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The Beat of Gaia's Heart

All I Want for Christmas is -- an elephant?

If you're wondering what to get for that hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list, and shuddering at the thought of yet another gift card (too impersonal) or sweater (too easy to go wrong), and hesitant to add to the epidemic of clutter we all seem to have these days, I have a suggestion that would be perfect for any animal lover or environmentalist on your list -- and probably a lot of other folks, too.

Adopt an elephant.

No, seriously. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is looking for people who will foster a baby elephant online. The fee is $50 to help save an orphaned baby whose mother was most likely murdered by poachers. Elephants, as you probably know, are very sociable creatures, raised in a long-lived matriarchy, cared for by not only their mothers but their aunts and other family members. Orphans have a terrible time of it; elephants are highly intelligent and from anecdotal accounts understand death only too well. Babies without their family support system are terrified and usually doomed to a dreadful death; they nurse until they are two, and they are utterly dependent on their families to teach them to survive. Their lives are (or should be) as long as our own.

If you want to make a difference and not add to an already overburdened earth by contributing to its clutter, please consider adoption. More information, as well as the most endearing artwork, is here: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/fostering.asp

The elephants will love you for it. And so will I.
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