Wow! What extraordinary creatures they are… AND a matriarchal society that loves community… What a wise, supportive, and happy community!
As for all ye guys – Your function would be to inseminate, and that’s all. Government would be the business of the females.
If you were an elephant …
… the world would be a brighter, smellier, noisier place – and you would be a better, wiser, kinder person. The author of Being a Beast explains all
We can be cautiously Beatrix-Pottery with elephants. When the temporal glands near their eyes stream in circumstances that, for us, would be emotional, they’re crying. When a bereaved elephant mother carries her dead baby round on her tusks, or trails miserably behind the herd for weeks, her head hanging down, she’s grieving. When other elephants sit for hours around the body of a dead elephant, they’re mourning. When they cover an elephant corpse with soil or vegetation, or move elephant bones, they’re being reverential. When they cover a dead human, or build a protective wall of sticks around a wounded human, they’re showing an empathic acknowledgment of our shared destiny that we’d do well to learn.
Safina was told by a keeper at a Kenyan elephant sanctuary that the resident elephants knew, from distances well beyond the reach of ordinary senses, that other elephants were on the way – just as Kalahari bushmen know, from 50 miles away, just what a hunting party has killed, and when it will return. When the elephant whisperer Lawrence Anthony died, two groups of elephants that he’d rescued came to his house on two consecutive days. They hadn’t visited for a year.
Perhaps one of the reasons we’re so keen to deny non-human creatures minds, consciousness and personhood is that, if they’re people, they’re embarrassingly better people than we are. They build better communities; they live at peace with themselves and aren’t, unlike us, actively psychopathic towards other species.