ANIMAL CRUELTY and the path to a better world

In the editing at Heritage Film Project, we're constantly updating our archives looking for vintage images that would assist us in recreating certain particular situations in our current productions. As I was personally getting involved y a search for shots of zoos in the late 50s and 60s, I came across this horrendous scene of two elephants chained together. I'm old enough to have been at one of those zoos, but unaware of animal cruelty I felt safe knowing the pachyderm would not harm me. Apparently, in order for me to be safe, I needed beast to be restrained, chained, and enslaved. It didn't happen four hundred years ago, not even one hundred years ago, it happened during my lifetime. Looking at these images leads me to believe that we're indeed changing, moving forward in small steps. There are no more elephants in chains in America. Perhaps one day we could be rid of many other constraints, the chains that bound us to prejudice, racism, and many other forms of the same malady. Looking at these elephants is hard to believe that at one point in my life, perhaps when I was just six years old, I thought that this was alright, that my security depended on their submission.


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