Thursday, August 21, 2008

Long on talent

Mission statement of The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project:

The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (AEACP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the diminishing number of Asian elephants left on our planet through its work with domesticated elephants. The AEACP raises funds through donations and the sale of artwork created by elephants in order to fulfill its mission.

If I could paint and was talented enough to paint a self-portrait today, it would show an exhausted woman with an exhausted white cat laying beside her. Even a little home remodeling, in our case replacement of all windows, has left me so wired that I was up all night. So I made breakfast for Mike and me, waved good-bye to him at the front (new) windows, checked e-mails to see if Obama has selected his VP nominee yet, and now I'm taking Feather and Shiva Lullabye into the bedroom for a nap. An all-day nap.


Don't Feed The Pixies said...

OK - i'm impressed, however i don't believe for a second that this is something the elephant would naturally do. Surely there must have been training - in which case should we question the morality of training an elephant to perform a trick as they would in the circus? I'm sure Animal rights people would have a view on this.

It's for a good cause long as the elephants are treated well?

Hope you feel better soon

francessa said...


I imagine him or her thinking:
okay, let them (the strange species that call themselves the humans) believe you trained me so well. They haven't a clue about my real abilities ..

Sleep well, Lydia! And come back here well rested :-)

sharryb said...

Hi Lydia,
I so totally relate to getting "wired" over a project. Hope you have a deeply refreshing sleep.


raccoonlover1963 said...

Hi Lydia. That was absolutely astonishing! I can't draw at all! Great post.

Jennifer said...

I love the clips you post here.

Hope you feel better rested soon (just in time to stay up all night??)

Lydia said...

Actually, I saw a special report a few years ago that gave me the distinct impression animal rights people were supporting this endeavor. It keeps the elephants out of area loaded with landmines. Main thing, though, is that the elephant is no longer useful as a beast of burden in the world. Unfortunately, many were being killed because they served no useful purpose any longer. Kinda like: "thanks for eons of help, you guys, but we can take it from here with our polluting machines."
I hope along with you that the elephants are treated well at these art camps. Thanks for the well wishes :)

They are wondrous animals. Cats are natural painters, too (some cats). I have a book titled, "Why Cats Paint" that shows them in action. Like the elephant paintings, the cat paintings have been sold for a pretty penny - and well worth it, I say! I did sleep well, thanks much. The cats did too!

I appreciate that you understand and thanks for the beautiful wishes.

Thanks, and as I said, I can't draw at all, either. My sister got the painting talent in our family and she's so good at her art.

I'm glad you enjoy them :) Thanks for the good wishes and hope for me that I can break out of this pattern of late nights. It's doing me no good!

Citizen of Earth said...

“…i don't believe for a second that this is something the elephant would naturally do.”

This is a something I feel compelled to speak about

Of course this is not something elephants would naturally do…

Surely you could say the same about primitive cultures of humans, when it comes to a variety of activities, which have been imposed on them from the modern world.

Why do we assume that people are less “human” just because they didn’t invest in agriculture, or industry?

How many times in history has this kind of thinking been used to justify the genocide of millions in the name of progress?

In Brazil humans are merely one of thousands of species being driven out of their homes by deforestation.

Are they less human, less deserving, because cutting down the trees and building power plants, cities and factories is something they wouldn’t naturally do?

As for the Elephants
And great apes

Why are we so obsessed on finding intelligent life in the universe, while we simply ignore intelligent life right here on earth?

It isn’t until elephants do something they wouldn’t naturally do like paint, that we begin to recognize just how intelligent they are.

There is science behind this
Some evidence shows that elephants dolphins, and whales may actually be more intelligent than humans.

The fact that they have chosen to leave mathematics and technology undiscovered just might be more proof of this, not less.
For all these species live in harmony with nature, just as so many primitive human cultures did.

Along with the great apes, these species have sophisticated cultures, complex languages and something more. Something that was believed to be unique to humans only, until just recently

They have a sense of “self identity”

When a dog sees itself in a mirror – it sees a dog
When an elephant sees itself in a mirror – he knows that it is his own image he is seeing.
Recent studies have shown this to be true.

So no painting is something that elephants do not naturally do (that we know of)
But consider this.
When an elephant is born, he is introduced to all the important members of his family, taught to respect his elders, and obey the leaders.
He is then brought to the graves of his ancestors, and is educated about the most important members of his family, who are no more, with a sense of ancestry, legacy, pride.

No one had to teach them this
This is something they do naturally

I for one am willing to broaden my definition of “Humanity” to include these other species.

Perhaps the term “Humanity” is not broad enough…



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