Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell

Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell — October 06, 2011


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you train or break an elephant? That word, “break”.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elephants are extremely social and they need the environment, they need movement, they need exercise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Abused, 24 hours until the baby totally lost their mind. Many baby died.

Then the baby elephant fear the man. The man can control and the boy make baby elephant obey.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We’re talking about another kind of crime right now. We’ve got a famous CSI investigator on this case looking into disturbing horrific animal abuse. You recognize her — from CSI? That’s right. The CSI investigator, known to the rest of the world as Jorja Fox and she is fighting for elephants.

When people use elephants as entertainment, most don’t think, oh, they see these beautiful animals going here, there or everywhere. They don’t realize how these animals were captured; how they were taken from the wild. Elephants tortured and abused to perform for humans. Elephants tortured and abused to perform for humans.

But one 14-year-old girl figured it out. She made the connection. And now she is making a movie, “How I Became an Elephant” and it’s changing hearts and saving lives, one person and one elephant at a time.

Joining me now to talk about her passion for this heroic effort, actress Jorja Fox, star of CSI; you know her from this show. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You showed your hand today to a master manipulator, your words.

JORJA FOX, ACTRESS, ANIMAL ACTIVIST: She has a right to know. She did this, five years ago, three weeks ago, and she’s going to do it again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you want to say for the elephants and the movie you’re making to save the elephants?

FOX: Well, what I would like to say is I would like to see sort after of a transformation or an evolution in the way that a lot of people view elephants in the way elephants are treated, particularly in captivity, in the entertainment industry, in circuses and zoos. The movie that we made is called, “How I became an Elephant”.

And truly about a 14-year-old girl who travels to Thailand to learn about elephants. She meets probably the person of elephant information across the globe. The name is Lek Chailert and she has an elephant sanctuary there in Thailand. A lot of people don’t realize that there’s really only been one way to train elephants from hundreds of thousands of years. It goes back. It is an Asian technique. To this day in 2011, we are using the same technique.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it cruel?

FOX: It is beyond cruel. It’s beyond. It is completely barbaric and horrific. If you see an elephant in captivity, including a zoo, even if they’re not doing a trick, they have probably been trained with these techniques.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Juliette saves an elephant in this documentary. Her bravery is important because these horrific animals, well, they are innocent. Nobody can speak for them except human beings who care.

Check this out. It is called “The Crash Box”.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were tied, maybe everything; tied the ear, the tail, the leg, and at the time maybe lost freedom. Moaning, screaming all night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where to help — all right, if you want to help, what do you do, Jorja?

FOX: You go to You stop going to circuses and zoos. Sanctuaries are great. We have elephants in captivity that we’re going to need to house. Go to a sanctuary and see them there. Don’t support those kinds of industries. If you are in Thailand be very, very careful; there’s over 300 trekking organizations in Thailand. Go to the right one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We’re going to leave it there. Love you Jorja.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you, of course, know Jorja Fox from “CSI”. And there you are, Jorja Fox working on CSI as an investigator. You’ve actually used some of the skills that you learned on the show to help you investigate the plight for elephants.

FOX: Yes. Indeed. Research is really the key. In that clip I’m getting hammered by my new boss actually for being a renegade, which is not the first of probably the last time that will happen to me personally and on the show.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You’re an animal lover.

FOX: I am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Things are changing in the world, aren’t they, for animals?

FOX: Well, yes. And I’m an environmentalist and a conservationist. And we’re really at a critical, critical point. I mean if you look at the (INAUDIBLE) list of endangered animals, if we keep going the way we’re going in another 50 years we really critically won’t have a lot of the animals that we, as humans, need to survive on the planet. It’s not fun and games anymore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don’t have any kids, you don’t have any kids, but people who have kids want to have animals for them.

FOX: Yes. I would like us to be able to stay on this planet. I don’t want to move it Mars. I would like to stay here and I’d like —





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