Every time I turn my head, I see another species threatened and for (let’s be honest) an idiotic cultural tradition or superstition.
I apologize for being so blunt. And although I constantly blog about how many endangered whales there are, here are a few (the list goes into the hundreds) examples of man’s insanity acted out on defenseless animals.
1. The elephant tusk.
Asians kill these magnificent creatures for their ivory, or hire third-world African nations to do their dirty work. That is tantamount to killing a human for the dental gold in his teeth! And the justification is as silly as, “Well, our daughter is getting married and we needed wedding rings.”
The point is, you are taking a life for a silly tradition, a life that has value to the balance of nature. One could argue that the rest of the animal is used for food, however such is not and never has been the case. These creatures are shot on the spot and only their tusks removed.
2. Shark fin soup.
Seventy million sharks are killed annually for the top dorsal fin. The way they are killed is pretty gruesome. They are caught, the top fin cut off, and then the shark is thrown back into the water. The shark cannot grow another fin. The shark can no longer navigate through the water, much less swim. The fin is another Asian delicacy, by the way. The fin is turned into soup and consumed for “good luck” in an Asian wedding.
Once again, a life has been taken for an idea, a notion, that somehow the part of another animal will somehow make your marriage work. Hmmmmmm….
3. Rhinoceros horn.
Well, Asians consider the rhinoceros horn to be an aphrodisiac, like the American pharmaceutical companies answer to male impotency. “Call the doctor if you have an erection longer than four hours” is like offering you ten million dollars if you subscribe to magazines in Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes!
Again, it is the idea; scientists have done studies on the rhinoceros horn and discovered there are no chemicals in it that solve male erection problems (it is usually all in the mind folks – psychosomatic) and so some Chinese snake oil peddler, years ago, said to some poor guy to look at the horn or a rhino – “you, too, could stick out like that!’.
But the sad thing is that these magnificent beasts are now darted from helicopters. When asleep, the horn is cut off with a chain saw. The horn is filled with blood and therefore cutting it off the animal bleeds to death. All for a silly horn. Yet all of the above command hundreds of thousands of dollars!
It is funny how man considers himself higher than all the animal kingdom and yet is more savage and still a savage. The Smithsonian records how we have dealt with our own species – the native American Indian – a truly endangered species in its own right!
Well, whales are in the same boat. They are just a “delicacy”, something to pass the time with Bill or Jane, an expensive appetizer to show you mean business, or want business, in any culture. Switch the names to Asian and the story is the same.
At least in the animal kingdom, animals are completely consumed and done so because that is how they survive on a daily basis. Man is a bit more selective. Remove a vital part and throw out the rest. I remove the word human from the definition because man is not even human, or humane.
All in the name of “tradition.”
But rather than just give you problems, there are things you can do about it. Care2Causes currently has a petition out to ban shark fin hunters in California: http://www.change.org/petitions/join-the-apa-alliance-to-ban-shark-fin-in-california
And for the Rhinoceros, here is a good group to follow: http://www.rhinoconservation.org/2011/05/12/rhino-killing-attempt-thwarted-in-kaziranga-national-park-india/
And for doing something about saving endangered species, here is the World Wildlife Fund website: http://www.wwf.org/
What are your thoughts?