Elephants represent a great deal of things around the world. They are often seen as a symbol of strength, power — even wisdom. Yet these celebrated creatures aren't treated with kindness everywhere around the globe. In fact, according to new documentary Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story, Asian elephants are suffering more than most people know.
Many people know that African elephants often become the victims of ivory poachers, who kill the animals to sell the material found in their tusks. However, Love & Bananas tells a story of elephants on a different side of the globe. According to the official website for the documentary, Asian elephants are often subjected to a cruel form of training known as "The Crush Box" when tasked with becoming service animals. The purpose of the "crush box" is to break the elephants spirit so that it is submissive to its human masters. The process involves beating, starving, burning, and otherwise physically torturing the elephant for days at a time.
If this sounds particularly terrible, there is hope. Love & Bananas tells the story of actor/director Ashley Bell and a team of elephant rescuers led by world renowned Asian elephant conservationist Lek Chailert. Together, these people aim to not only save elephants from the crush box, but also change peoples' minds about this very special species.
The goal to saving the species is education, says the website for Love & Bananas. It's an important message: I, for one, had no idea about this elephant torture before watching the trailer for this new documentary. Hopefully, this film will bring awareness to an important issue that even the most passionate of animal lovers know little about.
Check out the trailer below: