“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
In an election season marked by historic levels of vitriol, it might feel like a treat to discover a fun fact about one of the presidential candidates. According to the Guardian, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is a big fan of elephants.
In May, Ellen DeGeneres asked her the fun question, “What is your spirit animal?”
Clinton answered, “I’m a democrat, but I really like elephants.”
“I love the way elephants remember. I love the way…the matriarch of the family looks out for everybody,” she continued. ”I just have such a sense of connection to elephants, and it just breaks my heart that they’re being poached and murdered and babies are being left to fend for themselves.”
Clinton’s voice grew warm and she moved a hand to her heart as she told Ellen a moving story a naturalist had had relayed to her about an elephant. (Watch YouTube video below—elephant talk starts at 2:25.)
“These are the kind of stories that when people who work with elephants tell me, I just want to do everything I can to stop all of the murdering of elephants,” she said.
Clinton’s affection for elephants has been traced to a 1997 trip to Tanzania with her daughter Chelsea. Later, in 2013, the mother and daughter spearheaded an $80 million effort to protect African elephants from poaching.
Last week, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which is self-described as “a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare” announced its endorsement of Clinton, stating, “A Trump presidency would be a threat to animals everywhere.” The statement comes alongside a short ad, showing pictures of Trump’s sons, including one where Donald Jr. holds up the tail of an African elephant. The Humane Society Legislative Fund noted that Clinton has supported legislation fighting puppy mills, animal fighting and the slaughtering of horses, and has also taken a stand against wildlife tracking internationally.
In the Issues section of her website, Clinton has a page devoted to Protecting Animals and Wildlife, with the tagline, “The way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity.”
Author: Lynn Shattuck
Image: livunni at Flickr
Editor: Renée Picard