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Subject:Elephant Question
Time:10:07 am
Current Mood:confusedconfused
I was just showing my fella what TRF is all about and I noticed an image with a live elephant.

Is that correct? TRF has a live elephant on the grounds and it is involved in some of the performances?
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belle_vivre
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Time:2008-03-29 03:08 pm (UTC)
Elephant rides- back in Sherwood forest- camels and llamas as well...
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-29 03:10 pm (UTC)
Ugh.

Okay. We'll stick w/ Scarborough, then.

Thanks!
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hundur
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Time:2008-03-29 04:14 pm (UTC)
They also have elephants at Scarborough.
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(Deleted comment)

grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-29 04:20 pm (UTC)
No! Really?!? AGH!

That sucks. I was so looking forward to spending some dosh on Ren Fest goodness at both of these places, then was down to the one, now none!

Guess the money's better spent on something that'll help others, then.

Thanks for the info.
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tudor_diva
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Time:2008-03-29 06:39 pm (UTC)
The elephants are not owned by either faire, but by independent vendors. The only money that the elephant owners would receive would be directly from you if you paid to ride them. Same is true for the horse and carriage, pony rides, jousters (who ride horses obviouly), llama and camel rides... all independently owned.
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:59 am (UTC)
But, they receive the space to peddle their "service" from the Festival and our presence will clearly serve as ratification that we are at least complicit in the situation, and we aren't okay with that.

We understand that others don't see it the same way, as this is our decision (and disappointment) to manage for ourselves.
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hundur
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Time:2008-03-30 01:15 am (UTC)
I'm curious...

Do you have an aversion to elephants?
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:56 am (UTC)
To the contrary! We find them to be fascinating creatures.
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(Deleted comment)

grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-29 04:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I see it now. From two to none in a few minutes flat. Nuts.
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:36 am (UTC)
Or, you could accept that some people have different values than you do and not try to preach at (and further alienate) strangers.
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darksilver23
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Time:2008-03-29 06:00 pm (UTC)
Uh, I'm taking it that you are having a problem with elephants at Scarby and TRF?
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-29 06:11 pm (UTC)
Yep :)
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belle_vivre
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Time:2008-03-30 01:00 am (UTC)
so would you have preferred them to have been in performances? I'm confused... they are very well treated, and have a good sized space- hardly cruel conditions compared to some smaller zoos Ive seen... and, as someone else mentioned, the oprators of the elephant rides would only benefit if you paid for a go...

not trying to stir the pot, I'm just genuinely interested in why the presence of an elephant ride would cause you to forego two faires...
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:43 am (UTC)
We don't go to zoos of that type, either, so that example doesn't work for us :)

We do our best to not put our money toward operations which indulge in that sort of practice. I know it may seem weird to some, but we accept that as a result of exercising our prerogative.

I'm not sure explaining it would help you to understand, as I'm better at just attempting to live my values than trying to convert others to them, so I hope you'll forgive me for not trying to make it more clear. If you'd really like more information and that doesn't do it for you, let me know and I'll give it a try.
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caliantrias
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Time:2008-04-09 04:50 pm (UTC)
I would love to know your reasons out of sheer curiosity. You've already refuted a couple of assumptions and seemed to have spent more effort not answering so now I am really curious.
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darksilver23
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Time:2008-03-31 03:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess I could understand if these elephants were abused, but I've seen where they live in the off season and they look far from abused to me. Large area to roam, food, shelter.
Ah well, I hope you find your non-elephant faire.
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celtic_luna
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Time:2008-03-30 02:42 am (UTC)
now at first i had the same reaction that some of the others had, "they appear to be treated well, why not just let it go?" but maybe we shouldnt have elephants there
i wonder what the others think, would it really be so bad to stop having elephants at TRF? i have never idden them i know the kids love um but there is so much more to ren fest than animal rides
so what do yall think
would ren fest w/ out elephants be ok?
what could we do to help?
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:44 am (UTC)
Your questioning is very much appreciated.

