Did you know that the elephant vertebrae in its spine point upwards just like humans. Elephants are recognized for their strength and size. However, their backs are not designed to carry weight. This puts their spines at risk and they can cave in when used for work like tourist rides. Their spines turn concave and they are in immense agony. They use their trunks to lift heavy weights. It is shocking to learn this fact about their spine. The elephant is exploited and we have been unaware of the suffering they have been exposed to.
The elephant has served man for thousands of years. They are used for seeding trees, for transportation and even as fighting platforms in warfare. The Asian elephant is vital for forestry work and is used to transport logs and fell trees. Again, this task has to be conducted by mindful loggers and then everyone wins, and the teak forests are not destroyed.
Why should we defend the elephants?
They are enablers as they protect the environment. They are seed transporters. After munching on the vegetation, they transport plant material around in their guts and then it is expelled in their dung. Their dung is the perfect fertilizer and new vegetation happens. They provide food for other species. When they walk, they knock down branches and therefore smaller species access to food. They dig water holes to locate underground water. Thus, other animals also have access to water. They modify their environment and provide bio-diversity. Wow!!
I decided to write about elephants because I joked with my grand-daughter, who turned thirteen yesterday. She lives in Stuttgart, Germany. I told her that now she was old enough to ride an elephant in India. After I said it, I looked up on Google Ma, how old should one be to ride an elephant. I was shocked to learn about the fragility of their spine and in order to prevent them from succumbing to back pain, one must never go for elephant rides. They are also treated cruelly by their minders. The total weight that they carry on their backs, in order for one to sit on them is 450 kilograms.
Well, there you are, how can we hurt such a noble beast, unthinkingly. Who would imagine that it would have such a delicate spine?
Treat your spine with respect and practice your sadhana daily. Walk straight, sit straight and think straight.
Aim Hrim Klim