I attended a very effective demo in London yesterday to put pressure on China to end the ivory trade. Congratulations to Maria Mossman, Denise Dresner and their team for creating the event and successfully mobilising people to attend.
There is a saying which originates from the 1st century , was used in 18th century fairytales and denotes distance. People use the phrase “living in ivory towers” to describe academics who inhabit a world of theory which is remote from the harsh reality of the real world. It tends to be used in a negative sense to describe people who display a lack of concern and cling on to maintaining pure thoughts uncontaminated by the realities of life. The allure of fairytales is very strong and continues into adulthood and people are understandably reluctant to let go of fantasies of an ideal world where everything is dreamy, wicked people are defeated and all live happily ever after in the end.
People who are protesting about environmental issues and being a voice for the voiceless have leapt down from the ivory towers and immersed themselves in the brutal reality of life as it is unfolding during the 21st century. One issue that is being addressed is ivory and the barbaric reality behind the trade.
The current prognosis for elephants and rhinos is that they will not live happily ever after and the end of the story will really be The End. This is the likely ending of their grim fairytale unless urgent steps are taken to protect them.
China can save Africa’s elephants if it chooses to.Why would anyone not want to do this? Kerching/Money/Greed. We were oustide the Chinese Embassy yesterday asking China to close down its ivory carving factories, close down its ivory outlets because it is there that 70% of illegal ivory ends up. They must be persuaded to do this as the world is losing 100 elephants daily which is horrifying. China will try to stick to its guns and deflect this pressure as it has issues about saving face and not being told what to do. Well, we have issues about elephants and rhinos saving their faces and the tusks on them. If China did the decent thing and stopped this trade people would be grateful and have respect for them. They would also have contributed to stopping the network of trans-national poachers and ivory traffickers and stop the involvement of terrorist groups which are funded in part by blood ivory.
To get the message accross the crowd chanted :
1.Lead:Ban the Ivory trade!
Follow:Stop the poaching!
2.Lead:Kill the ivory trade – not the Elephants!
Follow:Kill the trade! Kill the trade! El-eph-ants must be saved!
Lead:Elephants deserve to live!
Follow:China – something’s got to give!
3.Lead:Extinction is forever
Follow:Stop all poaching now.
4.Lead:One Hundred elephants will die today!
Follow:Its time to stop the ivory trade
Lead:Brutality beyond belief
Follow:Causing agony and global grief!
5.Lead:What do we want?
Follow:An end to poaching
Lead:When do we want it?
Follow:Now! Now! Now!
Follow:Ivory’s what they’re dying for
Follow:Stop the trade its not to late!
7.Lead:What do we want?
Follow:A total ban on Ivory
Lead:When do we want it?
Lead:What do we want?
Follow:An end to poaching!
Lead:When do we want it?
Follow:Now! Now! Now!
Follow:Ban the ivory it’s not too late!
Lead:Every elephant belongs to the land,
Follow:Heads up China we’re taking a stand!
9.Lead:China ban the ivory trade!
Follow:Stop the slaughter and the crave!
Lead:You can end the devastation!
Follow:Stop the elephants decimation!
Lead:Tusks to trinkets – we’re dismayed!
Follow:Burn it all and Stop the Trade!
Lead:Elephants are life!
Follow:Ivory is Death!
10.ALL:If you’ve a heart, you must know,
CARVING FACTORIES HAVE TO GO!
If you care, you must know,
THE IVORY TRADE HAS GOT TO GO!
Tusks to Trinkets, we’re dismayed,
BURN IT ALL AND STOP THE TRADE!
and one that a participant introduced on the day :
“The rhinos and ellies you see on the tellys deserve the right to live!”
There were three brilliant speakers. Dominic Dyer from Care For The Wild International https://www.facebook.com/careforthewild was passionate about getting commitment on wildlife issues from MPs if they want our votes . Here is a link for his motivational speech:
Dr Trevor Jones from Southern Tanzania Elephant Project https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Tanzania-Elephant-Project/157164174392263 gave some excellent information on what is happening on the ground:
There was a lady called Jocelyn who had not planned on speaking who gave a very moving address saying how she could not stand back and do nothing. She explained that there is a problem of semantics as in one language tusk means tooth so the impression created in childrens’ minds is that acquiring a tusk is a simple tooth extraction. This creates an entirely false image at total variance with the harsh reality of elephants being hit by AK-47s and rockets. She had the inspired idea of tackling the Vatican about their use of religious ivory and produced a petition to ask Pope Francis to say No to ivory. Please visit it and sign it and pass it on http://bit.ly/1tXWSjL
After the demo had ended some of us were discussing many things including peoples’ apathy, not knowing what is really happening, our feelings of powerlessness when we hear of all of the atrocities as there are so many, every way that you turn. But we have no choice. Once you have descended from the ivory tower you can never return.We cannot sit back and do nothing or be in denial about how critical the situation is or just leave it to someone else. There isn’t anyone else. There is us. We are alive at this critical time and with that comes great responsibility. We are living in the NOW and we have to OWN the times and the problems. It would be nice if we could move from a position of NOW to OWN to WON. I cannot imagine a world without elephants, rhinos, tigers, dolphins, orcas or other animals ~ I would not want to. Would you?
The apathy of people really frustrates me. I met up with some schoolfriends after 30 + years a couple of years ago and one said that animal rights people and environmental activists are mad. No. I think it is the people who carry on their small little lives without feeling the need to do something about the wildlife and the environment that are mad and extremely shortsighted. It would take more than a visit to Specsavers to open their eyes and propel them to action.
Everything in this ecosystem is interconnected. Everything has a place and a purpose.If you do not start to peek out of your ivory tower and look at the what is happening and at least take some action to fight for the survival of the planet and wildlife then you are part of the problem.
Coverage of the Demo:
Peter Baldwin produced this excellent video about the ivory trade and the demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr5fuyaz3UI
It is now Monday 26th January. Aimal Defenders International on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AnimalDefenders/photos/a.169945149357.155327.75101244357/10153605752889358/?type=1 provided an email address so that people can directly contact the Embassy and politely ask them to stop the ivory trade: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also someone posted in a comment on this blog post that the chants should have been positive ones. If you have gone to the page about me you will see that I am Reiki Master and I acknowledge that we are all viibrational entities and I have thought about the use of the Law Of Attraction and positive thinking and affirmations very deeply to do with animal, environmental and human concerns and I feel that it is not enough, for me anyway as these matters are complex and there are a lot of diverse parties wanting different outcomes and that raising public awareness and using pressure and political channels is crucial in this day and age.
I worked closely with a visualisation group on the Taiji Drive Hunting Cause and the aim was to send heaing and positive thoughts and to visualise the dolphins getting away or not being seen by the hunters to maintain a blue cove. This is helpful too but I feel that the protests and demonstrations are highly effective in educating and getting more people on board and to get a message accross. You cannot mince words when doing this as the cause is too important. Elephants and other species need help urgently so raising awareness and tackling the demand for ivory etc is the right way.
You could join the group for sending healing to dolphins and whales at https://www.facebook.com/mermaids4cetaceans