I'll stay tuned in to see how it develops :)

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celtic_luna
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Time:2008-03-30 06:45 am (UTC)
it would be nice to see something good come out of this, since animal rides seem a little out of place i doubt many would miss it, of course i could be reaching awfully high here, as i have no plan to boycott TRF due to the situation, just hoping with the spread of some knowledge, and a politely asked question, one thing might be changed :)
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wintertokyo
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Time:2008-03-30 05:47 am (UTC)
Would it really make a difference? I never ride animal rides. LOL So I forget we even have Elephants at the faire. And is it really Ren-y? Animal rides always make me think of carnivals, not Ren faires.

But if you get rid of the Elephants because "OMG YOU CAN'T RIDE THEM THAT's ABUSE" then you might as well tell the cart pulling horses and the knights on their jousting horses to GTFO because they're abusing animals too.
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:52 am (UTC)
You're making assumptions about our reasons for boycotting.

Please don't do that.

The horses are a completely different situation for a million reasons, and even the camels aren't a blocking issue.

So, again, just please don't assume what our reasoning is and go off the deep end. We're reasonable about it and accept that others don't see it that same we do. We just don't patronise operations of that sort.

I'm not quite sure why y'all are getting so worked up about a dozen or so people not coming - it means less waiting in line and more seats available, right? :D
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wintertokyo
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Time:2008-03-30 06:18 am (UTC)
You could see it that way. XD But it sounds kind of like you're limiting yourself.

And really what I said is just how a lot of extremists people react to animal rights. The crazy kind that throw red paint on you if you wear fur. ;D They scare me.

And you're assuming I'm getting worked up. I'm not. I'm surprised but to each their own. :) I don't even remember the elephants when I'm there so this whole issue doesn't even really effect me.

But for the record: Why ARE you boycotting the elephants? Just curious. :O
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grace_batmonkey
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-03-30 06:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm not boycotting the elephants. I'm boycotting places that have elephants in certain situations.

I'm cool with limiting myself. There are a billion other things I can do beyond Ren Fests, so I'll just have more time and dosh to those things :)

Your verbiage is what made it sound like you were upset, and I'm glad to know you aren't.
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wintertokyo
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Time:2008-03-30 06:52 am (UTC)
Oh. XD I'm sorry. I tend to say things sarcastically with amusement.. but it tends to not work so well on the internet. ;) It's so easy to read things wrong.

Oh, I'm not boycotting the elephants. I'm boycotting places that have elephants in certain situations.

Well, that's what I meant to ask. Sorry, I worded it wrong. (I'm doped up on sinus medicine weee~) I meant to ask why you were boycotting the place because of the elephants. Just trying to understand the cause you believe in. :33
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wintertokyo
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Time:2008-03-30 05:44 am (UTC)
I don't see what's wrong with the Elephants, but then I tend to forget about them.

Honestly, TRF is SO freaking HUGE you wouldn't even see the elephants. I always forget we even have them.. since we rarely ever make it over to Sherwood forest, that's how big it is.

So unless you're one of the extreme animals' rights people then you wouldn't actually run into the elephants if you went to TRF unless you actually headed their way. The faire is really, really fun. Don't let one area ruin it for you! :)
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:48 am (UTC)
Nope, not an extreme animal rights person, but I do believe in a certain minimum standard of acceptability, and there are obviously elephant guidelines in place ;]

The fact that the elephants are just a tiny piece of the whole slew of events doesn't really help, but I understand the reason it may have seemed a useful point, so thanks for giving it a go.
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wintertokyo
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Time:2008-03-30 05:51 am (UTC)
The first time we went to the faire when I was like 14/15 years old (I'm 24 hehe) I was like "Why are their Elephants at a REN faire?" Honestly, it really boggled my mind. XD And I still don't get it. I guess it's just something for "the kids"? Animal rides have never been my thing except when I wanted to ride ponies as a kid. LOL

I have a friend who's big on animal rights and treatment. She alerted me to the abuse of sealions in South Africa. IT BROKE MY HEART. =(
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grace_batmonkey
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Time:2008-03-30 05:55 am (UTC)
You know, I'm not sure if I even remember when I first went...I'm 37 now, and it was when I was pretty danged young. I don't even remember if there were animal rides when we went.

