Q: How long have you been an activist for, Elisha?
A: Since I was five, my first words were ‘it’s not fair’. And from there grew all sense of injustice in the world.
Yes, I was that old -or young – when I realised the world was a mess, that people didn’t really care about animals very much. In my young wisdom, as soon as I could I searched out information about animal cruelty. These were the days of no internet information, you had to go looking for it. My first encounter was through the television, a documentary about the Rainbow Warrior. I remember being very upset about whaling. After that I knew what to look for, and it was the library AND my high school which supplied info. I joined Greenpeace. Then I discovered Beauty without Cruelty in the small ads and then Amnesty.
Did I really feel that passionately about the world when I was a child, a young person? Absolutely. It was embraced by my parents – not hippy love children, but peasants. They were proud of the fact that I was passionate about life, about people, enough to get on my soapbox and express my opinions and join-up. They saw it as a reflection of their love of nature and humanity.
They didn’t go to school, nor could they read or write in English (take note Cameron), but they encouraged my visits to the local libraries (and again Cameron), to galleries and to music gigs. I never really noticed this ‘allowing’ til I was much older, as my folks were pretty strict compared to my indigenous British friends. They could go out whenever, wherever it seemed -I had boundaries to work by (take note again).
The Second World War certainly had an impact on us as a family as did the consequent Balkan Wars -politics and war invaded our lives for decades, centuries in terms of colonialist rule. Self-determinism is an interesting thing, that goes beyond the need to thrive organically and pushes human beings in to acting as omnipresent creatures, each one fighting for his/her rights.
At what point though do we step over the line and when does one person’s right impede on another’s, or the life of an animal, a forest, the sea? I don’t have the answer to that, does anyone? In order to live, let live said Gandhi – which always makes me think outside of my box.
Now in our era, we don’t have to move from our office chairs in our living rooms to support causes. Can’t be bothered to go on a protest? Then turn to twitter. The hash tag is the new spokesperson for human rights/human wrongs. It can symbolise everything. Ahh happy me, I can influence the world from my desk. #saveme #saveus #savetheworld. Easy peasy. It is easier and quicker to find like-minded people because of the internet, and this potentially could save the world from itself.