19 June 2016
Regulations to save the environment in Myanmar have led to unemployment among elephant forestry workers. The conditions of the job entail eight-hour work days, five-day weeks, mandatory maternity leave, summer vacations, good medical care, and retirement at 55. Studies on the unemployed elephants show that they are not coping well. They gain weight, anger more easily, and want to have sex all the time. Previously, these forestry workers had a sense of purpose as their work stretched them mentally and physically. The loss of their job has been demoralizing. The findings on elephants are consistent with Bruno Frey’s research summary on long-term life satisfaction of human workers around the world.
Details from The New York Times, January 31, 2016 (pp. 6 and 9), online here.