28 Jul '11, 8am

Among necessary giants: why we can’t afford to lose the elephant - Green Living - The Ecologist

Among necessary giants: why we can’t afford to lose the elephant - Green Living - The Ecologist

‘He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down,’ wrote Melville in Moby Dick . What percentage of Europe and America’s wealth has been drawn from the bodies of whales? What are we to make of a species – ours - supposedly sapient, supposedly sentient, that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of whales in the cause of lighting our cities, corsets and lubricating intercontinental ballistic missiles as the Russian did in the 1970s. That was surely the apex of our madness? Sadly it wasn’t. In the 1980s, over 600,000 elephants - more than half the total African pachyderm population - were destroyed for the hanko stamps so sought after by the Japanese. At the height of the slaughter, 70,000 a year were being killed. Kenya burned tons of confiscated ivory in 1989 in a gesture of defiance to the rest of the world...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/out_and_ab...

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