Originally Posted by acridsheep
Very, very informative. Thank you. The only lingering issue I have with the usage of humanely, ethically harvested elephant hide (and, admittedly, it is a weak argument), is that it may undermine larger efforts to protect the species, by creating the illusion that the elephant is no longer in danger of extinction. The information you've shared is not common knowledge.
I understand your point but I don't think you've thought it through. Consider this... If there were no parks or preserves, there would be no elephants left at all. Indigenous peoples are not like you and I (a generic "you and I")--coddled, privileged, given to flights of fancy and intellectual navel-gazing. They are confronted with the hard realities of survival every day, every hour. They do not have the luxury to get all sentimental about big brown cow eyes (unless they're in a bowl of soup). Without CITES, without the parks, without an International effort to control the commerce in elephant hides, there would be no elephants left to weep over. The fact that there are such preserves and such restrictions is a testament to good people trying to ameliorate a difficult situation in the real
world. Within parks the gene pool and the population can be preserved and controlled. But too large a herd can threaten all...just as too large a human footprint can threaten all. Disease and overgrazing, requires that animals be harvested and their numbers kept with manageable limits. Selling the hides of culled animals supports the parks and that in turn, supports indigenous cultures...which, in an Ourorboros-like fashion, supports the parks, at least tacitly--to the point, at any rate, where the rangers and management are not killed or unceremoniously driven from their duties protecting a Traditional source of protein and implements of survival. And in the process every possible part the culled animals are used for good purpose. The demand for elephant hide is there world-wide (and if it weren't, I suspect the Traditions of indigenous people would more than make up for the lack) and it has been there for as long as people and elephants have co-existed on this planet. Would you rather, then, that the hides (and the money from selling them) be denied the Parks and countries and peoples who support the preservation of the herds? Would you rather the hides went to waste? Seems to me that the real problem...what got us into the mess we are in, and continues to aggravate the mess we are in, is just that--waste.