Asian Elephants, majestic animals, on the verge of extinction. Gods in Shackles is a multiple Award-Winning Film about the dark truth behind the unfortunate situation of endangered Asian elephants.
On Sunday, November 11th at 4:00 PM, attend a benefit screening of Gods in Shackles at Warehouse 23 (100 Columbia St. #102). Tickets for this event range in price from $25 to $75. Purchase your tickets HERE today.
The documentary gives light to what really happens at glamorous festivals in Kerala, a southern state in India, where elephants are used for profit behind the facade of culture and religion. While the culture worships the elephant as Lord Ganesh (Hindu God with an elephant face) and calls them the nations heritage animal, they force them to perform religious ceremonies for the same God.
Viewers will witness horrendous scenes of these beautiful animals enslaved and hobbled forced to perform on steaming and dirty streets under the blazing sun, all while cars are honking and congested. This is the harsh reality of their lives. Elephants are highly intelligent and social animals and are being abused, isolated, and forced to stand for hours without moving.
The film shows undercover footage of the political, commercial, and cultural systems that allow the mistreatment that eventually leads to the death of these majestic animals. Researchers and conservationists have risked their lives to give a voice to the elephants. Images from the documentary are currently being used in the Supreme Court of India while they try to decide if banning the use of elephants in cultural and religious ceremonies should occur.
From an ecological standpoint:
There are about 40,000 Asian elephants alive on the planet today. More than 60% of those are living in India. They are currently on the endangered species list. Female elephants do not have tusks, making them less likely to be poached as the males tusks are made of ivory. A recent count says there are about 27,300 wild Asian elephants in India, with only about $1,000 of those being male. This creates a gender imbalance and shrinking gene pool which threatens the survival of the species altogether.
From a community standpoint:
Bull elephants are most commonly used for cultural festivals in Kerala India. From January to August 2018, 23 elephants have died. Six people have been killed by elephants this year as well. In 2017, 26 captive elephants died and 238 wild elephants died. There is no winning in this battle.
Wild elephants roam for 10-12 hours a day, mingle with their herd and act as landscapers dispersing seeds in their dung. In the past 18 months, 40 captive elephants have died due to existing practices.
Sangita Iyer, filmmaker and Founding Executive Director of Voice for Asian Elephants Society (VFAES), will be traveling from Toronto Canada for the event to educate our community. She has used the film to shift practices from cruelty to compassion. “Gods in Shackles offers hope to the thousands of endangered captive and wild elephants in India through Heightened awareness that will inspire key stakeholders and policymakers to enhance the living conditions of these highly social animals,” stated Sangita. Changes are already being looked at with the Indian government.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Voice for Asian Elephants Society online.