1000 Flowers for the Planet- #290 Fight Poaching
Poaching is an ever-increasing disaster in a world that cares more for unscientific potions and sexual prowess than it does for the sanctity of life. But how can we prevent it, besides giving animals bodyguards? (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/9525512/Rhinos-under-24-hour-armed-guard.html) Putting a stop to it is a complicated business, but it needs our attention and support. Poaching is BIG business, and makes a lot of money. Laws against poaching exist in some areas, but the ramifications are too insignificant to be a deterrent to the practice. Re-education is probably the best way to approach the problem, from the people who actually kill the animals to the people who buy the body parts and the people who are the end users of products such as tiger bone wine, medicines made with tiger whiskers and aphrodisiacs made from rhinoceros tusks, to name just a few examples. The benefits have been scientifically proven to be non-existent. We need to educate the end users that these products can be replaced by synthetic or other more sustainable ingredients. Only by eliminating the demand can we eradicate poaching. Education is the way, opened by mature dialogue by intelligent people with intelligent listeners. The poachers themselves need to be redirected into other lucrative employment, which may be as simple as making the existence of the animals a tourist attraction.
The biggest problem is corruption – and I don’t think I have the answer for that. But if enough people educate themselves sufficiently, and put enough pressure on the end users of animal products, we may be able to make a difference. And why do we need to do this? Imagine if our grandchildren were never able to see a rhino or an elephant? It may even be our children who never get to see some species. What right do we have to slaughter any species until they are all gone? Let’s start fighting to eliminate poaching, and save the animals.