Monday, August 16, 2010
"E" is for Elephants
When I was in grade five at John McRae School in Guelph, Ontario, where I grew up, I was a Safety Patrol, or Crossing Guard (I remember feeling so grown up then, lol). All of us kids in the Daminato household were involved in the Patrols, and have won awards. My older sister was a Captain, and I was a Lieutenant. I had won a couple of "Gold Belts". There were some Guelph Police Officers that worked closely with us patrols back then. They chose a group of gold belt winners every year and took them on a trip to our Nation's Capital, Ottawa. On that trip we went to a Circus and that is where my first Elephant ride took place. I couldn't believe the size and majesty of them, and was touched when I looked one right in the eye. I was so happy.
That love has changed over the years. In my early twenties I went to a circus and saw the way the handlers were treating them. They were using sticks with sharp pokers on the end to have them move around and do their tricks. I was so angered by their behaviour, and at the circus owners for condoning it, that from then on I never went to a circus unless it was to protest against the horrible treatment of the Elephants. I began to be an activist for the humane care of these gentle giants. I fostered an Elephant from an African Reserve that I named Ishtar from infancy to seven years old, they sent me pictures of him and footprints yearly so I could see how he was maturing and changing. It was a wonderful experience.