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"This is my best friend—its name is Kevin," said no one ever. Yet Mattel's Barbie Dreamtopia Chelsea Doll and Elephant features an elephant—referred to as "it"—dressed in a crown, bejeweled blanket, shackle-like cuffs around each leg, and a chair.
"About this item … a chair sits atop her exotic animal bestie so she can ride it."
Yeah, about this item: Animals are our friends, and we don't abuse and exploit our friends for rides.
Chelsea here probably has no idea that elephants used for rides are typically torn away from their mothers as babies or that they are beaten and live under the constant threat of being hit with sharp weapons in order to make them let tourists like Chealsea ride them. Other kids probably don't know that either—and that's why this toy is so dangerous.
"Kids can let their imaginations ride into all kinds of tales with Chelsea doll and her giant elephant friend."
When kids see elephants giving rides, the only thing they should use their imaginations for is to picture all the horrific abuse that the animals must have endured—and then, they should stay far away.
Even this one looks sad:
Barbie has been a longtime, fur-free animal advocate, which is great. But she's also made some mistakes that can hurt animals—this isn't the first time she’s been promoting something that harms animals.
This toy makes it seem like riding elephants is fun for everyone, but real-life elephant rides always involve abuse—and have even resulted in human deaths—which is why this toy sends a message that's dangerous for everyone involved.
Tell Mattel to follow its mission to act with integrity and to join the dozens of other companies that have stopped promoting elephant rides.