And depending on how you look at it, mine is amazing or awful. In a recent post here I shared that I had decided that my next book was going to be an elephant story, provisionally titled Magua the Elephant. Since I knew very little about elephants I embarked on my usual round of research on the subject. What I learned shocked me.
First, a tremendous amount of work has been done and much has been learned about elephants, about their habits, their environmental significance, and their culture.
Yep, their culture.
Turns out these are amazing creatures, intelligent and sensitive, long-lived and very social. I know that to some extent, these facts are not unknown to many but I never realized just how intelligent, sensitive and amazing.
Now, elephants are close to extinction. I could make a case here about their ecological importance but I’m not going to do that. You see, elephants are a problem for the farmers who have been trying to grow food on land that the elephants once roamed freely. We humans are outgrowing the planet and the elephants are getting in the way. We need to find a rational solution to the problem.
But the anger of a few farmers is not what’s driving the elephant to extinction. In Africa large game preserves have been set up to provide protected spaces for elephants, and where conflict occurs with farmers, electrified fences have been somewhat successful. More needs to be done, and there are some very smart people working on the problem.
The thing is, Ivory, at $1500.00 USD per pound.
Previous to this, there was a ban on the importation of ivory, and elephants were on the USA’s most endangered species list. Here’s a link to the Scopes fact check on the story, given that it’s so incredible.
Why, and why now?
The fools in the White House offer some nonsense about Zimbabwe. I think that the timing, coming immediately on Trump’s return from China, is significant. Until Trump’s out of the blue reversal, China had been the major holdout on a worldwide ban on ivory importation. Trump goes to China, is wined, dined and offered some private deals. Now China has a major ally in its vicious trade in ivory harvested from slaughtered elephants.
Wonder what the quid pro quo is in this huge deal?
And it’s very huge. This trade finances the various wars that are tearing the African continent apart. Not a very smart move by an American President, to facilitate the flow of cash to our enemies. Poached ivory is a major source of cash for terrorists.
I am calling on all of you out there, in your own interests and in the interest of intelligent humanity, to demand the restoration of the ban on the importation of ivory to the United States.
The entrepreneurs who buy from these terrorist poachers know that it’s impossible to tell the difference between legal and illegal ivory so as long as there’s a legal trade, the poached ivory will find its way onto the market, and elephants will be massacred.
Please spread the word.
If you’d like to learn more about this nasty business, Netflix has a documentary up that you could watch.