1000 Flowers for the Planet - #253 Discourage Ivory Trade
“More than 30,000 elephants are now killed for their tusks annually. The crisis is fuelled by a demand for illegal ivory—part of wildlife crime trade valued between $7.8 billion and $10 billion per year.” SOURCE: http://worldwildlife.org/stories/elephant-ivory-disguised-as-chocolate
This global issue should concern all of us. Elephants are yet another creature on this planet being abused and made extinct by humans who care little for the sanctity of life and even less for the future. With very little risk due to weak laws and the main traders being hard to catch and punish, poaching ivory is able to bring great profits to those involved in its trade. Thailand is one of the worst offenders, as it is legal to sell Thai elephant ivory in that country, so African ivory is poached and laundered through the trade in Thailand, causing the deaths of thousands of African elephants, a species now at risk of extinction.
In my search for uses of ivory I found nothing that could not be made from alternative materials. Items include but are not limited to: cutlery handles, musical instruments, billiard balls, false teeth, fans, dominoes, piano keys, Scottish bagpipes, buttons, a wide range of ornamental items, works of art, precious religious objects, and decorative boxes for costly objects. If ever there was a reason for using plastic, here is one.
Ivory is not only taken from elephants. It can and is taken from hippopotamus, walrus, pig, sperm whale and narwhal.
We need to discourage the use of ivory, let people know it is no longer acceptable and is more valuable to us when it remains on the living animal than as trinkets to prove our wealth. Our wealth comes from how well we care for the planet and all living things that share it with us.