Friday, 22 January 2016


                                        This is Rhino horn - it is worth US$60,000 per Kilo

 This is a living adult Rhino with professionally removed horns and a baby Rhino

 This is what a poached Rhino looks like - quickly killed so it's horn can be quickly hacked off it's dead face, THIS will continue till all the Rhinos are extinct if we do not provide a legal alternative.

A Poacher under arrest, just another desperately poor African looking for quick cash

Someone has decided that in order to SAVE the 750 Rhinos he has in his wildlife park from poachers who kill them just to cut off their horns......he will cut off their horns himself and sell them himself.

Now here is where capitalism can offer a solution - at-least for the current and foreseeable can ban Rhino Horn ALL you want, and teach every child on Earth to save & love the Rhinos and hold hands in a meadow of flowers singing hymns to God all you want ....but I guarantee you that you will never completely eradicate the demand for Rhino horn on the black market this way.

Cocaine is banned all over the world - but have you seen the demand for it decrease yet? I was born AFTER Alcohol prohibition in the USA just after World War 1 - but I heard how big of a FAILURE it was - and I also guarantee you that you will NEVER see all human beings stop drinking alcohol either.

Let us examine the FACTS,

FACT #1 - People are willing to pay US$60,000 a kilo for Rhino Horn (people literally KILL other people for a lot less).
FACT #2 - Rhinos can live without their horns which can be painlessly removed will not diminish the Rhinos life in any way, in fact it will prevent Rhino's fatally wounding each other in mating season fights.
FACT #3 - in 2007 only 13 Rhinos were officially poached, today two Rhinos are killed every day for their horns by this rate Rhinos will go extinct in less than 20 years....and all the 'cum-bi-ya' in the world is NOT going to stop that.
FACT #4 - Every 12-18 months as horns grow back over time (with recent studies claiming that the re-growth of dehorned rhino horn appears faster than growth in non-dehorned rhinos) a new horn can be cut and 'harvested' from an adult Rhino.

Now as someone with some business sense - and a more practical grip on logical reality (what is NOT working VS what MIGHT work) - I can see than the lesser of the two evils is not arming more Rhino patrols to protect Rhinos with horns and kill or arrest more poachers...because very often the poachers are poor men just trying to use Rhino horns (albeit callously) to escape grinding poverty (the rich criminal masterminds get the big bucks not these poachers).....but would it not be better to allow Africans to 'FARM' Rhinos - The CITES Management Authority could oversee it in some way - as they would be the ones to issue the legal permits to sell 'approved sustainably harvested Rhino horn' - in the sense that they are allowed to harvest the horns in a medically professional manner, and legally sell the horns to the buyers in Asia for top dollar? Cut out the criminal middle men who are making a killing as things stand right now....and let that US$60,000 per kilo go to rural tribal village of 100 Africans need only protect ONE Rhino and harvest its horn every year (or so) and that rural tribal village will see poverty ERADICATED (they could afford solar power on every home, wind power to pump water from underground wells, for drinking & crop irrigation, be able to build schools & pay teachers salaries etc.) - just for example.

If you create an incentive to INCREASE the Rhino herds (as this would - if you know anything about the power of market forces) - because you just found a way to make more from LIVING Rhinos by harvesting their horns annually - you not only save the species - but you also spread the wealth around in a sustainable way, and you can afford to employ (instead of killing or jailing them) ALL those poachers (who will be making more now LEGALLY so no point killing Rhinos for pocket change) AND all the Rhino paramilitary men & women can still retain employment too - and ALL of them for higher wages than either are getting now - as it is.
Rhinos cannot breed fast enough to ever 'become as common as sheep' and 'crash the market' as Asia's human population ALSO increases every year - so demand will always exceed supply.

It is all well and good to sit in our comfy homes where we are NOT experiencing the grinding poverty of most people in Africa - and turn up our nose in disgust at the 'very notion' of selling Rhino horns legally....but I challenge YOU to come up with a BETTER solution that raises as many people OUT OF POVERTY as my suggestion does....and you can FORGET Eco-Tourism - because I know about 40 African Tribal brothers & sisters whom I have met over 8 years at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) who live in or next to these rich predominantly non-indigenous owned 'wildlife parks' and FEW of them make a pittance, while most of their tribes on who's lands the Rhinos have co-existed for millennia - get NOTHING AT ALL!

We live in a different world - in a different age, we can't always expect things to remain 'the way they were' some cases they can.....but in many cases they cannot...we need to look for PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS that will benefit the majority...not that mainly appeal to an upper class sense of 'environmental chivalry'...because it all boils down to 'bread & butter issues'....and 'environmental chivalry' & 'conservation nobility' is not saving the Rhinos - NOR the Africans in grinding poverty.

REMEMBER - there is a big difference between 'CAPITALISM' in the traditional 'FREE ENTERPRISE" sense that we indigenous people know we never stopped anyone doing a small sustainable commercial venture...we always had someone who made jewelry for trade, or traded pet animals or feathers or skins, or made canoes, baskets, weapons etc for commercial trade with others IN the tribe and for people from OTHER let's not fool ourselves that we 'never did anything for commercial trade'...because we ALWAYS did, but again - the big difference was that we did this in small sustainable ways traditionally, no-one tried to get rich off of it, it was just done to provide for NEEDS not WANTS (big difference between those 2 words again).....the kind of insatiable greed we see masquerading as 'Capitalism Free Enterprise at work' is really UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM - where NOTHING is supposed to limit the insatiable GREED of the devoted practitioner....I am ALL FOR LIMITED SUSTAINABLE FREE ENTERPRISE - but I am TOTALLY OPPOSED TO UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM.....just so you know where I am coming from.

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