There are few things that make me angry.
I consider myself to be pretty tolerant of most things. Receptive to changes in our ever changing world.
But every so often I encounter something that really grates me.
Last week was one of those occasions.
When I woke up to my morning spell of emails and scrolled through happenings in the jewellery world, my jaw dropped in horror. The offending headline read:
“Traffickers Are Turning Rhino Horn Into Jewelry To Smuggle It Out Of Africa”.
Sadly, transforming animal parts into jewellery isn’t something novel. To some, it hardly comes as too much of a surprise, particularly with the history of elephant ivory being turned into ornaments.
Yet what I was feeling wasn’t just anger… nor sadness… it was a mixture of both tied with frustration and disbelief.
Is this what the poachers are resorting to? Will they really go to any lengths to get their hands on rhino horn? It’s just disgusting and is the epitome of lack of human morals.
Why jewellery? Evidently it’s a far easier way to smuggle rhino horn out of African airports than transporting the actual horn itself. Plus, with Asia’s booming luxury goods market, the demand for rhino horn in the form of jewellery is on the rise. Yuck! It makes me sick to the stomach!
So what’s the deal with rhino horn?
You probably already know this but the bare facts demand emphasis. Rhino horn is mainly keratin – the same material as human nails.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear some of the uses for which rhino horn is procured or the premise under which it’s been sold in some markets, it makes me cringe.
Let’s start with a cure for some medical conditions and an aphrodisiac in China and Vietnam. My first response is, where is the scientific evidence? Secondly, even if there was any truth to its supposed benefits, surely with the extreme advances in science and technology, there are bound to be drugs on the market that actually do the job.
Then there’s status symbol. Surely there’s enough bling in the world that can whet even the most discerning wallet.
And then the marketing becomes even more flimsy: a good luck symbol. Four leaf clovers may have lost their charm, but surely not at the expense of cold blooded murder of rhino’s to make futile amulets from rhino horn?!
Yet hundreds of rhinos are being slaughtered for their horn. In South Africa alone, over 7,100 rhinos have been killed over the past decade – what a disgrace!.
This not only points to the sad state of what our society has come to. How does it make you feel to know that your grandkids, or even your kids might never get to see a real rhino? Think it’s farfetched? Think again.
Save the Rhino International, a UK based conservation charity, told the BBC that at current poaching rates, rhinos could go extinct in the wild within 10 years. Isn’t that just depressing??
If you share my sentiments, please shun poaching and the resulting trade of animal products in whatever shape or form. Together and with enough momentum, we can reverse this sad state of affairs.
Looking for animal friendly rhino jewellery? Find it here.