Worst American People

Published by PETA.
americanelephant / CC

It’s called “adding insult to injury.”

A few weeks ago, we told you about an awful thing that happened on a new TV show called Greatest American Dog. It featured a sweet border collie named Leroy who was tormented by his trainer during a photo shoot so that he would look “angry.” ‘Cuz, you know, that’s what quality entertainment is all about, right?

Well, unlike dogs, some people never learn. Wednesday night’s episode featured a live elephant. Why elephants on a show called Greatest American Dog, you ask? They used the elephants to try to terrify the dogs. Since, apparently, the only thing more fun than getting dogs angry is to scare the hell out of them. Ugh!

Of course, it’s not exactly a party for the elephants either. They’re smart and dignified, and they don’t like to perform stupid tricks for our amusement. So instead of using treats to train elephants, trainers strike and gouge them with bullhooks—long, heavy rods with a steel point and a sharp hook at one end that resembles a fireplace poker—or shock them with electric prods. To see for yourself how elephants are trained, watch this.

Most elephants who are forced to perform were snatched away from their families and natural habitat in the wild, after which their lives are mostly made up of chains and intimidation. Baby elephants born on breeding farms are torn from their mothers, tied with ropes, and kept in isolation until they learn to fear their trainers.

Clearly the producers of Greatest American Dog know as little about elephants as they do about canines.

If you want to send an e-mail to the show’s producer, R.J. Cutler, about this issue, please click here.

Written by Jeff Mackey

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind