Hello, Quad Squad Fans. I asked Ashley if I could write this post and since Fathers Day is right around the corner she consented.
Ashley, recently wrote the post How to Buy a Gift For Someone Who Has Everything, which apparently was about me. I didn’t know I had everything but now I do!
That post created a bit of controversy about cruelty to elephants.
If you read the post you know she talked about considering buying a piece of elephant art for me for Fathers Day.
Some of her followers politely commented about how elephants were being abused and treated cruelly in order to train them to paint. Someone even sent Ashley a link to a video that showed how elephants were being mistreated to teach them to paint.
She was heartbroken and as I’m a huge fan of the elephant myself I was very upset as well.
Ashley and I discussed the matter and she decided to amend the post and remove the reference to the elephant art.
Later that day as I replayed in my mind the images of the cruelty revealed in that video, I found myself getting more and more upset about it. Then I thought about the NOVICA mission statement, which is completely about Social Venturing and making a difference in the lives of 75,000 unknown artisans in the four corners of the world; It made me wonder how they could justify getting behind elephant art knowing these majestic creatures where mistreated.
It bothered me so much I decided to ask.
So I jumped on Google and found the CEO of NOVICA was, Roberto Milk. I then fired up my gmail account and sent off an email telling Mr. Milk about some of our readers reactions to elephant art, the video that was sent to Ashley and our concerns.
As I pushed the send button I wondered if I would even get a response back. I thought to myself, “A single email from some complaining grandpa in Utah, sent to the CEO of a $20 million dollar corporation had a pretty good chance of going in the trash bin.”
So I pushed the send button with zero expectations of ever hearing back. Well I can’t begin to tell you how surprised and delighted I was 7 hours and 8 minutes later, to receive a response from NOVICA CEO and Co-Founder Roberto Milk.
I was even more thrilled with what I learned about the elephant artists who’s work NOVICA promotes. Below is Mr. Milk’s response in its entirety.
Richard Lair was born in Lompoc, California, and emigrated to Thailand in 1980. He is a leading figure in the elephant conservation community, and has worked with a number of government and non-profit organizations. Richard Lair is the author most recently of “Gone Astray: The care and management of the Asian elephant in Domesticity” a report commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He is an Advisor and International Relations Officer for FIO’s Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang.
The AEACP would like to extend its gratitude to Richard Lair for his invaluable support, enthusiasm and advice. This project would not have been possible without him.