Killing off the Elephants

entry picture

WE let others kill the elephants

In our name we are letting this obscenity

Happen. Again and again until the elephants are gone.

It is easier than doing something

That might embarrass us or tire us

WE fear being accused of

Creating a scene by screaming out

Man's cruel derision to elephants

Who we already know mourn the deaths

Of those they love. Scientists are discovering

More and more about the internal lives of animals.

But what does this mean for the way humans behave?


Chop off the tusks, let the mothers die in the dust,

Take the baby elephant to sell it to a zoo

But the orphan baby elephant dies of sadness, 

That's right let the ivory-addicts kill the elephants

Finish them off! All that lovely ivory. All that money.

No matter that Elephant gods feature prominently

In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism across Asia,

Ganesha, Ganapati, Airavata or Vinayaka in India,

Erawan in Thailand, and Kangiten in Japan,

All sre "removers of obstacles”. We are killing our

Big brothers and sisters. Elephant brains

Are similar to humans’ in terms of structure

And complexity, with as many neurons. 

They feel empathy not just for elephants

But for other species, including humans.

Elephants' sensitivity and their tendency towards love puts them at a 

Disadvantage compared to us:  brute, stupid, selfish humans. 



Lifting the Veil/Shelley ►


Profile image

John Marks

Sat 8th Dec 2018 15:46

Thank you Jon and Jacob for your continued support. And thank you kindly Jacob for reminding me of the prescient heroism of Dian Fossey. As you say, a true hero in her fight against the genocide of all primates by that most cruel primate, homo sapien.

I copied this from Wikipedia to inform anybody who's interested about Dian's murder. Almost certainly murdered to remove an impediment to the exploitation of the forest and its inhabitants.

"In the early morning of December 27, 1985, Fossey was discovered murdered in the bedroom of her cabin located at the far edge of the camp in the Virunga Mountains, Rwanda.Her body was found face-up near the two beds where she slept, roughly 7 feet (2 m) away from a hole that her assailant(s) had apparently cut in the wall of the cabin. Wayne Richard McGuire, Fossey's last research assistant...found her bludgeoned to death, reporting that "when I reached down to check her vital signs, I saw her face had been split, diagonally, with one machete blow.o The cabin was littered with broken glass and overturned furniture, with a 9-mm handgun and ammunition beside her on the floor.Robbery was not believed to be the motive for the crime, as Fossey's valuables were still in the cabin, including her passport, handguns, and thousands of dollars in U.S. bills and traveler's checks.

The last entry in her diary read:

When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.

Fossey is buried at Karisoke in a site that she herself had constructed for her deceased gorilla friends. She was buried in the gorilla graveyard next to Digit, and near many gorillas killed by poachers. Memorial services were also held in New York, Washington, and California."

Profile image

Jon Stainsby

Sat 8th Dec 2018 08:36

Well said, John

Big Sal

Sat 8th Dec 2018 01:10

Dian Fossey is a hero to me, John, much like you are with your poetry. Inspiration at its absolute best, and then with a shot of Bacardi afterwards.

Thank you for your talented output, it's always excellent reads.

(I agree by the way with every sentiment of this piece. If only more animals besides certain species of birds, primates, and dolphins could understand us in language!)?

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message