By Dian Hasan | October 10, 2009
It’s a known secret in the advertising world that “sex” and “humor” always sell. Therefore ads showing some skin or featuring outrageous fun are more likely to be remembered by viewers. With this in mind, the Asian Chapter of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) used this approach in increase awareness and drive the message about the sad plight of Thai elephants. Not all these magnificent animals are treated properly, and not all of them are cuddly pachyderms we see in the Zoos or performing smart tricks at Elephant tourist sites in Thailand.
Supermodel Patrick Ribbsaeter, the buff body who has worked with major brands such as Armani, Gucci, and Calvin Klein, is more than just another pretty face. Proving that his heart is as beautiful as the rest of his parts, the Thai-Swedish supermodel recently bared it all in PETA Asia-Pacific’s latest ad campaign against the cruel treatment of elephants in captivity. Clad in nothing but chains, Patrick appears in one ad with the tagline “Wild Animals Don’t Belong in Chains: Stop Thai Elephant Cruelty” and in another urging the public to boycott zoos.
Why is this world-famous model baring his wild physique for wild animals? In Thailand, approximately 3,000 of the country’s estimated 4,500 endangered Asian elephants are privately owned. Most are used as tourist attractions in elephant camps, where they are forced to perform circus tricks and give rides. PETA US has obtained undercover video footage of the horrific torture that is routine in elephant training. Still-nursing baby elephants are dragged from their mothers. Elephants are immobilized, beaten mercilessly, and gouged with nails for days at a time. These ritualized “training” sessions frequently leave elephants badly injured, traumatized, or even dead.
Zoos are just as cruel. Torn from their families and homeland, elephants kept in zoos are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them, including the companionship of other elephants and adequate space to exercise. Many zoos still use cruel and outdated circus-style training—beating elephants with bullhooks and keeping them chained for long hours. Elephants in zoos suffer a life of chronic physical ailments, social deprivation, emotional starvation, and premature death. Lack of exercise and long hours standing on hard surfaces are major contributors to foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of death among captive elephants.
Source: PETA Asia Pacific