We spent a day in the Laotian back country outside of Luang Prabang, where we visited a village and an elephant camp.

Unlike the situation in the United States, Canada and much of the “developed” world, food animals in Southeast Asia are raised close to home.

This family of pigs appeared to be quite contented with their lot in life.

Little did they dream that a Phosy Market stall might be their next destination.

Poultry is always “free-range” – never cooped up in close quarters.

But this rooster didn’t realize that his feet could end up on someone’s dinner table.

Of the animals that we met on this trip, the elephants had the least to worry about. Rescued from their work in the teak forests of northern Laos, the elephants are well cared for. They are bathed daily and allowed to graze to their hearts’ content. Their only job is to give rides to the occasional tourists and pose for photographs.

We probably felt like a couple of fleas on this beauty’s back.

These beasts go “bananas” over their fruit snacks.

This 3-year old baby elephant thought our camera was a treat. He wanted MORE!

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