While we’re watching the presidential candidates speak about the issues we feel are important. And, some of them are, don’t get me wrong. Elephants are fighting to just survive on the land that has been their home for decades.
On Tuesday, I read an article in The New York Times about elephants being slaughtered and poached at an alarming rate. While I was at work (on my break) reading the article in NYT, I’m crying. Yesterday, I read in Treehugger.com and CNN a “cliff notes” version of the same information. Elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory, to be sold in China. Like every commodity that Africa has, diamonds, minerals (used in our electronics), ivory is being used to fund corrupt government officials, the L.R.A. (Lord’s Resistance Army) and Joseph Kony funding some of the major conflicts of the Congo, and becoming his new lifeline. Joseph Kony is using guns like AKs, G-3s, PKMs and FNs, killing up to 10 elephants at times for the ivory to fund his atrocities on animals, humans and the environment.
While the NYT article went in to gory details about the poaching and implicating that even organized crime is involved. Stating that during the smuggling process, the ivory is being packaged in chilies to throw off the scent of sniffer dogs. Read the whole article here: www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/world/africa/africas-elephants-are-being-slaughtered-in-poaching-frenzy.html?pagewanted=all
The reason I’m SO upset, is that the article didn’t mention what we can do…. In fact, all of the e-mails flooding my in box on this topic (since there are many) don’t mention what we can do. How do we, as citizens, take action? I already boycott items made in China, so much so that I work for a company that doesn’t purchase materials made in China to make the products we manufacture. How can I sleep at night knowing that this is happening and I have no idea where to begin as an activist?! In the ‘80s, when elephant poaching was at its peak, elephants still had a fighting chance. Today, some of the people hired to help them live, flourish and survive are partaking in the poaching. Today, poachers are using helicopters and scaring them into a contained area on the protected land. Today, weapons are being used that didn’t exist in the hands of poachers and today we are looking at 15-20 years of elephants in peril and facing extinction.