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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > Aug-18 > Tiger Selfies Elephant Rides:Inside Thailand’s House of Horrors

Tiger Selfies Elephant Rides:Inside Thailand’s House of Horrors

Kim Willis meets environmental photojournalist, Aaron Gekoski, who is working to expose the exploitation of animals in the name of ‘entertainment’


As the crowds cheered and held their cameras aloft, craning to photograph orangutans dressed in boxing shorts, pedalled out into a ring and forced to fight under neon, flashing lights that read: ‘Welcome to Orangutan Muay Thai Show,’ Aaron Gekoski ( raised his camera to his tear-filled eye and took a photo. But unlike the holiday snaps tourists were taking to show off back home, Aaron’s agenda was quite different. Incredibly distressed by what he witnessed, he was capturing footage to expose the cruel humiliation of these mammals that ought to be lazing in the trees of Borneo. Hoping to educate tourists travelling to Thailand about the reality of the experiences they pay to witness, his photos and video footage tell a heartbreaking story.

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About Vegan Life

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the amount of time we spend glued to our phones — social media is always at our fingertips, and whether you love it or loathe it, you can’t deny its potency. A quick search for #vegan on Instagram yields over 62 million posts, with #veganfood producing a cool 11 million results. Both are huge figures, and with vegan celebrities (with enormous followings) advocating a vegan way of living, it begs the question — is social media veganism’s big shot at becoming mainstream? You may have spotted our cover star, Earthling Ed, on your own newsfeeds — he’s making huge waves spreading the vegan message. Ed attributes a lot of his success to social media channels, such as YouTube and Facebook, which have given him, and veganism, a platform that has never been accessible before. Find out more in our exclusive interview on page 16. Without social media we wouldn’t be able to engage so quickly in debates, such as this month’s on the ethics of working dogs — we had a huge response across all our social platforms and we always love to hear what you think. Turn to page 38 to see your views. Another thing you’ll no doubt have seen on your timelines of late is wedding pics — we are truly in the midst of the season. We caught up with Michelle Dadachanji, who put together her dream vegan wedding, on page 54 and we’ve got some fab wedding themed recipes for you to try out, too. Enjoy the issue and the sunshine.