Dallas Diwali Celebration Nets Praise for Permanently Going Elephant-Free

PETA Sends Thank-You Chocolates to Indian Cultural Society

For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2014

Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Dallas – After learning from PETA that elephants used for circuses, fairs, and parades endure beatings and constant confinement, the Dallas Fort Worth Indian Cultural Society (DFW ICS) resolved that this year’s Diwali Mela—and all future fairs—will be elephant-free. In thanks, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has sent Diwali Mela organizers a box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates.

“By keeping suffering captive elephants out of its Diwali Mela, the Dallas Fort Worth Indian Cultural Society has made sure that good, hope, and knowledge triumphed this Diwali,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA looks forward to seeing Diwali celebrations around the world follow Dallas’ example of kindness to the elephants who are so central to Hindu and Indian culture.”

In its correspondence with the DFW ICS, PETA pointed out that elephant handlers use bullhooks—weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with a sharp metal hook on one end—to beat the animals and force them to obey out of fear of punishment. These elephants are denied everything that is natural and important to them, including the companionship of a herd of their sisters, mothers, aunts, and cousins. Just last year, the Animal Welfare Board of India decided to stop registering elephants used for performances because of “huge cruelties and abuse suffered by them”—a move that will end the use of elephants in circuses in India.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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