Tuesday, July 9, 2013

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

The definition of poaching is
 the illegal taking of wildlife, in violation of local, state, federal or international law. Activities that are considered poaching include killing an animal out of season, without a license, with a prohibited weapon, or in a prohibited manner. Killing a protected species, exceeding one's bag limit or killing an animal while trespassing are also considered to be poaching. Poaching is not the same as legal hunting by any means and it has existed throughout history.

        Opinions among experts vary as to who and what is at the root cause of wildlife loss. Poaching, whether for meat, harvesting the latest commodity, or labeled trophy hunting all impact the continued decline of  wildlife, especially the leopard, lion and rhino.  With great sadness this naturally leads to more animals and birds on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) endangered species list.

      Organized crime is considered to be at the very core of many problems. These are the same groups, gangs or individuals who are behind both drugs and human and weapons trafficking. Killing wildlife becomes just another way to make money. Leopards are being poached for their skins, rhinos for their horns and lions for their commodity of bones. Beautiful animals that are an essential part of a delicate system are simply slaughtered by human greed.
      The survival of  our wildlife species are not being considered at all and an animals right to life is being tragically ignored. Exploitation. Money. Ego. All of these factors are destroying the natural balance of our wildlife and we cannot continue to brush aside this issue. Looking at documentary films, talking to wildlife experts or reading about poaching is extremely difficult. Most of us have a really hard time watching or hearing about what is being done to these animals.  But if we want to prevent or change the circumstances we need to be brave. I know from personal experience that looking at these films and seeing what happens to these animals makes me sick enough to throw up. Thankfully, there are thousands of people in this world who have much more courage reporting and documenting what we understandably can't stomach or what we choose to ignore. Although we like to think we are all separate and everything happens "out there" or "over there" it affects all of us. We are all connected.

 Below is a link to a fascinating, disturbing and hopeful series called BRINK. Warning: Graphic Content http://www.weather.com/weather-films/shows/brink/ep01.html