Say NO to Using Ivory in Religious Art
  • Petitioned Pope Francis, Holy Father of the Catholic Church

This petition was delivered to:

Pope Francis, Holy Father of the Catholic Church

Say NO to Using Ivory in Religious Art

    1. Elephantopia Founded by Elizabeth Chitwood
    2. Petition by

      Elephantopia Founded by Elizabeth Chitwood

      Katy, TX

Elephants are the world's largest land mammals and are keystone species for the savannah and forest ecosystems. However, these gentle giants are being poached for their ivory at unprecedented rates. In 1980 there were over 1,000,000 elephants in the wild. Today, there are as few as 450,000 in the wild, with possible extinction by 2020. An estimated 100 elephants are killed every day by poachers. It is imperative that the Catholic Church, one of the world's largest religious institutions, stand up for elephants and say no to ivory art. 

Recent signatures


    1. THANK YOU!!!

      We've done it! Reached 10,000 signatures! We are leaving the petition open a little longer to see how many more we can get, but plan to deliver the letter by October 4, 2013 (World Animal Day and the International March for Elephants Day). Keep sharing!

    2. Reached 10,000 signatures
    3. ALMOST THERE!!!

      We are only 556 signatures away from reaching our goal of 10,000!!! Please spread the word to your family and friends - SAY NO TO IVORY!

    4. Reached 9,000 signatures
    5. Petition Delivery

      Working with FRECCIA 45 to have the signatures collected on this petition delivered along with other signatures to the Pope. Here is the latest update:

      Dear Elizabeth,
      Aldo Benato, the Lawyer of our Association called FRECCIA 45, went to the Vatican City in Rome last week.
      As the square was incredibly full of people and the Pope had many appointments, we had to post date the delivery of all signatures.
      They will be delivered in the next few days.

      I will keep you posted.

      My best regards,
      Susanna Chiesa

      HAVE YOU SHARED THIS PETITION WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY? Please have them add their names to the list, to be included for this important delivery!

    6. Contacting the Vatican

      Now that we have reached 2500 signatures, it's time to start sending the message to the Vatican. Thank you for your support - please continue to share this petition with your family and friends. And if you are Catholic, consider asking your church to sign as well. The more numbers we can raise, the more of an impact the petition will have when it's received by Pope Francis.

    7. Reached 2,500 signatures
    8. 2000 Signatures and Strong!

      In one week, TOGETHER we have brought over 2000 people united to this cause! An inspirational quote from St. Francis, the Pope's namesake, sums up our work thus far:
      "Start by doing what is necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you're doing the impossible."
      Right now, it is necessary that Pope Francis say NO to ivory used in the Catholic Church and sign the CITES petition banning ivory. Once we have 10,000 signatures, we believe this will be possible. It will show the Pope the united peoples of this world really mean NO to ivory! With the Vatican's support, hundreds, if not thousands, of elephants may be saved from "ivory worship", creating a harmonious future for both elephants and humans.
      Let's aspire to do the impossible, together. Thank you for sharing this petition with EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

    9. Reached 2,000 signatures
    10. Direct Link to Video

      For a direct link to the below post: (note ivory pieces in 1.15 and 1.53)

      Pope Francis' Upgraded Lifestyle: New Clothes, Car, Home

      Behind-the-scenes look at the elegant halls where Jorge Bergoglio will live.

    11. Ivory in Pope's Home

      Bryan Christy posted this video on his site - shows the new Pope's home, which includes an ivory crucifix and ivory tusks (seen at 1.15 and 1.53 in the clip). THIS is why we are signing this petition. To ask Pope Francis to get say NO to ivory in religious art/iconography! He must set an example to the rest of the world.

    12. Reached 1,500 signatures
    13. YOU: an innovative conservationist

      Thank you for partnering with us, to make a difference in the lives of elephants. WE are inspired that so many people are joining us, we have passed the 10% mark!
      Around the world, people are being innovative with creative ways to make a difference. By signing this petition, YOU can know that you are actively involved, that YOU are an innovative conservationist too.
      May you inspired by these short stories of other innovative conservationists.

      BeeFencing & Lion Lights: Conservation Innovation!

      Elephants are being killed at alarming rates for their ivory. Unfortunately, that's not the only problem they face. Human-elephant conflict plays a major role in elephant deaths as well. As humans begin to cultivate lands once used by elephants for agriculture, it isn't hard to image the confrontations that often arise.

    14. Reached 1,000 signatures
    15. Happy Weekend!

      Thank you getting us over 750 by the weekend. We are hoping that when Monday rolls around, we are well over our 10% goal (which would be 1,000+)! Each weekend on our website we post fun videos of elephants. Check out our latest Baby Elephant's First Nap:
      Enjoy and HAPPY WEEKEND!

      Happy Weekend: Baby Elephant's First Nap!

      Happy Weekend: Baby Elephant's First Nap! This past week, one Elephant Fact of the Day we shared on Facebook was about elephants sleeping. Did you realize that on average, elephants only sleep 4 hours a day/night and usually not all at once but in 30 minute periods?

    16. Reached 750 signatures
    17. Photo to Share

      Visit our Facebook page to see a beautiful photo with this quote from St. Francis that you can share:
      "Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them wherever they require it."
      Thank you for being of service to the elephants by signing this petition!


      Raising public awareness of elephants and the ivory trade through education, creating a world where...

    18. Reached 500 signatures
    19. THANK YOU!

      We have reached 250 signatures within our first day! Please keep up the momentum and share this petition with your family and friends. Pope Francis chose this name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi who once said,
      “If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
      And in the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2416 it states, “Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals."
      With our voices united together, we can remind the Catholic Church to keep this issue on the forefront of their agenda.
      THANK YOU!!!

    20. Reached 250 signatures

      We are very excited to launch this petition - we have shared it with numerous elephant advocacy groups as well as National Geographic and National Wildlife Foundation. Have you shared this with your friends? Thank you for committing to create a harmonious future for elephants and humans with us. Together, we CAN be the change.


    Reasons for signing

    • Hannelore Geilenkirchen RHEINBACH, GERMANY
      • 7 months ago

      Say NO to Using Ivory in Religious Art

    • valerie rykens BRASSCHAAT, BELGIUM
      • 7 months ago

      Because it is barbaric, behaviour such as this is ruining our world and it's inhabitants!

    • Collaud Françoise LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
      • 7 months ago

      Ivory is out of MURDER , NOT RELIGIOUS !

    • Barbara Mahnke MERRITT ISLAND, FL
      • 7 months ago

      These are creations of the Most High G-d! We have no right to kill them. Fate will bring death and destruction to those who sow it!

      • 7 months ago

      Evolve - Go Vegan and end All the VIOLENCE!


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