Running head: THE BATTLE FOR ELEPHANTS 1 The Battle for Elephants Cristine Rojas California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Author Note International Business Undergraduate [email protected]
THE BATTLE FOR ELEPHANTS 2 Abstract Within this report, I will consider the ethicality of the poaching of elephants for their ivory; how the Chinese middle class has increased the demand for ivory, and the considerations given to the elephant’s survival as the last living large land mammal. I will discuss how the sales of raw tusks are funding paramilitary groups; how they are justified, and how it is ethically constructed. Finally, I will consider why the elephant is not a commodity, and summarize the thought with moral duty. Keywords : ivory, ethicality, poaching, conservation
THE BATTLE FOR ELEPHANTS 3 The Battle for Elephants African elephants are in real danger, their numbers are dwindling while the shelves of Asian craft shops are stocking up with exquisitely carved ivory. Militias are waging civil wars with their illegal trade profits; whole herds are diminishing at the hands of villagers eager to improve their situation or save their plantations. The practice is not sustainable ecologically, economically, and especially for the elephant species, who cannot survive under those pressures. 1. Ethical justification for hunting elephants. The population of the continent of Africa like the rest of the world is increasing, causing people to move further and further into the natural habitat of the elephant. People are setting up homesteads and villages, where elephants have migrated for hundreds of years. They will often trample or eat plantations, resulting in attacks or killing of the elephants. By killing the elephants that trespass into their land, humans get rid of the problem and benefit from the removal of the tusk to sell it at market, therefore, increasing their survival. 2. Moral reasoning and defense. We should consider the people who are living in these parts of the world and what their day to day looks like. We can often be accused of not caring about the rural poor and of “over-sentimentalizing non-human species, offering little financial support for wildlife management…” [Now10] 2a. Dealers and traders. Dealers and traders can argue from expected benefit. They know that if they trade in elephant tusk they will be a bit better off because of the sales. Americans see the elephant in that sentimental way as we do most animals we keep as pets “The ways that the Western public sentimentalizes elephants means that the realities of living with them are made invisible”[Now10]
THE BATTLE FOR ELEPHANTS 4 2b. Hunters and poachers. We do not stop to think about the people that live within the elephant territory and how the elephants are trampling or eating their crops. These folks are
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- Spring '15
- Elephant, ivory