Gay Bradshaw: elephants on the edge

“Elephants are not treated much differently now than they were in the mid-eighteenth century: they are objects of awe and conservation, yet legally hunted, made captive, abused, and forced to labor for human gain. What then has research and learning served?”

Bradshaw Elephants on the EdgeIn Elephants on the Edge, Gay Bradshaw makes an eloquent but always scientifically reasoned plea on behalf of the elephant, “for if we fail to act on what we know, we will lose them, and more”. It’s not just a call for better conservation measures and an end to the culling of an animal listed as “vulnerable” in Africa and “endangered” in Asia on the 2017 International Union of the Conservation of Nature Red List.

It’s an argument for expanding our notion of moral community to include animals, not least the sociable, communicative, intelligent elephant. “This book”, one reviewer wrote, “opens the door into the soul of the elephant” and it is a remarkable world which we glimpse through that door.

The book has also been highly praised by writers as diverse as Peter Singer, Desmond Tutu, J.M. Coetzee and Tim Flannery. Listen to the podcast by clicking on the link above and visit the website of the Kerulos Center in Oregon, which Gay directs, to learn about some of the inspiring projects they are running.

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