Arnold Schwarzenegger, surely one of the most recognizable actors and bodybuilders of all time, once again used his platform for the benefit of animals the planet. The superstar is current in South Africa for the Arnold Sports Festival, an annual multi-sport event featuring most prominently professional bodybuilding. Finding himself surrounded by the local wildlife, Schwarzenegger posted on his Facebook page a picture of himself with Amarula – a beautiful 48 years old elephant he had the chance to meet during his time in the country. The actor was clearly very impressed with the wonderful and sweet giant – who would not be? – but he did not fail to share an important message together with the photo and his experience of meeting Amarula.
“I guarantee if you ever looked into their eyes,” Schwarzenegger writes about elephants, “you would ask ‘Who the hell would kill this gorgeous creature for ivory?’”
Every day, 100 elephants are poached for their ivory. The rate of poaching exceeds the growth rate of elephant populations, which is a terrible prognosis for the future of the species. Elephants are already at the brink of extinction and it is estimated that by 2020, the African elephant will be extinct from the wild – that is, if we do not take serious action against the illegal ivory trade. And let us really let that date sink in – it is incredibly close.
Ivory trinkets, figurines, and jewelry may be by some considered beautiful – but they stop being so the second we realize the brutal reality behind their production, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, and the appalling suffering of innocent animals. The only creatures who have the right to elephants’ ivory are elephants themselves.
This is not the first time that Schwarzenegger spoke up about animal rights, the environment, and what we can do to help the planet. In 2016, he announced that he was starting to eliminating meat from his diet with great effects. It is absolutely fantastic to see someone like Schwarzenegger endorse eating less animal products and dispelling myths about meat being necessary, or even just good, for your health – especially since his bodybuilder physique is not at all something many people think about when they hear the term “plant-based diet”!
Image source: Arnold Schwarzenegger/Facebook