Stephen Harris of the University of Bristol and his colleagues conducted a similar study on U.K. zoo elephants in the late 2000s. I asked him whether it is possible to keep an elephant physically and mentally healthy in a zoo. His answer was succinct: “No.” The elephants he studied spent up to 83 percent of their time indoors, often in cramped conditions; the majority had abnormal gaits; 75 percent were overweight; more than 50 percent had behavioral tics; and one individual displayed tics for 14 hours in a single day. Captive elephants also have higher rates of infertility and die younger on average than their uncaged counterparts. Whereas wild elephants migrate great distances through the forest or savanna in search of food and water—eating huge amounts of tough, fibrous grasses and shrubs that are difficult to digest—zoo elephants spend too many hours standing idle on concrete and consume calorie-rich foods they would rarely encounter in their native habitat. Researchers have also learned that many zoo elephants do not get the rest they need because they do not like to lie down and sleep on stone or other hard surfaces.
HUMANS ARE HELL. Even Sartre’s claim that hell is other people, which might be dismissed as cantankerous and the response of one nauseated philosopher, is actually true. Hell is other people means everyone else creates hell for me, but likewise, I am included in the hell that exists for you.
Which is to say that I am now fully committed to believe in the Gnostic Demiurge and that this world is an error and that humans are agents of torment.
Which is to say also that the above paragraph about elephants is also a paragraph about you. We are captive to a particular idea of human “development,” “progress,” and “success.” Look around you…just please, look around you and SEE with eyes that can recognize the chains that pass for liberty.
If there is hope, I lay it at the feet of Woman.