Skip to content

What we wish we could tell our elephant clients today on Elephant Appreciation Day

By Nonhuman Rights

“If only members of our species were more like you. We and thousands of people around the world are so sorry human beings did these things to you and are fighting for a world where, in recognition of elephants’ fundamental rights, they are no longer able to.” – Communications Director Lauren Choplin

“Beulah and Karen, we are heartbroken you never had the opportunity to reclaim the freedom that was stolen from you decades ago. We will honor your memory by working diligently to ensure Minnie and Happy are able to live freely once again, as well as by blazing the path towards protecting the rights and freedom of all elephants.” – Director of Government Relations Courtney Fern

“You were free only in death. We see you, we feel your pain, and we won’t stop fighting until the law respects your rights to freedom and life.” – Executive Director Kevin Schneider

“Beulah and Karen, please know in your hearts that your lives were not in vain. We will continue the battle so that others will not have to endure what you both did. You are loved.” – Staff Attorney Amy Kapoor

“On this Elephant Appreciation Day, I hope the injustice of your lives and deaths as slaves for human profit and entertainment will be deeply felt and understood. I am so sorry that you were not able to live in freedom.” – Staff Attorney Spencer Lo

“Lately, I have been spending a lot of time in the African bush—where one is quickly overwhelmed by the beauty, joy and serenity of elephants in the wild doing what they want and when they want. To Beulah and Karen: I am sorry, so sorry, that I was not able to free you from your servitude before it was too late. To Minnie, Happy, and all your fellow elephants: I won’t stop trying until all of us live in a place where you can just be elephants and you are beholden to no one except yourself and your fellow elephants.” – NhRP Volunteer Attorney Chris Hollinger

“My heart hurts for you and all ellies who have ever endured suffering at the hands of humans. The NhRP will not stop fighting until we can be certain that this does not go on.” – Development Director Mickey Suzuki

“Beulah and Karen: You were entitled to freedom and justice. We lament not only your deaths, but also your lives. We honor who you were—extraordinarily cognitively, emotionally, and socially complex beings—and who you could have been had you been released from your unlawful imprisonment or never been torn from your families and natural habitats in the first place. One day our legal systems will understand and condemn how immensely you suffered. Happy and Minnie: there is more for you than this. We will never stop fighting for recognition of your fundamental right to liberty and release to a sanctuary where you can reclaim your dignity and autonomy, roaming freely with grass underfoot and elephant companions nearby as the sun comes up on the beginning of the age of true legal rights for nonhuman animals.” – NhRP President Steven M. Wise and NhRP Staff Attorney Elizabeth Stein

To learn more about the NhRP’s mission and work, visit this page.

Sign up to receive the latest updates on our mission

Find out about opportunities to get involved, breaking news in our cases and campaigns, and more.