I have no doubt that there will be immense backlash after i’ve written this piece, but…
I will be the first to admit that i am not anywhere near an authority on rhino poaching or environmental affairs… but i hadn’t quite realized, up until now, that there were people who stood against the preservation of animals (and anything that isn’t human). I just took it for-granted that everybody was just as outraged as i was by poachers sneaking into our beautiful country and murdering nearly-extinct animals for unproven medicinal uses.
I was browsing the internet, devouring as much as information as i could, when i came across a post on Reddit about the Western Black Rhino being officially extinct. I did a little research just to check that it was true, there’s nothing worse than jumping on a band-wagon that has no wheels. I took to Twitter to share the news, this was my tweet: “The Western Black Rhino is officially extinct. Well done humanity.” With this pic attached >
Little did i know that a shitstorm was brewing. At first, i got the replies i was expecting… other tweeters who were just as saddened by the news, people who were outraged that we live in a generation that has seen the extinction of such an amazing creature. In all honesty, we have the right to be even more outraged than anyone else around the world, this is happening on our doorstep! In our own country! For the benefit of Asian penises!!
Then… i got the first reply: “We doing okay without the Dodo, we’ll be fine.” And the second: “#whitepeopleproblems” and lastly: “Its evolution,this has got nothing to do with humanity. Dinosaurs were extinct do you blame humanity too.” There were a couple other choice tweets, but these are by far the
What. The. Fuck. I thought it was “us” against “them”. I hadn’t realized that the problem is just so much bigger than Asians poaching Rhinos. It’s that people in our own country couldn’t care less, and that nature conservation is seen as a #whitepeopleproblem. This makes me wonder whether the reason that Rhino poaching has gone on for so long, and nothing successful has ever really been done by Government is because the people making the decisions, in Parliament and the like, actually don’t see what the big deal is…
I can see it now, some fat cat sitting behind a desk gets another letter/email pleading for funding to help save the Rhinos by hiring more border guards or a helicopter to patrol the area, and he laughs quietly to himself while thinking “white people *sigh* “.
There are loads of reasons as to why we are sitting with people who think this way, but i don’t want this to get any uglier than it already is.
I suppose i’m just a little confused. Disappointed. What do we do to not only fix the rhino situation, but also to make everyone understand that we’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful country… but the only reason that it is still beautiful, is because there are people FIGHTING to keep it that way?
I’m going to leave you with another story, make of it what you will… It is paraphrased, but the sentiment is still spot on, and i tried to remember the quotes as accurately as possible.
A friend of a friend is a lecturer at one of the top universities in the country. After a class, she was chatting to one of the young guys about homework or something. Two of his friends were standing with him, waiting for their friend, so they could all leave together. While she’s chatting to him, she notices the other guys needlessly throwing away some unused paper. Being a “teacher”, i suppose she saw this as a teaching moment, and said to them that they shouldn’t throw away so much unused paper… that they could save money if they were more sparing, and “what about the trees?”. A phrase you’ve probably heard a thousand times in your life, rainforests, trees, paper, etc. You get the idea.
*laughing* “But what about the trees, Miss?! Why do we care about trees? What about humans?!” (then something about the fact that everything is for humans to take, and we don’t need trees)
“Well, guys, trees provide oxygen… and without oxygen, we can’t breathe”
*all 3 guys in stitches laughing*
“TREES DON’T GIVE US OXYGEN!! That’a a lie! If trees give us oxygen, then how do people on boats breathe?!”
The above story is NOT a joke. This actually happened. At a University. And University students are supposed to be the most educated. This implies that, possibly, a lot of what is being taught by schools, isn’t being believed.