Through the Eyes of Ernest
The purpose of this book is to raise awareness and educate the reader about the amazing complexity of elephants. And how we, mankind, have not done right by them. I also want to remind the reader that we have a choice in whether or not we keep elephants, or any animal, captive. The elephants do not have a choice.
Ernest’s story is a well researched fictional account of real life events. Ernest represents Every Elephant. There are currently three species of elephants in the world: Asian Elephants, African Savanna Elephants, and African Forest Elephants. For the purpose of this story, it does not matter which species. This book is about any and all elephants who have lived or currently live captive to man in North America. Elephants are not indigenous to North America and true conservation of elephants in other countries is approached differently.
Elephants are extremely intelligent, kind, sensitive, and gentle beings who experience joy, happiness, forgiveness, and love. They are also capable of boredom, loneliness, frustration, grief, and even despair. They function in a highly sophisticated and organized society led by an older and wiser matriarch. They are extremely social and help one another in giving birth and raising their young. Females stay with their families for life. Elephants communicate vocally, sometimes with sounds inaudible to humans and seismically through the ground. They honor their dead. When a friend or family member dies, the other elephants stay with the body and mourn. They weep real tears.
Elephants are everything we can ever hope to be. They are already there. We can learn a lot from our Elephant friends. If only we would listen…
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Born in captivity, Ernest has no idea about life in the wild. He has no connection to any of his wild relatives. His first elephant friend, wild born Frankie, tells Ernest about the pleasures of living in the wild and the close-knit family he deeply misses. Frankie’s stories of life as a free elephant sound magical, but hopelessly unattainable. Ernest doesn’t know what he is missing, but he is about to find out…
Go to this link to order a copy of Ernest’s story.
This is a powerful story the author wrote to illuminate a captive elephant’s life to people, like me, who never thought about it before. In the form of a fictional story, she takes us into the world of zoos and circuses from an elephant’s point of view. And we finally begin to see how powerless and heartbroken these magnificent creatures become when forced to live in confinement and sometimes devastating cruelty. Ernest is the young elephant we follow from his birth to his adult years. We meet new elephants as well as their human caretakers, some loving and some cruel, as Ernest is transferred from one facility to another. We say goodbye to some, too. The author draws you into their world, which is filled with spiritual depth, kindness and familial love. Ernest will “make your heart smile” while talking about the importance of “doing elephant things.” While Ernest draws you through the story, it is the author’s portrayal of the matriarch, Eve, which so deeply touched my heart. There are lessons here beyond welfare of elephants. This book might be too literal for very young children. But what a powerful impact it would have on junior high and high school students to use as a basis for a research project, and hopefully as a catalyst to make a difference in their communities. Proceeds from buying this book are one way to help. But more important is to read and share it with others so we can all take off our blinders, change our awareness, and make a difference for elephants.
This book should be read by everyone interested in our relationships with other animals. It tells a story of elephants, exposing the tragedy of how humans interact with these magnificent creatures. She also shows how we can help them. McFee is a good writer with an interesting and compelling tale. Bravo!
This story will grab you and take you places you never thought possible. Ernest is a loveable character who seems so real he stands up on the pages. A must read for all animal lovers!
Though a work of fiction, this story rings true. Through a first person (elephant) narrative, the author brings to light the cruelty and abuse these glorious animals can suffer, and showcases ways in which a reader can assist them in real life. An easy read worthy of passing around. Awesome, touching story! A must read!
I may be a bit biased as I know the author. That said this book has been an education for me. It is written from the elephants standpoint and I became invested in the characters… Ernest, Maggie, Edward, Mary and others. It also opened my eyes to just how cruel we are to captive animals, not just the elephants. I recommend this book for many reasons. It is a great read and captures your interest. It also makes us aware of the plight of captive animals while we are doing something to help them as all proceeds go to help elephants to ge tot or who are in sanctuary.
The message of this book is that the more we learn about the complex needs of elephants, their social hierarchies, their astonishingly intricate familial connections, the more we must reject keeping elephants in zoo cages and forcing them to perform stupid and demeaning tricks in circuses. You can really, truly make a difference by refusing to buy a ticket to a zoo or circus. Every dollar spent directly contributes to these magnificent animals’ suffering. Your ticket, your fault. It’s that simple. Please don’t do it.
This book is a well written, emotional, sad, insight into just what and how elephants can think and feel in captivity. The author certainly understands the behavior of elephants sufficiently to describe events the way elephants probably see them when kept in captivity against their will. We [humans] are animals too. What makes us any different to the likes of elephants who are known to be sentient beings? Why should they not feel in the same way as we [humans] feel? The author highlights the terrors and physical abuse that elephants in captivity face every day from their all to often cruel captors. What they may dream of, how they get through each day, the hopes and fears of wonderful creatures whom we do not credit with being anything other than commodities for human entertainment. Also showing the joy of meeting old friends and their reunions. This book hopefully will turn the tide of our understanding of how cruel we [humans] can be without cause to such gentle, loving, sentient animals that naturally live in social herds and definitely not alone. I believe this book should be read by people of all ages; starting in early teens in the hope that our barbaric treatment of such animals finally be brought to an end.
I didn’t know what to expect when my friend gave me a book about elephants. I must say I was pleasantly surprised! Ernest and his friends are bigger than life and I found myself instantly caring about what happens to them. Ernest taught me a lot about the ways of elephants and now I question why we humans treat them the way we do. A must read for ALL animal lovers! You will laugh and cry and find yourself rooting for the elephants!
Maybe you’re like me and have gone your whole life thinking that elephants live a charmed and pampered life in zoos and at the circus. Like me, you’d be dead wrong. This is a sweetly told story of the horrifying and tragic mistreatment of elephants seized in the wild and forced to live in the most inhumane conditions, many in the zoos that we find so amusing to visit. Ms McFee captures the heart and soul of Ernest and his friends in a way that makes it hard to look away from their desperate lives.
THE GIFT OF “ERNEST”Throughout history, story-telling has played a major role in transforming attitudes and consciousness. Story-telling fosters community cohesion, unity, awareness, compassion and most importantly, lays the foundation for developing morals, ethics and spiritual values. Today, most story telling is through the written word. Elephant advocate Debbie McFee has written an important book “Through the Eyes of Ernest” to raise awareness of issues surrounding elephants in captivity and to help fan the flames of change for elephants in the entertainment industry. “Under the bright lights, elephants perform tricks for excited humans that never wonder what happens to these massive animals after the show ends. Ernest knows!” Please share and support this creative and soulful work by Debbie. All proceeds from “Through the Eyes of Ernest” go to the elephants! As Debbie emphasizes, “No human can profit off of Ernest’s story. Only the elephants can profit from it.” A fantastic gift for you and for children this Christmas. Thank you, Elephant Advocacy