Don’t worry, I am not planning on turning the blog into a twitter feed of obscure holidays.
_OHHI_ alerted me to the fact that it was Elephant Appreciation Day in the comments on my “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” post. Naturally, my first thought was, “Why is there an Elephant Appreciation Day?”. Well, it was started in 1996 by an elephant enthusiast, because
- is the largest land mammal of our era,
- is unique among mammals for its trunk,
- is the most noble of beasts on earth,
- is most undeservedly threatened with extinction,
- has been man’s benefactor in numerous ways throughout history,
- is entertaining and amusing,
- is gentle and friendly,
- contributes to ecosystem development and maintenance,
These are all great reasons to appreciate elephants – except “entertaining and amusing”; when was the last time an elephant made you laugh? Dumbo doesn’t count – but “undeservedly threatened with extinction” really jumped out at me. It is true that elephants are threatened with extinction and for no particularly good reason. Which is a shame because they are truly awesome animals – awesome in a awe inspiring way, not a totally tubular radicool and awesome kind of way. Can you imagine learning about elephants in a textbook in the same way we learned about the wooly mammoth or the dodo bird? I can, but it sounds lame. So today, we take a minute to appreciate the elephant. Although, I’d like to put an asterisk next to “gently and friendly”, because elephants have been known to open a can of whoop pass from time to time.