Originally Posted by drac2k
...take the tons of seized ivory that has been taken from poachers, and instead of burning it, catalog it, register it, microchip it and legally sell it with an accompanying certificate to the new owner.They could do the same with beached whales that are now towed out to sea and blown up.
You would see many impoverished African governments with limited resources become very active in the enforcement of poachers, knowing that there was an economic benefit from doing so.We next take all of the money from the registered ivory from around the world and send it back to the African and Asian preserves and poacher enforcement, creating more and better safe spaces for elephants and helping the local economies with jobs; elephants and humans living in harmony, side by side.Room for all.
Forgive me Drac, but this makes very little sense to me. How would selling ivory confiscated from poachers encourage African governments to step up their enforcement to stop poaching? If they did and were capable of stopping the killing of elephants for their ivory that would cut off the supply of confiscated ivory that the governments would be selling "legally" in the first place. Without the kill there would be no ivory for the authorities to confiscate. So they would need to allow the killing in order to obtain the confiscated ivory that is funding the program to begin with. Instead all this would do is switch the benefactor of the killing from the poacher to the government. This doesn't help save the elephant.
But yes Drac, the destruction of antique objects of art made of ivory does not, cannot, bring a single elephant back. This is the ONLY issue i see pertinent to us as collectors of antique arms. What we need to be doing here is talking about how we can organize a strong lobby to address these concern with our governments, how we can petition them to understand the absurdity of such ridiculous measures and correct any legislation that would allow for the confiscation and/or destruction of such valuable artist heritage. Destroying this stuff is simply criminal. But so if the continued slaughter of elephants for new ivory.
I could only support commercial "farming" of ivory if it were done so without actually killing the elephant. This would, of course, create many difficulties with wild African elephants. Not that it couldn't be done, but it would be an expensive venture and knowing humans as i do i suspect it would not end with a good outcome for life as an elephant. Yes Alan, i guess in some sense i am one of those "tree huggers" you were talking about. You are undoubtedly correct that as time progresses humans will vie more and more for elephant habitats. We humans are like a cancer on this earth and multiply far beyond our means of sustainable support. Frankly i favor the elephant over us, though surely he is the underdog. The elephant knows how to live within its means (when those means are not constantly removed by man) and live in harmony with nature. We, most obviously, do not.
What is clear to me is that the killing of elephants for ivory (or for habitat for that matter) is morally and criminally abhorrent. The world that was is not the world it is today. The resource of ivory as a material for artistic expression should remain a thing of the past, but at the same time that past must be preserved, not destroyed by government edict. Humans have no more right to kill elephants for the collection of ivory as they do to keep slaves another archaic practice of the past that we know know (hopefully) is morally wrong. As Tim suggests, ivory is simply a material for artistic application. There are other beautiful materials that can be used for future carving. The "addiction" for ivory that drives the continued poaching and trading of the material must be squashed somehow. However i do not believe that the banning and/or destruction of old ivory pieces helps the cause any. What i would rather see is than sustainable ivory farms that set themselves up for all kinds of abuses would be further development and perfection of synthetic ivory materials for present and future carving use. This is well within the reach of science and with further development could supply the market with an endless supply of material for carving.
If we humans do not learn to live sustainably upon the Earth, like the elephant we too will be doomed. If we don't kill ourselves off in nuclear war or the planet doesn't kill off masses of us off in self-defense through pestilence or natural disaster it won't be long before we will simply not have the room or resources to survive. As our population grows to unnecessary proportions our species will continue to destroy itself (there are around 7 billion people now and by 2050 that number will almost reach 10 billion). Then we too will need to commodify ouselves. Soylent Green is people!