I’m Upset

I read some things about elephants today that really upset me.  I have always liked elephants.  I have always found the very idea of having a prehensile nose fascinating.  I honestly can’t look at an elephant without feeling all childish inside and overcome with the excitement that comes with knowing that we are related.  Sure, we branched apart way back on the tree of life, but, we are cousins in a way and I can’t help feeling guilty when I see them performing tricks in a circus.  We all know that they were mistreated to learn tricks.  I can’t look in their eyes without feeling guilty.

What I read in the New York TIMES today caused me to become very upset.

“Since the beginning of 2012, more than 32,000 elephants have been illegally killed, according to the Born Free Foundation, a wildlife organization, and conservationists say the majority of ivory sold in China, which sells for more than $1,300 a pound on the black market, is of questionable origin. The Chinese hold the key to the elephants’ future,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants. “If things continue the way they are, many countries could lose their elephants altogether.”

It’s completely impossible for me to understand how anyone could enjoy something produced by killing an elephant.

I have nothing against the Chinese.  Their culture is ancient and they have given the world much.

Their achievements in engineering and manufacturing over the past 50 years have been astonishing and, in spite of what “some people” say, there is absolutely no reason to mistrust their motives with regard to international relations or economic trade.

I just have to wonder about a people who, on the one hand, can convince their population that they can only have one child, but, on the other, can’t stop a trade that will spell the extinction of elephants.  Quite frankly, it makes me think they just aren’t trying very hard.

The guy who owns the Chinese restaurant in my little Virginia town has been caught dumpster diving out behind the local supermarket three times by employees of the food store.   He always claims he “only take veg-a-bal… for home!”  He never has been caught bringing anything in to the restaurant, but, it makes a lot of people wonder.  I stopped eating there myself, but, a lot of local people still do.  They probably don’t know about the dumpster business.  I always felt they were talking about me whenever I picked up take-out.  They were always talking Chinese, and it always seemed to me that something funny was going on in the back room.

Maybe it was just me.   Im sure I have no right to let the fact that the Chinese are the people primarily responsible for slaughtering what’s left of the elephants on planet earth poison my view of an entire culture and population.  I should know better than to let this unfortunate situation foster ill will toward the Chinese, in my heart.

But, being a tribal creature, I’m not really sure I can, or, that I should trust the bastards.

I’m open to advice from readers.  I don’t feel like I have a lock on everything there is to know, or, if perhaps I’m being too judgmental of the diabolical little sneaks.

Is it me?

Is it just me?

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “I’m Upset

  1. Well, I think it goes without saying that we ought to distrust aspects of the culture/government and not its people. I agree, the Chinese government ought to be doing more to quash the demand. Possession of ivory needs to be equated with murder (not status & prestige), much like the attitudes that changed around wearing fur in the West.

    In Canada, we are still dragging our heels on putting polar bears on the endangered species list (though the US has), though our situation is probably more related to politics. For example, fear of upsetting the native communities that depend on hunting polar bear for their survival, after our government has already taken so much from them.

    At any rate, I think it is interesting that in Kenya, the problem of poachers is so severe that they now simply shoot to kill (the poachers that is).

  2. I don’t know Brad. I’m not sure I could find true happiness in a culture that didn’t foster a little healthy distrust of the other. Being a pattern seeking creature I get a little thrill, chemical no doubt, connecting Chinese ivory consumption and the death of elephants with a dumpster diving Chinese restaurant owner and the questionable supply chain integrity of a container of “broccoli chicken with cashew… in Gah-Rick sauce”.

    I hear them jabbering away in the back room, in that heathen tongue of theirs, and I know damn well they’re making fun of me.

    …”Fear of upsetting the native communities”, Brad? We treated ours as if they were poachers and we were Kenyans.

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