Which is one of the reasons I was so bummed about the whole elephant thing - we were so excited until we saw that. Crushed! I was so looking forward to showing my fella and deprived friends what big Ren Fests are all about :(
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wintertokyo
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Time:2008-03-30 06:21 am (UTC)
It really sucks that you aren't going to go over the elephants. But I understand some people follow their believes whole-heartedly. People don't understand why I don't eat lettuce/watermelon. And that's for religious reasons. I get crap like "Wtf what religon don't let you eat THOSE?" I get jabs from my grandma Alllll the time about how I'll never loose weight if I don't eat lettuce. *snerk* ;)

I do admire your dedication to your beliefs. :D

I wonder why they even have the animal rides. :| It seems so boring to me. And stinky.
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xenalyte
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Time:2008-03-30 04:10 pm (UTC)
Sherwood is TRF's Kidsville. The owner will do whatever he can to entice parental money his way.

Me, I think having elephants and camels at TRF is stoopid. And damn, do they SMELL.

But it's worth it to go back there for Cast in Bronze.
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celtic_luna
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Time:2008-03-30 05:13 pm (UTC)
and the longbows :P
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thimblenina
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Time:2008-03-30 06:31 pm (UTC)
Plus we have a stream that is lovingly known to the performers as 'Elephant Piss Creek'.

I'm all for people standing up for what you believe in. If you are uncomfortable with Elephants being used as rides, you have every right to not support that in any way you deem necessary.

What I'm reading here is that people would like to understand your stance better. I'm interested as well, mainly because I like knowing -why- people believe what they believe. It will probably make absolute sense to the rest of us as well, then...well...we might be able to do something about it.

We used to have animal 'performers'. We had cast members that walked with goats and baby pigs and chickens n stuff. That was thrown out almost 10 years ago. I'm not quite sure why we quit that. It could have been a health issue, customer complaint, or a tasty lunch for the birds of prey we have flying out there. But, if this is something you really believe in, there are those of us in a position that -may- be able to voice your opinions to the proper people and be able to change it. We may not.

It really depends on the argument at hand1
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wintertokyo
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Time:2008-03-31 06:28 am (UTC)
For some reason the thought of live animals roaming around in the mud in a renaissance-y town.. seems fitting. LOL

Elephant piss creek amuses me greatly. Now i'll never look at it the same.

The only reason we ever go towards the elephants is for the giant swing. My mom and I can't go to TRF w/o riding the swing. It's our fav!
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croi_iarainn
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Time:2008-04-02 08:46 pm (UTC)
I believe it was a combination of all of those matters- licensing issues, customer complaints (I think a goat bit someone while trying to eat their shirt or something like that), and the tightening up from free-form improv street acting to scripted shows (thankfully we're starting to see some of the improve come back) that caused the loss of some of those characters.

As for the elephant issue, I live just down HWY 105 from where they are kept, and as has been stated they live in very good conditions and are not abused. IIRC, they are rescued elephants, though I am fuzzy on the details. The man who runs the program can be rabidly overprotective of them (I remember him screaming and cussing like a madman at our truck because we were passing the elephants at 10 mph back behind Sherwood- well below the posted speed limit- because we were within fifty yards of his elephants), and I- an elephant-lover meself- have never seen anything I would consider abuse. Do I like the idea of the rides? Not particularly, but I've seen elephants used in the place of bulldozers in India, and good GODS don't get me started on circuses, but I don't see anything there that I would call abuse.

So, if your issue is a concern that they are being abused, I think you should be relieved to know that it does not appear to be the case. If your issue is the principle of the thing, of elephants being used for labor or for rides, then that's fine, it's a matter of principle and you'll have to find another faire to go to.
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apocalypticbob
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Time:2008-03-31 02:03 am (UTC)
For what it is worth, I'm a cast member at the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, and we have no elephant rides. There are camel rides and carriage rides, but no elephants. Should you feel like taking the trip North, our festival runs all four weekends in May and Memorial Day, and we'd love to see you there!

Molly O'Malley
Wench at the Scarlet Pillow
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