)

  8. Adam
    February 10, 2016

    The truth is we can’t have a perfect world. If we stop riding elephants there will be no elephants in the wild. Big business has taken over from the government and privatizing everything. Unless we make compromises there would be no rhino or tiger like you said. And what’s the difference between horse riding and elephant riding if the elephant has been humanely brought up?

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      Yes it’s not a perfect world. We’ve got to make do with what we have. Like it or not conservation is one of the few things in Nepal that seem to be working well!

  9. Theo
    February 11, 2016

    It makes no difference. Elephant tourism is wrong. Riding elephants is a disgrace and I will never visit Nepal as long as this is happening.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 11, 2016

      I encourage you to re-read the article. It’s your choice in Chitwan to ride an elephant or not. You can go on a jungle trek instead if you so wish. You might even be lucky enough to see the park rangers and elephants patrolling and helping to protect the other wildlife in the park.

      • Elen
        February 11, 2016

        By the same token, Theo, you would never visit anywhere where humans or animals are treated badly. And that is everywhere in the world, without exception. OK, stay at home, that is your choice and your luxury. But it makes no sense simply to say you won’t visit a country because you disagree with one practice.

  10. Bijaya Ghimire
    February 23, 2016

    A well write up. Middle way is the solution.

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