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As humans, we have so much to learn from elephants. Scientists are constantly in awe of the mindful altruism the world’s largest land mammal extends not only to fellow elephants, but also to many other species in distress, including people, proving that animals are not slaves to instinct, but morally-functioning creatures like ourselves. Elephants also possess extraordinarily complex thoughts and emotions, exuberantly displaying feelings of joy, anger, grief (they have been known to shed tears and mourn their dead), compassion, and love.

Elephants are the most magnificent animals that have ever walked the Earth. The beauty of these creatures embraces you like your oldest friend, evoking a sublime sense of majestic mystery. Look into an elephant’s eye and you will catch a glimpse of all the world’s ancient secrets. Today, on World Elephant Day, I share the warmest hope that they will stay on this planet long enough to fascinate us for generations to come.

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“We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.” – Graydon Carter

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“If elephants didn’t exist, you couldn’t invent one. They belong to a small group of living things so unlikely they challenge credulity and common sense.” – Lyall Watson

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“Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant – the only harmless great thing.” – John Donne

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“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

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What do elephants mean to you? Share with me in a comment below!

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