Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction

As elephant advocates, we’ve witnessed never ending traumas inflicted on elephants, one of the gentlest and most intelligent of all mammals on earth.  Many of us are not only aware of the suffering, but also embody their pain. We want to alleviate their suffering instantaneously but feel helpless, especially if they are in a far off land. You may feel engulfed by the suffering of other beings because you are a compassionate person and may be an empath. Continue reading

Everyone Has the Power to Do Something

Photo :: Gods in Shackles Continue reading

Attachment Disorders; Correlations in Humans and Elephants

Neuroscience purports that elephants and humans share very similar brain capacity; we share cognition, emotions, and consciousness. This is evidenced by the elephant herd surrounding the mother with trumpeting, joy, and rumbles when a new baby arrives. When elephants recognize a different family herd in passing, one will hear the same cacophony of jubilant commotion. We know elephants grieve the loss of other elephants for years, visiting or even going out of their way to caress bones of the fallen. Moreover, elephants are much like us in that they are playful, ingenious, can be naughty, and work collaboratively for survival.  Continue reading

Elephants are the Breath of Life!

What if you knew that elephants are the breath of life and natural air purifiers? What would you be willing to do to save them? The basic nature of elephants is to move across vast areas for nearly eighteen hours a day, consuming up to 375 pounds of vegetation, including roots, berries, leaves, barks and seeds. Depending on the amount and type of fodder ingested, an elephant can defecate up to 300 pounds of dung per day, while dispersing seeds on the forest beds. Seeds sprout into trees. Trees give us oxygen to breathe and absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide that humans release into the atmosphere. When you really think about it, elephants are actually a life giving source. They indirectly are the breath of life, and natural air purifiers, as they promote tree growth. Continue reading

A Call for New Ethics in an Overpopulated Planet

However in the past few decades its magnificent golden rays have become harmful to man. The ozone layer, which shields the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, has seen unprecedented damage. It is a natural sunscreen that protects us from skin cancer, but by the end of March 2011, 40 percent of the ozone in the stratosphere had been destroyed by industrial pollutants, allowing more of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet B rays to penetrate through the atmosphere. This has been linked to the increased rates of skin cancer, cataracts and immune system damage. Continue reading

The Cost of Caring: Turning Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma into Self-Compassionate Growth

When I started mental health counseling in 1993 there was little literature on secondary traumatization of the counselor. I found myself feeling intense physical pain, difficulty breathing, overwhelming sadness, and obsessing on my client’s stories of trauma and pain. My physical and cognitive symptoms where to such an extent that I felt inadequate as a counselor, and did not tell my supervisor what I was going through as I was afraid that she may think I was not fit to work with clients.   Continue reading

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Aftermath of Acute and Chronic Trauma in Elephants

It’s emotionally difficult to comprehend that elephants may soon be extinct secondary to ivory poaching and land-management conflict. To see elephants be tortured to perform for circuses and festivals is unconscionable. Zoos and elephant “entertainment” are about people and money, not about the welfare of the intelligent pachyderm.  The aftermath of human greed and abhorrent treatment of elephants leaves scars on these sentient majestic creatures; post-traumatic stress disorder.  Continue reading

Human Population Growth Is The Greatest Threat To Asian Elephants' Survival

In recent days, human-elephant conflicts have been escalating, making sensational headlines across India. One of the recent deaths of a harmless wild tusker affectionately called "Chilli Komban," sparked outrage among wildlife activists, with the Kerala government laying criminal charges against those who rammed him to death with an excavator. Continue reading


Another captive elephant in Kerala is on the death row, rotting away standing on his urine and excrement. His name is Thriprayar Ramachandran, in his early forties. For the past one year, he has been suffering from foot rot, and recently contracted a lung infection. Making matters worse is the fact that the poor animal has no teeth, and struggles to eat normally. Thriprayar Ramachandran's Foot Rot is Intensifying, Photo Courtesy: HATF Continue reading

Facts about Kerala's Festivities

Asian elephants have been elevated to India’s Heritage Animal status, featured on the emblem of the Government of Kerala. But ironically these same animals are captured and tortured for status quo and material gain. Of the 3000 captive elephants in India, more than 21 per cent – at least 800 of them – mostly bulls, are used in Kerala’s cultural festivities and temple rituals.  These male Asians elephants, also known as tuskers (as females don’t have tusks) are adorned in gold-plated ornaments and flaunted near temple grounds, particularly in the areas surrounding Trissur city – Kerala’s cultural capital. Continue reading