Yes, it is disrespectful to the Chinese Embassy – but I think that concern pales next to the brutal ignorance and inhumanity being inflicted on the rhinoceros. It may even be too late. Now it seems that the trade in other wild animal parts, such as lion bone – for mysterious and little-understood ‘medicinal’ purposes – is seeing a massive increase. Where is it going to end?
We have, somehow, to persuade the big guns – the Chinese, Vietnamese, and slumbering South African authorities – to weigh in and help us understand this business (and it is one – with very high stakes). Only by a massive, very public international campaign to investigate, penalise, and re-educate, might it be possible to begin to stem the demand. Let’s help them to be heroic.
And this has also to be done before the opportunists persuade governments and CITES to create so-called ‘legitimate’ markets for rhino horn and other wild animal products. This is dangerous nonsense, since these legal traders will not only have a vested interest in keeping prices up, but in indirectly sustaining the beliefs that stimulate the demand. On a moral level, this also defers custodianship of and access to our universal heritage into the hands of a privileged and condescending elite.. steadily turning the entire planet into a commercial commodity. (okay, I know.. that’s a different debate)
It may also be necessary to apologise to the fantastically dedicated organisations that are and have been bravely fighting the scourge of rhino poaching. But this is not a separate initiative. It began as an individual outcry, but is now a message from many equally desperate individuals to the relevant authorities to recognise and properly support their work.
So – if you feel similarly inclined, go for it! Fingernails or hair would also do.
And then share it, like it, tweet it, bleat it, etc..
For South Africa: 972 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083
Or the Chinese Embassy in your country.