By: Daniel Otero
“With great power comes great responsibility!” – Voltaire
With 200 million plus nouveau-rich rising up in China, the wealthy want to enjoy the fruits of their prosperity. These will start by travelling more, buying fancy vehicles and focusing on getting the costly vices of pleasure. Through wine, cigars, homes, paintings, sex [escorts] and jewelry people are showing what they have.
The problem with more wealth and money, most people are not satisfied and will always want more! It’s just part of the human condition…
Therefore, those with money are getting into bad habits. Bad habits can be narcotics, smuggling and buying those products that are illegal or banned in the market.
One purchase that is coming into China in great quantities are diamonds (but that is another story) and the principal one, ivory. Ivory comes from the tusk of adult elephants. Causing a destructive wildlife imbalance throughout Africa and Southeast Asia…
In our growing planet overhunting for a species can cause [as we all know] premature extinction.
Four elephants are killed every 50 minutes across the African and Southeast Asian savannahs. Whether it’s the patriarch or matriarch Elephant being slaughtered, their babies may not be able to survive. If [the baby elephants] are lucky enough to survive the hunters, poachers or the unforgiving wilderness—they may not be able to easily adapt into their environment when rescued and later reintegrated. Over 35,000 elephants are killed every year to satisfy the need for ivory and its illegal trade. Statistics have forecasted, if the killing of elephants doesn’t stop, there will be no more elephants in less than a decade across the African and Southeast Asian plateaus (Bigalow, 2015). How sad, since this mammal has been around us for the better part of six million years.
With that in mind, all I have to say to the wealthy Chinese, “Please stop buying ivory!” You are currently the biggest buyers in the world.
How can we stop this problem?
One way is to not infuse money into the illegal trade. If there is not a need for the product, the killing will stop!
Back in 1893, during the period of U.S. President Benjamin Harrison—the American bison was near extinction, from 30 – 60 million in its zenith to less than 3,000. Laws were enacted and today any type of poaching or if caught with illegal-buffalo meat will cost the transgressor a fine up to $10,000 (USD) or two years in prison. This amazing animal is again growing thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Another great man, known as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed a bill of law in 1940 to protect our national symbol, which is the bald and golden eagle. Hunters/poachers were hunting this beautiful bird to near extinction. The implementation of severe fines (up to $100,000) and prison if caught trapping or killing this brilliant specie has been a deterrent against those that don’t respect the laws of nature.
The bald eagle and buffalo are today thriving-healthily thanks to conservation acts and sanctuaries for these animals.
Now, it is presently President Xi Jingping whom has to ‘step-up to the plate’. By imposing outrageous fines to his rich compatriots and stiff prison terms to make people desist from trafficking, purchasing or caught with ivory.
Imagine if illegal poaching isn’t stopped in China, the Chinese tiger or panda would soon disappear from the national wildlife.
With this statement, long existence to these amazing and beautiful creatures.
“A society can only become cultured when they know how to treat their women, children and animals!” – Mahatma Gandhi. I might add: use your brains, common sense and have some consciousness. If we destroy something today, we will not have it tomorrow.