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Happy Earth Day, folks! Today we celebrate our beautiful home planet. This year’s Earth Day is all about the protection of our species, no matter if on land or underwater. This Picture is from 2017, and it´s me, casually walking my elephant. Well, not my elephant, to be frank. But it is one of my favourite memories of my month in Thailand. One day we decided to get up at 4:30 a.m. to drive for over three hours to visit an elephant sanctuary, which gives old and broken elephants a new home. As you still can take advantage of elephants in Thailand by booking a ride through the jungle, these sanctuaries are very much needed. Elephant spines are not the same as horses: they are not made for being ridden by humans, as the discs of the spine are not rounded, and therefore, cannot carry heavy weights. And if they are forced to do so anyway, the discs begin to degenerate and deform, which leads to severe injuries and lasting pain for the animal. Further, it tremendously shortens the life-span of the elephant. As they cannot be ridden all their life, often times they are killed as soon as they can´t be used anymore. But luckily, there are sanctuaries which buy elephants from these places, and help them get a bit of life quality back: in these sanctuaries, they are allowed to eat bananas all day, and even take a stroll around the place if they fancy. In general, they are well cared for, and the animals seem to be really happy. Do you want to help making a change for animal rights, too, but you don´t know where to start? In 2017, AIESEC released the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals are in alignment with the UN sustainability goals, and two of them are all about preserving all life on land and underwater. Sanctuaries are not the only way to help to reach that goal: there are plenty of different ways to help to better the lives of suffering animals. Some of them you can find on our website (link in the bio). Even though you are just one person, you could be the missing piece to actually make a change. So what are you waiting for? #TheTimeIsNow
Written by Vivienne Berg