Elephant Tourism in Thailand: The Cruel Face of Phajaan
Phajaan, in the context referring to the breaking of elephants, means “to separate from the spirit” or to ”split the will” of a baby elephant.
Phajaan or ‘Crushing’ is the traditional Asian torture of young elephants to break their spirit. It is done so that they are submissive to humans. Baby elephants are prematurely ripped away from their mothers. They are caged, starved, beaten, stabbed, poked and cut, and kept awake for days until they become submissive under the torture.
Baby elephants are tethered and dragged to a clearing where there sits the crush cage. These fragile elephants will be kept in small crates, their front and back legs bound with ropes, as their limbs will then be stretched. Repeatedly beaten with sharp metal and other tools, the helpless elephants will be constantly yelled and screamed at. They are stabbed, burned and beaten, as well as starved of food and deprived of water.
Once submissive under the torture, the young elephants are forced into a life of street-begging, trekking (rides), and “entertainment”, eg. circuses, painting, zoos, etc. Everyone, tourists especially, needs to be educated as to the plight of the Asian elephant.
Please EDUCATE yourself and others! Do not support this cruelty by feeding a street beggar (baby elephant begging for food), riding on an elephant’s back (trekking) or attending a show.
Phajaan Ritual (VIDEO): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVckvi_gWVo
Phajaan Album (Info & Photos):
Elephant Tourism Source: http://www.elemotion.org/elephant-tourism/
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